Blogs are interactive for readers to provide commentary or news about an issue or subject. Wal-Mart one of the largest retailing corporations hired a Public Relations company to put in a little more effort into blogging about “Wal-Mart Across America”. Wal-Mart sponsored a couple that traveled to Wal-Mart’s across the country to get stories of happy employees working at Wal-Mart. The rumors got out that Wal-Mart hired a PR company to blog the happy employees at every Wal-Mart. The news got out that the blogs were not by ordinary people that decided to write good things about Wal-Mart. Many people were outraged about the blogs, so the CEO’s Edleman and Edleman wrote an apology letter revealing the truth about the blogs came from a PR company hired by Wal-Mart. Even the public relations firm revealed that the blogs were created by supporters of Wal-Mart. After they had some changes done to the Wal-Mart website they told the media that the public relations was hired to build consumer brands and it’s a mission for the corporation to have the public relations to lead the communication mix because they have the credibility and trust.
Considering my judgment about the ethical issues in the case the four principles access, disclosure, truthfulness and process will support my conclusion. The question about the case; in the “marketplace of ideas” is there any place for this type of “stealth” public relations? The question regards the covertness of public relations which I think has been that way throughout time. The first principle of ethical message approach is access, where free speech is expressed by a speaker and the listener’s access to information for the marketplace of ideas. Public relations should consider ethical obligation for their work because it shouldn’t interfere with the marketplace instead their work should contribute to the marketplace. I think Wal-Mart’s PR did not interfere with the marketplace of ideas it actually made people interact with...
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