Welcome as this is, my main difficulty is not with the offence related to the Walmart blog, but rather the disengagement from the conversation after news about it leaked out.
I relate to what Shel Holtz has written:
"The problem I still have is with how long it took to begin participating in the conversation. I sympathize with Edelman’s desire to get all the facts, but this was a genuine, bona fide, reputation-damaging crisis. As the title of Gerald Baron’s excellent crisis communication book informs us, “Now is Too Late.” Nobody should know this better, as it relates to social media, than a PR agency that promotes and implements social media solutions (not to mention provides crisis communication counsel). It should have taken hours, not days, to ascertain the facts in order to address the crisis quickly. I would hope fast response is another issue Edelman is addressing with his employees. Even “We’re listening and looking into this and will let you know what’s going on once we have the facts” would have been better than the deafening silence."
This issue shows a real potential limitation of blogging consultants.
You can have all these nice technologies etc but what you have to possess are speedy investigatory processes(to ascertain the facts) and the capacity to respond quickly.The best organisations are ones that are transparent, open and have clear lines of communication.
Whilst writing, I would like to give Steve Rubel some credit. He has taken the time to address comments on his blog and on others blogs as well. At least there is now some engagement on the blogosphere.
P.S I initally blogged this was an apology. I do not think that is strictly correct.
P.P.S 18/10/06 - Another post of note is here by David Taylor again.