Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign - New York Times

Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in P.R. Campaign - New York Times

According to this NY Times article, Wal-mart is using bloggers to gain the publics heart...or at least speak to them.

The article makes public a sort of viral marketing campaign conducted via bloggers. In short, a Wal-mart hired gun searched out blogs with sympathetic postings to Wal-mart, especially centered around recent litigations. These bloggers were then emailed some in the know material, with a positive spin. The hope being that already supportive bloggers would have more to work from than opinion and attitude.

One of the factoids mentioned is about job applications in an Illinois area versus how many actual positions were available. This number is contrasted with college acceptance percents at Harvard and for the Navy SEALs. Interesting, but important?

In any case, the article doesn't come down clearly in favor or against this practice but does point out something else of interest. The hired gun, in the NY Times opinion, appears to be a man of mutable values. It is pointed out how prior to and during his employment by Wal-mart, that this individual is a regular blogger, and a highly opinionated conservate. This I suppose would contrast with his working for Wal-mart? His viral publicity tactics? His support of a company resistant to being forced under government regulation? Hmmm...

In summary, it was an interesting read mostly for the idea of working with bloggers, giving them something for free, and letting them run with it.

Hey Wal-mart! I'm always sympathetic to common sense. Come see me if you want someone to rant about the RU drug issue.
Oh yeah, if you provide wi-fi access in your store, I could blog while my wife is on her third visit to our local Wal-mart this week.

Over and out,

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