Source Email From Wal-Mart’s Blogtrusion

Here’s an email Mark Thomas, an economics blogger, received from Wal-Mart via an employee of Edelman.

Edelman is one of the world’s largest public relations firms.

That email, and our deconstruction, after the jump.

Derrida would be proud.

First they cover their ass in case the personalized spam has already reached the blogger. Then they say, “we’re not so different, you and I”, a line echoed by many a villain, including Darth Vader. Then a little intimidation by dropping accredited names and institutions.

Mark:

I hope you
re well. I just wanted to drop you a line and introduce myself (and I have a vague recollection that I may have written before, so I apologize if this is repetitive). I
m a blogger myself (I contribute to Confirm Them and Human Events
Right Angle among others), but for my day job – I do online public affairs for Wal-Mart, working with Mike Krempasky who runs Redstate.org.

Next, some flattery to gently massage and lift the blogger’s ego.

Just wanted you to know that your post echoing today’s WSJ editorial is making the rounds here and at heaquarters in Bentonville.

Now, some commiseration. Poor Walmart, getting picked on by those bullies! Wah! Wah! Also, gathering the blogger into the folds of some sort of pro-corporation idealistic cause.

It
s always a challenge when opponents organize to attack corporations. The companies always seems to have one arm tied behind their backs when they try to respond, so it
s nice to see folks like you defending them when it
s the right thing to do.

Let me know if you want us to send more unsolicited brainwash.

If you’re interested, I’d like to drop you the occasional update with some newsworthy info about the company. Let me know.

And now, let’s sink the knife in, together!

And in the meantime, I thought you might be interested in another story that we’re working on today:

Here’s the part where WalMart airplanes talking points into blogger’s mouths:

Ever notice the difference between what union leaders do and what union members want? It’s a story almost as old as labor unions themselves — and nowhere is it more evident than the union leadership
s campaign against Wal-Mart.

Last summer, as millions of teachers saved money on their back-to-school supplies by shopping at Wal-Mart, the NEA called for a boycott.

Today, Working Families for Wal-Mart released a poll that shows that even as union leaders continue their anti-Wal-Mart campaign, 96% of union households shop at Wal-Mart and 63 percent of union households think Wal-Mart is good for consumers. (You can read WFFW
s full press release about the poll here: http://www.forwalmart.com/news.php. I hope to have the full poll memo for you soon)

Some more highlights:

A majority of union households (54 percent) say that unions should make protecting jobs at places like GM a higher priority than attacking Wal-Mart. And on the question of whether the campaign against Wal-Mart is a good use of union dues, the best union leaders can do is a split. 44 percent of union households say the campaign against Wal-Mart is not a good use of union dues. 45 percent think that it is.

Overall, 71 percent of Americans believe Wal-Mart is good for consumers and 60 percent of Americans say the campaign against Wal-Mart is not a good use of union dues.

We don’t expect to change the minds of the union leadership — but we’d like your help. Do you have any other examples of union activities that run directly counter to their members’ wishes or interests?

Please let me know if you have any questions and if you’d like to be added to the list to receive future (occassional) updates.

All the best,

Marshall

P.S.
Reuters has a story on the poll here. It notes the Washington Times report
question[ing] whether John Zogby had a conflict of interest since he had made money as an expert witness in cases where people were suing Wal-Mart.

Sincerely,

Marshall

Marshall Manson
Edelman
marshall.manson@edelman.com

Mark writes, “My post on Wal-mart that generated this email did not support Wal-Mart, it was neutral, and I did not ask to be put on their list. Now I wish I would have just to see what type of information they are sending out, but I assume it’s more of the same.”

There’s no need to be surprised, really. This is the same public relations tomfoolery that’s been going on since PR was invented, which is the relentless incursion of companies into editorial content. The only difference is the guns are now getting turned on blogs.

(Thanks to Nick for the link tip!)

(Photo via Flickr: Dreamtiger)

Comments

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  1. Jesse says:

    Wal-Mart has one hand tied behind its back when it responds to its detractors? Is the rope tying the arm woven together from thousands and thousands of hundred dollar bills?

    What a crock of shit.

  2. A crock, indeed. I feel embarrassed for the author of this email. Not only is it a bunch of BS, it’s dreadfully long. Who would even make it down to the bottom?

    You beat me to saying it, but this is only unique in that bloggers are now the targets of lame pitch letters like this, as traditional journalists have been enduring this for ages.

    The problem is, some bloggers (as well as some journalists) just might bite. The ego-stroking is often very seductive, while old school media hacks are too jaded to fall into that trap.