We’ve recently heard about the alleged unintended smear campaign Facebook heralded against Google, Such tactics shrouded in a cloak of secrecy, when comes to light, often resonate within the pr community as distasteful and ugly. Many industry friends are grateful they have never been asked to do such a thing…yet I wonder if they realize how often these campaigns happen?
Realistically, Facebook had a valid point– to educate the public about a violation in consumer privacy. Let’s face it, I too want to know if my privacy is being violated…it’s my right to know. But, the strategy to get a blogger on board and use his/her to drive this consumer privacy issue appears to have backfired, considering the blogger exposed this story. As far as what has been made public, there was no need to take that tactic. Facebook has enough recognition to help lead this discussion openly, transparently, and yes…as a leader!
Mom’s across the playground all know how “whisper campaigns” or as we like to call it, “gossip” can backfire. I myself have been subjected to this…yet as a PR pro, I had taken the high road via transparency and blew the gossip mongering mom’s and their flip flops back to the park benches…and reality. I work in facts…in logic and in connecting the emotional with logical. At the end of the day, when we rest our weary heads on our pillows at night don’t we just want to make sense of things???? In fact, isn’t’ that part of what we try to do as public relations/ communications experts?
For those interested in a recent article check out The Daily Beast article http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-12/facebook-busted-in-clumsy-smear-attempt-on-google/#