Edelman Earshot :: Ethics in Social Media Communications

Rick Murray addresses Edelman University following their Wal-Mart blogs issue, uploaded Oct. 27. Phil Gomes explains that the recording is from a “global mandatory worldwide presentation of Edelman University.” I’m sorry, Phil. That’s not all-inclusive enough for us. 😉

…the rules have seriously changed … we are going to learn as we go along…

Key excerpts? Phil Gomes calls the recent problems “exposing a systemic issue” for the firm. Rick Murray states “the rules are changing” and “we’re defining them as we go.” I believe Murray is speaking of the global we, as in all communicators.

earshot podcast logoI like this podcast. Go listen for yourself at earshot. I’ve listened to it twice and will listen to it again.

Maybe we can do another class phone interview, this time with Phil Gomes, about this?  Maybe not, though, because Phil is apparently out until Thanksgiving. So, maybe Steve Rubel will talk to us? I did not hear him on the podcast, though. How about Michael Wiley?

What do you think, students? Want to ask them? Maybe they’ll see this and drop by. Any 5:00 p.m. (CST) Monday thru Thursday will do. (Those links aren’t too blatant, are they? I have no shame. I apologize.)

One pet peeve issue of mine was addressed. This is a bad practice of some street marketers. (And, it doesn’t relate solely to Edelman, actually, but all street marketing.) The word is passed along … no more hiring actors to enter an environment (absent disclosure) and say “Hi, I love (product).” This is no longer accepted. Disclosure must occur. Good.

Things to listen for:

  • Honesty of Relationship
  • Honesty of Opinion
  • Honesty of Identity
  • Taking Responsibility
  • Respecting the Rules
  • Do an audit of the above.*
  • As An Extra Measure of Assurance, Ask Yourself…
  • Would I be uncomfortable if my family or friends were involved in this campaign?
  • Is there anything about this campaign that we would be embarrassed to discuss publicly?


WOMMA Ethics Assessment Tool, “The Ethics 20 Questions” Discussion Draft For Public Comment

Now, the big question is – for everyone, not only Edelman – “Will people do it?”

Subscribe to Earshot through iTunes to download. It runs 38:15. Phil cut the sections where they were going through slides in a Powerpoint presentation. I wish he’d left them in. I would have listened. 🙂 The audio did have some glitches in it for me, but I don’t know if it is my computer or the audio file. I think it is the file as it was recorded from a phone conference.

* The audit referenced above will likely be available for Edelman employees to use in the middle of November.  They are going to have a hotline – or clearinghouse process, too.


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