As an ardent fan of the application of blogging and social media in business, it's depressing to highlight an example of exactly how not to do it. Unfortunately the culprit is Debbie Weil, well known in the industry for writing "The Corporate Blogging Book". To follow the story, you can read the start of the mess here, where she pimps for comments on a corporate blog for the weight loss product alli. Everything has unfortunate side effects from here on in. To explain things, I can't beat the excellent commentary from two of my blogging friends...
Dennis Howlett uses the excellent title "Holy Crap!" and ends his great piece with:
"I couldn't care less what PR does. In fact I assiduously try and ignore what PR does most of the time. But I do object to pimping because it makes all of us look like whores."
Jerry Bowles takes a more measured approach with "Deborah Weil and the Art of the Fake" and concludes:
"The social media revolution has given many of us aging hucksters a chance to regain a bit of our virtue by finally having a strong business case for direct, honest, communication, but Weil doesn't seem to want that opportunity."
Direct, honest communication is what we need, and in the end that is what has fallen out of this sorry tale.