Given the journalistic hoopla triggered by Facebook’s PR campaign against Google, one would think national security is at stake.
The Wall Street Journal ran the story on the B section cover above the fold with the headline:
“Facebook Hired Firm to Target Google”
This constitutes a surprise worthy of 30-point type?
Here’s a “news alert.”
Companies strive to deposition their competitors on a daily basis. I suspect when Piggly Wiggly launched its breakthrough concept of a self-serve grocery store, the competition chirped publicly and privately about issues with PW’s concept (think about the germs, now you’ve got to do the work, etc.).
You don’t think Oracle on occasion shares unflattering things about Microsoft and vice versa.
The Mercury News splashed the headline on page one:
“Facebook Waged Stealth PR War on Google”
I don’t think so.
Stealth is Gordon Liddy organizing a band of yahoos to follow Nixon from rally to rally.
Look, the PR agency behind the Facebook campaign, Burson Marsteller, definitely made a mistake by not being transparent and sharing the name of the client.
But here’s the part no one is talking about.
Until Christopher Soghoian posted his exchange with the BM rep on the Internet and Daily Beast blogger Dan Lyons connected the dots, how many journalists used the information from BM to write stories.
Without the context of knowing who was footing the bill for BM’s work.
But I don’t think we’ll be reading stories about irresponsible journalism.
Laziness doesn’t make good copy.