Moving beyond traditional PR to shape consumer opinion – Right or wrong?

NY Times reports:

Wal-Mart is increasingly looking beyond the mainstream media and working directly with bloggers, feeding them exclusive nuggets of news, suggesting topics for postings and even inviting them to visit its corporate headquarters.

Companies of all stripes are using blogs to help shape public opinion.

Before General Electric announced a major investment in energy-efficient technology last year, company executives first met with major environmental bloggers to build support. Others have reached out to bloggers to promote a product or service, as Microsoft did with its Xbox game system and Cingular Wireless has done in the introduction of a new phone.

Interesting! But, does using a few key bloggers shape consumer opinion? I personally don’t think so. Bad news or good news spreads fast in this medium – a few of us can’t shape it or break it. Better stick to some basic rules and spread what’s right. Brands need to understand that internet is a great leveller!

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