Dell Flack Attack

July 17, 2006

Attn Corporate Bloggers. Here’s a good example of what not to do. Apparently Dell’s PR firm assigned one of their staffers to review blogs for negative comments about Dell. OK, standard procedure. But the guy commented on a well known blog in terms that, well don’t even meet the “angry blogger” standard of decency. Let alone, appropriate in defending his client.


Here’s what the anonymous “PR” guy wrote on Jeff Jarvis’ blog:

Hey Jarvis. I honestly think you have no life. Honestly? Do you have a life, or do just spend it trying to make Dell miserable. I’ve been working with Dell the past three weeks researching trashy blogs that worms like you leave all over that frigen blogosphere and I cant honestly say that Dell is trying to take a step towards fixing their customer service. They hire guys like me to go on the web and look through the blogs of guys like you in hopes that we can find out your problem and fix it. But honestly I dont think you have a problem Dell can fix. Your problem is you have no life.

Interesting that Richard Edelman, head of the largest independent PR firm and a competitor of the firm in question decided to raise this issue on his blog.  Well, I guess it is OK for a competitor to help point out a serious mistake on the part of a competitor. At least Edelman was gracious enough to point out that the culprit was likely a summer intern.

The point here is that there is no such thing as anonymity on the web–and the sooner anonymity as a presumed option goes away the better as far as I am concerned. So warn everyone who presumes to be speaking in your defense to not be so stupid. And to conduct themselves as they would as if everything was in the light of day. As it should be. And as apparently it is.

6 Responses to “Dell Flack Attack”

  1. Patrick Mullen Says:

    Actually, according to the post, I don’t think that the light of day is the issue, as the person pretty much identified themselves (or at least what they were doing and who they worked for.)

    Some people really need to learn that you attract more bees with honey.


  2. Now the real test for Dell is how it recovers from this gaffe, whether it has a spokesperson — for the record — apologize. And whether the current PR firm becomes its former PR firm. Additionally, the PR firm has some issues management of its own to do, because I’m guessing they provide a similar service for other clients.

    Jonathan Bernstein, President
    Bernstein Crisis Management LLC

  3. gbaron Says:

    For those who may be reading this and may not know Jonathan Bernstein, he is one of best–if not the best–in the world of crisis management and crisis communication. It’s a great honor to have him comment on my blog! Thanks Jonathan.

  4. gbaron Says:

    Patrick–you are right about revealing himself. Very bright. So, what do you think about Edelman making this big booboo and issue on his blog?

  5. DavidSanders Says:

    I find the whole issue of organisations actively responding to bloggers, or using a corporate blog to diffuse a potentially damaging situation, absolutely fascinating. I have felt that Dell’s PR have got it wrong many times in the past, and yet again they are made to look foolish by someone on their payroll. As times change actions like this may well become a thing of the past we learn from these mistakes.

  6. gbaron Says:

    Agreed DAvid. I went to your new blog and tried to leave a comment there. I’m very interested in the basic premise of your blog and would love to comment. It looks like you have to have a blogspot password to leave a comment. Let’s talk.


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