By David Wolf
Public relations firm Edelman continues to provide superior comic relief, and proof that despite the impending end of PR as we know it, traditional public relations firms are not going gently into that good night.
Nearly eight months ago, Edelman announced through Steve Rubel's Micro Persuasion blog that, because two thirds of the blogosphere spoke a different language than English–and that already 15% of the global discussion is in Chinese–Edelman saw it as critical that their global PR teams be able to listen to the conversations not only in English but in other local languages. They were teaming up with Technorati to fast-track the development of localized Technorati monitors in German, Italian, French, Korean, and Chinese. After all, Rubel said, Edelman recognized that the world is flat.
Technorati is still regularly blocked in China, so in many ways their joint endeavors are like a blind man choosing colors. Following effusive self-congratulation and huge hype around the initiative, we heard little for six months.
Now, Rubel notes that, basically, China and Korea are too hard, so they are de-emphasizing (read "forgetting") Korea and China, and focusing on Europe. Yeah, those double-bit character sets are a bitch, huh Steve?
More proof, if any were needed, that China is not for dilettantes, and the corporate communications crafts are no exception.
None of this comes as a particular surprise. Edelman's tail-twixt-hind-legs retreat from China's blogosphere echoes for me their embarrassing screw-up with Wal-Mart and the failure of one of their teams when pitching to one of my clients to even identify a single blog of importance to my client. Richard Edelman and Steve Rubel talk a superior game.
But it's all spin.
About the author:
Silicon Hutong is an ongoing series of thoughts and commentaries by David Wolf, President and CEO of Wolf Group Asia'a management advisory firm providing strategic communications counsel to technology, media, entertainment, and telecommunications companies in Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region. David's opinions are his own and do not reflect those of either WGA or it's clients. Past articles can be found at www.chinatechnews.com, the Silicon Hutong Blog can be found here and David himself can be contacted at [email protected].