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February 2005, McDonald paid an ad agency, TypePad, to create a fake blog to go along with their Super Bowl ad hoax that a French Fry was shaped as Lincoln. The commercials were a two part series, one commercial at kick off show and one in the first quarter. Below is a video that has combined the two commercials together. McDonald’s began their complementary blog shortly after the commercial aired.

To see the commercials in two parts, click here to see part 1 and here to see part 2.

Because the commercial was brilliantly put together in a two part series, it double the catastrophic effect of destroying McDonald’s name.  The commercials were affective and got people to link into McDonald’s fake blog. Shel Israel blog teaches us that good blogs have passion and authority. Companies that hire ad agencies to  get bloggers to be connected to the company are not confident about their products. Faking blogs are lose-lose situation and will only catch up with the company in the long run. When a company has their name on a product or any type social media outlet, the company reputation is attributed to it. Such damaging decisions, like creating a fake blog, can a be company Waterloo. The consequences of deceiving the public throws a companies credibility and reputation right out the window. 

Now, McDonald’s has setup pretty transparent  corporate social responsibility blog that has revamped their image to the public. Their blog mishap has taught them a lesson and now states on the site, “CSR is everyone’s business, and we should communicate with that idea in mind.” Hopefully, companies can learn from them that it doesn’t pay to be fake. 

 

 

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Rick Clancy, the senior VP of corporate communications at Sony Electronics, talks about how transparency is the essential to their thriving blog.  Sony’s first tag line, Sony no bologna, truly represents what transparency and authenticity mean. With the blog, Sony was able to build trust, relationships, and dialogue with consumers.

Devils advocate

Matthew Creamer article called “You call this transparency? They can see right through you” discusses how Wal-Mart suffered a embarrassing situation with its attempt to open its PR “war room” to a writer from The New Yorker. The resulting piece was a chronicle of the Wal-Mart’s PR staff’s barely disguised disdain for the author’s existence. Even worse have been high-profile missteps such as Sony and Wal-Mart attempts to useto create the sheen of openness, blatant manipulations of the very tools of transparency.

Picture of Wal-Mart's fake blog      

“The trend line is definitely toward transparency,” said Dan Gillmor, director of the Center for Citizen Media. “Some companies will do it earnestly; others will fake it.”

Being honest will truly set you free. Posting fake comments will only destroy a company reputation and image. Being authentic and transparent advances corporations and organizations in many ways. Social media allows this flow two way of information makes companies aware the negative so the company can react or the positive to continues their process.