National Australia Bank has distanced itself from a PR consultancy (p’raps Cox & Inall), which attempted to spam post commercial messages on several leading Aussie sports blogs. Local SEO practitioner Jim Stewart tele-interviewed NAB PR Felicity Glennie Holmes who asserted that ‘this activity was poorly executed by our PR agency”. Jim Stewart primarily challenged Felicity on corporate spamming & the ethics of placing covert NAB ads disguised as blog posts. Felicity kinda defended her employers decision.
Interesting note to PR practitioners; be wary of responding to a blog query. As you would with a journo query, ask if they plan to broadcast your communication and if you’re uncomfortable with their response, decide if you wanna participate (or not). For eg: Jim Stewart conducts his interview with Felicity, filming himself for vodcast, and putting her on speakerphone – his body language, facial expressions and other non-verbal silently ‘spin’ his take on her responses. Judging by Jim’s raised eyebrows in his vodcast of the telecon, he couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing from FGH.
I’ve called Cox Inall to see if they were involved and if so, to hear their side of the story. Someone called ‘Killingly’ is supposed to contact me; after almost 18hrs, am still awaiting any call or email. Agency head Tim Powell left a voice mail for me around 9am and is happy to speak to me later today…stay tuned.