Blogs are good and bad for PR — BluePulse

by Mathew on January 27, 2006 · 2 comments

Earlier today, I came across a link on Steve Rubel’s blog to the story on MobHappy about something they wrote regarding BluePulse, a cellphone app startup. As described by Steve and by Carlo of MobHappy, the site wrote something positive about BluePulse, but then Carlo questioned whether the company’s app really ran on “any phone” as it said on the website. Someone wrote back and said the copy on the site said “almost any phone” — and sure enough, when Carlo checked, it did say that.

Of course, Carlo being smart enough to know about Google’s cache, he soon found a copy of the original page, and posted it — along with a discussion of how the incident was an example of “how not to deal with blogs.” And he’s right — it is. But there’s more to it than that, interestingly enough. Although the comments on Steve’s blog said that BluePulse was ignoring the whole thing, there’s now a long and apologetic comment on MobHappy from one of the founders of BluePulse.

According to Alan Jones, he realized the copy was wrong and asked a developer to change it, and was going to get back to Carlo and apologize — but before he did, an over-eager employee responded in the comments. As he describes it:

“Luke is an enthusiastic, talented young guy… he’s also a new and enthusiastic blogger. He’s not a PR person (neither am I) and he’s definitely not an asshole. Sitting in the same room as the developer, he got word of the change I’d asked for, and took it on himself to let you know. Luke has made an important error of judgement in pretending the text was never changed. However, I don’t think it serves anybody’s interests to go making him out to be anything sinister. Come on, he’s a technical sales guy, and this is his first job out of college – who among us haven’t made an error of judgement in our early 20s?”

Alan goes on to say that blogs have been an important part of BluePulse’s success, and he says he is sorry about how things worked out — and I’m sure Luke is pretty sorry too (although he didn’t say that). I think this one is a good example not just of how companies can screw up in dealing with blogs, but how they can make it right too — and I hope Alan’s explanation and apology get the same kind of coverage his screwup did (at least Thomas Hawk and BoingBoing have made note of it).

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