Yahoo Addresses Blogstorm

    January 25, 2006

Over on the YSearchBlog Yahoo has officially addressed yesterday’s intense discussion over Susan Decker’s now infamous quotes.

However, they failed to specifically reference Ms. Decker’s comments.

This is a pickle of a situation. It’s a fascinating study in the use of corporate blogs in addressing what’s once again a media issue. Unfortunately, Yahoo’s post raises more questions than it tries to honestly answer. Note the comments on the post. It might have been better if they just let Jeremy Zawodny’s comments stand as the final word on this topic.

This is a difficult line for a corporate blog to walk. Blog too much and you appear to apologize for what a senior exec said. Blog too little and you appear to be hiding something. The trick is to find a balance. If they had simply embedded a link to Jeremy, the official post would be far more convincing. He’s a “dune” who sometimes “protects” the corporate beach. (Josh Hallett has a better analogy to describe this PR trend.) On the flip side, at times Jeremy openly criticizes his employer too. This enhances his credibility. I felt that Jeremy’s response came across as honest and open. Yahoo should have utilized it in theirs.

Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.