After receiving a slew of negative coverage yesterday, Edelman has apologized for its post on using Robin Williams’ death as a way to more aggressively promote clients in the mental health field.
We apologize to anyone we offended with our post. We did not intend to capitalize on the passing of a great actor who contributed so much.
— Edelman PR (@EdelmanPR) August 14, 2014
While our post yesterday cited Business Insider’s Hunter Walker, his coverage of the original story was relatively tame compared to that of pubs like RepMan, in which Peppercomm’s Lauren Parker calls it “so off-base, [it's] not even in Yankee Stadium.”
Of course, Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan also took the opportunity to pull no punches.
Digital strategist Erin Blaskie shared a comment she left on the post itself, which has certainly attracted more attention than your average firm’s blog:
— Erin Blaskie (@ErinBlaskie) August 13, 2014
To Edelman’s credit, the comment has not been deleted; nor have those of other naysayers. The post, however, remains live.
Again, most readers did not take issue with the strategic aspects of the post but, rather, the fact that it served to bring attention to the firm itself as the presumably superior provider of such services.
Blog author Lisa Kovitz told Walker via email that the story sprung from an internal conversation that “We believed…was worth surfacing more broadly given how the news cycle was progressing.”
The lesson here, then, seems to be that some conversations are best left in the strategy room.