Excerpt from a timely PR reality check
Burson-Marsteller isn't as guilty of smearing Google as it is of committing a grand act of stupidity. What was it thinking when it offered a smart and principled privacy blogger like Soghoian assistance in writing and placing an op-ed sympathetic to its unnamed client? Didn't it know that Soghoian would rat them out? And how can you call a PR push a whisper campaign if it's being conducted via email, the simplest message in the world to amplify?
The coverage of the Burson-Marsteller fiasco has glossed over the fact that PR firms are deeply entrenched in the op-ed racket, working tirelessly for businessmen, politicians, celebrities, and other high-profile folks to write and place material.