Business personality Martha Stewart created a stir in recent days when she made some harsh comments about bloggers during her appearance on Bloomberg TV last week.
“Who are these bloggers?” Stewart said. “They’re not trained editors and writers at Vogue magazine. I mean, there are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested, that aren’t necessarily very good or are copies of everything that really good editors have created and done. Bloggers create kind of a ‘popularity.’ But they are not the experts and we have to understand that.”
This statement creates some PR problems on its own, when you consider the fact that those whom Stewart is belittling are the very same people with the pull and mass followings to spread her damaging comments (and their own rebuttals) online like wildfire.
What really irked some new media writers, though, is that Stewart’s team at Martha Stewart Living had reportedly been pitching these same lifestyle bloggers in recent weeks. And according to blogger Fadra of All Things Fadra, the outreach wasn’t even asking for earned coverage, but rather the mere republication of the magazine’s own articles.
Stewart’s folly demonstrates the critical importance of companies having established communications guidelines and consistent messaging. Asking for someone’s help in advancing your business while simultaneously criticizing their profession is a clear way to shoot yourself (and your brand) in the foot. The right hand must not only know what the left hand is doing, but the two must be in-sync for communications efforts to be effective.