JNJ BTW – blogging in a crisis

Picked up via , I see that Johnson & Johnson are blogging about the row the company is having with the American Red Cross. 

Check out JNJ BTW which is mainly authored by Marc Monseau, a member of the media relations team.  I found this particularly interesting as an example of corporate blogging, which seems to be responsive and have a human touch.

Although has some criticisms of the JNJ blog, it is good to see that it hasn’t shied away from addressing the current issue.

Indeed, demonstrating how there should be little difference between what is said inside and outside a company, particularly in such situations, Marc provides extracts from an email sent to employees today by CEO Bill Weldon.

In terms of public perceptions, the blog probably doesn’t have much reach – but it has been referenced online.  Perhaps surprisingly, there isn’t a link to the blog from the company’s news site (one of Diva’s criticisms that hasn’t been addressed).

I still believe that the issue could harm the reputation of both organisations.  Interesting to see that were criticisms of the charity are aired in the comments on the JNJ site, the company has sought to ensure misperceptions are corrected. 

It bodes well for JNJ’s values if it is not slating the Red Cross which has been much more aggressive in its PR stance.

BTW, from a Google search, I noticed that Marc is a – but he does not seem to have been able to keep this up to date. 

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

4 thoughts on “JNJ BTW – blogging in a crisis”

  1. Heather, the point is that millions of members of ‘the public’ do not need to read the JNJ blog in order for its existence – and what takes place there – to affect public perception.

  2. Jackie, That is certainly possible – but it depends who is reading it. As there is no link from the media page on the company website, how many journalists and other influencers will pick it up?

    My inclinations are towards JNJ on this one, but I’m sure a lot of people who just hear about a company suing a charity wouldn’t think it through.

    It is one to watch for how it turns out though.

  3. I don’t know any journalists or influencers who get their leads from corporate websites (and I know a lot of journalists and a lot of influencers, including in the pharmaceutical industry).

  4. Well, my experience and surveys of journalists show that the first port of call to find out more about any organisation is its website. Why wouldn’t you put a link from that website to a blog where more current discussion is taking place?

    In this case, there will be a lot of journalists (and others) picking up on the J+J story who will go to the corporate website – how would they know about the blog?

    Those in the pharmaceutical industry may recall having been informed about the blog, what what about others, particularly globally, who won’t?

    If you just check out the level of discussion that is taking place on blogs about the J+J/ARC issue, you will see that many people have formed views without any understanding of J+J’s position. They certainly don’t seem to know there is a corporate blog, so its existence isn’t an influence there.

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