Papa John’s PR Firm Empowers Bloggers by Correcting Them


Papa John's CEO and Founder John Schnatter poses with 
Taylor Swift. Source: Papa John's Facebook Page

A Backhanded compliment? On behalf of its client Papa John's, crisis PR firm Sitrick and Co. is tracking down bloggers who wrote posts about Papa John's CEO John Schnatter's comments on Obamacare, asking them to correct or remove their posts. 

According to Politico, the firm has contacted a few dozen bloggers—but no major publications—who wrote that Schnatter said that due to Obamacare, pizzas would have to go up in price about 11 cents to 14 cents and individual franchises would have to close stores and cut jobs. Sitrick and Co. chair Mike Sitrick told Politico that "most bloggers have either corrected the items or removed them entirely once the 'mischaracterized' quotes are brought to their attention." 

The real news here: Organizations are taking bloggers more seriously, treating them as part of the media landscape and calling them on their posts. Whereas it used to be the Wild West among bloggers online, and organizations felt like it wasn't worth it to try and control them, now we can see how great their influence is and why Papa John's was concerned about misinformation about its organization.

It's a testament to the growing power and influence of bloggers—even (or especially) when they're wrong. 

The agency points bloggers to the CEO's November 2012 op-ed in The Huffington Post, where the pizza mogul wrote that he “never said” hours, jobs or stores would be cut as a result of Obamacare. The post includes a transcript of Schnatter’s exchange with the reporter, according to Politico. 

While agencies correcting the media on behalf of their clients is nothing new (which is why it's interesting Politico devoted so much attention to it), this proves that as the line between bloggers and "traditional" journalists continues to blur, PR pros have similar media relations straggles for each. More and more, the top online influencers become the source for important news and information within their areas of expertise.


Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg

 




5 Comments

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media 20/20 Summit

PRN_summit_ads_175x135_ep

This gathering will feature some key influencers and operators in social media, sharing their knowledge and experience in a full day of eye-opening sessions. You will take away practical knowledge to increase the visibility of your brand and expand its reach on social media.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Media Relations Guidebook

book-mediarelations-180x150

This 8-chapter resource contains practical implications for some of the most innovative developments in media relations, including the technologies, methodologies and mannerisms that determine the ecosystem in which PR pros practice this essential part of their craft.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

  • Bryan Coe

    That’s just smart brand management. Most companies don’t know how to do this.

  • Ryan Hall

    Very interesting illustration of how influential bloggers have become in shaping news and public opinion. Great points Bill. Thanks for sharing!

  • John G.

    Influence of bloggers or influence of search?

  • Paul D.

    This is a PR tactic can become on-the-job training for bloggers, who sometimes operate in “evidence-free” zones. Any and all undocumented or misrepresentative statements need to be addressed, of course, but how much is this costing the client in terms of labor and hours? What is the cost benefit?

  • Pingback: Public Relations & Campaigns | LindseyMcCormick