Teaching PR On-Line for Northwestern State University

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Does the "Evergreen" Foundation Favor Logging?

This is also from PR Watch.

The question here is whether the Evergreen Foundation---which sounds very ecological and (Well) "green" is actually a front group funded by the logging industry. It seems rather disingenuous, IMHO.


The Executive Director of the Evergreen Foundation, James Peterson, argues in a Wall Street Journal opinion article that the decline of the spotted owl in the U.S. Pacific Northwest is not due to logging in old-growth forests. Peterson, who has been given a string of awards by various logging industry groups, referred to an unspecified "privately funded" study which "infers an inverse relationship between harvesting and owls." This, he argues, justifies "a long-term thinning program," an oblique reference to the Bush administration's Orwellian-sounding Healthy Forests Initiative, a program to log national forests. The Evergreen Foundation says it works to "restore public confidence in forestry." The foundation's website states that funders include logging and logging equipment companies, including Boise Cascade, Potlatch, Westvaco, Mead, Caterpillar and Timberjack. The foundation's logging industry funding, however, wasn't mentioned in Peterson's Wall Street Journal article.

Wal-Mart Hires Bloggers for PR Campaign

This is from PR Watch, a group that monitors PR practice.
It shows how Wal-Mart is actually paying people to post seemingly friendly posts for them, even though in fact Wal-Mart has these people on the payroll. If this is true, it seems as though this could fall under the heading of unethical front groups.


Wal-Mart "began working with bloggers in late 2005 'as part of our overall effort to tell our story,' said Mona Williams, a company spokeswoman." Heading the blogger outreach is Marshall Manson, of the PR firm Edelman. Manson contacted bloggers who "wrote postings that either endorsed the retailer or challenged its critics." He emailed one, "I'd like to drop you the occasional update ... and an occasional nugget that you won't hear about in the M.S.M.," or mainstream media. But "some bloggers have posted information from Wal-Mart, at times word for word, without revealing where it came from," reports the New York Times. Manson warned bloggers they might be "ripped" if someone noticed "nearly identical posts" copied from his emails. Wal-Mart's also opposing state bills that require large companies to spend a minimum percentage of payroll costs on health insurance. Wal-Mart claims, "These bills ... do nothing to take people off America's uninsured list," reports PR Week.