Two thumbs up for Edelman, they are taking ownership of the Walmart blogging fiasco. This will go a long way in with reputation management on the web. Although the response time is not what the blogosphere would have liked (they let this simmer way too long till they got their game plan together), the fact is Edelman owned up, and is engaging the conversation.
Steve Rubel also is remarking on his involvement with the project - NONE. I really question why Edelman did not invole Steve in a project of such a high visibility. Steve's the blogging guru and it's why Edelman hired him - talk about a big misstep. I have no doubt Steve shook his head the entire weekend while the blogosphere churned with this story. As a commenter on Micropersuasion said to his post, Edelman would be wise to make Steve their ombudsman for the blogosphere.
Edelman is a great PR firm, navigating their way through the Internet and all the ways it can touch the consumer. Managing your client's reputation on the Internet is no easy task these days. There are so many avenues big clients like Walmart traverse down from paid and natural search, to social networking and blogging - clients touch a lot of consumers. But, perhaps Edelman should have taken the time to get a road map and plan the trip first with help from Steve to guide them in places there clients got lost in before. I guess that's just my "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" analysis, and remember I'm just a small blogger.
Kudos though to Edelman, for reaching out to bloggers like Scoble and apologizing, taking ownership and engaging the conversation. Not many companies would take such steps, by doing so, they are teaching us all a lesson. Like Scoble said, they apologized, that should be enough.