June 9, 2010

BP – The new acronym for “Bad Publicity”?

Posted in current events, social media at 8:35 am by Jennifer

I am very curious to find out who does the PR for British Petroleum (BP), and have the feeling this will end up being quite a case study on crisis management (as well as the worst oil spill in history). What is shocking me and frustrating millions worldwide is that they (BP) don’t come across as accountable, caring and throwing everything they have at this problem. The public want answers and action, not a veil of silence.

Breaking this silence and taking BP to task in a humorous way is the new Twitter account @BPGlobalPR – pretending to be the BP Public Relations team and releasing a stream of tweets “on behalf of” the corporation. An interview with the anonymous individual behind it is on Popeater – a great read. A few examples of his tweets;

“We’re paying Google a lot of money to make sure you only have access to the best possible info on the oil spill: our info.”

“Catastrophe is a strong word, let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy”.

There is even a fictitious “BP Exec” named Terry, sharing his thoughts and activities in 140 characters or less online:

“I just spent 4 hours on the coast waving my wand at the ocean and yelling magic words.”

This spotlights a number of larger issues that companies can learn from, including being social media savvy and present online. Corporations can have mixed feelings about social media, whether they like it, hate it, want to use it or want to hide under a rock and ignore it. But the bottom line is that the public uses it and any medium used by the public should be understood by corporations and members of the company who deal with/are accountable to the public.

BP should make much more of an effort to be transparent, fund large scale cleanup efforts, open ideas to outside experts and the public to demonstrate to the world that they are doing everything humanly possible. In my honest opinion it’s much too late for them to save face, but better late than never.

Thoughts on the fake Twitter account? On BP’s relative silence?



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