Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Have You Tweeted BP Today?

Ain’t technology grand?

Where would we be, today, without Facebook, Twitter, millions of blogs (including this one) and YouTube?

Where would British Petroleum and Transocean be without all these new fangled “social media?”

They wouldn’t be any better off, but they would not have to hear all the nasty things people around the world are saying about them – at least not until the hundreds of lawsuits begin winding their way through the American legal system.

One recent Tweet said, “Thanks for fighting standards and regulations that would have prevented this leak.” Another Tweeter declared “I will walk before I ever buy a gallon of your gasoline.”

And some of our crisis communication consulting peers are asking, what, if anything has BP learned from Toyota.

Well, BP has launched a new website: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/ called “Deepwater Horizon Response,” with scores of pages of detailed information, hotline phone numbers, official company statements and maps and what BP calls “contingency plans.”

And company executives have bravely been facing the cameras, but they have not begun to take control of the story or the company’s future. Someone needs to not only appear to be in charge, but actually be in charge and make strong, clear statements about what BP and Transocean is doing, going to do and how they’re going to do it, to stop the flow of oil and clean up the Gulf.

It appears the leadership of BP was naive or blind to the risk they faced. It never ceases to amaze me how intelligent and successful business men and women can convince themselves that “nothing will go wrong while I’m in charge!”

When they were considering the mile-deep drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, they may have weighed the risks and consequences, but, even if they did, they should have gone to the next level of their risk assessment and asked what if something worse happens? And then develop an operational plan, a communication plan and a recovery plan for the “even worse” situation.

BP will survive just like Exxon did, and probably continue to make billions of dollars in profits, while we grouse about the exploitive oil companies and keep on spending obscene amounts of money for their products.

1 comment:

  1. Sijispeaks is the web portal for Siji a motivational, professional speaker, management consultant, television host and author.
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