Friday PR Picks: BP Struggles to Stay Ahead

by coach on June 11, 2010

Friday PR Picks: BP Struggles to Stay Ahead of PR Tsunami

The news channels remain fixed on the US Gulf oil spill, BP’s efforts to cap the leak and the dramatic impact on lives and the environment. Front and center have been President Obama talking tough and BP CEO Tony Hayward trying to respond effectively.

It has been a monumental technology and engineering challenge not to mention a PR nightmare for BP.

Any of us who have managed a crisis can sympathize with the scale of this PR crisis.

There have been some interesting PR twists and turns. A phony BP Twitter site sprang to life and BP wisely chose not to try to shut it down. Ironically, Amy Howell reports the phony BP Twitter site has more than 120,000 followers vs only 8,000 for BP’s own legitimate Twitter site.

BP is carrying out a massive social media campaign. (BP’s Latest PR Tactic: Buying Gulf Oil Disaster-Related Links on Google) SearchEngineWatch.com estimates spending on Google AdWords and YouTube ads alone at $995,000 in addition to another $50 million expected to be spent on TV spots.

Critics are saying this money would be better spent on clean up and those directly impacted by the oil spill though the company is spending millions daily in its clean up efforts.

At the end of the day, the best social media, PR and crisis management strategies in the world can’t work until the leaking oil is cut off. Then the real public relations and community relations work start in earnest.

Time and investigation will tell whether BP and its operators and contractors could have prevented the tragedy. The impact on the company, its reputation and its brand will be measured more by its response once the well is capped.

It will not be a short-term solution and the lessons will remain for decades.

This week’s Friday PR Picks includes a lengthy list of thoughtful articles and posts of interest to PR people watching the BP story. Lots of second-guessing and 2020 hindsight but most of all, some very important lessons for PR professionals.

More crisis communications resources at ThePRCoach which has more than 6,000 free public relations tips, tools and PR resources on every topic. And, we’re always keen to hear your PR insights or favorite PR websites you’d like to share.

Friday PR Picks

BP Public Relations

A Crash Course in PR from the Folks @BPGlobalPR [The Guardian]
BP Was Absolutely Right (About Twitter)
[PR at Sunrise]
Shifting Communication: Transocean Acts Under Siege
[Copywrite, Ink]
BPGlobalPR: A Brandjacker Strikes Again
[prTini]
Oil Spill PR: The Worst Is Yet To Come
[MediaBistro]The Oil Spill: Let the PR Crisis Management Begin [About.com]
BP Using Massive PR and Internet Strategies to Deal with Spill [FavStocks]
Cultural Clash Leaves BP Engulfed
[Financial Times]
BP’s Latest PR Tactic: Buying Gulf Oil Disaster-Related Links on Google [Fast Company]
PR Mess Follows Environmental Disaster [The Commercial Appeal]
The Man Behind @BPGlobalPR Speaks (Maybe) on His Motives and How Pranking Fuels Charity [Fast Company]
BP’s PR Blunders Mirror Exxon’s, Appear Destined for Record Book [The New York Times]
How Much Is BP Spending on Google Search Ads? [Search Engine Watch]
BP’s PR Problem: What They and Obama Should Do [CNBC]
BP Should Tell Hypocritical Americans to Take a Hike [New Zealand Herald News]

Public Relations

10 Traits of an Emerging PR Pro [PR 2020]
Amazon.com rave book reviews – too good to be true? [The Cincinnati Beacon]
Why Science Needs to Step Up Its PR Game [Wired]
Online Reputation Management Now a Full-time Job [GigaOm]
Signs of Life in the Public Relations Job Market: PRSA [The Public Relations Strategist]
The 10 Best Executive “F-Bombs” [Business Insider]
E! Launches PR Reality Show ‘The Spin Crowd’ Produced by Kim Kardashian [MediaBistro]
Vocus Acquires PR Service Help A Reporter Out (HARO) [Vocus]

Social Media & PR

PR Wins Social Media… Only to Likely Lose It in 2011 [Pop! PR Jots]
PR Getting the Social Media Budget
[Simply Zesty]
105 Twitter Apps for PR [Everything PR]
32 Ways to Use Facebook for Business [Web Worker Daily]
6 Tips for Using Twitter [Public Relations Blogger]

The PR Library has lots more Crisis Management, Media Training and Social Media resources available.

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