Daft damage control efforts damage BP by trying to control media

Posted June 10th, 2010 in Media Relations, Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized by Jeff Bentoff

It appears that BP is creating a textbook case for future PR students with its ham-handed efforts to staunch its bad PR — while its massive oil leak flows unabated.

An obvious PR strategy would be to focus on fixing the leak, or at least do everything it can to stop the flow, and publicize that. And take your lumps. The lumps in this case are unavoidable and deserved.

But BP is employing a different strategy — put a cap on critics and media. And they think this will work?

Media outlets have been complaining about being denied access to the spill. The result: More bad press and a congressman complaining: http://snipurl.com/x9xms. Good move?

Not content to just go after the media, BP is targeting satirists. Specifically, BP is tangling with a Twitter writer who created a comic Twitter account – @BPGlobalPR. (It’s worth reading — well done.) According to this New York Times story I read over coffee this morning — http://snipurl.com/x9xw9 — the phony BP Twitter account had nearly 145,000 followers. As I write this post at 8:30 a.m. cst, it’s topped 150,000 and will continue to grow thanks to BP’s attack on it. The story in the New York Times reached millions and will be picked up by other media outlets, drawing more and more people to the Twitter feed. Was it worth trying to extinguish a humorist — and making him an even bigger read? You be the judge.

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