But in the marketing industry trade press, there has been a lot of analysis about BP, their handling of PR, their selection of a PR agency, etc.
And in an online poll conducted by AdAge on June 4, 45% of the more than 300 respondents said they would “rise to the challenge” to handle the company’s advertising account.
I ask: Why?
Though I walk to work, recycle and am part of a one car family, my reason for not wanting the BP account isn’t ethical or environmental.
My reasoning is based on how new and social media has changed the way we communicate. If BP is ever going to refurbish its image in America, the company is going to need to engage with Americans in an open and honest dialogue through social media.
And until they can stop the oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, any engagement with American will be as toxic.
It’s not that I don’t believe in preemptive marketing to help minimize the damage, I just don’t believe that by buying keywords and running a TV advertising campaign BP is helping it’s cause. The company is just spending money that would be better spent on cleaning the Gulf of Mexico and compensating those that are losing their livelihood from the oil spill.
For the time being, BP should be following Domino’s playbook from their most recent ad campaign, where they admitted the shortcomings of their pizza.
Aside from this, they should stop all advertising and even most outbound PR efforts until they have gotten the leak under control.
Social media has definitely evolutionized how the online marketing community communicates with the public, and not all of the changes are necessarily good. But instead of cashing in on the opportunity BP created, we should be honest with ourselves, our industry, the public and BP.