BP’s first press release came out on Apr.21 (1 day later), and there’s been 13 official press releases to date, along with numerous news conferences and a dedicated home page (all sorts of phone numbers/contact information is listed). As the Associated Press indicated in a recent article, the clean-up efforts are costing approximately $6 Million per day to try and contain the 5,000 Barrels of Oil hemorrhaging out of the sunken oil rig each day. The first sign of a PR slip up came as BP first stated that the rig was only losing about 1,000 Barrels per day to try and soften the blow. Among other issues are the lack of dialogue between BP and local officials in the areas closest to ground zero.
While BP claims their lack of PR efforts is due to the fact that they are concentrating all of the resources on containing the spill, that is quite a poor excuse. It’s not as if the VP of Communications or his department are strapping on his or her diving gear to help seal the leak. Nobody is faulting BP for their relief efforts, but in all honesty, even if they successfully clean up the spill, I’m not so certain their brand can recover as easily. Their campaign to move “Beyond Petroleum” cost Tony Hayward and his organization a few billion dollars to help suppress their previous PR disasters and better position them as friends of the environment. Then 4/20 hit – feel free to insert your own 4:20 reference here.
With the oil spill being touted as one of the worst man-made disasters in recent history, BP has drilled itself a pretty deep hole to get out of.