Agency Exec Takes Aim At BP

I just spoke to Karen Hinton, president of Hinton Communications, about BP’s response to the catastrophic oil leak in the Gulf. Hinton’s perspective on the crisis is unique, as she has battled Chevron for years on behalf of environmental groups regarding that company’s oil drilling practices in the Ecuadorian rainforest. You may remember the 60 Minutes story called “Amazon Crude” that depicted the rainforest’s destruction and its impact on the people there. You can read Hinton’s quotes on BP’s response to the crisis in my article on our site. When I asked her what could be learned, Hinton had this to say: “Any public relations firm or lobbying firm representing an oil company today should tell their clients, first and foremost, to identify internal problems now and fix them. Don’t wait on the government to tell the industry what to do.” Hinton, no doubt, will have more to say on the topic as a panelist at the PR News Media Relations Conference on June 17 in Washington D.C.

–Scott Van Camp

  • Harlan

    (Some thoughts regarding traditional PR strategies, below. Business leaders and PR pros need to spend more time and energy identifying internal issues.)

    In their attempt to address negative perception of financial firms resulting from Wall Street’s contributions to the Great Recession, many firms are doing, basically, the same old..same old publicity. Whether various firms played a role in Wall Street machinations or not, many are sending out warm publicity, like a recent announcement that “CIO Magazine named Citigroup a ‘CIO 100 Award’ recipient.” This award recognizes “organizations around the world that have distinguished themselves in their use of information technology (IT).” That’s nice, but..

    And in the extremely long and choppy wake of the BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, we’re seeing traditional publicity from energy companies. For example, the Mobil 1 Global Challenge. “Motorsports fans around the world can compete in the toughest on-track driving conditions by playing Mobil 1’s new online game…”

    When you have a minute, Google ‘Citigroup and CIO’ or ‘Mobil 1 Global Challenge.’ See what comes up.