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