BP Oil Spill Response: Digital Lessons Learned

For weeks now, oil has been spewing into the Gulf of Mexico and, as more of it flows, BP’s public image has correspondingly sunk. A failure to stop the leak, multiple cringe-worthy clips of CEO Tony Hayward and continual obscurity as to what exactly BP is doing led to this—together with an outmoded, 20th century approach to communications. While BP has aired a TV ad with Hayward talking directly to the camera and pledging to take responsibility, its digital efforts seem, in many cases, almost invisible or tactically lacking. While the consensus appears to be that whatever BP does it won’t be enough, here are five digital lessons learned from the BP spill—lessons that you might be able to apply in your crisis situations: 1. Engage With the Blogosphere: BP should have reached out to bloggers much earlier, much more openly, much more aggressively and more often.

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