Actions have to match words and clarity and accurate information are vital in crisis, both to assist in solution and to salvage reputation. BP failed to act like the concerned global citizen it advertised itself to be and BP's crisis PR was too slow and lacking in strategic focus.
New York, NY (Vocus) June 4, 2010
In a CNN news report about BP’s image problems, “Brian Dobson was critical of BP for poor crisis PR regarding its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, noting that BP CEO Tony Hayward made media comments that added to the company’s image problems,” announced Dobson Communications, a public relations firm experienced in brand building and crisis PR.
Asked about the scope of BP’s image problem, Dobson said, “A foreign oil company on our shores doing damage to our coast, to our nation; that's the image that they have got to try to correct.”
CNN reported, “PR crisis expert Brian Dobson says BP dug its own hole early on in part by calling the spill, quote relatively tiny compared to a big ocean.”
In a report by CNN National Correspondent Susan Candiotti, broadcast on CNN Newsroom and CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Dobson said, “To call the spill tiny relative to the ocean is ridiculous. That's totally irrelevant. This is the CEO of a company spewing oil off the biggest customer on the globe, off the coast of the U.S., the number one consumer of energy.”
“BP should be transparent in all information about the disaster in the Gulf and should spend the money it takes to correct the damage it has done to the economy and ecology of America,” according to Dobson, who was a news reporter for Dow Jones and Reuters, entered PR at the New York Stock Exchange and had headed PR and was on the crisis committee of a Fortune 50, then called American Brands.
Dobson’s comments on CNN May 29 and 30 followed those he made soon after BP’s massive drilling rig explosion that sadly took the lives of 11 workers and began the worst oil spill in America’s history. He had said, “Like many companies in crisis, BP was slow in act. When news breaks fast, companies that are slow to openly engage the media end up chasing the story in escalating efforts of damage control.”
Early in the BP oil spill disaster, Dobson had said, “Actions have to match words and clarity and accurate information are vital in crisis, both to assist in solution and to salvage reputation. BP failed to act like the concerned global citizen it advertised itself to be and BP's crisis PR was too slow and lacking in strategic focus."
Based in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and online at http://www.DobsonPR.com, Dobson Communications has managed a variety of brand building PR campaigns in several sectors, from toys and food to licensing and high tech. DobsonPR has also handled PR in major crises for companies including a tobacco firm in the UK, a major Japanese pharmaceutical and nutritional products company, Japan’s lead supplier of blood, a major US food company and other clients in crisis situation, in addition to marketing and brand building PR. For information contact Barbara Green at 203-894-9240 or Barbara_Green (at) DobsonPR (dot) com.
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