BP CEO Comments Sometime Counter CrisisPR Effectiveness, Says PR Expert Dobson

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“Effective leadership to protect brand image and calm public concerns is a benchmark of good Crisis PR,” says Crisis PR executive Brian Dobson of DobsonPR.com.

Preparation for media interviews is vital to role play possible reaction to comments that might be well intended but troublesome when in print or on TV and radio

“Effective leadership to protect brand image and calm public concerns is a benchmark of good Crisis PR, yet BP’s CEO has recently made public comments that compound public criticism of the company's inability to cap the worst oil spill in U.S. history,” said Brian Dobson, of Dobson Communications, a public relations firm in brand building and crisis PR.

“With major brands, certain crises have a predictable Crisis-Arc™ as customer concerns, public criticism, Congressional hearings, intense media scrutiny and declining shareholder values often flow in quick succession, but BP has an added twist: criticism of widely reported comments by its Chief Executive,” said Dobson.

In recent comments about oil gushing from the BP wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico, "BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward reportedly told Sky News ‘the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest,’ after telling the Times of London that he expects lots of illegitimate legal claims because ‘This is America.’ Both statements indicate a lack of understanding of effective communications during crisis,” added Dobson.

“A CEO sets the tone in a company and reflects management’s ability to handle crisis. BP’s CEO seems intent on glibly downplaying the massive oil spill off the shores of the world’s top oil consumer, America,” he said.

“Preparation for media interviews is vital to role play possible reaction to comments that might be well intended but troublesome when in print or on TV and radio,” said Dobson, who has prepared many executives for media interviews.

Before forming Dobson Communications, Brian Dobson headed PR at a Fortune 50 global consumer products company and was a member of its Crisis Committee. He entered PR at the New York Stock Exchange during a crisis, after being a journalist at the AP-DJ newswire of Dow Jones and at Reuters, where he wrote the daily stock market commentary.

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, and has handled PR in major crises for companies including 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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