Responding to BP’s response

After yesterday’s crisis management advice for BP, it seems fair to look at what the world’s current least-favorite oil company has been up to online in its response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP devoted a section their company website as a central repository of information about their cleanup efforts.  The pages are very fact-heavy, along with two video responses from BP officials and several pages of pictures.  Essentially, BP’s branded response to the crisis is an online press kit.  While the breadth of information is impressive, this is an exclusively one-way channel.

There are, however, other venues.  BP is one of the driving forces behind DeepWaterHorizonResponse.com, plus an associated Facebook page and Twitter feed. As one might expect, the Facebook page is the best of the group; Deep Water Horizon officials respond to comments with measured, polite answers to legitimate questions; and harsh critics are not censored. It helps that the initiative is not branded as coming solely from BP, thus diffusing some strong emotions folks likely feel toward the company.

It would be nice to see more from the efforts on the ground beyond a few pictures on all of BP’s online properties, something that could evolve as the campaign matures.  It’s a decent enough first step for BP, but it will only work if it’s the first step of many.

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