Tags: BP, crisis management, international, interviews, media relations, spokesperson
As the oil continues to escape into the Gulf sea and BP’s crisis deepens, the PR campaign being executed by BP is increasingly under the spotlight. As the pressure from Obama and the White House mounts on BP, and the tone of the rhetoric becomes increasingly anti-British, the decision for Tony Hayward to front all the media interviews seems to be back-firing. The Americans are notoriously protective of their own, and had BP used its senior US executive to front the media, the indications are that the reaction would have been much more considered. The Americans don’t like turning on their own, but turning on a guy with a British accent is easily done. If it was an American accent explaining the steps being taken to control and remedy the crisis the chances are the reaction would be less severe. And as the company is 39% owned by Americans, BP could hardly be accused of using a deliberate smokescreen. When it comes to media relations in a crisis, it’s not always the right idea to use the Chief Executive, especially when they are responsible for solving the crisis and should be concentrating on that. Which begs the question, where has BP’s Chairman been hiding for the past few weeks?