Somewhere in a communications department, far, far away...
'You spend millions on redefining your brand then BANG. Everything changes.
We screwed up. Had to protect our corporate reputation. Got rid of the CEO for a start-off.
Poor Haywood - professional geologist and operations man. We asked him to review all the hotchpotch acquisitions we made over the past few years and get the business into shape - and he did it!
But when the s**t hits the fan a reserved Brit lacking PR savvy is the last thing you need. Time to get a good ol' boy from Mississippi with media presence. Come on down, Bob Dudley.
To compound things, we spend a fortune changing the perception of an old blue chip into a global leader with a vision 'Beyond Petroleum', then the President of the USA starts calling you 'British' Petroleum, NOT 'BP'. Heck, you can't really tell the leader of the free world to read the brand guidelines can you? That lovely logo, The Helios, representing diverse forms of energy, all the wonderful white space, all wasted - it's 'BEYOND PARDON'.
You know what's most irritating of all? We wax lyrical about investing in new kinds of energy (okay, okay, so we abandoned funding of those projects) and now everyone's questioning our values. There was a time when you could keep a lid on these things. Nowadays you've got 24 hour news, the web, tweets, blogs - folks telling the world what's happening to your business before you know it yourself.
By the way, did you hear what happened to United Airlines and that damn country and western singer last year? They broke his fancy guitar on the tarmac and he takes it up with the complaints department. Yes, they ignored his complaint, but the critter wrote a damn song about it and posted it on YouTube. It was a hit! Everyone got talking, the mainstream press picked it up, THE SHARE PRICE PLUNGED! Communications team didn't see it coming and the senior management didn't know what to say.
What's that about Greenland? We're not bidding for a the drilling license? Something about the successful bidder needing to have a GOOD SAFETY RECORD?
Hmm, better start figuring out some kind of strategy to handle this stuff. In the meantime, let's hope they trust Bob.'Tweet
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