BP — and Crisis Management

First of all, I have to say that it saddens me to see what is going on in the gulf right now. As someone who spends a lot of time on the Coast (East and West), I wonder what the Cape Cod beaches will look like when my son is old enough to do an ‘ocean swim.’ But instead of shaking my head in disbelief about BP, I am watching how the company handles this current crisis. (I can’t believe that today is the first time a BP executive flew down to see the mess first hand).

So what is BP doing from a Digital Crisis perspective?

First, they are buying up keywords and phrases like “Oil Spill” so they can share their point of view first on search results page. Second, they created a Youtube presence with a company video, which after a few days has over 130,000 page views.

While these are two tactics that most practioners would keep handy and available in their bag of Crisis Management tricks, it does say a lot about the company. The content says that they are trying to control the message, trying to broadcast their views —  and doing it in a very old school way.

What I see here are old school tricks be applied to the web.

Why not give people a voice to express their opinions on their own YouTube channel. Sounds crazy, but with a little participation, they could show people that they are listening. BUT there’s a bigger opportunity out there.

Right now, tens of thousands of suggestions, recommendations and proposed solutions are flowing their way. So many they can’t respond.

Why not crowdsource these ideas and let others vote on them, add to them, make suggestions, collaborate, etc. With just a few thousand dollars, they could use a tool like GetSatisfaction or UserVoice.

Crowdsourcing has been used in the medical field by innovative companies  like InnoCentive, NineSigma and YourEncore do—broadcast research problems to large groups of experts and non-experts alike in the hopes of unearthing novel solutions.

So BP, why not get the people involved…… Might be a good way to show you are listening, to learn what people really think (vs. just broadcasting your views) and obtain some new and innovative solutions to stop the oil leak.


FYI. The views in this blog are mine and do not represent the company I work for nor any of the companies I interact with. They are mine!


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