When it comes to negatively viewed companies, no one in the world can say their image has taken a beating as hard over the past few years as BP Oil, the company responsible for the infamous 2010 Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon Oil spill. As far as public image goes, their CEO would have to kick a puppy on camera to make them any more hated. Actually, it might have to be a few puppies, because according to many 2010 surveys, BP Oil was the most hated corporation in the world. And for it being only a year and a half after Lehman Brothers crashed and Wall Street executives were staying rich while many Americans lost everything, that’s really saying something. One need only examine this article: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/computers/blogs/dirty-facts-about-the-bp-oil-catastrophe to get the picture.
To combat this as a public relations firm, I would tell BP I need three things; money, time, and more money. What would I do with them? Well it’s a pretty simple idea in general, and it would be far more complicated on the large scale, but theoretically, it could work. I would start by pumping money into clean up efforts and charities. More than the government told them to, or a sensible man would require, but truly charitable work to show BP’s acknowledgment of their wrongdoing and sincere repentance. Next, I would look into developing green energy initiatives, like solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuel based energies, and making them an integral part of BP’s Gulf operations. This would employ thousands of people in the region, many of whom BP destroyed the livelihood of in the first place. The public relations campaign would simply be an en masse distribution of commercials, internet clips, and print advertisements explaining BP’s ultimate goal and their current status and rate of progress throughout the region.
While this campaign would take a while to sink in around the gulf region, it would conform to all PRSA guidelines for proper ethics, and for people to see this coming from a corporation that is all too well known for its deceit and negativity, will cause at least some positive affect in terms of public image. BP would simply have to stay the course throughout the entire process, sticking to the PRSA’s first point in ethical practice, to protect and advance the free flow off accurate information, through their campaign. Eventually, if BP, or any other person/company of ill-repute, stuck to this concept and these principles, they would ultimately win over the public favor once more, thus rendering their PR campaign an overwhelming success