BP’s PR campaign has taken a new twist, in case you haven’t noticed.
Several weeks ago owners of local gas stations and regional oil distributors started appearing on TV newscasts and in newspaper articles.
The message…”Please don’t boycott BP you’ll only hurt your friends and neighbors.”
The idea being that boycotting BP would somehow cause local gas stations to lose money resulting in elimination of dozens of jobs throughout the area.
First it appeared as part of a story with one gas distributor appearing on a local newscast. Then I noticed several distributors and station owners showing-up in newspaper articles and TV news broadcasts throughout the country.
In addition editorials started popping-up in local papers “written” by owners of BP gas and shops and regional oil distributors.
While the initial PR effort by BP was, by all measurements, a mess that will be written about in PR text books for years to come, the localized campaign seems to have some traction.
While realizing many people are boycotting BP nationwide locally I haven’t seen much of a slowdown at the stations in our area. Though difficult to ascertain the stations with the BP sunburst logo still seem to be fairly busy.
The oil spill and explosion in the Gulf was a disaster and BP will be judged on this for many decades. There is no way to make-up for the loss of life, loss of livelihoods and impact on the environment.
However, from a purely Public Relations standpoint, the concept and execution of the local PR campaign has been exceptionally well done and for that one must give the oil company high marks.