Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BP's New Stance on Social Media Crisis Management: Let it Ride!

About a week ago I asked how BP will handle the coming firestorm of social media parody, impersonation, and intellectual property infringement.

As of yesterday we know the answer.

As the faux @BPGlobalPR Twitter account heats up with tens of thousands of followers and a clothing line, I see a trend forming.

Empathizing with and supporting victims has always been a tactic of crisis management. BP has taken this to the next level by allowing branded co-creation of content and merchandise to take place.

In a way, BP has endorsed negative (and arguably illegal) social media behavior by omission.

Here's an interesting question:

What if BP had a hand in creating the parody content?

It stands to reason that angry consumers feel a little better if they are following what they perceive to be a parody Twitter account and participating in the conversation. BP's position seems to be indifference.

Toby Odone, a spokesman at BP, told Ad Age of the parody Twitter account, "People are frustrated at what's happening, as are we, and that's just their way of expressing it."

Another quote comes to mind... Put you geek hats on:

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

Nick Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 9 years, and helps the Fortune 100 identify unmet consumer needs, create ideas to fill those needs, and bring them into market. He currently works at Maddock Douglas.
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