May 5, 2010
Okay, BP says that they are âabsolutely responsibleâ for cleaning up their mess (in hearings today, they said they would pay all the âlegitimate claims,â whatever that means), then they start circulating settlement agreements to impacted citizens, asking them to give up the rights to sue in exchange for payments of up to $5,000. Fortunately, the Alabama Attorney General, who is prohibited from giving legal advice to private citizens, suggested that âpeople need to proceed with caution and understand the ramifications before signing something like that.â
How about thisâ¦ ByÂ Sunday, BP aimed to sign up 500 fishing boats in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to deploy boom. BP had distributed a contract to fishermen it was hiring that waived their right to sue BP and required confidentiality and other items, sparking protests in Louisiana and elsewhere.
What a mess, figuratively and literally. BP is a poster child of exactly what not to do when it comes to crisis management, which by the way is all about planningâ¦hello??
Where are their daily press briefings and updates? Where is their consistent messaging? I completely agree with Harlan Loeb, the director of crisis and issues management at Edelman PR, about the response. Loeb commented, âThis kind of event should clearly have been contemplated in their crisis simulationsâ¦ BP is an enormous actor in offshore drilling and exploration and the fact that this kind of event took place, while tragic and horrible, should not leave BP looking totally unprepared.âÂ Here is more on the crisis management from Business Insider.
Then we have the completely clueless executives from Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, as outlined in yesterdayâs Huffington Post, where it talked about âtwo recent leaked memos from Wall Street that show the values issue in a different way.â In anemail circulating the press today an anonymous author (who is clearly a trader, not a banker) flames at the middle class about how his job is to make money, and if he doesnât make money no one else will make money: âWe are wall Streetâ¦ we are smarter and more vicious than [dinosaurs].â
The second memo is authored by an economist at J.P. Morgan who rants at âignorantâ senators, and about the need for âthe grown ups to step in.â J.P. Morgan of course apologized for this one â how could they not â but the sheer fact that a senior member of management wrote a memo like this is an issue.
We are not only talking about common sense, we are talking about basic manners and a sense of entitlement from these executives..and this is absolutely frightening.