Today the guy who started the fake @BPGlobalPR Twitter account unveiled himself. He is Leroy Stick.
Well, not really. But anyone who works in marketing and public relations should read “Leroy Stick’s” essay which explains what the very best of us should be doing — not just when we’re faced with a crisis — but every day at our jobs. And it’s pretty easy folks and not revolutionary at all: just tell the truth.
When I first blogged about @BPGlobalPR the account had 900 followers. That was May 22. As of this writing — less than two weeks later — there are over 110,000 people following this account.
“Leroy Stick” explains:
I started @BPGlobalPR, because the oil spill had been going on for almost a month and all BP had to offer were bullshit PR statements. No solutions, no urgency, no sincerity, no nothing. That’s why I decided to relate to the public for them. I started off just making jokes at their expense with a few friends, but now it has turned into something of a movement. As I write this, we have 100,000 followers and counting. People are sharing billboards, music, graphic art, videos and most importantly information.
Frankly, with all due respect to “Mr. Stick”, a fake Twitter account is the least of BP’s problems.
BP needs to fix the leaking wellhead and prevent further damage to the coastal areas and clean up what’s been damaged. Most importantly, they need to cooperate fully with the government’s investigation and they need to invest more in helping the local communities along the coast. (Just last night I saw ABC’s Chris Cuomo shame BP into helping the Mayor of Jean Lafitte, La. by providing more booms to protect the town’s marshlands. Should a national news crew have to show up at your doorstep before you do the right thing?)
Until they take care of those things, there’s little any corporate communications department can do to help the company.