BP's Form Response to Offer of Help: They STILL Don't Have a Clue
My friend Paul Krupin of Direct Contact PR sent me this memo from the Deepwater Horizon recovery team. Even if the Gulf of Mexico weren’t drowning in BP’s oil–a situation in which you’d expect the form letters would at least act grateful for the advice–this is one of the worst examples of corporate messaging I’ve ever seen.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010 10:08 AM
Subject: An Important Message from Horizon Support
Dear Paul Krupin,
Thank you for your submission to the Alternative Response Technology (ART)
process for the Deepwater Horizon MC252 incident. Your submission has been
reviewed for its technical merits.
It has been determined that your idea falls into one of the following ART
categories: Already Considered/Planned, Not Feasible, or Not Possible, and
therefore will not be advanced for further evaluation. To date, we have
received over 80,000 submissions with each submission receiving individual
consideration and priority based on merit and need.
BP and Horizon Deepwater Unified Command appreciate your contribution
and interest in responding to this incident.
Michael J. Cortez
Alternative Response Technology Team
Deepwater Horizon Call Center – Houston, TX
Tell me what you think (in the comment space below. Then scroll down to see what I think.
Here’s what I think it’s bureaucratic, it’s off-message, it’s downright snotty, it doesn’t even mention the specific idea submitted before dismissing it, and it doesn’t even give a brief recap of what else they’re trying or why the submitted plan doesn’t work. Oh yeah, and how about that highly specific and targeted subject line NOT? If this came to my mailbox, I’d have assumed it was spam. Eeeeeeew! Couple this with the combination of hubris, selfishness, corner-cutting, and cluelessness shown by BP from Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and CEO Tony Hayward on down, and it doesn’t paint a pretty PR picture. Is there any wonder the company’s lost half its market cap? They don’t give much confidence in their ability to solve the problem, their understanding of why this is important, and the steps they might be taking to make sure it doesn’t happen again at a different well.