May 25, 2010
As if British Petroleum didn’t have enough to worry about with the Gulf oil spill, a fake Twitter account making fun of BP’s public relations efforts is rapidly gaining popularity online. The account, BPGlobalPR, was created late last week and now has over 50,000 followers, more than 10 times the number following the real BP Twitter account.
BP’s actual Twitter account tweets links to videos and articles about the company’s efforts, volunteer activities and other BP material in an attempt to rectify this slick situation. The fake account, however, offers more humorous content in a satirical format.
Here are a few of my favorite tweets so far:
BP has done a poor job handling this crisis from a public relations standpoint. Their social media doesn’t offer anything close to a human touch. Instead it regurgitates what a response organization, Unified Command, puts out. It almost seems BP is hiding behind Unified Command. By appearing more human and offering a personal side to their clean-up efforts, BP may have been able to mitigate the public outcry — or at least prevent so much interest in a fake Twitter account.
I look forward to BP’s response to this Twitter activity. I appreciate BPGlobalPR’s fundamental effort – exploiting poor crisis communications on BP’s behalf – but this is brand impersonation in the purest form, even if it is satire. I sadly predict it will be removed very soon.