The Corporate Storyteller

Expert tips on management communications and the power of storytelling

Thursday, July 22, 2010


BP's Cleanup Effort Should Include Corporate Communications

While BP is busy cleaning up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the leadership should also make cleaning up corporate communications a top priority. The Wall Street Journal reports that, following BP's pledge to be "open and transparent," the company has released doctored photos purporting to show off its diligence in the cleanup effort. But the company has touted its work--not once, not twice, but three times so far as is known--with photos that have been altered.

A corporate communications team that would issue obviously touched up and faked shots either doesn't understand the meaning of "open and transparent" or doesn't care and clearly could benefit from a cleanup of its own. It's no secret that today's public are well-educated, sophisticated consumers who watch a company's actions very carefully and can spot a lack of integrity in a hearbeat.

It's past time for BP to get its act together. A lack of commitment to honesty and, yes, openness and transparency, only harms "big oil's" image and the image of corporate leadership in general--not to mention BP's credibility. If their corporate communications team isn't able to support the leaders in walking their talk, the communications group itself should be cleaned up. At the very least they should kept quiet so the company can keep the focus on getting the job in the Gulf done.

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