|May 25, 2010|
|Top (or bottom) 10 Spoof PR Tweets from 'BP'|
|By Greg Hazley|
|A phony Twitter account under the name BPGlobalPR has attracted more than 19,000 followers by spoofing the oil company's communications as out of touch, crass and even myopic.|
The spoof began on May 19 with the message "We regretfully admit that something has happened off of the Gulf Coast. More to come."
A series of messages followed satirizing the company's PR department as trying to put a positive spin on the Gulf disaster. It's a good example of how PR has come into greater focus by the public in recent years in politics, business and, especially, crises. It also highlights some problems of the digital crisis era as some Twitter users clearly think that the account is genuine.
We're surprised the account is still active, but perhaps BP is worried about another hit for taking down a Twitter account rather than focusing on the spill.
Depending on how you look at it, here's our take on the 10 most damaging (or most effective) satirical tweets from the BPGlobalPR Twitter feed:
10. "If we had a dollar for every complaint about this oil spill, it wouldn't compare to our current fortune. Oil is a lucrative industry!"
9. "Sadly we can no longer certify our oil as Dolphin Safe."
8. "Looks like the oil is on its way around Florida and up the East Coast. Consider it a hug America!"
7. "Negative people view the ocean as half empty of oil. We are dedicated to making it half full. Stay positive America!"
6. "Oh man, this whole time we've been trying to stop SEAWATER from gushing into our OIL. Stupid Terry was holding the diagram upside down."
5. "I'm sorry, are people mad at us for drilling in the ocean?!? Maybe God shouldn't have put oil there in the first place. DUH."
4. "Proud to announce that BP will be sponsoring the New Orleans Blues Festival this summer w/ special tribute to Muddy Waters."
3. "The good news: Mermaids are real. The bad news: They are now extinct."
2. "Please do NOT take or clean any oil you find on the beach. That is the property of British Petroleum and we WILL sue you."
1. "Jelly beans, roller coasters, pizza and trampolines. Without oil, none of these would exist. Just something to think about."
Perhaps the site was inspired by BP CEO Tony Hayward's PR gaffe declaring the Gulf of Mexico "a very big ocean" and adding, "The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume."
Text 100's Lance Concannon offers some tips in a post on what can be learned from the Twitter spoof, including, "Unless the content is malicious or clearly being passed off as genuine comment from the brand, itís often for the best simply to demonstrate that your organisation has a sense of humour and can accept being the butt of the joke with good grace."
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