An attorney representing families of victims of the 2005 BP refinery explosion has released details of the company's PR response to CNN, including an email in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy entitled "Media coverage and loss of life."
Brent Coon, the plaintiff lawyer, put together more than seven million internal BP documents, including PR and legal memos.
The "media coverage" memo (PDF) from then-VP, government and public affairs, Patricia Wright, reads:
Media coverage has been very heavy -- looks like injuries and loss of life are heavy as well. Ross lands this afternoon and I will talk with ihim about whether he needs to come here. Don is giving a statement to the press as I write this. Expect a lot of follow up coverage tomorrow. Then I beleive it will essentially go away -- due to the holiday weekend. Do [sted] is taking care of the federal folks and Glenn is handling the state officials.
This is a very big story in the US right now -- but the Terry Sciavo story is huge as well.