The Man Behind @BPGlobalPR

A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of the oil spill crisis, a new Twitter account @BPGlobalPR popped up. If you’re not reading the tweets closely, they almost sound like they might be coming from BP, but they aren’t. The tweets have a fantastic satirical edge, and the account now has over 100K followers.

The man behind the account is Leroy Stick. Today, he issued a press release talking about his motivation behind creating the account.

His press release is a great read for anyone responsible for PR and/or social media. He talks about starting the account because he felt like the PR coming out of BP was unrelatable to the public and decided he needed to give the brand a voice. His suggestion to BP PR’s team – fire the whole bunch. Especially after hearing a comment from BP’s CEO, I would have to agree. Even after the loss of life and the environmental disaster that’s continuing to build, the CEO said that he “I want this over so I can get back to my life”. I guess having to be down in the Gulf had interrupted his vacation plans.

For other PR practitioners, his statements about who owns a company’s brand is dead on.

So what is the point of all this?  The point is, FORGET YOUR BRAND.  You don’t own it because it is literally nothing.  You can spend all sorts of time and money trying to manufacture public opinion, but ultimately, that’s up to the public, now isn’t it?

Ultimately, it’s not about what you as a company think of your brand — it’s about what the public thinks about your brand. Especially with how quickly information can be shared across platforms, you have to be listening to what people are saying and be ready to respond.

Related links:

  1. @BPGlobalPR Twitter account
  2. Press release
  3. Gizmodo reprint
  4. BP CEO: Communications Failure
  • markwilliamschaefer

    Forget your brand? Many products have nothing BUT their brand. When you think of Coke, it probably brings to mind Americana and happy polar bears, not sugar water that is bad for your health. Did the public dream up the happy bears? Was this image formed through tweeting? No, this brand identity is a carefully crafted image that is ferociously nurtured and protected. Those marketing fundamentals don't change but the channels used to listen and interact with customers will. Thanks for the post!

  • sue_anne

    Thanks for the comment Mark. I agree that some companies have spent millions of dollars on manufacturing their brand and their brand's image with the public, but ultimately it comes down to what the public thinks of the brand. You can spend all that time and money and still not get what you want.