Corporate PR: BP Seeking New PR Head

BP Company Public Relations

After the disastrous PR campaign that surrounded the Gulf of Mexico mishap, BP attempted to regain face in different ways, from changing the CEO, to even, according to recent reports, looking for a new head of media relations. Andrew Gowers, who is currently occupying the position, will not be sacked, but probably assigned to a different position.

The Telegraph reported that Bob Dudley, who will replace Tony Hayward as the company’s CEO next month, is actively involved in the process. Naturally, Dudley will want a team that operates as he envisions the process. Tony Hayward’s PR team has seen good times, when they managed to introduce a greener, environmental conscious BP, but when the hard got harder, their strategy failed lamentably.

Earlier this week, BP confirmed that the leaking Macondo well had finally been sealed, but this success came too late to “wash” BP’s stained reputation. The new PR head, will have a difficult task repairing the irreparable. It will take years and years for BP to be perceived as “environmentally friendly” or “environmentally conscious.”

On top of everything, BP faces civil and criminal investigations in the US. This means that the future PR chief needs to be skilled enough to deal with such negative situations, and a good crisis-management expert is hard to find. My guess is that Dudley will assign a Washington lobbyist – the safest bet in the matter.


  1. Dude says

    Look, the whole solution to BP’s PR nightmare is simple, you can’t build a bulletproof positive public image based on lies. They need to follow up on their promises and they need to stop cutting corners and risking lives and the environment. It’s time for BP to start thinking about their future, and given BP’s safety record over the past 10 years, anyone in their right mind will not allow them to drill anywhere near them. So instead of trying to weasel into another drilling position under the radar (like an artificial island so they can drill under the label of onshore drilling or drilling a well as an exploratory well with the intent to use it for production), start focusing on green energy. Sure they have solar panels, but they aren’t priced remotely competitively. The bottom line is that oil is here today, but it isn’t going to last, especially if you’re spilling it everywhere. So invest in preserving the future instead of destroying it.

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