Dudley do right for BP?

BP is making some serious PR changes quite like how political parties field local guys for elections Robert Dudley comes in waving the American flag. We hear about him talking of his times fishing and swimming in Mississippi growing up.  While outgoing CEO Tony Hayward has termed the oil spill crisis like “stepping out from the pavement and being hit by a bus”. He seems to be stepping down to appease the masses.

BP will have its first non-British CEO and this is sending a message to the US that they have someone who will think about their side of the story – someone who has a genuine interest in cleaning up the mess and someone who has admitted to facing colossal issues to tide over the problem. Bob Dudley sure seems like the man we need.

BP also needs to understand the horror people feel knowing that stringent security measures could have averted this enormous problem. Well there is also the politics of further deep sea drilling to considered and the oil lobby’s sheer power on the other side. BP has made quite a few PR duds to its credit, like  publishing full page glossy advertisements, censoring press and sponsoring events during the crisis. Hardly the right time to seem looking for PR and not to mention the neat retirement amount and pension fund that Tony Hayward is set to take away.

Whoever made a lot of the decisions that BP made needs to go and that is where the new CEO steps in. And this is what Dudley said..

“We will fulfill the promises we’ve made”

“Meeting our commitments is critical for BP’s long-term success. Taking over this role, I will not reduce my commitment in the region.”

“It’s not our intention to exit the U.S. nor do we believe we will have to. We fully intend to maintain those businesses and restore our position in the Gulf.”

Well, at this point people in the Gulf Coast are likely to be thinking talk is cheap, and leaves the rest of us with the worry – will oil companies be subjected to stricter laws, or not? Or is all this just a case of  ‘spilled milk’ or in this case oil?
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Reputation Management 2010 – a half year report!

Six months into 2010 and you realize the one thing that’s been recurring is big reputation crises. And how the mighty have fallen in reputation terms!! From Tiger Woods to Toyota worries, from BP oil spill crisis to Mel Gibson’s rants, from the Duchess of York scandal to the performance duds by the millionaire football stars, 2010 has brought its share of bad luck to haloed people and companies.

Reputation Management has never been this important and it’s sadly when a crisis happens that you actually tend to quantify reputation in terms of money. Reputation is indeed money and even if you argue that time is a healer, the business you lose in this period of crisis is never coming back to you.

The cool thing about Online Reputation Management (ORM) is that it encompasses PR, SEO reputation management, Branding and Crisis Management. You practically have your defense lined-up for you, ready for action. With ORM in place the bumpy ride to recovery from a crisis is largely smooth.

Finally by outsourcing ORM you actually get a whole team working for you round the clock. Being active on blog networks and social networking sites daily may not be possible when you have to go about your business. ORM goes a long way in protecting your reputation and brand online and should be part of your advertising or PR portfolio.

At Reputation Management For.com we’ve been ranking reputation of celebrities and companies based on how they fare online and we’ve often been alarmed at the naiveté with which  online reputation has been handled. However,  there’s much to be done to change this and this is where we come in. From regular monitoring to highlighting positive stories to damage limitation and burying negatives ORM is not be ignored.

For nowadays anyone can be an investigative reporter- a citizen journalist with phone cameras and other gadgets and anyone’s a paparazzo and celebrities beware! These are times of sting operations, consumer forums, and review sites all as keen on reputations as we are.

So yes, the year 2010 seems to be going down history as a year that could well use some reputation management on its own and here’s hoping the next six months see companies and celebrities with sound ORM in place.