So for most PR practitioners a job with a major corporation would be the ultimate? Correct? So what would you do if BP picked you to work for its company right now? I can guarantee the money would be good (Well for the next few months at least until their cleaning efforts and lawsuits are totalled up). But could you really go to work everyday trying to put a spin on one of the worst ecological disasters in our nation’s history?
As a young j-school lass, I often was torn about reporting unbiasedly about issues that I really cared about. My professor said it was frowned upon to be in protests of any kind or pick a political party because as a journalist you were to be completely unbiased. You couldn’t be in a Greenpeace photo shouting into a bullhorn one day and writing for the AP the next. At the time it was difficult for me to understand. Maybe that’s why my focus ended up in entertainment writing.
I also get into discussions with my friend who wants to be a defense lawyer. Sure, there are many in this world—there have to be someone to represent the defendants of the world. And on occasion the defendants are innocent. He views it more like a chance to exercise his skill of the law and logic rather than looking at the moral impact. He focuses on everyone having the right to an attorney rather than the emotional attachment of a drunk driver killing someone. I suppose we couldn’t have these professionals if they didn’t remove themselves from the case. But to do it for a living? I just can’t understand.
Many PR practitioners working for BP are probably not “for” what the organization is doing. Hopefully. Like Dick Cheney’s 2004 campaign press secretary, Anne Womack-Kolton. They are simply exercising their skill. And for them, this is the ultimate challenge. This is their Superbowl. Maybe I’m soft, or not a true professional, but it would be difficult for me to go into that workplace everyday and twist the truth for people to benefit an organization like BP, that has been pulling the wool over people’s eyes for years with its “clean energy” initiatives.
Also Google. Yes, they cannot discriminate who they sell ad space and adwords to. If the KKK wants to buy adwords, so be it, they are more than welcome. But how do you think the ad reps feel that had to negotiate with BP? That had to bump them to the top of the list of information, even though what they are spewing is entirely mis-information. Do they shrug it off when they go home at night? Is the money really that important or is it more about equal opportunities for consumers?
BP’s best public relations move? Capping the well and cleaning things up. Shutting their mouths. It would save a whole lot of money on advertising and public relations that they will be needing for fixing this situation.