How “BUSINESS SMART” Are You?
Can you help Mr. BP with his Public Image problem?
Mr. BP, who recently has experienced some public relations difficulty is trying to “clean up his act” in more than one way. Obviously, BP’s government lobbyists have been able to persuade the various oversight agencies to literally “see over” the flaws in the approval documents…although they had a chuckle over saving the walrus in the Gulf of Mexico.
Anyway, Mr. BP has finally realized that although you can fool some of the people some of the time, you can’t fool 307 million people of the United States on a major oil spill. So, rather than actually doing something about the technology to solve such problems, Mr. BP has decided on the age old solution of public relations/advertising “magic” in hiding the ball.
Well, as we all know, Mr. BP is up to his forehead in oil…and he seems to be having difficulty in making decisions… “oil on the brain”. Although we can all appreciate the CEO’s and the COO’s in the business world, often times, it will be the people “in the field” that are critical in making and reaching the right decisions. If we add to their practical common sense a few of the “geeks” in the science room, we may all be a lot better off in the world…add to that a little “green sustainable thinking”, and we will have the recipe for a better future.
So far, the random suggestions have been “top kill”, “bottom kill”, more drilling and a few ideas from the political arena that include using standard explosives all the way to a nuclear bomb…with the rumor that the Russians have actually already tried the nuclear option with some success…wow! Add to that, what appears to be one person who actually thought of a “remedy”… before the problem occurred … is an actor known as Kevin Costner…second wow!
Mr. BP has decided to work with the “Mr. Slick PR agency” [no pun intended]. Mr. Slick is trying to decide the best way to solve Mr. BP’s public image…whether direct marketing, advertising, public relations or referral based
Since for BP, money is not a problem, Slick has an unlimited budget, but realizes that just throwing money at the problem will not solve everything; so, he had to develop the best strategies. Slick understands that since nobody believes Mr. BP anymore [a few too many promises with very little to show]…so, Slick is not sure what to do and reviews the business development principles below.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES:
If a young man tells his date “you are very perceptive, look fabulous, and a great conversationalist”, he's saying the right things to the right person” -- that’s marketing. If the young woman tells her friend “how handsome, sophisticated and smart he is” -- that's advertising. If someone else tells the young woman “how handsome, smart and successful her date is” -- that's public relations." If a mutual friend or associate tells the young woman “what is great about the man and the benefits of going out with him and the best way to make the first date”– that’s referral based marketing.
Time to dig deeper:
When Slick considers “marketing”, he realizes that he may have a problem with coming up with the “right things to say” since BP has a serious credibility problem. Besides, in this situation, who would be the “right person” to say it to, “who’s buying” anyway? When it comes to advertising, everyone knows that Mr. BP is a good looking guy, and like the gecko, has a British accent; but the “how smart BP is” may present a serious problem. Since he is a “public relations” guy, and like most lobbyists, he has no objections to flat out lying to the public and to government officials; he likes the idea of trying to change over 300 million minds in the US…and abroad if he can get that too.
Mr. Slick also likes the idea of referral based marketing, since, so far, he has been successful in getting several Republican Senators and Congressman to speak out on behalf of Mr. BP…he likes to call them the Republican Guard for BP.
Mr. Slick is very happy with his BP Republican Guard who has said that Mr. BP is being “shaken down” for having to pay for its negligence … notwithstanding the law and good common sense. So, Mr. Slick and Mr. BP would like your help with the QUESTIONS on the next page.
DO YOU HAVE THE ANSWERS?
1. What would have been Mr. BP’s best strategy BEFORE the problem?
a. Not to drill in such deep water and take better care of the equipment.
b. To have designed better “worst case” scenario solutions.
c. To have engaged in “Green Technology”.
2. What would have been Mr. BP’s best strategy DURING the problem?
a. To have been honest is stating that they had no real solutions.
b. To have engaged the full world’s resources from the beginning.
c. To have issued a sincere apology
3. What would have been Mr. BP’s best strategy AFTER the problem?
a. Spend millions of Dollars in advertising to change world view.
b. Buy more Republicans in the US Government.
c. Locate strategic partners to make sure that this does not happen again.
HOW BUSINESS SMART ARE YOU?
Can you Help Mr. BP with his Image Problem?