BP Oil Spill: When Crisis Management is Compounded by Social Media

I had the privilege of guest lecturing in Bill Imada’s graduate class at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (my alma mater). The title of the class — JOUR 568– is Critical Thinking and Crisis Management and I was asked to demonstrate the importance of social media in crisis communications and to present a case study. Well it turned out not being so much of a lecture — or even a case study for that matter — as it was a critical review of BP’s [lack of] response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster of April 2010 and the ensuing oil spill that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly 3 months unchecked.

[slideshare id=7111493&doc=bpoilspill-final-110302000814-phpapp02]

Click through to the videos in the presentation. Especially BP Spills Coffee. Riotous, no? But there’s truth to every bit of the parody. While BP was too focused on its record-breaking earnings and deflecting blame, it needed to address the reality of what was — and is — a very human tragedy in the eyes and on the active social networks of the public. And BP was way too late to that game.

The U.S. government just approved the first permit for deep-water drilling in the gulf since the disaster and there remains no known fix should history repeat itself. But our consumer culture didn’t get to where it is today out of an abundance of caution. This is where crisis management runs counter to traditional public relations. Organizations cannot wait to get involved on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, they must be proactively engaging and listening to their audiences. Sometimes communication is the only viable regulation.

Photos and More From CitizenGulf LA – August 25 2010

You’ll see more and more content here as the night goes on. And come on down — it’s going to be fun and it’s going late — here are the details.

Unable to attend a CitizenGulf Benefit tonight? You can still donate directly by clicking the icon below. Tag your tweets and photos #CitizenGulf so we can see them here. Thanks for your support.

donate to CitizenGulf

Continue reading “Photos and More From CitizenGulf LA – August 25 2010”

Suggest Songs for Gulf Coast Benefit Mixes!

Like many on the #CitizenGulf team, I’m powered in part by listening to a great deal of music. Now that we’re focused on raising funds for the families of the fishermen whose livelihoods are affected by the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, we must look to the sounds of the Gulf Coast and the Louisiana Bayou for inspiration and motivation.

Here is the first in a series of digital mixtapes. I’d love your input and suggestions on upcoming mixes. You can suggest a song very easily:

  1. Go to Blip.fm (login or register)
  2. Search for a song and click “Blip”
  3. Include @gulfbenefit in the text and/or #CitizenGulf

Can’t find it on Blip.fm? You can also tweet a song to us via Grooveshark, Twt.fm, Song.ly, or Tinysong.

For more information on #CitizenGulf Gulf Coast Benefit’s August 25th National Day of Action visit gulfcoastbenefit.com.

How to Host Your Own CitizenGulf Event on August 25th

How to Host Your Own CitizenGulf Event

Fishing Families Wait for Aid

Dear Friends:

Do you want to make a difference for the Gulf region communities affected by the oil spill, but don’t know how?

Both Gulf Coast Benefit and Social Media Club have decided to sponsor Citizen Effect’s CitizenGulf project. The effort has become a National Day of Action on August 25th, in alignment with the week of the fifth anniversary of Katrina. You can host your own local benefit!

The benefit — to be promoted by Gulf Coast Benefit — will help fishing families find a new, more sustainable future by providing education resources for their children. Catholic Charities of New Orleans is the beneficiary of all CitizenGulf National Day of Action donations. Citizen Effect will send 100% of donations, less credit card fees, directly to Catholic Charities to support education programs for fishing families.

Your Event Means a Summer Night of Jazz, Blues, Zydeco, and More

World of Coca Cola Party

If you want to host an event, we are suggesting a meet-up at places that can accommodate the following: People, hurricanes, New Orleans themed music (i.e. jazz, blues, zydeco) and a local green or environmental expert who can say a few things about the oil spill’s impact on the marine environment and the Gulf Coast economies associated with it. Registration will be $10.

The CitizenGulf team will set up your event page to ensure all proceeds go directly to the charities, with no worries about pass through fees. To sign up for your own event click here. We hope your Social Media Club will join us in time for a national roll-out of host cities on August 1.

Posted via email from Andy Sternberg’s posterous

August 25 – CitizenGulf National Day of Action

citizengulf project august 25 day of action

Mark your calendars! Citizen Effect’s CitizenGulf project will become a National Day of Action on August 25th, in alignment with the week of the fifth anniversary of Katrina. The benefit — to be promoted by Gulf Coast Benefit — seeks to help fishing families find a new, more sustainable future by providing education resources for their children.

You Can Help Many

Catholic Charities of New Orleans is the beneficiary of all CitizenGulf National Day of Action donations. Citizen Effect will send 100% of donations, less credit card fees, directly to Catholic Charities to support education programs for fishing families

There are three things citizens like you can do to help:

1) Attend or host your local event
2) Donate
3) Support Gulf Coast Benefit’s Pepsi Refresh project.

Donations can be given directly through the main CitizenGulf project page.

A Day of Action Means Jazz, Blues, Zydeco, and More

World of Coca Cola Party

Events will be meet-ups at places that can accommodate the following: People, hurricanes, New Orleans themed music (i.e. jazz, blues, zydeco) and a local green or environmental expert who can say a few things about the oil spill’s impact on the marine environment and the Gulf Coast economies associated with it. Registration will be $10.

Social Media Club has signed on as a CitizenGulf project partner and will help Gulf Coast Benefit promote the CitizenGulf events. Cities that have already signed on to host events include Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and Washington, DC. A full list of cities and details on how to register and participate will be available on the Gulf Coast Benefit web site no later than August 1.

We Are Actively Seeking Event Hosts, Sponsors and Attendees.

We are actively seeking hosts and sponsors to lead official events in many cities, organize Social Media Club local events and host unofficial awareness meetings. Email us for more details.

Gulf Coast Benefit’s Pepsi Refresh project will be our third action, and will be open for voting on August 1. The week of the national day of action, Citizen Effect will also offer CitizenGulf opportunities for individuals to engage in their own citizen grassroots projects throughout the fall to benefit fishing families; education, healthcare, food, etc.

Additional promotion partners for the national day of action include Andy Sternberg, el-studio.com, Live Your Talk, Taylor Davidson and Zoetica. Thank you so much for everything you and our caring supporters have done to support CitizenGulf. The project is now yours!