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Perception Management FAIL
The much-maligned oil company BP is working hard to rehabilitate its image in the eyes of consumers, and what better way to do that than to shape the information people get? BP is paying Google and Yahoo
to put Websites favorable to and/or approved by BP at the top of searches for terms like "oil spill." People who believe that they can acquire knowledge easily and rapidly merely by going to such search engines are generally unaware that their perception of what constitutes "information" is being shaped by the profit motive of the engine providing them with results.
Students in schools and universities cannot fathom why many teachers and professors prohibit the use of online information repositories like Wikipedia. The young consider it "old-fashioned" and silly when told of prohibitions on the use of open search engines to collect citations for term and research papers. In my own classes, I try to explain the multiple dimensions in which Wikipedia is fundamentally flawed as a resource for academic-quality research; and now, with BP flagrantly and rather shamelessly paying Google and Yahoo, I have yet another means by which to demonstrate the essential flaw in using open-access Internet search engines.
BP is carrying out what, for its interests, are rational measures to improve its tarnished image: it is spending money to shape "facts" as many people who think they are tech-savvy think facts can be gathered.
The downside can be fun, though. YouTube, a service of Google, is taking money from BP to put ads on videos. Below is a screen shot from a video I was watching. My search term to get to this video was "fail," given that I was looking for a specific clip of an incident where a very long line of bicyclists in some kind of race began to have multiple accidents along the chain. (The way the accident proceeded is an excellent example of how a failure at some point in a chain can lead to clusters of accidents instead of a single, "domino effect" collapse of the chain).
Anyway, there at the bottom of the video I was watching was an ad bought and paid for by BP offering me the highly desirable opportunity to "Friend BP on YouTube":
Yes, BP is so craven for friends that it will pay serious money to ask for friends on a video about the "Biggest ever fails."
The company that has arguably executed the biggest fail ever is so hard up to force its narrative on the public that it will position its brand name anywhere and everywhere, including right smack on a video about the biggest fails ever.
By the way, nothing on that particular fail video was even in the same universe
as what BP has done (and is continuing to do every day). Ultimately, even though the video itself didn't include the biggest fail ever, the ad on top of the video did, so the title of the video, "Biggest fails ever," was accurate.
So much for BP's efforts to shape the narrative.
The company should have stuck with its partnership with the government to keep journalists and independent scientists away from the site of the gusher. Now, there's
money well spent.
America is NOT for sale! It's for rent, generation to subsequent generation, business to succeeding business.
America's morals go to those with the most money.
While God may not play dice with the universe, earthlings do so with the only planet they have.
Double ones ain't good!
At each and every turn, with the stakes impossibly high, BP has always chosen to do the wrong thing. There's the substance -- having no emergency worst-case contingency plans for a blowout, disingenuously refusing to estimate the amount of oil flowing. There's the politics and image stuff, including CEO Tony Hayward's lies and self-pity and the platoons of lawyers and PR people trying to keep cleanup workers silent and choke off media attention. It's been an awesome display of every kind of 21st century corporate dick-itude.
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Its own bumbling public-relations efforts are making a big mess worse.
Not only has it made a series of gaffes — none greater than the CEO's complaint that "I'd like my life back" — the company hasn't even followed its own internal guidelines for damage control after a spill.
Executives have quibbled about the existence of undersea plumes of oil, downplayed the potential damage early in the crisis and made far-too-optimistic predictions for when the spill could be stopped. BP's steadiest public presence has been the ever-present live TV shot of the untamed gusher.
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Olbermann: BP Starting To Sound Like Baghdad Bob [w/video]
The protestations of foreign oil giant BP about their efforts to contain their cataclysmic oil disaster have become increasingly divorced from reality.
Trying to cover their arses, are they? Hah! They can't cover what they can't even find. Not even if they used GPS, maps and directions.
I am tempted to do BP a favor and write the final word in press release statements for company to use. Refreshingly blunt and glib, I think it would do wonders for the maligned firm's image, and would set the stage for a complete rehabilitation in the eyes of investors.
Maybe BP would pay me for my work. Geez, they'll pay Google to prostitute for them, and my Wesbites look a lot better than Google Vanilla any day of the week.
I'd better get to work before BP digs itself any deeper into Most Disrespect Company EVAH territory.
Okay, sure those problems occurred, but other than that, how is BP doing?
"People let me tell you 'bout my best friend,
He's a warm hearted person who'll love me till the end.
People let me tell you bout my best friend,
He's a one boy cuddly toy, my up, my down, my pride and joy."
Someone remembers "The Courtship of Eddie's Father"?!
Next you'll be telling me you remember "That Girl" and "My Mother the Car."
And, no, saying you remember "Hee Haw" doesn't count. Everybody over the age of 40 remembers "Hee Haw."
Ditto for "Petticoat Junction."
The Dark Wraith longs for the return of good TV.
The grandkids have an Uncle Joe, so they already know the words to Petticoat Junction, 'cause I'm an asshole.
"...he's a movin' kinda slow, at the Junction!"
The ONLY way to move at the junction!
HEE HAW?!?!?! I watched test patterns instead! hehhehheh, Buck!
DW, Do you remember Icky Mudd (that's with two D's)?
Hint! Get your decoder ring out!
Jet Jackson, Commander Cody, Rocky Jones, Tom Corbett -Space Cadet, and Saturday Movie Serials of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers!
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear...
How 'bout Car 54, Where Are you?, Bachelor Father, The Rounders (w/ the late, great Chill Wills), Route 66, and The Outer Limits?
CRT gold in them thar vaults!
I loved Outer Limits...so cool when they controlled your TV...How'd they do that anyway? Didn't care for Twilight Zone as much.
Alfred Hitchcock, Addams Family, Giligan's Island, Laugh In, Astro boy (the original), Super Chicken, Underdog, Banana Splits, Carol Burnet doing "The Princess and the Pea", and the wait for once a year to watch Wizard of Oz ....always family night with homemade pizza with Appian Way crusts and Budweiser (mom only ever drank half a beer-I got the other half). Wild Kingdom, The Wonderful World of Disney, and Masterpiece Theater.
Next up..... commercials!
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