Parodying BP on Twitter

Recently, some humorous Twitterers took it upon themselves to create a fake Twitter account parodying BP and its response to the oil spill. While Twitter requires you to state whether or not you are truly representing the company, BPGlobalPR’s bio state “This page exists to get BP’s message and mission statement out into the twitterverse!” While the account went live just a couple of days ago, there are currently 14,675 followers. Some of my favorite parody tweets are:

  • “Oh man, this whole time we’ve been trying to stop SEAWATER from gushing into our OIL. Stupid Terry was holding the diagram upside down.”
  • “Proud to announce that BP will be sponsoring the New Orleans Blues Festival this summer w/ special tribute to Muddy Waters.”
  • “The good news: Mermaids are real. The bad news: They are now extinct.”
  • “Negative people view the ocean as half empty of oil. We are dedicated to making it half full. Stay positive America!”
  • “If we had a dollar for every complaint about this oil spill, it wouldn’t compare to our current fortune. Oil is a lucrative industry!”
  • “Doing our best to turn oil into oilinade. So far the stuff tastes TERRIBLE.”
  • “Catastrophe is a strong word, let’s all agree to call it a whoopsie daisy.”
  • “Thousands of people are attacked by sea creatures every year. We at BP are dedicated to bringing that number down.” You’re welcome!”
  • “Think about it this way, the ocean is like rootbeer and oil is like ice cream. We just made America a giant rootbeer float!”

So from a public relations standpoint, what should BP do? Ignore it? Respond to it? Condemn it? Harness it for the positive? Certainly attempting to disable the account will create a backlash. Ignoring it could paint BP in a negative light as well. I agree with John Taylor, who thinks that BP should beef up its current Twitter site. If this parody Twitter account can harness this much attention and engage with this many followers, BP should be able to use this to its advantage. Obviously those on Twitter are interested in the spill – hence the 14,675 followers, so BP needs to harness the work BPGlobalPR has done to continue communicating effectively in this crisis situation.

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