I’ve been highly critical of the British Petroleum local community outreach because the BP reps here have no knowledge, no technical expertise and no authority. Most have only worked for BP for a few days or a couple of weeks. So why are they so important to BP?
Because they and the BP community outreach centers give BP positive press around the world. Check out this article that appeared in LA Times: Gulf oil spill: BP ahead of the curve in Florida panhandle.
In that article, our favorite BP barbie, Liz Castro is quoted: “It wasn’t part of us trying to ward off negativity, it was part of our community commitment.” Remember it was Castro who told Florida CFO Alex Sink to call the 1-800 help line to get the contact info of Castro’s boss.
The LA Times reporter also quotes Vani Rao, the BP rep in Bay County for public info, since last week. Rao wouldn’t tell told us her background. She only told our reporter she was a “badged employee of BP”. When asked a few more questions, she said that she was formerly an “employee for Gulf of Mexico operations” for BP (from Houston office). She implied that she didn’t want to bore the IN with her long title (claimed that friends at parties got bored of hearing her title, thus I probably would too).
Rao was much more talkative with the LA Times: “It is completely about community. I don’t know if you would call it generically PR; it is completely community. People don’t want a 1-800 number to call.” I don’t think CFO Sink would agree with Rao.
BP is waging a worldwide media campaign against us. They are even misrepresenting the facts on how they are “helping” us.