From the article:
…after Leroy’s second or third attack on my dogs, it became clear that the police and Leroy’s owner weren’t going to do anything to stop him, so my dad took matters into his own hands and came up with a brilliant invention: the Leroy stick.
The Leroy stick was, you guessed it, a stick. My dad carried an axe handle and I carried a plunger handle. My dad told me two things about carrying the Leroy stick. First, if Leroy came near me or the dogs, I should hit him. Second, if I hit Leroy with my stick, I would not get in trouble. Was it legal? Probably not. Was it right? It sure felt like it. We set the example and soon a lot of our neighbors started carrying Leroy sticks as well. Soon enough, Leroy and his owner saw everyone carrying sticks and Leroy didn’t run free anymore.
The point of this story is that if someone is terrorizing your neighborhood, sometimes it’s alright to grab a stick and take a swing. Social media, and in this particular case Twitter, has given average people like me the ability to use and invent all sorts of brand new sticks.
I started @BPGlobalPR because the oil spill had been going on for almost a month and all BP had to offer were bullshit PR statements. No solutions, no urgency, no sincerity, no nothing. That’s why I decided to relate to the public for them. I started off just making jokes at their expense with a few friends, but now it has turned into something of a movement. As I write this, we have 100,000 followers and counting. People are sharing billboards, music, graphic art, videos and most importantly information.
He goes on to take BP’s PR department to task, and then some. This is one of my favorite parts of the article.
So what is the point of all this? The point is, FORGET YOUR BRAND. You don’t own it because it is literally nothing. You can spend all sorts of time and money trying to manufacture public opinion, but ultimately, that’s up to the public, now isn’t it?
You know the best way to get the public to respect your brand? Have a respectable brand. Offer a great, innovative product and make responsible, ethical business decisions. Lead the pack! Evolve! Don’t send hundreds of temp workers to the gulf to put on a show for the President. Hire those workers to actually work! Don’t dump toxic dispersant into the ocean just so the surface looks better. Collect the oil and get it out of the water! Don’t tell your employees that they can’t wear respirators while they work because it makes for a bad picture. Take a picture of those employees working safely to fix the problem. Lastly, don’t keep the press and the people trying to help you away from the disaster, open it up so people can see it and help fix it. This isn’t just your disaster, this is a human tragedy. Allow us to mourn so that we can stop being angry.
I don’t know who this guy is, or where he is, but I sure would like to buy him a beer.