Not surprisingly, BP has taken a public thrashing for not just the environmental and economic disaster but also for not being more forthcoming with the public about the problem. And while it could have used social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to report on the problem and what it was doing to stem the flow and ease the damage, it has largely missed that opportunity.
We will probably learn some valuable lessons about risk management, public relations, and who knows what else from BP’s crisis, which is now fully a crisis for many more.
We live in a time when people crave and expect information. Even if it’s bad news, people want the truth. That’s where social media can help in a crisis such as this.
We can’t prevent every disaster, but we can get better at dealing with them.