Monthly Archives: June 2010

The good & bad of Honda’s “green” Sasquatch efforts.

I spent this Memorial Day  weekend at the eighth annual Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington State.

The Gorge Amphitheater. (Image courtesy of washingtonstate.org.)

The event’s natural aesthetics beckon attendees to consider their environmental impact on the earth, and in addition to being 100% wind powered it was the perfect spot for Honda to stage a “green” PR tactic.

Of the 100+ featured bands, I caught most of my favorites on the Honda solar-powered Big Foot Stage, secondary to the much larger main venue pictured above.

Coupled with the solar-powered stage, Honda displayed new hybrid models and provided a bicycle-powered charging center for cell phones and other portable electronics.

On the down-side, the large orange banners that bordered the stage looked weather beaten and faded by age compared to the glamorous X-Box 360 Main Stage. The print branding could have certainly been more appealing to compliment its eco-efforts.

Most unacceptable was the stage’s poor sound quality. In this Honda news release, Tom Peyton, the senior manager of Honda national advertising said, “We have found that Honda customers are as passionate about the environment as they are great music.”

If that’s the case, they certainly weren’t impressing fans of Miike Snow, Portugal. The Man., Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and other noteworthy groups. Some of the most exciting sets were ruined by drowned out vocals, an overbearing bass, and somewhat obnoxious feedback.

I was pretty bummed when I was trying to groove to Miike Snow and I couldn’t hear lead vocalist Andrew Wyatt’s voice. (See my favorite of their songs below.)

Despite the poor choice in print materials and the stage’s low sound quality (which I understand Honda most likely had no control over), Honda’s green efforts maintain their integrity and deserve their own round of applause. Sasquatch is the ideal event for inspiring youth culture with unforced ideas about preservation and conservation.

Why don’t you respond, BP?

Six months ago Mike Werch, having no connection to HJ Heinz Co., tweeted as @HJ_Heinz for two weeks, accumulating 367 fans before Twitter stepped in. (He now tweets at @Mike_Werch.)

As a big Heinz fan, Werch represented the company in a positive light, and was only conducting an experiment to see what happens if an individual misrepresents a corporation on the social networking site.

So, when I read this Bernstein Crisis Management post discussing the recent BP Twitter imposter, @BPGlobalPR, I was surpised to hear that BP wasn’t intervening.

Artist's rendition of a @BPGlobalPR tweet. Picture courtesy of bpglobalpr.tumblr.com.

BP clearly lacks an adequate crisis management plan, but every company should now, six months after the Heinz demonstration, be aware of how to handle a Twitter impostor.

This crisis management post explains that some of the key steps to handling a crisis situation include staying in control, always saying something, and using social media to respond. The fake tweeter demonstrates BP’s lack of control, awareness, responsiveness, and ability to successfully communicate with publics using all the tools in the belt.

It’s puzzling that BP doesn’t want to stop this impostor, especially because many people aren’t realizing that it’s a fraud. It may be an obvious parody to some, but others are developing an even worse impression of the company. They should at least respond.

There are currently 102,362 followers reading tweets like, “Due to public outcry, our ‘Spill Or Be Spilled’ flash game will be taken off our BP Kidz Klub website. ‘Smack the Greasy Manatee’ stays.”

Not good, BP. Not good.