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.
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.