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Arizona and BP Need to Go Bowling
By: Trey Burley
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That’s the metaphor I use when there is a solvable issue between two parties. Simply go out for a couple frames, knock some pins down, and talk it out. However, the issue here isn’t between two parties, it’s a separate and polarizing problem that dogs both.

Arizona and BP have legitimate things that they’ve done poorly, as well as things for which they need to be held accountable. The media, competitors, and activist groups have piled on considerably. I can imagine, if both of these groups were speaking frankly, they’d have more in common then at first glance.

While off to a slow start, BP is handling the big picture with a series of ads featuring Darryl Willis, their point man in charge of BP claims. These simple ads are great and should’ve been done in early May. 

A smart friend of mine said she was shocked to see people still getting gas at a local BP station. The fact that BP isn’t defending the local gas stations is dicey. They can’t appear defensive, or the media will run stories on how BP is trying to get back to normal while the Gulf bleeds. (Cue the shot of the dead bird in the black water, and this story trumps Darryl Willis.)

The local BP stores need to step up and do something-anything to make the public aware of the fact that they are locally owned and not some corporate satellite outpost. Post a flier on their door, create a Facebook page, give away free hot dogs, or become friends with the media -- whatever it takes, but that’s the weak link in the BP story now. 

I don’t know all of the specifics about the Arizona immigration law, but Arizona says that it’s the same as the national law, except it will be enforced, rather than simply something on paper. The feds claim that it’s "harsher" and will lead to ethnic profiling or racism. 

Nobody can be for racism, but is the new law bigoted, racist, or just enforcement? 

If the law is really about enforcement and not harassment, tell it to us straight. If Arizona has a problem with illegal immigration, which I suspect they do, show us video of crossing points, the costs your cities incur or anything negative that you experience due to it.

Right now opponents to the law have, right or wrong, painted it and Arizona as racists. Racist is a word in context, not entirely dissimilar to Nazi. Using either can galvanize or polarize your supporters and audience. Racist generates support for the group using the statement, while Nazi generates opposition to those who don’t support you. 

Either way, both BP and Arizona have some work to do.  As for the bowling party, BP, you bring the food, and Arizona, you bring the drinks.


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About the Author

Trey Burley is the owner of TBPR, a boutique PR agency that assists small businesses and non-profit organizations. His background is in broadcasting where he’s worked around the world for various radio stations, as well as for many newspapers. Trey’s blog is Daddy Mojo. Follow him on Twitter here and here

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