"'@BPGlobalPR We regretfully admit that something has happened off of the Gulf Coast. More to come. 3:07 PM May 19th via web'
A young comedy writer awoke one morning a month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and caught a video of the Coast Guard ordering reporters off a Mississippi beach. "It made me angry," the man now known publicly as Leroy Stick tells Fast Company. "It was just so clear to me that BP cared more about saving their brand than they did about saving the Gulf of Mexico. So I decided to make fun of their brand and their PR efforts on Twitter."
That first tweet opened lesson 1,001 in an ongoing course titled "In the Age of Social Media, You Do Not Control Your Brand." @bpglobalpr quickly picked up more than 190,000 followers, while the company's own account, the hastily started @bp_america, languished at a tenth of that. As the company made ham-fisted attempts at spin (Photoshopped helicopter, anyone?), Stick and his team provided a much-needed outlet for the public's outrage."
Anya Kamenetz reports for Fast Company in the issue dated October 1, 2010.