BECKY ANDERSON: … At the end of the day, if you were crisis managing for this company and and helping them decide where they go next worldwide and looking at their public image at this point what would your advice be?
ALLYSON STEWART-ALLEN: Firstly, always put forward a local voice. If you’re ever in a crisis again, God forbid, always put forward someone who understands the local landscape and has that local cultural understanding, number one. Number two, be transparent. You know, why wasn’t the public invited to look at some of the designs for some of these fixes and get the best brains in the United States and around the world who could look at them and say, actually, that one is good, that wouldn’t work. And get input.
You don’t have to do everything by yourself. And they became very inward looking, very defensive, when, actually, they didn’t have to be. They would have engaged everyone and changed the conversation if we all were invited to contribute something.
BECKY ANDERSON: This is an easy one, Allyson, surely for Obama. There’s no way he wants to be associated with big oil now, is there?
ALLYSON STEWART-ALLEN: Well, so far it hasn’t really helped him hugely. I mean he’s been getting extremely bad reviews for not demonstrating empathy, not taking action quickly enough. And, in a way, I mean I’m a bit sympathetic about his position, because he has gone there. He’s trying to demonstrate empathy. He’s trying to do what he can. But he is the president of the United States. He’s not a scientist.