Former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential running mate of John McCain in the 2008 election, Sarah Palin, has been known to not always make the best PR decisions in the statements she makes to the public. She is known for her famous catchphrase “Drill, Baby, Drill” clearly making known her stance on oil drilling.
Her latest PR blunder came earlier this month regarding the BP oil spill. Apparently, Palin blames the radical environmentalists who protest the act of deep-water drilling for the oil spill. Certainly it couldn’t be the drilling companies such as Transocean, the drilling company involved in the spill, or BP itself that are responsible for this. Palin claims that because environmentalists are opposed to coastal drilling, resulting in protests and lawsuits, oil drillers are forced into deep-water drilling. Therefore, the hippy environmentalists are the ones to blame for this disaster.
She explains her logic on her Facebook page:
This is a message to extreme ‘environmentalists’ who hypocritically protest domestic energy production offshore and onshore. There is nothing ‘clean and green’ about your efforts. Look, here’s the deal: when you lock up our land, you outsource jobs and opportunity away from America and into foreign countries that are making us beholden to them. Some of these countries don’t like America. Some of these countries don’t care for planet earth like we do — as evidenced by our stricter environmental standards…
Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country’s energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It’s catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it.
To top it off, Palin “tweeted” just this week about the spill and trying to solve the crisis:
Gulf disaster needs divine intervention as man’s efforts have been futile. Gulf lawmakers designate today Day of Prayer for solution/miracle.
Clearly, being Palin’s PR rep would be a full-time job. Palin may have valid points about outsourcing jobs or the pros and cons of on/offshore drilling, but it is neither the time nor place to express them. Instead of playing the blame game, which never proves to be beneficial in public relations, Palin should be encouraging these oil companies to take responsibility for what has happened.
For Palin to publicly blame environmentalists on her Facebook page and “tweeting” that divine intervention is needed to solve the oil spill problem is certainly not helping with her credibility as a politician nor her image. Although a day of prayer would be nice, Palin needs to take it a step further. From a PR standpoint, Palin should be using social media to ensure the public that the oil companies take responsibility for what has happened and are working to find a solution to the problem and repair the damage that has been done (not waiting for divine intervention). Blaming others and not taking responsibility is probably one of the worst PR moves to be made in this situation.