But... BP's press spokesman, Daren Beaudo, contend the increased PR wasn't directly, or solely, a result of last year's fumbles. Rather, they say it's an effort to open up more after several years of BP focusing more inwardly on its business operations -- and on eliminating costs such as corporate image ads.
"We had to come out of this period of deep introspection and become more active and engaged," Beaudo said. "We went silent."
BP has been making an extra effort to reach out to Alaskans lately through BBQs, receptions, Little League sponsorships, and newspaper ads, reports Wesley Loy of the Anchorage Daily News. The company has suffered through a lot of difficulties this year and last, including a 201,000-gallon oil spill in the Prudhoe Bay oil field last year, though company spokespeople say this local PR push isn’t a direct response to that or other problems at the company.