Environmental group Toxic Effect sponsored the #AskChevron Twitter hashtag on Wednesday, prompting its fair share of desired negative responses from users about allegations of pollution by the energy company.
The organization clearly took note of recent social media marketing disasters, such as investment bank JPMorgan Chase’s failed #AskJPM campaign and the New York Police Department’s #myNYPD effort, and used the fake open-Q&A-session tactic against Chevron.
Many Twitter users’ responses indicated they were not aware the campaign did not originate with Chevron. It began with questions from Toxic Effect last night. Since then, supporters and members of the general public have also put in their two cents.
Morgan Crinklaw, Chevron's manager of issues management and litigation communications, told PRWeek that the company views the initiative as nothing more than "inconsequential noise."
"The time and money spent on this stunt would be better spent helping the people these groups claim to represent," he said. "Those who continue to advance the fraudulent claims against Chevron, including PR agencies, are not being transparent or honest."
Crinklaw would not elaborate on the company’s comms strategy in response to the promoted hashtag. In March, after a federal judge ruled that a $9.5 billion environmental damage award against Chevron was fraudulent, the energy company focused on helping the public understand the significance of the judgment.
Twitter users respond to #AskChevron:
PR tip, if you have multiple ongoing lawsuits b/c you poison people across the globe: don't promote a hashtag. #AskChevron why.— Carter Lavin (@CarterLavin) May 28, 2014