AP: At BP, It’s PR Versus Legal

The Associated Press tells PR pros something most of them already know: when it comes to crisis communications, it’s usually PR versus legal in terms of what the company can say and what they’d prefer to say.

From today’s story, “To lawyers, BP’s PR strategy isn’t puzzling,” we get the following, regarding BP:

Inside the company, experts believe, there is a natural tension between public relations people who want BP to project a positive image and lawyers who don’t want to be boxed into a corner.

It’s a balancing act with billions of dollars – perhaps even BP’s survival – at stake.

“BP must weigh the cost of admitting things that could be used against it later against the cost now of bad publicity,” said Michael Siegel, a University of Florida law professor and former federal prosecutor.

Hopefully that clears up a lot of Tony Hayward’s “I don’t recall” statements during his recent testimony.