The First Rule of Communications Is…

Be honest. And if you can’t be honest (though you should be), for the love of all that is holy don’t put out information that will be refuted a month later.

Via the New York Times, a government panel called the Flow Rate Technical Group just doubled its estimate for how much oil is spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, from 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day (the original BP estimate) to 25,000 to 30,000 barrels per day. That’s a lot of oil, close to one Exxon Valdez every eight to ten days. According to the article:

The assessment was conducted by the Flow Rate Technical Group, which was created federal government to accurately gauge the oil being released into the Gulf after questions were raised about BP’s own estimates.

Italics are mine. That’s now how to build public trust if you’re BP. If you’re the government, however, it’s not a bad start to emerging as the good guy.

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