Thursday, February 7, 2013

A (Shell) goes with B (happy kids). Among other things.

In a way it's sort of creepy when PR messages from multinationals you have certainly not ‘liked’ seem to magically pop up on your facebook stream, shortly after you have more or less ‘disliked’ those exact same multinationals on your facebook wall. I happen to prefer my glass half full though, so I have decided to draw from this the somewhat happy conclusion that apparently someone is paying attention. Well then, here goes nothing...

Hello again Shell,

So, apparently you’re getting Pakistani kids an education. Good. I like kids to get educations. Who wouldn't?

I like it so much that I would almost like this random message you somehow were able to send my way – you know, if it hadn’t been completely uncalled for and, to be frank, coming from you.

Sure, I think it’s swell that you have some external social development projects going on. Then again, that doesn't lift you from the responsibility to clean up your own messes - you know, the ones you are actually responsible for. (On a sidenote, belittling the intelligence of consumers seems a questionable way to try and grow their sympathy towards your company).

You don't need to prove you’re some kind of good Samaritan. In fact, I don’t see how you ever could be a good Samaritan. Not so much because I’ve become completely close-minded towards the possibility, but rather taking into consideration that you’re not even a person. All of us with functioning brain cells know that Shell is made up of an incredible variety of people. And that some Shell employees will be overall great people, while other's will be mostly shit. In all likelihood, all of them will alternate between good and shit, and occasionally be good and shit at the same time - life's often not simple enough to make out which is which. 

Likewise, multinationals are much too complex to be labelled either evil or morally exemplary. All I know is that as a company, you should be held accountable for your actions, just like any other powerful entity. When powerful entities are not held accountable, the amount of harm they can inflict gets a little bit too overwhelming for my tastes. The shit will inevitably take charge, and that can’t be a good thing by any account – except the shit account, of course.

Some PR tips for all you non-shit Shell employees out there: if you want to save the world, start with saving it from Shell. Go ahead and really clean up the mess the mothership has made in the Niger Delta. Offer oil spill victims some serious compensation for their destroyed livelihoods and ensuing health problems. Make sure that in the future Shell will do all in its power to prevent non acceptable risks towards people, wild life and the environment they depend upon. Above all, don't allow the big shots to neglect these bare necessities and hide behind relatively cheap to finance, external, low-commitment projects to signify their social engagement.

I for one, would be seriously impressed. Because I confess, it does seem mighty difficult to prevent the shit from taking over in a large multinational company.

Love and luck,


No comments:

Post a Comment