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Crisis Communication Essay

591 words - 3 pages

The BP Oil Spill

The subject of my critique is regarding the analysis of British Petroleum's public relations strategy and its portrayal in the media during the 'Deepwater Horizon' oil spill that occurred on April 20, 2010. The author is anonymous and has laid out the importance of good communication during major crises. He gives examples of the Johnson & Johnson Tylenol product tampering and the Exxon Valdez oil spill and then compares them with the BP Oil Spill. He points out well the inadequacies of the BP's public relations team and how scholars address the importance of understanding media relations, framing and the public emotional response. The author has presented many examples of scholars' thoughts but according to me falls short of discussions and the perception of the public, their emotions and the manner in which they ...view middle of the document...

Here I personally acknowledge the point made by Jim and Pang which explains that understanding the publics' emotional reaction to a crisis, "will eventually determine the success or failure of any organization's crisis communication practice". The author has even highlighted the examples of "good" versus "bad" public relation efforts of the Johnson & Johnson Tylenol tampering incident and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. By reading the descriptions of them we get to know how these companies differed in their strategies of making their information public.
In his methodology the author has stated that he has analyzed a wide breath of media coverage. But at some point of time I felt that his study mainly focuses on what the scholars feel and their study on the importance of public relations. But also further the author has extensively studied and discussed about media outlets' coverage of the BP oil spill. I liked the point that the author has referred to normal public media such as newspapers(NY Times) and local news channels (CNN). He has also explicitly used the articles of print media which criticized and accused the BP for 'lying and being incompetent'. The author does justice to his research by even reflecting the public opinions on this issue showcasing their excellent counterpoints. From these points I feel that the author has provided many evidences to support his research and so they are sufficient enough to prove his study. In his hypothesis, the writer has given his ideas and also the opposing ones too. His study suggests that he criticizes the BP company for passing the blame onto their contractor, Transocean Ltd.
According to the writer, BP should have had a pre-crisis communication strategy in place which it did not have then. And they passed the whole blame onto their contractor. Ultimately BP lost its consumers' trust is what he says. In the latter part the writer praises the BP company for bringing a change in their public-relations strategy. So this seems to me a well balanced research paper proving evidences and good examples of both sides of the coin.

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