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BP oil spil - Essay Example

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BRITISH PETROLEUM OIL SPILL (student) (subject) (professor) (date) British Petroleum Oil Spill Introduction On the 20th of April, one of the worse, if not THE worst, oil spill disaster in the history of man occurred. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig being leased to British Petroleum (BP) in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and killed 11 people…
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Download file to see previous pages The bad publicity caused by the oil spill caused BP corporate shares to plummet, and this was made worse by President Obama’s public condemnation of the company. The company CEO Tony Hayward was largely criticized and blamed for the incident. He subsequently stepped down from his post several months after the oil spill. Based on the above situation, this paper shall now assess the public relations (PR) implications of the oil spill on BP. It shall also evaluate whether the organization could have handled the situation better and if it could have, its different actions in this regard. The main issues of the event shall be presented, along with the individuals and state affected by this oil spill. This paper shall evaluate how BP handled this disaster. A fair and balanced discussion shall be undertaken for this issue, mainly presenting the company’s side as well as the public’s side on this issue. After presenting both sides of the issue, this student’s position and judgment shall also be presented. This paper is being undertaken in the hope of establishing a comprehensive and academic discussion on the subject matter. Discussion PR implications for BP The PR implications of the oil disaster for BP present a negative image of the company. In fact, with just a few words released to the press, it seems to negate its mantra, ‘BP cares.’ The way BP handled the disaster in terms of public relations did not help the company in any way; and their PR efforts did not portray BP in the best of light. It even portrayed them as an uncaring and incompetent company (Berr, 2010). Before the US Congress Hearing, Tony Hayward repeatedly blamed others for the disaster; and he, in behalf of the company, hardly took any responsibility for the disaster and for the decisions the company made which led to the explosion. A month after the explosion, BP claimed that the environmental impact of the oil spill would be “very, very modest”. In the immediate aftermath, and now months after the initial oil spill, its impact to the environment has already proven to be monumental (Hutchison, 2010). In fact, its impact is set to last for many more years to come. BP also did not release accurate statistics and reports to the public. Furthermore, it first admitted that it has underestimated the amount of oil which was leaking. It was unable to express how much was spilling, but estimates it at about 5,000 barrels. The White House negated this figure by expressing that it was closer to 60,000 barrels (Hutchison, 2010). In the aftermath of the disaster, BP’s share prices fell by about four percent. This was the same day when the US accused BP of downplaying the impact of the spill. Two months into the oil spill, it was revealed that BP was given permission to drill in the Gulf of Mexico after it presented documents which basically expressed that it was capable of dealing with oil spills even larger than the one it was facing (Hutchison, 2010). These revelations provided more sources of embarrassment for the company. Tony Hayward was criticized for his insensitivity when he later remarked that he would “like [his] life back”. Even if he apologized for his comment, the damage to BP’s image was already done. BP was wiped off 12bn pounds on the day that Barack Obama declared that he was now launching a criminal investigation of BP’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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