Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BP's Response to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Crisis Communications Case Study

BP Crisis Communications


Mike Gordon said...

Giulia and Katie,

Wonderful job on the BP case study. I followed this situation closely when it happened, but you guys definitely shed some light on things I was unaware of. I will say I used to be one of those people who thought Tony Hayward was a bum. By the end of your presentation, though, I would agree that not all the blame can be put on him. He simply did said the wrong thing and the wrong time.

I was unaware that the unofficial Twitter page got more followers than the official one which is interesting.

I also thought it was a great idea to present the economic aspects of the campaign to reshape BP's image.

Great job overall!

Aly Kauffman said...

Hey girls!
Great job on the presentation today. I really liked this topic and I think you guys did an awesome job at giving the audience all of the information. I wish there would have been a little more information on the animals affected ( I always loved those Dawn commercials!) and I think they played a big role on the media being more sympathetic to the environment and making Tony Hayward that much more of the bad guy. Great job overall! I feel like I learned a lot that I didn't know before hand due to your presentation!
Aly Kauffman

Morgan Ghinassi said...

Great job, girls. I think you both brought a lot of information to the table and I liked how Katie said her background is more in communications and Guilia's is in economics so I thought the two of you made a great pair when explaining this case study.

I agree with Mike, when he said that he had a different impression of Tony Hayward after your presentation. I think we as PR professionals in the making are very critical of situations like this, but we do have to understand that he was a human who made a human error in a situation that was not handled properly.

I would have liked to hear some actual effects of the spill on the environment. You mentioned that the effects were not as bad as they were predicted to be, however, you didn't really explain what the actual effects were and where we stand today due to them.

All in all, great job girls. Very interesting.

Alicia Clarke said...

Awesome job Giulia and Katie!!

Although coming into your presentation I thought I knew a lot about this crisis after seeing it now feel like I have a complete understanding of what really happened and all the mistakes BP made in response.

What stuck out to me the most during your presentation was the fact that BP purchased the search terms from Google, BING and Yahoo. I really had no idea that this occurred so often and that there was a whole process behind it. This worries me because anytime I see how easy it is for a company or an individual to cover something up in order to change public perception and keep them from knowing the whole truth I get angry and question my role as a PR professional. I feel that it is important that you establish your bottom line on what is really worth making money. Misguiding people and misrepresenting the true information is unethical and although BP was trying to come back from a crisis I wonder if this was the best way.

Thank you for opening my eyes to this practice because it has caused me to research much more about other campaigns when this has occurred and what it has led to as a result.

Sara Caterina said...

I was very impressed with your presentation as well as your case study. I thought you did a very thorough job with your research and explaining the campaign in its entirety. I like that you were able to come at the campaign at both a communications and economic standpoint. It gave it a nice spin that we sometimes don't get to see in communications case studies. With a company like BP, neglecting to mention the economic implications of the situation would have definitely negatively effected your communication of the campaign.

I liked that after most videos and slides you both pulled it back to your theme -- Hayward was just truly unprepared. The company was unprepared with any type of crisis control from the PR standpoint as well as the operations standpoint. Because of it, they got the deserved backlash. It's like the PR Gods shared a little bit of karma with them since they cut their crisis control funding right before this event.

Additionally, I thought it was great that you included the, "I want my life back," video in the presentation. I hadn't seen that video before and it just further emphasized your point that this company and Hayward specifically was unprepared and unadvised as to what needed to be said and done.

Also, showing the spoof video and mentioning that they hadn't gone through the steps of legitimizing their twitter was a great way to state the problem (the backlash of how they were handling the oil spill) without hammering us with the explanation of why it was a problem. You showed us with examples, which is definitely more memorable and engaging for the audience. I thought you both did a great job in taking a potentially dry topic and making it one that was both interesting and informative. Nice!


katie said...

Giulia & Katie,

our environment is definitely something that people are beginning to take more seriously nowadays with the whole "green" movement.

that being said, i was really impressed with your research on the BP case study and how they attempted to turn around the effects of the oil spill. i really found it interesting how you showcased another side of tony hayward. during the midst of a crisis, people look for a face to put to the blame and he was that figure. however, i do agree with mike that the pressure shouldn't have been solely placed on his shoulders.

i also really liked how the work was distributed among your group. while this has little to do with the study, i enjoyed how you each stuck to your strong suits in the topics you each discussed. this made it easier to follow the discussions.

the only thing i would say i would have liked to see more of were more photos and videos of the damage in the different areas that were effected. while many areas down south were the main victims, the spill did spread many other areas that would have been interesting to see.

great work though girls!
- katie g.

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Danielle Tawil said...

BP Study,

Very thorough and well done! You presented all of the information in a concise and easy-to-follow manner. It was very interesting to see how their PR plan changed over time and how it affected them in the long-run. Both of you girls have excellent public speaking skills as well and I thought that both of you were very engaging.



Alicia D said...

Katie and Giulia,

Great work covering this campaign as I'm sure there is so much more that went into your research that extends beyond what we saw in your in-class presentation. I am glad you chose this campaign because it is so recent and was a major disaster for our generation.

I could tell that both of you were very passionate about the campaign and it carried across in your presentation.

The fake Twitter account blew my mind. I never knew about it and it was extremely interesting that it had so many followers receiving all the messages that put BP in a bad light.

The video clips you showed were informative and powerful. This is really the perfect case of crisis management and what NOT to do. Your evaluation was on point siting the mistakes that BP had made and the strength in acquiring a new CEO and a "we will make this right" slogan.

Extremely interesting case study. Great work overall!

stylishsally said...

Giulia and Katie,

Wonderful job on uncovering such a big campaign that affected almost everyone in the room. I never really caught up on the oil spill in my own time until after your presentation. After leaving class that day, I went and looked into the whole ordeal and realized that even I was affected.

After doing some research and viewing videos of Hayward, I really agreed with the information that you provided for us. Your insight was fabulous--Hayward wasn't an idiot. That's just how the industry works for CEOs. Perhaps the command came from his mouth when us every day consumers read about it in the media, but as a CEO, that's what he does. He HAS to take the blame.

I really enjoyed your presentation and I'd love to read up more about the campaign. Also, I loved how the two of you were able to tie up public relations and economics into the presentation. Really helpful!

Lauren Damone said...

Great presentation ladies! I learned a lot.

Every new thing I learn about Google makes me love it even more! How clever that they sell key search terms to corporations. Although I may just find that great because it's a great PR move, others not involved in Communications may not find that so great.

As far as Tony Hayward goes, I think he's a prime example of how sometimes your Plan A just doesn't go right. Every textbook says that the CEO must be the person to make a statement during a crisis, but here the "right thing" to do just made things worse.


Brittany Lorenz said...

I think this is a very relevant topic to our generation. The BP oil spin in the Gulf of Mexico occurred last year so most people are familiar with it, but could definitely benefit from learning more information about it. Obviously BP should have acknowledged its mistake and apologized for what happened, but this provides a great example of what not to do as public relations practitioners or CEOs. Tony Hayward was clearly unprepared to handle a crisis like this, and that was conveyed through his statements. I also had no idea about the fake Twitter account until reading this case study. This topic had a lot of complex information but your group did a great job of breaking down the information and making it accessible to the class. Good job!

Ari Morris said...

Excellent job girls!

Honestly, I had not followed the issue very closely when it occurred so I was pleased to learn more about the issue. I think it is extremely important for us to keep up with these events and I was a little embarrassed I hadn't known more about the issue.

I agree with Aly, when she said she wished she had heard more about the animals affected from the crisis. However, you gave us a lot of information in the short time given! Thanks for sharing your hard work with us.

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