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Writing Assignment #4 – BP’s Oil Spill Response On April 20, 2010, British Petroleum (BP) spilled oil into the Gulf

of Mexico after an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. As a result of the accident, 11 workers died and millions of gallons of oil spilled across 1000 miles of coastline with an estimated cost of $40 billion to cover clean-up costs, fines, and other liabilities. In addition to taking responsibility for the clean-up, BP launched a unique website called “Gulf of Mexico restoration” to repair its reputation and defend itself from negative criticism. Coombs’s (2007) article “Crisis Management and Communications” indicates that one of the most effective methods of reputation repair for a crisis is to create a unique website or designate a section of its current website to address crisis concerns. BP’s “Gulf of Mexico restoration” website uses three strategies to try to repair its reputation: repetition of the words “commit” and “restore” to highlight the company’s consideration and recovery actions; presentation of clean images of the Gulf region to emphasize that life is back to normal in the affected region; and intentional word choice emphasizing that the accident was caused by multiple parties to deflect blame and minimize BP’s responsibility for the accident. The first strategy BP uses on its website is the repetition of the words “commit” and “restore” to highlight the company’s consideration and recovery actions made since the oil spill. BP attempts to show that it cares about the affected region by repeating the word “commit.” In the video “Committed to the Gulf,” which is located on the “Committed to the Gulf” page, BP repeats the word “committed” and shows the statements “Committed to the Gulf” and “Committed to America” with a white background at the end of the video to emphasize the word “commit.” The video also provides specific information to support “commit” statements such as “we’ve paid $23 billion in claims & cleanup” and “we support nearly 250,000 American jobs.”

” BP displays healthy looking pelicans on the clean Gulf Coast and people buying fresh fishes in a seafood market. which reflects a happy family enjoying its time in the clean Gulf region. BP displays a picture that shows tourists enjoying the clean ocean and sandy beach on the page “Promoting tourism along the Gulf Coast.By repeating the “commit” statements. This video shows people enjoying their time in the clean Gulf Coast area to highlight that BP has successfully recovered the affected region’s environment as if the tragedy never happened. The second strategy BP uses on its website is displaying clean images of the gulf region to emphasize that Gulf life is back to normal.” BP uses the word “restore” in the title of two pages. “Restoring the environment” and “Restoring the economy. The video located on the “Committed to the Gulf” page also shows people riding boats in a clean ocean and people scuba diving in a clean deep-sea. BP uses this strategy to highlight the consideration and recovery actions to show its audience its commitment to America and the restoration of the Gulf. the environment. BP effectively delivers clean images of the Gulf Coast to the readers to .” This picture delivers a clean image of the Gulf Coast to the viewers to emphasize that BP has restored tourism and leisure in the affected region. BP displays a picture of a young boy and his grandfather fishing in a clean ocean. On the pages “Early restoration projects” and “Restoring the economy. These pictures imply the message that BP has successfully restored natural resources and a safe environment in the affected region. BP effectively shows its dedication to America.” These two titles emphasize the word “restore” and lead the readers to information showing that BP’s financial and operational efforts have successfully cleaned the Gulf Coast. On the main page. and the economy after the oil spill. BP emphasizes its recovery actions to the affected region’s environment and economy by repeating the word “restore.

emphasize that life is back to normal along the Gulf Coast and that it has fulfilled its commitment to the Gulf Coast. BP’s business was faced potential losses from the impact the spill had on its reputation so it wanted to ensure customers that it was not responsible. The last strategy BP uses on its website is intentional word choice emphasizing that the accident was caused by multiple parties to deflect blame and minimize BP’s responsibility for the accident.” These two sentences show that the crisis was a result of someone else’s actions. On the “Deepwater Horizon accident and response” page.” By using the word “regret. On the pages “Deepwater Horizon accident and response” and “Investigations and Legal Proceedings.” These word choices imply that BP was also a victim of the crisis and the crisis was an accident out of BP’s control. . BP uses this strategy to protect itself from negative criticism and to minimize its responsibility for the crisis.” BP uses the words “accident” and “result” instead of using words with negative connotations such as “negligence” and “consequences.” BP avoids admitting that the crisis was a result of BP’s operations. BP provides internal and external investigation information and states. According to the Coombs’s (2007) article “Crisis Management and Communications. BP uses the word “regret” instead of using words such as “apology” or “sorry. The words “no single cause” and “multiple parties” also highlight that the accident was caused by multiple parties and defend BP from negative criticism that said it was solely responsible for the oil spill. In the “Investigations and Legal Proceedings” page. “The BP investigation concluded that no single cause was responsible for the accident” and “the accident resulted from multiple causes and was due to the actions of multiple parties.” the excuse strategy is one of the reputation repair strategies.

clean images of Gulf region to emphasize that life is back to normal in the affected region.BP’s website uses repetition of the words “commit” and “restore” to highlight the company’s consideration and recovery actions. . While people will never forget about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. and word choice emphasizing that the accident was caused by multiple parties to deflect blame and minimize BP’s responsibility for the accident to attempt to repair the company’s reputation and defend it from negative criticism. BP’s strategies were effective because BP easily delivers its key message and positive information to readers by using the strategies. BP’s website successfully convinces readers that the company is dedicated to restoring the Gulf of Mexico and was not fully responsible for the accident.

pdf . T. Crisis Management and Communications.temple.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-3249484-dt-content-rid40222221_2/courses/117201320420/Crisis%20Management%20and%20Communication s. October 30). Retrieved from https://blackboard. (2007.Works Cited Coombs.