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  1. 1. BP Oil Spill – April 2010 Crisis Communication and Social Media - A Simulation Game Learning Experience ISUP 2013 – CBS Midterm assignment
  2. 2. Table of contents The following presentation is a midterm assignment that will be based upon a Crisis Simulation Game. This presentation represents BP‟s point of view. • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 • References • Authors
  3. 3. Part 1 Will provide a short account of the events of the crisis and a situation analysis including the respond strategies implemented by BP.
  4. 4. Deepwater Horizon accident 20 April 2010: an explosion and a fire occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig located in the Gulf of Mexico. 11 people died and more people were injured.
  5. 5. Could the crisis have beenprevented? • BP had celebrated 7 years of safety previous to the crisis • Safety problems were spotted and reported to the headquarters • BP had decided not to upgrade the safety due to its cost savings Due to these actions BP moved away from its dominant identity and value (safety) towards a focus on profit maximization. The crisis might have been prevented if the company had continued to focus on safety and had implemented an effective crisis communication plan.
  6. 6. Effectivecrisiscommunication • Establish a crisis communication team (a core team and functional groups) • Determine goal for crisis communication • Media training to crisiscommunication team • Develop true equal partnership with stakeholders (see next page) • Acknowledge stakeholders as partners • Listen to stakeholders • Communicate early about the crisis and acknowledge uncertainty • Avoid certain or absolute answers until sufficient information is available • Do not overreassure stakeholders about the impact of the crisis • Make statements that is useful to the public • Acknowledge the positive outcomes of a crisis
  7. 7. BP‟s Stake- holders
  8. 8. Timeline of challenges Before the crisis: respond to warning signals, safety regulations, cos t saving. During the crisis: stop the oil leak, communic ate with stakeholders, a nd gain trust. After the crisis: regain reputation and trust, re- establishment of the tourism and the fishing industry, and clean up.
  9. 9. Reputation BP did not respond effectively to the crisis which had a bad influence on its reputation. Today, the company is still fighting to gain trust and credibility. Youknow, I ’dlikemylife back
  10. 10. Effective leadership • Leaders should be visible during a crisis • Leaders should work to develop a positive company reputation during normal times to build the halo-effect • Leaders should be open and honest following a crisis • Poor leadership includes denials, cover-ups, or lack of response, which may worsen the crisis
  11. 11. Respond Strategies Coomb’s crisis response strategies • Non-existence strategies (denial) • Distance strategies (denial of intention) • Mortification (remediation and rectification) Benoit’s image restoration strategy • Denial (simple and shifting denial) • Reducing the offensiveness of the event (compensation) • Corrective action
  12. 12. Part 2 The second part will focus upon the Crisis Simulation Game and the questions and answers that were prepared for the in-class interview will be included.
  13. 13. Preparation Steps to follow before being interviewed: • Get all the facts about the incident in question • Determine key messages and fully develop them • Decide upon a spokesperson • Anticipate likely questions and company responses • Practice your interview • Always be truthful in your responses • Never say „no comment‟
  14. 14. Keymessages The following key messages was to be communicated during the interview: • Our values: safety, respect, excellence, courage and one team • We have learned from this crisis • We take responsibility • We have increased safety • We are open in our communication
  15. 15. Q&A‟s Q: What did you do to restore the environment? A: We have worked with state and federal agencies to access and restore natural recourses and we have funded different restoration projects. Q: What have you done with regards to renewable energy? A: We develop and invest in alternative energy, such as biofuels and wind energy. Q: How will you prevent a similar crisis from reoccurring? A: We will not compromise our core value of safety.
  16. 16. Answers when responding to less prepared questions: • Focus on key messages • Seek clarity and ask for elaboration • Admit it when you are unable to respond – investigate and answer when ready to do so
  17. 17. Questions as journalists The white house • Do you think there are enough regulations? • Have you been inspired by other nations who corporate with oil companies? BBC • What is your specific role? • Do you think you experienced the crisis from an objective point of view? • When do you think the crisis will be over? Greenpeace • Have you used the crisis as an advantage? The local community: • What do you think BP should have done in the beginning? • What would you like them to do in the future? • What could you have done better? • Were you prepared for any crisis? • What can BP do to make it up to you? Sierra Club • Have you become more visible after the crisis occurred? • When do you think the world is ready to become green?
  18. 18. Probing During the media training session, we tried to “push” the stakeholders in order to give us satisfactory and honest answers, with the use of probing questions.
  19. 19. Part 3 The first page of part 3 is an illustration of our engagement with BP on the social media platforms, though we did not receive any feedback from BP. Moreover, the strategies on Facebook will be discussed.
  20. 20. BP and Social Media • Three strategies on Facebook 1. Feedback to positive comments 2. Answer some negative comments by linking to further information online 3. Ignore some of the negative comments • BP frame themselves positively on Facebook and encourage employees to comment on posts. BPthereby represents a human face.
  21. 21. KeyfocusonBP‟sFacebook page • Goodwill • Positive image and reputation • Rebuild trust and credibility • Caring about the individual • Committed to safety • Caring for the environment • Committed to the Gulf • Making personal stories
  22. 22. Guidelines for social media • Listen and monitor • Carefully consider branding and representation • Help your employees help themselves • Participate! Do not dictate • Be prepared for feedback • Expect the unpredictable • Know the risk • Plan, integrate and measure • Embrace opportunity
  23. 23. Part 4 The last part of this assignment will include our learning outcomes of this course and recommendations for BP in the future.
  24. 24. Learningoutcomes • The company‟s first act is crucial for the development of the crisis • One must be prepared for the unexpected • It is important to be proactive and have an effective communication plan • One must not underestimate the impact of critical issues • The prepared questions are not always the questions being asked • Practice makes perfect • There might be positive outcomes of crises • One must learn from other companies‟ crises
  25. 25. BP must treat the failure as an opportunity to recognize a potential crisis or to prevent a similar crisis in the future. • Organizations are better able to generate productive crisis responses if they are willing to accept responsibility for any actions they may have taken to cause the crisis • Organizations are better prepared to avoid or manage crises if they have identified, discussed and instituted core values • Organizations that are open and honest are better prepared to manage and recover from the events BP in the future
  26. 26. References Anthonissen, P. (2008) Crisis Communication: Practical PR Strategies for Reputation Management and Company Survival. Kogan Page Doorley, J. and Garcia, H. (2011) Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication. Routledge Umer, R., Sellnow, T., and Seeger, M. (2010) Effective Crisis Communication: Moving from Crisis to Opportunity. Sage Publications White, C. (2011) Social Media, Crisis Communication and Emergency Management: Leveraging Web 2.0 Technologies. CRC Press Smith, D. and Elliott, D. 2006. Crisis Management. Systems and Structures for Prevention and Recovery. Routledge. www.bp.com https://www.facebook.com/BPAmerica?fref=ts
  27. 27. Authors Anna CecilieHoltenJakobsen (@AnnaCecilieH) Bachelor in English and Organizational communication Marketing Assistant, CA a-kasse Camilla Schnoor Christiansen (@Camillaschnoor) Bachelor in English and Organizational communication Student Assistant, PlanteOasen CathrineJermiin (@Catjermiin) Bachelor in English and Organizational communication Student Assistent, Nykredit Instructor: Betty Tsakarestou (@Tsakarestou) Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Media and Culture at Panteion University, Greece Course Coordinator: Patricia Plackett, Department of Operations Management at CBS For further details see: http://www.cbs.dk/ and https://twitter.com/CBSStudents