BP Deepwater Horizon Crisis: Impact of Initial Apology on Reputation - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1630 Words
Date:  2023-04-24


On April 20, 2010, an exceptional explosion of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig located in the Gulf of Mexico triggered the most significant marine catastrophe oil spill in the history of the United States. It caused a considerable reputation and financial loss. The company used many tactics of apology before and after the crisis. This research paper focusses on how the initial apology can affect the reputation of a company following a disaster. It focuses on the oil industry, looking into the apology stage during the BP Gulf of Mexico crisis, and considers how the apology and public relations (PR) sits in the crisis communications timeline. BP crisis communication and mainly to point out possible failures. The purpose of this research is to look at different apologia theories used in crisis management. Is Apologia effective or ineffective during crisis management, the impact of an apology before, and after a crisis? The best way to apologise to minimise the reputation damage caused by the disaster. This paper will look at two crisis experts interviewed, and how they perceive the importance of reputation, crisis communications, and the apology, asking how outstanding reputation is to a company. It will also look a case studied, examining how the correct crisis communications can work in tandem to maintain a company's reputation and investigates what happens if a company doesn't consider its reputation during the initial 'apology' stage of crisis communications.

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The credibility and reputations of a company are heavily influenced by the perception of their responses during crises. Communication during the first hours of a crisis can have remarkable implications for the company's reputation. Almost 80% of crisis management consists of communication; the handling of the crisis relies heavily on the public's perception of the company during the crisis. Timothy Coombs, as part of his' Contextual Crisis Negotiation Philosophy,' said: "Beginning crisis management and focusing on the reputation of the organisation would be reckless. Crisis participants will try to behave humanely by using interaction to address the physical and psychological problems of victims." (Coombs, W Timothy, 2007). According to Coombs, a crisis is "The awareness of an unforeseeable occurrence that challenges essential perceptions of customers and can have a significant effect on the success of the company and produce adverse outcomes" (Coombs, 2010: 19).

Coombs suggests that reputation should only be considered once the company has issued an apology and concern for the victims. Still, a company's initial statement may damage or maintain a reputation, depending on how it is handled. Victims ' interests, apologies, and credibility are vital to disaster relations, and it is crucial to preserve integrity. Looking at the apologies after the incident solution should be based on whether individuals believe they are trying to maintain a positive image of an organisation.During the Gulf of Mexico crisis of BP, the organisation went through several phases of apologies, with the original one almost denying the incident and holding others accountable. The BP crisis illustrates how an excuse can operate against a company and that its reputation. It should be carefully treated. Going into this case study will assess what went wrong during the early stages of crisis communication and whether it was impaired the company reputation. Crisis management is a vital function of a company because the inability to handle a crisis can lead to loss of revenue, stakeholders, and the life of an organisation.

Recent Examples of Good and Bad Apology Strategies

The BP oil disaster led to a series of apologies, the most famous of which was the commercial apology of the firm. It appeared to many observers to be an apparent gesture of self-praise about all that BP was doing to assume full responsibility for the accident and reimburse all impacted. The worst flaw of the incorrect Marketing strategy was Hayward's comment, "We're trying to fix this. We're going to make it right." The argument implied that everything was under control. When, in reality, all was completely out of control.The failure of BP to seize urgent action and to assume accountability for the disaster had lost precious time and has aggravated the crisis.

PwC Apology After Oscars 2017

It was the error seen around the world: the wrong movie was named as the winner of the 2017 Oscars Best Picture. PwC was responsible for the mistake; They were responsible for calculating the votes. Rather than making excuses, PwC acknowledged the error and gave a short and straightforward apology. The message quickly clarified what had happened, apologised to the people concerned, and thanked the people who had dealt with the situation. Instead of dragging out an awkward situation, PwC took over, apologised, and carried on.

Netflix Consumer Apology

Back When DVDs were still a significant part of Netflix's market, the business split into two separate price and billing groups, one for streaming and one for billing. The step represented a price increase that customers were not happy with. The CEO was frank and honest about the error and acknowledged he had messed up. His open letter to clients was a trick, and people accepted his mistake.

Toyota's Personal Apology

Toyota's worst nightmare occurred in 2010 when more than 8 million vehicles were recalled, and nearly 90 people were killed due to fault-related accidents. The CEO expressed his condolences to the families and made a heartfelt apology to all clients. To make sure that everyone received the message, Toyota created an awareness campaign recognizing that it did not live up to its safety requirements and published ads in major newspapers on how it would address security problems.

JetBlue Passengers crisis

One of the worst airline PR accidents occurred when JetBlue passengers were stuck on the runway for 11 hours with no updates. After the disaster, the CEO of JetBlue posted a raw video with his apologies. He has made specific assurances as to how the business will prevent such problems from occurring in the future and re-engaged the company's credibility for excellent customer support with the JetBlue Consumer Bill of Rights.

Airbnb Crisis

In December 2015, Airbnb was accused of ethnic harassment and discrimination, with a Harvard report and a social networking outcry to back up allegations. Instead of giving excuses, Airbnb actively discussed the problem with an update from the CEO to all stakeholders. The business adopted a tougher stand against discrimination with a revised strategy and following up with an assessment and equality program.

Aim and Objectives

The primary objective of this research paper is to analyse how the apology is handled. It's important to maintain the reputation of a corporation. It will fall under three objectives:

  • To understand the rule and importance of the early-stage of communications during a crisis and how this impacts reputation.
  • To evaluate different approaches to apologia during early-stage crisis communications and how this relates to broader crisis communication strategy (What are the various methods of crisis communications.
  • To analyse different stakeholder perceptions of early-stage crisis communications and the impact on the reputation.

Literature Review

Introduction to Crisis Communications

A crisis can be described as a significant challenge for operations that, if not adequately controlled, can have adverse effects on organisational efficiency. The problem of crisis management is the possible damage that a disaster can bring to a company, its shareholders, and the market. There are three connected threats to a crisis:

  • Financial loss.
  • Loss of credibility.

Health Services

Many researchers have described crisis communication in various ways. According to Gray, crisis management has to do with handling the result, effect, and public opinion of the crisis. Williams and Treadaway described crisis communication as an organisation's reaction to a disaster to minimise harm to the corporate picture. Crisis management can be defined as an intelligence collection process, data analysis, decision-making, and dissemination to internal and external audiences of the facts needed to resolve the crisis. Crisis coordination profoundly impacts how the audience perceives the company before and during the crisis. Expanded development of new technologies and information systems and the development of social media have dramatically improved the way awareness and data are communicated of times of crisis. As a result, challenges are now enormous before and after the crisis, and pictures of disaster, stories, and misinformation tend to circulate more and more. Proper crisis management works sequentially with consequences. Public wellbeing has to be the main priority of a crisis.

Failure to tackle public health raises the dangers of a disaster. Reputation and budgetary problems must be discussed before a public safety alternative has been identified. In the end, crisis management is designed to defend an organisation and its partners from risks. Some researchers view crisis management as a reactive feature, whereas others perceive it as a long-term process and as a constructive rather than a responsive tool. Sturges et al, as an advocate of a reactive approach, argued that crisis management involved interaction with stakeholders during the crisis breakout time.

Apologetic Rhetoric

Apologia is a term that protects, describes or apologies for some move or statement. The rhetoric apologia can have many implications, whether to justify the action or comment in a better way, to alleviate acts to reduce harm to reputation and character, or to remove the subject from general attention to tackle other concerns. The conceptual paradigm of Rosenfield (1968) is the original building block used by others to create a more modern idea of image reconstruction. Rosenfield also confirmed that there are four differences in the transmitted apologia. Next, there's a fast and quick dispute. Then, there's a rhetorical counterattack on the opponents. Second, there are "evidence and details at the heart of the address, and (finally) the remorse address is made up of earlier comments" (Brock, Scott and Chesebro, 1989).BP CEO's Apologia for the Gulf Oil Spill (May 31, 2010)

"The first thing to say is, I'm sorry... We're sorry for the huge disruption it caused the lives. No...

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BP Deepwater Horizon Crisis: Impact of Initial Apology on Reputation - Essay Sample. (2023, Apr 24). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/bp-deepwater-horizon-crisis-impact-of-initial-apology-on-reputation-essay-sample

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