By Jennifer Janviere
If the situation weren’t so catastrophic, one could almost focus on the irony: British Petroleum, one of the world’s largest oil companies, spent millions re-branding itself as “Beyond Petroleum,” the eco-friendly oil company, only to eventually be linked to one of the country’s worst environmental disasters.
Over one month since the Deepwater Horizon rig failure and millions of barrels of crude oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, the company is still at a loss for containing the spill. The effects are already apparent in Gulf Coast communities: oil washing up on beaches, damaging both the natural landscape and the industries on which the local population depends, such as fishing and tourism.
How does a company respond to a devastating crisis with such long lasting implications for so many people? Immediately following the rupture, BP sprung into action, attempting to settle for damages with the people of the Gulf Coast. The company offered residents a cash settlement in exchange for residents and businesses waiving their right to later sue the company, that is, until this was quickly halted by a U.S. District Court and the Alabama Attorney General. Continue reading ‘The Dirty Business of BP’s Corporate Reputation Cleanup: Examining the PR Response to the Gulf Oil Spill’