Bp and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

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Case Writing Assignment One

This paper aims at identifying the communication problems facing BP, pointing out the concerns the key stakeholders may have, and discussing the steps that BP should use to deal with the key stakeholders. The main communication problem facing BP is failure to satisfy their stakeholders, the pubic, and the U.S. government. With each failure to stem the flow, BP’s communication problem makes the situation worse; BP becomes the target of criticism from all quarters. The cause of the communication problem is their poor immediate and transparent crisis response. Their words attempt to show their understanding of how awful the situation is, their sorrow for what happened; but they failed to give timely and convincing answers of how much oil had leaked, how long until the leak is stopped, and what is happening. Everyone knows how bad the incident is, BP didn’t tell what people really want to know. The symptoms of BP’s communication problems are reflected by great losses of its reputation, trust, credibility, and share price. Key stakeholder group one, the U.S. government. Its concerns are what steps BP is going to take to stem the flow, what commitments BP is prepared to make to compensate for the spill. Key stakeholder group two, the general public. Their concerns are what is happening now, how this incident will affect the environment, and how long it will take to stem the flow. To communicate with the U.S. government, BP should use its CEO, Mr. Hayward, to be the sender, because he is responsible for the incident, and he is in charge of the company. Mr. Hayward should detail his messages, explain why this incident happened, what steps BP is going to take to stem the flow, how BP will compensate for the spill, and how he will implement his plans. Mr. Hayward should communicate with the receiver, the President of the United States, by having a private meeting. Face-to-face meeting is easier than any other channels for both sender and...
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