Bp & Toyota Pr Disasters

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In “In Case of Emergency: What Not to Do”, Peter S. Goodman discusses major flaws of crisis management, utilizing the BP oil spill and Toyota’s acceleration malfunctions as examples. Both BP and Toyota suffered a loss in credibility in the eyes of the American public. While this was largely due to the poor manner in which they handled a global crisis, the emergence of specific cultural narratives contributed enormously. In America, a corporation can be regarded as credible if it is honest, trustworthy, and concerned for the well being of the greater good. Because a corporation’s virtues are often viewed as being one in the same with its CEO, he or she must also prove this credibility by exhibiting the aforementioned characteristics. The American perception of BP’s wealthy, British CEO and Toyota’s Japanese CEO caused the American public to regard these men, and consequently the companies that they represented, as lacking in valuable virtues, resulting in both BP and Toyota’s loss of credibility. By identifying and examining the rhetorical and global problems faced by both of these companies, Goodman’s claims on the role that cultural narratives played in these crises can be thoroughly explained and supported.

When a company has a global presence, it must always be aware of local and global issues, needs, and perceptions, in order to successfully establish a single and well-received brand image. This idea is represented in “Public Relations Contingencies in a Globalized World Where Even ‘Glocalization’ is Not Sufficient” by Robert I. Wakefield as “think global, act local” or “glocalization” (5). Wakefield states, “Glocalizing does not always benefit multinationals because each locale can accept or reject not just distant product offerings but the entire corporate presence” (6). When locales reject a corporation in its entirety, this is usually the result of some sort of rhetorical problem. In Robert L. Heath’s “The Rhetorical Tradition”, the rhetorical...
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