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Analysis of Bp

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Analysis of BP’s Response to the spill in the Gulf
BP’s Response to the Deepwater Horizon Spill
On April 20, 2010 an unprecedented oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. BP suffered not only personnel and equipment loss, but public relations loss as well. Many Americans felt outraged at BP for the effects of the spill on the Gulf Coast communities. Although the media immediately discussed the environmental implications of the disaster, many people felt that the impacts on the Gulf Coast communities, such as the negative effects on the seafood and tourism industries, received inadequate attention. An article that came out less than two months after the spill in The Working Waterfront mirrored the feelings of many Americans, “Each day we are confronted with media coverage of oiled birds, coastal wetlands, beaches and aggrieved local politicians, but little about the personal and community impacts ” (Herz, 2010). BP lost its good reputation and needed to create an initiative to show its commitment to the communities in which it resides. In an attempt to rebuild its reputation, BP’s “Gulf of Mexico Restoration” website uses these three strategies: it uses testimonies of Gulf Coast locals to highlight BP’s understanding of Gulf communities; it uses images of its sponsored events to highlight BP’s involvement and immersion in those communities, and it uses repetition of the word “engage” to emphasize its commitment to the Gulf and the people in it.
BP uses testimonies of southern-accented locals to highlight its understanding of the Gulf communities in an attempt to rebuild its reputation. BP devotes an entire page of videos under the title “Our continuing commitment to the Gulf”(BP Global, 2011). Each video exhibits testimonies by individuals in the communities and how the individuals benefitted from BP’s help. The notion that the individuals in the movies are locals of the Gulf areas qualifies them to speak about BP and the state of the Gulf and its people. The video titled “The Beaches” on the page “Our continuing commitment to the Gulf” shows the perspective of the following three beach enthusiasts: a beach photographer, a surfer, and a banner pilot. The photographer, Steve Jones, testifies that BP cleaned up the beaches well with the help of locals he knew on the clean up crew, “When they dug deep down in the sand to pick up all the sand and run it through citrus and clean it, people that I knew were down here doing that work” (BP Global, 2011). This testimony shows how BP engages the people of the community by displaying a local with a passion for the area affected and how he sees BP in his community. The next video, entitled “The Waterways” shares similar testimonies of the safety and trust in BP through people passionate about the Gulf: a wildlife tour guide, a deep sea fisherman, and a shrimper. The wildlife tour guide, Kathy Wilkinson, testifies that “The conservation efforts people are taking are paying off” (BP Global, 2011). These personal stories highlight BP’s understanding of the Gulf’ communities.
BP displays photography of its sponsored events to highlight BP’s involvement in the community and paint itself as a community-immersed company. One image shows a BP employee interacting and conversing with a child at the company’s Interactive Environmental Area at BayFest 2011 (BP Global, 2011). This picture shows its involvement with an image of the child and employee and by naming its involvement at the BayFest. Another use of strong imagery shows an invitation to the Biloxi Seafood Festival. This photograph’s caption “BP is proud to be a sponsor this year’s event” when combined with the personalized-feeling invitation represents BP’s engagement with the community and its events( BP Global, 2011). A third strong image BP uses captures the interaction between US Paralympic Athletes, brought in by BP, and troubled teens. The picture shows the athletes and teens swimming in the Gulf (BP Global, 2011). This image shows how BP connects with those in the community and immerses itself in its problems. The imagery used by BP highlights its involvement and immersion in the community to try and rebuild its lost reputation.
BP uses repetition of the word “engage” to portray itself as community-oriented in an attempt to mend the rupture between communities and BP under the Local Communities tab on the Sustainability page of BP’s website. BP espouses that “Engaging with local communities is a vital element of our work” (BP Global, 2011) which paints BP as a company that values the communities it works with. The page later says that their social and environmental recommendations for projects include “..community engagement principles our project teams should follow” (BP Global, 2011).This instills the idea that each of BP’s new endeavors focuses on the community aspect of the project, which demonstrates the company’s community orientation. Another use of the word “engage” that demonstrates BP’s effort to mend communal ties says “Our operating management system requires that all operations engage with communities”(BP Global, 2011). The repetition of the word engage aids BP to emphasize its commitment to community.
BP suffered great reputation loss after the Deepwater Horizon Spill in 2010 and needed to create an initiative to show its commitment to the communities in which it resides. In an attempt to rebuild its reputation, BP’s “Gulf of Mexico Restoration” website uses these three strategies: it uses testimonies of Gulf Coast locals to highlight BP’s understanding of Gulf communities; it uses images of its sponsored events to highlight BP’s involvement and immersion in those communities, and it uses repetition of the word “engage” to emphasize its commitment to the Gulf and the people in it.
References
BP Global. (2011). Gulf of mexico restoration. Retrieved from http://www.bp.com/ sectionbodycopy.do?categoryId=41&contentId=7067505
Herz, M. (2010, June 09). Community impacts of the gulf coast bp oil spill. Retrieved from http://www.workingwaterfront.com/online-exclusives/Community-impacts-of-the-Gulf-…...

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