This Public Relations Theory Practice Assignment answers six questions that describes about Public Relations different approaches, Segment and Prioritise.
1) Identify the publics in the BP and Queensland Floods case studies?
Ans) The Public in this BP case were the customers, contractors, employees, stakeholders of BP, the employees who died and the dependent family members, congressmen , USA Government, insurance companies, shipping lines, equity markets, shipping lines, oil industry, environmentalist, fisher folk, the marine ecosystem who were affected by the onset of the tragedy.
The public in the case of Queensland was the town Theodere, Brisbane city, the transport, telecommunication, mining industry, emergency response teams, livestock, government machinery, mining industry, insurance and banking industry, fishing communities were all affected by the flood.(Daveis 2013)
2) Segment and Prioritise Identify the Publics?
Ans) Both the incidents had caused inconvenience to the internal and external publics. To prioritise the segments that were affected by the BP case are the internal part of the BP company and the one’s in the immediate external periphery which would include the frontline employees, deceased employees and the dependent family members, fishing community, ecosystem around the accident place., financial institutes, media, administration officicials, top project management, action groups, business associates, stakeholders, local and federal government, coastline that is affected, customers and general public.
The Queensland flood was an act of nature. The Government sight measures to should have ensured timely intervention and executed the resilient plans to combat the outcomes of the flood. The inhabitants of the flood affected areas, the farming community, the infrastructure, the local market and industry. The first to be impacted are the citizens of the place. Ensuring safe evacuation of the abandoned, providing them with accommodation, foods and medical caution were all provided later and it is rightly said precaution is better than cure,
3) What different approaches were adopted by the leaders in the two cases?
Ans) A Leader is known by the qualities he possess and the words he uses to keep his team motivated and the most important thing is that he is able to keep the trust that his team members have on him. Any adverse situation whether it is due to the natural conditions or human fault one has to deal with it in a composed and strategic management. The real test of a leader is at the time of crisis.
BP leader Hayward used the following approach:
- The inappropriate behavior at the time of crisis. I want my life back is what the CEO Hayward told to the media.
- The stakeholders were not addressed for their concerns at the hour of crunch therefore causing harm to the company and the stakeholders. Public Relation theory and practice emphasizes the importance of communication at the time of emergency.(wolf & mejrin Nd)
- Blame game, apology, avoiding questions was the kind of unplanned approach used.
- The leader did not take up the responsibility of the crisis rather tried to distance himself from the situation.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh used the following approach:
- Government showed low risk taking behavior
- The flood alleviation work was executed with ineffective approaches.
- Climate conditions were not well communicated.
- Improper infrastructure development unable to resilient to the flood damage.
- Besides using the ecological approach to handle the situation unstructured methods were adopted (hussy & pittock, 2013).
These approaches were adopted during these two cases.(hussy & pintock 2013)
4) Define Corporate Image. How does it differ from Corporate Reputation?
Ans) Corporate image is the mental picture that is created about the company depending on the insight that an individual has about the company. Corporate reputation is the public picture about the company defining its abilities and qualities. The corporate image of the company might be good but the reputation could be bad among the public. According to public relations by conscious efforts like using mass media, social media good corporate image can be created and a summation of these images helps in creation of the corporate reputation.(balmer &greyer,2003).
The company builds an image and maintains it, to create an impression in the mind of the customers which helps in creating and maintaining the association between the company and the customer based on consumer satisfaction and goodwill. Corporate sales and a positive image may take time to be created.(balmer & greyer,2003).
Corporate Reputation is very fragile and can be easily affected. Few examples any act that is not in compliance to the image and reputation that you have created like any health hazardous chemical used in eatable products like the rumors with Maggi.
5) If you had been the CEO of BP what different strategies and tactics would you have?
Ans) the deep water explosion was a segregation of mistakes that had been done much before the fatal day. The PR personnel should have handled the situation in a better and they should have been cautious about the information that was being made available to the media as well as the others, the warnings that were given to them was being overheard, the blame game was being played and faulty blow-out preventer. Their main era of concern was profit and cost cutting was their concern therefore they overlooked the prediction of explosion and did not even take any precautionary measures. If I was the CEO of BP then I would have used proactive measures to combat situation like this. I would have been vigilant about the information that is flowing out of the company and the employees, the stakeholders, administration, media and the rescue team would be well instructed and taken care of. The media announcements would be compassionate and apologizing rather than arrogant and misleading. The cultural nuances would have been taken care by responsible cultural aware and cultural sensitive team. I would have been cautious so that such a situation would not have raised and calculated risk would have been taken only. The lives of the employees would not be endangered. It is important to have a vigilant and trustworthy team so that one is more prepared and well equipped for different emergencies.(Fischetti 2015)
The company should not try to camouflage the information rather it should be open to the reality and come up as fighters rather that run away from the situation.
Answer all case study questions
6) How does Corporate image differ from corporate reputation? What are the similarities between the two terms? Use the BP case as an example
Ans) Actually, there is hardly any difference between corporate image and corporate reputation. Corporate image is the cognitive image that a person draws about a company or an organization, basing it on the information that he has been able to gather about it, where as corporate reputation is basically about an organization’s abilities and qualities. According to public relations by conscious efforts like using mass media, social media good corporate image can be created and a summation of these images helps in creation of the corporate reputation so there is a very fine line of difference between the two. Nowadays, social media is a powerful tool for crafting positive company images. These images are created basing it on the various strengths of the organization, for forming a healthy public perception. Non- paid excercises are used to publicize about the company such as press release and video clips being uploaded at free portals like youtube. This increases the publicity of the event and its returns are immense.
Corporate reputation is a congregation of images that are created by the company. It is basically a play of these images if they are put together in an interesting way it will look attractive and if something goes wrong it might spoil the whole thing. business communications, interpersonal relationships and corporate identity should be well taken care of as any wrong move can spoil it all. It is also known as the pragmatic operational model.(gray&balmer,2015).
As an example in BP case, the run for publicity made them lose the reputation that they had built over the years. The BP, British Petroleum the image that they had recreated in the minds of the public had again taken the same form as it was earlier despite the hard work of so many years. They say the castle can’t be built over fortnight, but can be ruined overnight.
7) Think about an organization with an image that you perceive as bad . what words would you use to describe the organization ? what has led you to forming this image? What could the organization do to change this image in your view?
Ans) The Union Carbide Corporation is an organization which had to face the repercussions of the Bhopal Gas tragedy in India. Over 5 lakh people were exposed to poisonous gases and there were deaths and injuries, it is considered to be the world’s worst disaster. It is estimate that people also died later due to the gas related disease. It laid to various litigations, compensation and court cases, later & ex-employees were convicted in 2010 such stigma are difficult to erase. The corporate image has been depleted to such a level that it is difficult to restore them ever after decades. It is important to publically apologize for the mishap that has taken place no matter whether it is due to human negligence, act of nature or mechanical failure.
The company builds its image and reputation over the years by providing consistent service to the customers, Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Corporate Branding are all branches of it. It is a very fragile concept that can be ruined by one blunder so it takes years to build but can be lost overnight. The 4 P’s of production can be affected by corporate, visual or organizational identity (Blamer, 2001).
1)fischetti,.(2015).Retrieved 2 May 2016, from(http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-bp- oil-spill- 5-years- how-has- it-affectd-you/)
2)Davies,r.(2013).Retrieved 2 May 2016 from (wwwfloodlist.com/Australia/Queensland-2011)
3) wolf,d.&mejri,m.crisis communication failures. International Journal of Advances in Management and Economics.
4) Hussy,k.&pittock,j.(2013).three major floods,four reviews, but still lessons to learn.