Consider for a moment

Consider for a moment the BP Oil SpillOn April 20, 2010, BPs Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, ******ing 11 workers and beginning an unprecedented leakage of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Over the next 3 plus months, oil continued to spill into the water as much of the world watched with increasing dismay and anger. Clearly, this was an environmental disaster of huge proportion. For BP, it was also a disaster of organizational image. There are a number of ways this image disaster could be considered. For example, BP leadership was clearly a problem, and BP head Tony Hayward resigned as CEO in late July of 2010, after public relations gaffes such as saying he wanted to get his life back. One interesting take on BPs organizational image concerns, though, is seen in its name. BP used to be British Petroleum, but a series of mergers in the late 1990s led to the company dropping the national association. Since that change, BPs tagline has been Beyond Petroleum, and it has branded itself as the most ecologically conscious of major oil companies. BPs environmentally friendly image its logo is a green and yellow sunburst has outlasted past accidents, including a Texas refinery blast and Alaska pipeline spill (Rig Explosion Dirties, 2010). Though the vast majority of BPs business was still in petroleum, a green image had been cultivated, helped along by the association of the name BP with Beyond Petroleum. It is likely this positive association has been forever sullied. In the midst of the Gulf oil disaster, it was possible to buy a T-shirt with the familiar BP green and yellow starburst dripping with oil and the tagline of Beach Pollution. When it comes to organizational identity, this vision and name might be impossible to clean up. Now put your employer in the place of BP in 2010; envision a preventable disaster occurring due to some fault of your agencys (not necessarily your fault as an individual employee). You do NOT have to go into extreme detail, but you need to outline what steps you think your agency should do in the days, weeks, and months following the preventable disaster. KEEP IN MIND, this is an organizational communication course and the goal for you, as a public safety student, is to find a way to communicate accurate, timely, and relevant information to the general public in order to continue to keep the public safe and hold your agency accountable to the public you serve. The example does not have to be as violent/damaging/dangerous as the 2010 BP oil spill, and, for those of you who are superstitious, you can use a mild example, which you believe is a preventable event but not quite to the scale of a disaster. For example, if I was doing this assignment, I would describe a prisoner escaping from our facility as the preventable disaster. I would not have any loss of life and our agency would capture the inmate within two miles of the prison. This is a preventable disaster, I have been the Warden of a prison at the time of an inmate escape, and there are things, in hindsight, I would have done differently.

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