Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Question: 1. Identify the publics in the BP and Queensland floods case studies? 2. Identify the publics in the BP and Queensland floods case studies? 3. Segment and Prioritise identify the Publics? 4. What different approaches were adopted by the leaders in the two cases? 5. Define corporate image. How does it differ from corporate reputation? Answer: Answer 1 The two different events, that is, BP and Queensland flood were both noteworthy. Both the events have led to huge destruction to the resources and lives of the people. In the year 2012, British Petroleum deepwater horizon oil rig tremendously exploded and killed around eleven people. In between December 2010 and January 2011, about three quarters of the state was being declared as a disaster prone area due to devastating floods. More than thirty five people were lost and the BP explosion and oil spill was the accountability of corporation as well as its contractors. On the other hand, the Queensland flood was being regarded as an act of God. Therefore, nobody was held responsible for the disaster. This whole incident brought into notice the higher management of BP as well as the government officials. However, the public in the BP disaster were the contractors, customers, stakeholders of British Petroleum, employees, dead employees and their family, USA government, congressmen, shipping lines, insurance companies, fisher folk, equity markets, oil industry, marine ecosystem and others who got affected by the tragic incident. The public of the Queensland disaster were the Theodore town, transport system, telecommunication, Brisbane city, mining industry, livestock, insurance and the banking industry, emergency response teams, government machinery, fishing communities and others who got affected by flood (Grunig 2013). Answer 2 The publics of the disaster can be segmented and prioritized by keeping into consideration the extent of the damages as well as the responsibilities and initiatives taken by the company. Management team has taken into consideration the discharge of the methane gas and has utilized this particular technique of clearing the menace with toxic dispersant. Moreover, the publics were being linked with the harmful effects of dispersed toxic, which caused harmful effects to the locals as well as in the nearby population. People of those areas suffered from chest pain, headaches, vomiting, damage in the internal organs and more. The department of health released various reports on severe issues which can be considered as the top priority. Queensland floods causing huge damage did not have the same level concern as it was considered to be the act of God. The whole strategy was being employed and it diverted the population, even the regulatory and the oversight approvals of the leadership were in control (Guth and Marsh 2016). Both the tragic incidents cause huge inconvenience to the external as well as internal publics. To prioritize each of the segments, which were being affected by the British Petroleum incident, were considered to be the internal part of the company and the external periphery included the deceased employees, their family members who were dependent on them, frontline employees, the fishing community, financial institutes, administration officials, ecosystem at which the incident took place, media, top project management teams, business associates, local as well as federal government, stakeholders, action groups, customers, general public and the coastline which was affected (Dozier, Grunig and Grunig 2013). The Queensland flood was regarded as an act of God or nature. The government officials could have ensured timely operations and executed some plans in order to combat with the disaster. The inhabitants were affected, infrastructures got damaged, farming community and local markets go t destroyed. The top priority was to provide the impacted citizens with accommodation, medical assistance and foods (Newsom, Turk and Kruckeberg 2012). Answer 3 A transformational leader is known for the qualities that he/she possesses and the way he/she motivates and encourages his/her team members to work better. This is considered to be one of the most important things as this helps the leader to move forward. Furthermore, the team members trust also helps the leader to proceed with his responsibilities. If any adverse situation occurs, be it natural disaster or a man made one, a leader must always know how to deal with it and compose a strategic management. A leader must know how to deal with a crisis moment (Hendrix, Hayes and Kumar 2012). The British Petroleums leader Hayward used this specific approach. The inappropriate behavioral approach at the crisis time. He commented in front of the media that he wants his life back. The stakeholders were also not addressed. This caused severe damage to the companys reputation. The public relation theory and practice stresses on the need for communication at emergency situations. Some kinds of unplanned approaches were used like blame game, avoiding questions and apology. The leader did not even take up the whole responsibility which led to such a crisis and instead tried to detach him-self from the entire situation. The Queensland Premier Anna Bligh utilized a specific approach for the crisis situation. The government officials showed low risk-taking behaviors. The whole alleviation work was being executed with an ineffective approach. In addition to this, the climate conditions were not supportive. Improper infrastructure. Unstructured methods were being adopted, which worsened the situation. In both the cases, such inappropriate approaches were adopted, which led to further destruction of reputation. Answer 4 The corporate image is considered to be a mental picture, which is created about a company. It is dependent on the overall insight an individual is having regarding the organization. Corporate reputation is regarded as the public picture, which defines the companys abilities, qualities and disabilities. However, the corporate image of a particular organization may be good but the overall reputation can be bad within its publics. As far as the public relations management is concerned, the companies can use conscious methods of utilizing the mass media as well as social media, in order to maintain their corporate image. However, with the inception of digital media, any company can use the platform for maintaining or creating a good corporate image as these initiatives helps in building a corporate reputation (Smith 2013). Companies build a corporate image and manage it, in order to create a good impression in the minds of the consumers. This helps in maintaining and creating an association between those particular companies as well its customers. The customers expectation and satisfaction is directly proportional to the companys goodwill. A positive image and corporate sales may take some time to be produced. However, the corporate reputation can get easily affected as it is very fragile in nature. Some examples are; any act which is not in compliance with the reputation and image are the health hazardous chemicals being used in the eatable products or items like the magi rumors (Cutlip 2013). However, the corporate reputation can be regarded as the collective ideas which the public hold regarding that particular company. Corporate image, on the other hand are collective visuals, emotional as well as cognitive associations, which the public hold regarding a particular company. The corporate reputation is considered as an idea which covers the views of the employees, customers, partners, regulators and communities regarding the business. This extends far beyond to how the customers are going to take the brand and choose it from the shelf. For instance; the reputation of the company can impact the financial stability and the capital costs. It also impacts the ability of attracting the partners. Corporate image, on the other hand, is more focused on the marketing factors like; brand recognition, feelings associated with the customers experiences and others (Kunczik 2016). Answer 5 The explosion at the deep water was considered as a segregation of all the mistakes that has been done before the occurrence of the fatal incident. However, the Public Relations personnel could have easily handled the entire situation. It could be handled in much better way and everyone should have been more cautious about the particular information which was made available in the media and others. The warnings which were been given to them was overheard by the people. The blame game was shamelessly being played and the management did not take the issue seriously. The main motive of the company was to make profits and cut excessive costs. The management team completely overlooked and overheard the prediction of the explosion (Stacks 2016). They did not even take necessary precautionary measures beforehand. Being the Chief Executive Officer of the British Petroleum, I would have taken several proactive measures in order to combat a crisis situation like this. I would have been more attentive as well as vigilant regarding the information that was flowing out of the organization. I would have taken proper care of the companys internal as well as external publics, rather than hiding and concealing facts. It is my responsibility to inform the companys employees, administration and stakeholders regarding the issues. I would have also informed the rescue team and the media in order to save the companys reputation. In addition to this, I would have made sure that the media announcements were compassionate as well as apologizing, instead of being arrogant or misleading. Moreover, the cultural nuances could have been easily taken care in a more responsible way. I would have taken care of the whole management team in a sensible way, in order to deal with the sensitive issue. It is my responsible to be more cautious in such a situation, so that it does not mar the companys image further. If more initiatives were taken earlier, then such an incident would not have taken place. In such crisis situations, it is immensely necessary to have a trustworthy and a vigilant team, in order to be more prepared and equipped for dealing with such emergencies (Culbertson and Chen 2013). Companies should never try to hide or conceal any information from the media and rather they should open up and bring out the reality. It is important to come up as warriors instead of running away from crisis moments (Olasky 2013 ). Case study There is hardly any important difference between the corporate image and the corporate reputation. The corporate image is more like a cognitive image which an individual draws about a particular company or say, organization. It is done on the basis of the available information, which he/she has managed to gather from the public. On the other hand, the corporate reputation is more about a companys qualities as well as abilities. As far as the public relations personnel of a company is concerned, the conscious efforts of using the mass media as well as social media is highly regarded as an important step of maintaining a good corporate image. The overall summation of these built images can be referred to as the corporate reputation (Hinson 2012). Therefore, there is a very thin line of difference between both the terms. In modern days, social media acts as a powerful tool for presenting a positive image of the company. With the help of these images, the organization can form a healthy perception of the public. Non paid exercises are more utilized for publicizing regarding a company. This includes press releases, video clips which are uploaded at the free portals like Facebook, YouTube and others. Adoption of such methods help in increasing the publicity of a companys events and the returns are huge. The corporate reputation is being considered as a congregation of the images which are being created by the organization (Wilcox et al. 2013). The corporate reputation is generally a play of those corporate images. If the images are being put together in more interesting manner, it will appear attractive and if anything goes wrong, the entire thing will spoil the business. The interpersonal relationships, corporate identity as well as business communications must be taken care in a proper manner. Any wrong step can damage the whole companys reputation. This is also referred as the pragmatic operational model. Taking the British Petroleums case into consideration, the publicity run made them lose their image and reputation, which was built after years of consistent services. The British Petroleum, BP had a good image, which was recreated in the minds of the public. It may take some years for the company to bring back its age old reputation. It is true that a company may have to struggle for years in order to build brand recognition among the consumers, but one simple mistake can ruin everything (Kent 2013). The Odwalla Foods Company of Washington State had the worst nightmare when the state was being linked with an e-coli outbreak to the companys unpasteurized apple juice. The whole incident caught immediate media attention and the overall outcome was bad. The companys Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Williamson promised to pay the compensation and medical costs for the affected ones. The company spent the next few months by building a good reputation and image. It focused on several methods like advertising, organizing press conferences, giving advertisements and others. However, all the initiatives went in vein, due to less effective public relations management (Rice and Atkin 2012). The Odwalla Foods Company lost the battle against the claims, which resulted in huge losses. Eventually, the company was overtaken by the Coca Cola Food Company, which bought Odwalla for 186 million dollars in the year 2001. The corporate image has depleted to such an extent that it was difficult for the company to restore their reputation even after decades. However, it is evident from the above fact that the due to the stupidity of the company, it lost its brand image. It could have easily taken some steps in order to regain the consumers trust. No matter what the situation is, the companies should keep their public relations resources at place (Austin and Pinkleton 2015). The Odwalla Foods Company lost the battle due to its ineffective public relations personnel. It is important for any company, big or small, to have a public relations manager in order to deal with the crisis moments. The public relations manager needs to apologize publicly in front of the media, without hiding or concealing any facts. Hiding facts from the media can lead to more trouble for any company. Therefore, in order to gain trust, the public relations managers need to be truthful and honest. However, the Odwalla Foods Company could have taken a major step of presenting original reports in front of the media (Spicer 2013). The company could have worked with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and presented the reports, which were in favor of the company. This could have helped the company to a huge extent. The company could have easily conveyed that the entire matter was not real and fabricated. This would have helped the company to regain its trust back from the people and the media as well. The companys CEO could have been more sympathetic towards the deceased families. Sales did fall at that moment, but good and effective crisis management initiatives could have benefitted the company on the long run (Coombs and Holladay 2013). Conclusion A company builds its reputation and image after providing years of consistent services to its consumers. The public relations, corporate branding, corporate communications and others are considered to be the most important branches for any companys betterment or success. The concept is very fragile in nature and one blunder can ruin it anytime (Heath 2013). It takes years to build a companys reputation, but few wrong decisions can ruin it in less than a minute. The four Ps of production can easily get affected by the organizational, visual or corporate identity. Therefore, it is very important to handle these issues in order to keep the reputation and image of the company intact. Companies need to appoint public relations managers in order to deal with such tough situations and stand apart from others (Cutlip 2013). References Austin, E.W. and Pinkleton, B.E., 2015.Strategic public relations management: Planning and managing effective communication campaigns(Vol. 10). Routledge. Coombs, W.T. and Holladay, S.J., 2013.It's not just PR: Public relations in society. John Wiley Sons. 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