Crisis Management Challenges in a Socially Networked World: BP’s Response to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
The 2010 BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in the largest recorded marine oil spill in the world, with concomitant widespread environmental damage. BP’s initial crisis communication and operational responses were further criticized as tardy and inadequate. This communication void was quickly filled by globally based stakeholder groups who were adept at using social networking sites to quickly disseminate viewpoints that were generally antagonistic to the firm. These social networks reduced BP’s ability to influence public opinion, leading to a “public relations nightmare”. This chapter builds on previous research and develops a framework that may assist organizations to better integrate this rapidly expanding communication medium into their crisis management plans. It concludes that organizations should view social media as a potential strategic resource despite its associated challenges.
KeywordsCorporate Social Responsibility Social Medium Social Networking Site Crisis Management Deepwater Horizon
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