Crisis Management Challenges in a Socially Networked World: BP’s Response to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

  • Maria Louise Thybo
  • Peter Keith Ross
Part of the International Marketing and Management Research book series (INMAMAR)


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.


Corporate Social Responsibility Social Medium Social Networking Site Crisis Management Deepwater Horizon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Anshu Saxena Arora 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Louise Thybo
  • Peter Keith Ross

There are no affiliations available

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