On April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig, located off the coast of Louisiana, exploded in a massive blowout that killed 11 men and injured 17 others. Two days later, the burning rig sank, setting off the largest offshore oil spill in United States history. The economies of the Gulf Coast states, as well as their fragile ecosystems, have been devastated by the spill. BP placed $20 billion in escrow as a down payment against the true cost of the disaster, sure to be much higher by the time it is finally resolved. It is difficult to imagine a more challenging Public Relations situation than that faced by BP. Valuable lessons may be learned in organizational crisis communication from an examination of the actions taken by BP, both before the Deepwater Horizon explosion and later, during its aftermath.
The hope for BP, as well as any organization in crisis, is in the undeniable fact that all crises bring with them opportunities for renewal. Crisis communication scholars emphasize that a discourse of renewal in organizations requires strong leadership, a prospective outlook, and a willingness to tenaciously embrace values of corporate social responsibility. Organizations that dedicate themselves to renewal following crises have the potential to, with time, emerge from a crisis more steadfast, trustworthy, and resilient.
As you read this, it's just a few weeks before youngsters head back to school after the summer break. Many young people happily anticipate the return to school, as they will be reunited with old friends. However, for some children, the first day of school is not happily anticipated, but rather is feared. For some, it may be the first time attending school away from home. Others might be going to a new school due to a change in family circumstances. Still others may be moving up to middle or high school. Any of these circumstances could be cause for great concern to the youngsters making the transition.
So, how can parents and other interested adult caregivers communicate with children to help them to make these important transitions successfully? I asked the communication experts and here is their advice…