Publics in the BP and Queensland floods case studies:
In BP and Queensland case studies, different types of publics were directly and indirectly involved. In case of BP, the involved publics included the workers who were died in the oil spill, the local community who were affected due to and the US government (Ruihley, Pratt & Carpenter, 2016). The oil spill incident increased the concern regarding the safety measures taken at BP for the workers among the larger group of employees. So, the larger group of employee can also be considered as a group of publics associated with the oil spill incident.
In case of the Queensland Flood incident, the local people who were damaged anyway due to the flood are one of the key categories of publics associated with the incident (Gleeson, 2012). The poor flood management system raised concern regarding the flood management system among the larger Australian community. So, the larger Australian community is also considered as the key public associated with the case.
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Segmenting and prioritizing the public:
For BP oil spill incident, the public have different power and interest on the organization. The prioritization of the stakeholders is done on basis of the power and interest. Families of the workers who were affected due to the oil spill have high interest on the incident and they have high power to take actions against the organization (Kent, 2010). Similarly, the local community which was affected due to the environmental damage also can take action against the organization and have high interest on how the situation is being managed. The US government is another stakeholder which is responsible for ensuring that BP is following the local rules and regulation and can take actions as the organization has violated the rules and regulations. So, these three stakeholders are of high priority and so, they need to be managed closely. The accident increased concern among other employees of the organization and they have high power to influence organizational policies. So, this group of stakeholders have high priority and need to keep satisfied.
In case of Queensland Flood incident, the local people who are affected due to the flood have high power to raise voice for the devastating effects of the flood and also have high interest in the management process of the flood (Gleeson, 2012). So, the local people has high priority and need to be managed closely. The failure to manage flood made the larger Australian community concerned about the management process. So, they also have high priority and need to kept satisfied.
Different approaches used by leaders in two cases:
Public information model used by BP’s leaders: Use of the public information model enables the organizations to provide the audience with the accurate information. The communication used in the public information model is one-way (Macnamara, 2016). However, the practitioners using this model do not focus on analysing the audience and shaping the communication strategies accordingly. Press releases and the newsletters are two important tools used in case of public information model used by the practitioners. In case of BP, the leaders focused on initiating one way communication and have not researched the audience before creating communication strategies (Kleinnijenhuis et al.2015). Due to the formal communication model, leaders of BP failed to show their sympathy to the audience which reduced effectiveness of the communication and degraded image of the organization.
Two-Way symmetrical model used by Queensland government: The two-way symmetrical model of public relations enables the practitioners to conduct research on the target audiences and so, helps them to create a more persuasive communication strategy while sharing the information with the audience (Ruihley, Pratt & Carpenter, 2016). In case of the Queensland flood, the local government used the social networking sites such as Twitter to analyse the audience. It assisted the practitioners to influence the audience and so, benefit the local government.
Corporate image and its difference from corporate reputation:
The corporate image is the key factor that helps an organization to create its image among the stakeholders (Ruihley, Pratt & Carpenter, 2016). The corporate image can be considered as the way using which a business presents itself in the market. Therefore it can be stated that the corporate image influences what the stakeholders are thinking about an organization.
The corporate image is different from the concept of corporate reputation. The corporate image of an organization depends significantly on the communication strategies with the stakeholders. On the contrary, the corporate reputation depends on how the organization is meeting the needs of different stakeholders. It can be stated that the corporate reputation depends on the organizational performance.
Different strategies and tactics used by CEO of BP:
The BP management can take the following strategies to improve their image in the market.
Adoption of the two way symmetrical public relations strategy: Currently, BP management does not focus on analysing the audience before communicating. It reduces effectiveness of the communication strategy and results in degradation of the communication process. Use of two way symmetrical public relations strategy can enable the organization to reshape its existing communication strategies and improve the corporate image.
Defining uniqueness of the brand: The organization can share the unique facts regarding the brand to the stakeholders. If the organization shares its values with the stakeholders, understanding the organizational culture will be easier for them. Sharing the unique values can also help the stakeholders to have a trusted relation with the company. It is also beneficial for the organization to improve the corporate image significantly.
Creating value for the employees: Relation with the employees is one of the key factors that help the organizations to improve its image among the stakeholders. In case of BP, low focus on the safety of employees affected image of the organization. So, the organization can give importance on improving its relation with the employees and creating a healthy culture within the organization. Providing the employees with a safer place to work can also be effective to improve image of the organization.
Gleeson, D.J. (2012). George Fitzpatrick: Australia's Public Relations pioneer. Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 13(2), 2-12.http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts-ed/apprj/vol14.
Johnston, J.&Sheehan, M. (eds). (2014) Public Relations Theory and Practice. 4th edition, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest.
Kent, M.L., (2010), Public Relations Writing: A Rhetorical Approach, Pearson Education, USA, ISBN: 9780205595440
Kleinnijenhuis, J., Schultz, F., Utz, S., & Oegema, D. (2015). The mediating role of the news in the BP oil spill crisis 2010: How US news is influenced by public relations and in turn influences public awareness, foreign news, and the share price. Communication Research, 42(3), 408-428.
Macnamara, J. (2016). Organizational listening: Addressing a major gap in public relations theory and practice. Journal of Public Relations Research, 28(3-4), 146-169.
Ruihley, B. J., Pratt, A. N., & Carpenter, T. (2016). The role of public relations in college athletics: Identifying roles, tasks, and importance of public relations. Journal of Applied Sport Management, 8(1).