The Ethical Use of the Press Release

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  1. How do you think the BP Deepwater Horizon incident has impacted the “green” movement in American business? Has it re-energized it, or did it have no impact at all, due to BP’s skillful use of the press release?
  2. what changes in wording did you make to the BP press release your re-wrote, and why did you decide to make those changes? If BP had used your wording, how do you think those changes may have impacted BP’s public image during the crisis?
  3. Do you believe that BP’s corporate image has survived this crisis, or no? Why or why not?  Even though two articles we looked at claim that BP did not, in fact, handle the crisis successfully, what do you think about how well they managed it? Did they merely “handle” it, or was it “managed” well (according to Jennings’ distinction between those two terms)? Read pgs. 149-151, esp. 150, in Jennings before answering.
  4.  look carefully at the page on BP’s website regarding its restoration efforts for the Gulf of Mexico (there’s a link to it in the assignment folder), and the Smithsonian article about the changes to Gulf that occurred as a result of the spill. How sincere do you believe BP is in its efforts to restore the ecological balance of the Gulf? Does this program just seem like more public manipulation to you, or do you believe that they are a) doing the ethical thing, and b) that their “corporate heart” is really in it, in the Kantian sense?
  5. Finally, take a look at the picture of the full-page advertisement BP placed in the Wall Street Journal on February 5, 2014. What is your reaction to this advertisement? What is BP actually “advertising” with this full-page spread (that cost them $350,000 each, and they had an ad just like this in the Wall Street Journal last spring every day)? What ethical issues are being highlighted here? What can BP do about the situation they describe in this ad?

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