Plan? What Plan?

Jonathan Bernstein crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Crisis Response, reputation management

Oil giant BP has been blasted from one corner of the Internet to the other, not to mention the thousands of traditional media reports covering their poor performance following the Gulf oil spill. In a recent article, several PR professionals were asked what went wrong with BP’s plan (or lack thereof), including BCM President Jonathan Bernstein, who had this to say:

“BP is crisis planning on the fly,” Mr. Bernstein said. “It’s clear that they didn’t have a crisis response plan in place before this happened, even though this is something that is predictable in their line of work and that is inexcusable.”

Perhaps further compounding the problem is BP’s failure to bring in outside help early on in the process, Mr. Bernstein said, adding that if the company had an adequate crisis plan in place, one of the steps would have been to bring in the top five experts in the field, get them on-site and then “brag” about the fact that they have the top people working on the job.

When trouble rears its ugly head, it quickly becomes clear whether an organization has prepared a crisis management plan or not. In BP’s case, failing to plan for a tragic but predictable crisis has caused damage to its reputation and the environment that the company will be battling for years to come.

The BCM Blogging Team