There were a number of actions, if done differently, which could have helped in the way the company was perceived despite of the accident. It is not unnatural for accidents and environmental calamities to take place. It was the aftermath and the reaction of the company that caused considerable impact over the public and caused them to become infuriated with the approach of the company towards the situation. Firstly, the interaction with the media and the public relations are extremely important and should be the first steps towards crisis management. Exxon should have carried first hand news to the public instead of them knowing through other sources and perceive the company as being careless.
Moreover, it was the responsibility of the top management personnel to personally hand in effort that may not make a considerable difference in the rehabilitation process but it would at least reflect a compassionate outlook towards the people. Furthermore, Exxon was slow in responding to the incident. During the first two days, while the weather was passive, very little was done to contain the spill causing the spill to spread out even more. After this the weather got worse making the containment very difficult. The company should have had a plan that could inform the actions that needed to be taken when a crisis occurred. This plan could have avoided the impulse actions and would have made the company take more responsible and organized steps in order to resolve the damage. Also, it is important to take immediate actions in considering the reactions of the public and addressing to them. This would have been done immediately by the company instead of waiting 10 days to run a newspaper advertisement. (Bryan, 2004)
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