Thursday, July 21, 2011

An unconventional crisis response

The conventional wisdom regarding successful crisis communications involves saying sorry and moving on.

In the case of Transocean, the company that owned and ran the Deepwater Horizon, the opposite approach seems to be working.

Transocean has taken a no-holds-barred approach to the April 20, 2010, disaster, refusing to apologize and placing the blame squarely on BP.

Bloomberg Businessweek recently ran a cover story on the situation that included a hypothesis on the reasoning behind Transocean's approach. In essence, the survival of Transocean is at stake. The total liability for the accident could be $50 billion, which would sink Transocean. BP is a much bigger corporation:  it had revenue of $297 billion last year, compared to Transocean's revenue of more than $9 billion.

While the dispute will take a long time to wind its way through the legal system, it appears that Transocean already is beating BP in the court of public opinion.
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