Assignment 1_Exxon and the Valdez Oil Spill

This article mainly talked about the oil spill crisis of Valdez in the late 1980s. This crisis caused some kinds of consequences which seriously affected local fishermen, the sea life, the animals, the beaches, and the water. Through this crisis, Exxon issued several ways and methods to save these things, solve the pollution problem, and responded to public, the major televisions, and other media. In the end, it mitigated the crisis’s effects. At the same time, it announced the other companies, and provided important experiment.
Background:
In the first part, this case introduced the basic information of Exxon, Valdez, the scene of the coast of Alaska, and the captain and pilot. After that, the author described occurrence of the crisis in detail. What’s more, this company paid more attention to clean up and issued many immediate strategies in order to restore this area as swiftly as possible.
As one of the five largest companies in the United States, Exxon was a company about gas stations, produced motor fuel and related products, and its sales was 80 billion. In 1973, Exxon purchased Esso, Enco, and Humble in the United States so that it became the parent company. On March 24, 1989, the Valdez suffered a crisis because of running aground on the rocks of Bligh Reef.
Exxon was one of the well-known energy companies in the entire world. Obviously, this company had a lot of strengths. For instance, this company owned enough economic capability and sufficient sources to offer. Due to this reason, Exxon could control many crises and make the disaster in a low level. On the other hand, it exist many disadvantages. During the period of oil spill crisis, Exxon offered immediate strategy was to pay attention to clean up. However, this large company had not enough facilities, equipment, and accommodations in a remote town of Valdez where Cornet set up a media center. In addition, Exxon had downsized its staffs, and asked the short-staffed crews to work so long time and to sleep shortly. It caused human fatigue so that this accident or crisis occurred. Its purpose was to save money and display its corporate culture.
Oil Spill Crisis:
The Valdez oil spill crisis occurred on March 24, 1989. On that midnight, because Cousins turned right later, a 987-foot oil tanker ran aground on the submerged rocks of Bligh Reef. Moreover, Valdez fetched up hard aground and started to spill oil into Prince William Sound. Otherwise, Joseph Hazelwood, as captain, had enough experiment about sailing. Besides, Hazelwood owned high praise about credentials and skills. However, Hazelwood had lost his driver’s license because of drinking driving. There was no evidence to prove whether Hazelwood drank on that night. Nevertheless, due to take place this crisis, this captain was fired. This oil spill crisis induced that the water was not beautiful, animals died, beaches were destroyed and sea life was influenced.
Measures:
After this crisis happened, Exxon reported to the public, and told that its primary mission was to clean up efforts, aim to rescue animals, and restore tourism and so forth.
At the beginning of cleaning up efforts, local people were very angry, because this strategy did not work well. Simultaneously, these fishermen and media were also irate about the response of Exxon. Additionally, Exxon’s customers started to refuse to use its credit cards, and the media reported this case more vociferously. These situations influenced the publicity and other major things. Moreover, this oil spill crisis seemed a disaster for Exxon. Therefore, Cornet had understood the serious damage and the futility of these circumstances. Next, due to these problems, Exxon began to set up a long-term future, such as tourism industry, rescue animals and built an animal rescue center, and seafood industry.
Through this oil spill crisis, many kinds of animals died in the sea. It inflicted wildlife to die and leave for other places. Consequently, Exxon set up several animal rescue centers to protect the animals so that migratory fowl could come back when it was the time of the migration. Besides that, Exxon guaranteed to protect animals to the media. This was an efficient conduct. Its objective was to ensure credible connection and high publicity between Exxon and the community.
Moreover, Exxon focused on restoring tourism. Its important action was to design a crisis plan which “involved bringing travel writers to Alaska to witness the conditions and encouraging them to travel within the state to report what destinations were and were not affected by the spill” (Fearn-Banks, 2011). What’s more, this company made an advertising to show the real condition of Alaska.
Future:
After this oil spill crisis, it became a prodrome for other oil companies. It was an abundance experiment. Actually, Exxon gained punishment so that each Alaska natives, fishermen, and business owners got an average of $15,000. Additionally, Exxon obtained more profits through this accident.

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6 Responses to Assignment 1_Exxon and the Valdez Oil Spill

  1. dijiang313 says:

    “Its objective was to ensure credible connection and high publicity between Exxon and the community.” In my opinion, building a positive relationship between the organization and media can help the company to come through crisis in time, meanwhile, persuading public in order to maintain and restore a positive image.

    • lilly1989 says:

      I think sometimes there is no need to persuade public. The only thing that a company needs is to do the right thing and let publics know, If a company does the wrong things, it is not useful to persuade publics and get rid of the guilty.

  2. kurtcomm642 says:

    It’s like the Valdez was the first modern public relations crisis. Exxon obviously knew such a thing was possible, but it seems like the company’s attitude was, “Well, how bad can it be?” They found out, and, really, launched the industry of crisis communications.

  3. lilly1989 says:

    “At the beginning of cleaning up efforts, local people were very angry, because this strategy did not work well.” I think the cleaning up efforts were delayed, because they could not make sure the chemicals they used whether it would take some bad impacts on the sea. I feel that it is a right thing. However, they did not let the consumers and media that they did the right thing.

  4. duanyafan says:

    “After this oil spill crisis, it became a prodrome for other oil companies. ” After this accident, all oil company in Alaskan has crisis plans. Exxon Company also has its own equipment for cleanup and the equipment was sent to help work on the cleanup in BP spill accident. Now other oil company know better way to prevent spills, how to cleanup the oil and how to faced the public after spills. Exxon oil spill was the most terrible accident in history, but it gave us a lesson to face this kind of accident.

  5. krmorel2 says:

    “Actually, Exxon gained punishment so that each Alaska natives, fishermen, and business owners got an average of $15,000. Additionally, Exxon obtained more profits through this accident.” Not saying this is incorrect, but I just can’t believe they gained profits from this! It’s crazy to think that such a disaster could help a company as much as that.

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