Monday, October 28, 2013

Discussion Questions_Goodman_Burnham

1) Keith Michael Hearit, a communications professor at Western Michigan University, said “BP could apologize every day. They could have a situation where the C.E.O. goes on an environmental pilgrimage and falls on his knees going up a mountain, and it wouldn’t do them any good. Until the oil stopped, there was nothing that could be done to make it better, but there was plenty that could be said to make it worse.”

In terms of the way that BP handled the coverage of the oil spill do you think the public opinion would have turned out any differently had they not made the PR mistakes they did, or was it completely dependent on the duration of the oil spill?

2) The article talks about how there is a constant battle between the lawyers and communication professionals when it comes to presenting a companies stance in a situation. Which side do you think is more successful in saving a company's reputation? Which side plays a more important role in the PR spectrum?

3) Going off this, it seems that both sides attempt to scam their audiences by presenting conclusions that aren't always completely truthful. Do you think one side offers a more accurate idea of the actual situation, or are both sides equally to blame for misleading the public?

4) In reality, everyone makes mistakes, including big corporations. Do you think that these big corporations such as BP and Toyota deserve the harsh scrutiny that the public puts them under when they make a mistake? 

5) Do you think that with today's social media obsessed culture, corporations are at more of a risk for PR scandals? Do you think that social media can also play a role in saving reputations of big corporations that would otherwise seem unapproachable?  

6) It seems that with the invention of 24 hour news, and social media rising in popularity, there will be far more PR scandals among large corporations. Do you think these PR scandals carry the same destructive impact of scandals from the past? Or are there simply far too many scandals for the public to be able to focus on specific ones and actually cause a dramatic impact? 

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