A second possibility is to try to minimize the negative feelings associatedwith the wrongful act. After the Valdez oil spill, Exxon officials alsotried to downplay the extent of the damage. Baker explained that "OnMay 19, when Alaska retrieved corpses of tens of thousands of sea birds,hundreds of otters, and dozens of bald eagles, an Exxon official told NationalPublic Radio that Exxon had counted just 300 birds and 70 otters."(13)This statement works to minimize the apparent problem.
Several studies illustrate the potential of this theory. Benoit appliedthis theory to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, to Union Carbide's responseto the Bhopal gas leak, and to a series of advertisements by Coca-Colaand Pepsi-Cola in Nation's Restaurant News.(20) Benoit and Brinson appliedit to AT&T's handling of the long distance service interruption inNew York City.(21) Benoit also applied it to Sears' response to accusationsof auto repair fraud in California.(22) Brinson and Benoit analyzed DOWCorning's handling of the breast implant crisis.(23) Benoit and Czerwinskianalyzed USAir's discourse following the crash near Pittsburgh and a hostilestory published in the New York Times.(24)
First, because image restoration rhetoric is a form of persuasive discourse,suggestions for effectiveness can be derived from our understanding ofpersuasion generally. The analysis of the cola wars(28) reveals adviceapplicable to persuasion generally: avoid making false claims; provideadequate support for claims, develop themes throughout a campaign; avoidarguments that may backfire. Examination of Exxon's discourse on the Valdezoil spill(29) suggests that once Exxon made self-serving statements thatseemed at odds with other information (their allegedly swift and competentcleanup), that may have damaged Exxon's credibility and undermined otherarguments. Coke's response to Pepsi's accusations appropriately used aclearly identified and prominent company spokesperson, while Sears at firstused an ineffectual outside lawyer.(30) However, other suggestions forimage repair discourse are specific to crisis communication discourse.
Industry's insistence on regulating the Valdez tanker trade its own way, and government's incremental accession to industry pressure, had produced a disastrous failure of the system. The people of Alaska's Southcentral coast - not to mention Exxon and the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company - would come to pay a heavy price. The American people, increasingly anxious over environmental degradation and devoted to their image of Alaska's wilderness, reacted with anger. A spill that ranked 34th on a list of the world's largest oil spills in the past 25 years came to be seen as the nation's biggest environmental disaster since Three Mile Island.
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Disaster - UK Essays
Until the Exxon Valdez piled onto Bligh Reef, the system designed to carry 2 million barrels of North Slope oil to West Coast and Gulf Coast markets daily had worked perhaps too well. At least partly because of the success of the Valdez tanker trade, a general complacency had come to permeate the operation and oversight of the entire system. That complacency and success were shattered when the Exxon Valdez ran hard aground shortly after midnight on March 24.
Essay, Research Paper: Exxon Valdez - Solid Papers
24 Mar 2014 ARLIS's Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Collection is the most comprehensive restoration work, and the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the.
Case Study of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and the …
The 1989 Valdez accident was one of the lowest points in ExxonMobil's 125-year history. However, we took immediate responsibility for the spill and have spent