Please read the case described below and answer the following questions
1. How would you execute the media relations plan? Write a press release to outline the actions being taken by the company 10 days after the accident.
2. Give an outline of activities that you would engage in and the issues that you would address to maintain and enhance community relations using PR 2.0. Write a fact sheet that you think would help your case.
3. Give an outline of a work plan to maintain and enhance employee relations and enlist all the issues that would need to be covered by this plan.
You can make up facts about the actions being taken.
On October 23, 20XX, the Corporate and Media Communications staff of Phillips Petroleum Company responded to a major fire and explosion at the company’s Houston Chemical Complex (H.CC) in Pasadena, Texas. As a result of the accident, 23 workers were killed and another 35 were hospitalized. It was the worst accident in Phillips’ history and the worst accident in the petrochemical industry since the Texas City explosion in the 1940s, which killed more than 550 people. The blast was felt as far as 25 miles away. At Rice University, scientists gauged the explosion as the equivalent of 3.5 on the Richter scale. Windows were shattered as far as three miles away, and several hundred vehicles were damaged. The explosion destroyed Phillips’ polyethylene facilities, the largest of their kind in the world. Within an hour of the explosion, some 150 representatives of the media, representing 40 news organizations, were at the site.
There was an immediate need to respond to the news media and re¬assure the local community and employees through them. In addition, Phillips’ crisis response needed to:
? Preserve and restore Phillips’ reputation as a safe, concerned employer
? Reassure the local community of Phillips’ commitment to the area ? Provide full details of the accident to the media and chemical trade press
? Maintain media goodwill by being as responsive as possible to special requests and by providing photo opportunities as soon as possible
? Confirm the company’s basic health to the financial media
Communications were aimed at the following audiences:
? The media: Covering the HCC accident were more than 40 news organizations, representing local, state, national, and international media, and the chemical trade press
? Residents of the Pasadena area, where most HCC employees reside: Pasadena is a community of some 116,000 residents; it is also an im¬portant suburb of Houston, a city of some 3.6 million people
In keeping with Phillips’ policy of open, honest, and timely communi¬cations, the goals and objectives of the crisis communications effort were the following:
? Be open and responsive to the media
? Demonstrate top management’s concern for employees and the community
? Reassure the local community
? Reassure the financial community
These goals were adopted because of the seriousness of the accident to employees and company property, the effect of the accident on the community, and the intense media interest the accident generated.
Corporate and Media Communications has a standing crisis com¬munications plan for all field locations. Specific details for implementing the plan vary by event and are always governed by local conditions. In an emergency, Corporate and Media Communications works with local management and with a predesignated local official who has received training in media response. (A main objective of Corporate and Media Communications is to have trained spokespersons at all field locations.} Because of the seriousness of this event, Corporate and Media Commu¬nications recommended that top management be part of the communica-tions effort and that corporate communications specialists go to the site to assist local management. In addition, the plan called for the following:
? An announcement would be made to the press as soon as possible.
? Press briefings would be held routinely and with regard to media deadlines.
? Media rooms would be established at HCC and the Bartlesville, Oklahoma, headquarters complex.
? The press would be taken to the site of the accident as soon as pos¬sible in order to help them understand-and relay to the public¬ the difficulty of the search and rescue effort under way.