Last week, President Obama delivered an Oval Office address to the nation detailing his plan of action for the Gulf of Mexico response. One of his key points highlighted his goal to obtain an escrow fund of about $20 billion from the oil giant BP to help repay claims from those affected by the spill. With BP shouldering a majority of the blame their image has suffered dramatically. People have attempted to boycott BP gas stations (that are actually franchised owned), their stock value has been labeled “junk,” and the subject of offshore drilling as a whole has been even further tainted. For BP, being held accountable for one of the worst man-made disasters in history definitely has their PR teams working around the clock. One of the mediums through which they can control the damage to their public image is something our Los Angeles graphic design studio is very familiar with: websites. Here is a breakdown of their current website and how it’s been designed to address the issue at hand:
1. Large Header
When someone visits the BP website they are immediately directed to a landing page that has been catered towards addressing the crisis. The diction of the header they chose frames their company in a way that portrays them as proactive in finding relief rather than the ones responsible, hence the word “response.”
Beneath the header is a large set of rotating images that showcases the work BP is currently doing. The tonal ranges of the photos are very bright which conveys a positive feel that can be associated with the company itself.
3. Latest News
Through the use of headers and color, the latest updates about the company’s support are listed. Keeping the news current- narrowed down to the precise day shows that they’re working on the problem at this very moment.
4. Gulf of Mexico Homepage
Besides this landing page, the website has highlighted in a reddish-orange a Gulf of Mexico homepage that provides even more information about the oil spill with photos, videos, press releases etc.
5. Social Media
Just as many corporations have done in recent years, BP offers a range of social media platforms they have joined. As the actual page gives daily news, links like twitter will let you know what they’re doing at the precise minute.
In stark contrast to the images and videos shown on the news, the BP videos all show company employees speaking about what they have done thus far to offer their support. This is complemented with images of clean coastlines, computer labs and crowds of people working on the effort.
7. Contact Numbers
The oil giant’s website correctly anticipated the fact that several people will be calling the company to obtain answers about the spill. In this section they’ve cleanly organized the phone numbers based on each category the public needs direction to.
8. Additional Pages by State
In addition to the Gulf of Mexico Homepage, BP has also created pages that were designed specifically for each state that was directly affected by the accident. This provides a place where citizens from Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi can find information.
The design of the website has probably provided the most damage control that can be seen by online viewers- this may or may not however, be enough to save BP’s brand identity as a whole. Hopefully they get it plugged soon!