Public relations academics will be analyzing for years BP's handling of communications during the Deepwater Horizon leak.
While many thought Tony Hayward (". . . Everything we can see at the moment suggest that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest.") was not stellar in the role of chief public spokesperson, the jury remains out about whether his successor Bob Dudley will manage BP's reputation rebuilding strategy any better.
He's not off to a textbook start: In a speech to the Confederation of British Industry, Dudley claimed:
A great rush to judgment by a fair number of observers before the full facts could possibly be known, even from some in our industry. I watched graphic projections of oil swirling around the gulf, around Florida, across and around Bermuda to England -- these appeared authoritative and inevitable. The public fear was everywhere.
So much for taking on the burden of responsiblity as the starting point for a reputation overhaul.