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Good Question: How does the oil spill affect BP's public perception?

For 84 days we've watched millions of gallons of oil ooze into the Gulf of Mexico, and for 84 days we've watched as BP tried to clean up the mess.

The critics have been harsh.

Good Question: How does the oil spill affect BP's public perception?

Since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in April the news headlines have been dominated by the Gulf Oil spill and BP has certainly taken a beating publicly.

"This is a very unusual crisis because the acute phase is so long, normally we have a crisis, we have a fire you put that fire out and then you have to deal with the aftermath," says Tim Sellnow a professor in the Department of Communications at UK.

Sellnow is a professor who teaches Risk Communication, he's been watching what he calls a public relations nightmare play out for BP.

"BP had a troubled past, a number of examples where they had environmental failures that had occurred before this event, each of those problems in the past contribute to a reputation that limited their ability to regain trust."

Finding trust among the American people is what Sellnow fears BP has lost after 84 days of disaster.

"It makes people drive by the BP sign and go to a different gas station."

Sellnow says there is one thing BP could do now to right the ship in terms of public perception.

"BP, if they want to regain our trust they ought to take a leadership role taking on some of the most advanced innovative safety measures that you can imagine."


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