A visual history of BP’s use of public relations after Deepwater Horizon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter outlines will outline the development of a visual research methodology based on a series of rhetorical pieces of design that explored how graphic design's techniques of persuasion could be used to expose and critique the PR industry. This methodology was adopted and used to undertake a critical investigation of BP's crisis management of the Deepwater Horizon accident. Using the firm's own press releases, commissioned imagery and publicly available digital data a one-off publication was produced that acted as a timeline charting the company's response to the disaster as well as its wider socio-cultural representation in the media. By attempting to explain the nature, history, practices and ethics of the PR industry through drawing attention to the way organisations attempt to control and manipulate their public image these proposed research methods initiate the process of visualising the profession from an activist's perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVisual Public Relations: Strategic Communication Beyond Text
EditorsSimon Collister, Sarah Roberts-Bowman
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781351662079
ISBN (Print)9781138064669
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge New Directions in Public Relations & Communication Research


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