1) that you are in charge: you have analyzed the situation and know what is really going on,
2) feelings: that you care for those who are affected and
3) actions: that you are doing everything you can to solve the situation and the suffering, list the plan, all the activities and the results over and over again.
Well, BP has failed in so many ways. Not being able to show that they have control (1); what really happened and who is and will be responsible, how much oil that is really pouring out every minute and how to solve the situation.
They say they care (2), but they also say that the oil spill wont have any long-term impact on the environment, that they take care of the families of the victims but at the same time having lawyers trying to minimize the payments.
And over and over we get reports via media that they cannot see any major amount of people trying to stop the oil from reaching the shores (3) and outrage from the local people when trying to get some real help and very seldom any comments from BP at all.
Too little, too late is what we think – even if BP probably have done a lot that they haven’t had any credit for. BP has no trustworthiness anymore and this can cost them their future.
Now it’s the time to step up, get out in the local community and meet the people who are so upset. Try to work it out together with them – the objective is to get the local community spokespersons to say that they actually think BP is doing all they can do. In that process they can start to re-build their credibility again.