BP’s Reputation on the Mend?

New Orleans cleans up after Mardi Gras. Photo: Patrick Semansky / AP

As of October 2010, BP’s CEO Bob Dudley was talking about rebuilding the company’s reputation after the Gulf oil spill. Though we may be feeling the ill-effects of this horrible, tremendous disaster for the foreseeable future, people are starting to feel better about BP for some reason.

According to YouGov BrandIndex, BP’s buzz score rose nearly 12 points between January and February 2011, handing it the top spot for biggest buzz improvement of the month. Sentiment surrounding the company is still negative at -15.7. But, according to BrandIndex, BP’s buzz score was -67.2 last June.

Politico reported on an appearance Dudley made on Monday before members of the oil industry.

“I hope that my messages today have been clear,” he said. “BP is sorry. BP gets it. BP is changing.” He extended his apology to those in the oil industry who were impacted, the people living in the affected areas, and just about everyone else who was touched by the spill.

Certainly, contrition is a good move. Current and former execs didn’t get a bonus last year, which is a positive. BP is also giving money to states like Louisiana and Alabama to help them lure tourists back. Plus, we’re starting to read stories about how life in the Gulf area, including the animals that live in the Gulf, are making a comeback.  BP seems to be chronicling every one of these positive stories and more on its Twitter feed, @BP_America.

But this disaster was of such epic proportions that members of the PR industry questioned whether the company would ever recover. It hasn’t even been a year! What do you think is working? A movie about the workers on the Deepwater Horizon rig and their actions on the day of the spill is also in the works. Will that put BP’s rep back on the downswing?

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