Monday, June 25, 2012
One lesson PR practitioners learn early is that a small mistake can transform into a large error and a headache for a company. Here is a case in which less than a barrel of a caustic chemical will cost a refinery hundreds of millions of dollars of repair work as well as months of lost time. Try explaining that to restive shareholders and to distributors waiting for fuel. There isn't much room in some industries for mistakes, no matter how little. One wouldn't want to fly in a plane that has a tiny manufacturing error in the control systems. Nor would one want to go to a surgeon who forgets a staple or two inside the wound where he is operating. There are industries and services in which the cliche, "Everybody makes mistakes," is not acceptable as an excuse or a communication. Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco now have to fix an error they didn't cause and take a blow to their reputations with it.