How Not to Say Sorry

            What is a food that, when in a crowd, most people would enjoy? I would venture to say pizza is a safe bet. Pizza is just one of those foods that is great to eat at any time of the day (cold pizza for breakfast? YUM). Some people even enjoyed heart shaped pizzas from Jet’s this past Valentine’s Day. While pizza may make up for a lack of a boyfriend on that special day, the people of Bobtown, Pennsylvania know very well it does not make up for everything.

            According to an article on the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, on February 11th, something caused a gas well owned by energy giant Chevron to catch fire, leaving an employee injured and another presumed dead. A neighbor said the explosion “sounded like a jet engine going 5 feet above your house” (Born, 2014). The heat from this explosion caused a trunk on site to explode and a fire continued to flame for more than 12 hours after the commotion.

            Obviously this is a situation that is a nightmare for both the workers on a natural gas well and also the company that owns said well. Chevron, in this case, attempted to make up for what happened by distributing gift certificates for free pizza and soda to residents of the nearby town, Bobtown. Bobtown residents were, not surprisingly, very unsatisfied at this almost laughable apology attempt. Spokesperson Ann Wainwright commented saying, “As part of our meetings with a small group of immediate neighbors impacted by this activity we have offered a token of appreciation for their patience during this time” (Greene, 2014). Pr News Online says there is a valuable lesson for PR pros here: “the response to a dangerous catastrophe should equate with the severity of the situation” (Greene, 2014). PR Daily also posted an article commenting on the way Chevron handled this crisis, showing a picture of the letter given to the residents. The certificate is only for a “special combo” and,  in addition, has an expiration date (Wilson, 2014).

I love pizza as much as the next person, however, it cannot mend everything. Chevron, you need to up your game. At least give a life-time supply of pizza next time.


Born, M. (2014, February 12). Greene County shale well continues burning. Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Retrieved from

Green, B. (2014, February 19). Chevron’s pizza party PR fails to make amends. PR news. Retrieved from

Wilson, M. (2014, February 20). Chevron apologizes for fracking well explosion with pizza coupons. Retrieved from


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