I’ve been fortunate to work for several companies in the oil and gas industry over the course of my career. Each one has had a different focus, product or service, so I’ve been able to learn quite a bit about the industry.
Upstream, downstream, drilling services, aviation…Quite. A. Bit.
My role at each company has been as a communicator – internal, external, marketing, change management, and everything in between.
I continue to work as a communicator in the industry as a partner. And one reason I continue to work in the industry – despite loving what I do – is because PR’s importance to the oil and gas industry continues to grow.
PR’s importance to the oil and gas industry
Let me share why. Employees, brand, community, environmental groups, corporate responsibility, investors, crisis management, media…the list goes on because each of these audiences have audiences within them.
How are you going to handle all of these types of communication strategies and plans? How do you keep all of your audiences on the same page and focused on achieving the same goals?
Public Relations. PR. Marketing Communications. The terms are interchangeable but the importance of the role doesn’t change. As stated before, PR’s importance to the oil and gas industry continues to grow.
We know many of the impacts – economic, environmental, for example – but public opinion plays a large part in the industry. Oil and gas sees the obvious opinions in the media, for example, but think about all of the audiences who have opinions listed above.
Oil and gas companies have to focus on community, differentiate themselves amongst competitors, showcase their credibility, expertise and trustworthiness.
It’s critical that communications happen in both good times and bad. In a downturn, ads and trade shows can be trimmed back but employees, customers, the industry, the community, and other audiences still need to hear from you. CONSISTENTLY.
PR can no longer be considered a support function. Social media alone requires companies to respond immediately and is vital to maintaining one’s brand, relevance and place within the industry. Think of ALL your audiences that you must talk with (not to) as a company (yes, I’m listing them again):
- Royalty Owners
- And more.
For example, consider your investor audience. Today, a company can no longer rely solely on performance, numbers and strategy to connect with them. The industry as a whole continues to drive efficiencies, which affects results, and investors ask more questions about such items as climate change, methane emissions, and carbon asset management.
Being able to answer such questions for investors as well as any other audience needs truth, research and alignment with the company’s mission, goals and how you do business.
It’s not only crafting the message – taking the time to put into words what sets your company apart – but also the message delivery.
In today’s world, the audiences have changed and require different deliveries of the same message. Can you do that? Do you know how? Have you thought about it?
It doesn’t matter what term you use, it’s clear PR’s important to the oil and gas industry.