Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Abstract: Getting Along with Reporters, Environmentalists, and Regulators: How to Get Your Company's Message on the Air

Anne Pearson

Oil and gas companies continue to get clobbered with expensive and punishing environmental regulations and drilling bans because they have done a poor job of convincing the public, the press, and the government that their operating practices are environmentally safe. The oil industry also continues to be perceived as arrogant and secretive, which only aggravates its problems.

Smart operators must learn to balance profitable development with earth-friendliness. They also must learn to tell their story more effectively and openly, not just through big trade groups like the API and IPAA, but as individual small businessmen working to improve the economies and job bases of their local communities. That means being more forthcoming with next-door neighbors and environmental groups, befriending local and national reporters who cover their companies, and fine-tuning messages and communications skills.

Companies also can improve their image and hopefully lighten their regulatory burden by thinking up creative, win-win solutions to environmental problems their projects create. One company solved the problem of where to dump offshore channel dredging waste, for example, by creating a new island off south Texas with a carefully planted habitat that last year attracted a pair of endangered whooping cranes. State regulators loved it, it cost very little, and the press coverage was extremely positive.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90983©1994 GCAGS and Gulf Coast SEPM 44th Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas, October 6-7, 1994