Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Live Blogging October 8 Ft. Worth PRSA Luncheon

"There's not only Natural Gas, but PR, in the Barnett Shale"
Presented by: Julie Wilson, APR, past president of the Greater Fort Worth Chapter PRSA, and vice president, corporate development, Barnett Shale Division, Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

12:00-12:15 PM - Chapter Business including annual meeting/vote on 2009 Board.

Live blogging stream for those that wish to follow along or those that could not make the luncheon:

12:17 PM - Julie Wilson, APR - Speaker introducing PR team. Explaining Chesapeake background. (Chesapeake Barnett Shale) difference between oil well in the pastures to gas well near the backyards = issues. Leading in a municipal environment would require a different communications model.

12:23 PM - From a two-person public/community affairs and outreach team to much larger team.

We are about educate about the Barnett Shale...needed a greater education presence...
  • created Ask Chesapeake (Q&A) printed piece...not enough...told the area needed more...
  • developed Citizens of the Shale (with ad agency) video packaging of informative discussion...still need more...
  • developed ad campaign using spokesperson Tommy Lee Jones addressing benefits of the Barnett Shale, Chesapeake Charlie, The T (bus advertising)...led to another phase...
  • developed Production video series when we can get people on drilling rigs or at other sites get questions answered. (Changing minds one person at a time)
12:31 PM - When you advertise "Ask Chesapeake" people do - interesting questions and have 24/7 team to answer all questions.

Lots of nights and weekends to address HOA and other community outreach. Other tactics include millions of dollars of community investment.

What is the Message?
  • America has a need for clean energy
  • North Texas has an opportunity and responsibility to help
  • Barnett is leading the country in shale plays
  • A win-win opportunity: clean energy and a strong local economy
  • drilling rigs so close to homes, railroads, schools, etc.
  • fear of the unknown - sites, pipeline, etc.
  • made mistakes when they first came into area (noisy rigs) but they feel they've improved
  • NIMBY's - Not In My Back Yard people (really good people, but just need to be communicated with)
  • Misinformation - ignorance and maliciousness
...Wilson addresses social media and how her opinion of blogs is not too high (probably with good reason), but admits that she needs to have her younger team help explain.

12:50 PM - Going through press clippings, campaigns and photos negative and positive.

The Tarrance Group survey/study addresses positive impression of Chesapeake and local economy. - If we can sit across the table with someone, they start to understand. Addressing Tracy Rowlett and online tv station. They will have editorial control and freedom. They will be treated as media. Video on demand.

12:54 PM - Q&A
How is your Communications/PR approach different? We take more hits. If everyone feels more confident about Barnett Shale, we all win.

When was announced quote may have been heard as demeaning to PR? Not demeaning to PR. News team took it personally. Do understand difference between corporate advocacy and mainstream journalism. Media is changing. We are doing an experiment and see how it goes.

Is Chesapeake going to get into retail? No. But advocating tax incentives to make it easier on consumers (vehicles and sellers)

Evaluating effectiveness of various campaigns? surveying, do not count column inches or tv time...measured in leases and drilling sites.

Energy Education Council vs. Chesapeake advertising/PR? - Chesapeake is part of the council, but council not as quickly funded. Two are not mutually exclusive and hopefully Chesapeake can help their efforts.

Does someone monitor blogs, message boards, social media etc.? Yes we monitor using agencies and internal team. How much are these blogs really an issue? According to our research, a small number of blogs have an impact on our campaigns. Not really a factor.



My commentary: I thought Julie did a good job of addressing a mostly positive audience to her. Her answers were thoughtful and polished since the questions (submitted ahead of time) addressed some issues I am sure she is accustomed to answering.


  1. Thanks for putting this together Richie. For those of us that couldn't make it, it was a nice wrap-up.

  2. Thanks, Richie, for live blogging. This is awesome!

    I want to give kudos to Julie for being transparent. She gave the good, the bad and the ugly, touching on Chesapeake's detractors as well.

  3. They monitor blogs, alright. We've had people post comments posing as local Fort Worth business owners supporting urban gas drilling, only to find that their IP addresses come from Chesapeake servers.

  4. Andra Bennett, APROctober 8, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Just a clarification -- only a few questions were submitted ahead of time, just to kick off Q&A. Most of the questions came from the floor via notecards. Thanks!

  5. This is so cool! I am so proud of Richie for doing this and so happy for our chapter. Another first for GFW PRSA!

  6. @Terry @Linda @Andra and @Laura, Thanks for the encouraging comments. This might become an ongoing feature for the chapter blog.

    @Kevin - interesting statement. Are you referring to your blog?

    Some final thoughts: Live blogging is not as easy as it looks.

  7. Yes, would love to see "live blogging" continue for all of our meetings!