It is no secret that some people still criticise the oil and gas industry. There are environmentalists claiming that the industry’s stakeholders cannot protect the environment as well as community groups whining that oil and gas activities (such as exploration) contribute little or nothing to mankind.
The industry is still relatively new in East Africa. Consequently, many people are still ignorant of the industry’s benefits to the society.
The oil and gas industry has been depicted as negative, and this perception is common among the people. That is dangerous.
Because it will affect the ability of oil companies to hire and retain the best talents that will develop the localised oil industry. This perception is a threat to oil companies and their reputation, and will affect their day-to-day activities.
Most importantly, it will ruin the image of the companies in the stakeholders’ mind. These stakeholders include: investors, government bodies, suppliers and shareholders.
However, public relations can be a powerful tool to enhance the oil companies’ image, strengthen the relationship with stakeholders and improve the reputation of oil and gas companies.
For example, take a press release that tells a powerful story about your company’s operations, your corporate social responsibility programme.
With public relations specialists or agencies that have a strong relationship with editors and journalists, and connection with publications and media outlets in Tanzania and East Africa, your company’s message will get the maximum exposure it deserves.
Your message will reach more audience, raise your brand awareness and create a positive company image with stakeholders.
Here are the benefits of adopting public relations and marketing communications program.
Shortage of skilled personnel is one of the challenges in the developing oil and gas industry.
“So many young people nowadays don’t want to come to work in our industry. The oil and gas industry is an industry of engineering and project management. What happens if there are no competent project managers and engineers to hire? It’s going to hurt the stakeholders in the industry,” says Mark LaCour, Director, Modal Point.
The popular and growing belief among young people is that the industry has no or gloomy future.
Public relations and marketing communications program can inform the young generation that your company is one of the best places to develop their career and, by extension, make a difference in the society. This will help oil and gas companies hired talented young minds.
Public relations also improves your relationship with stakeholders such as investors, regulators, shareholders and suppliers. For example, with the help of public relations specialists or agencies, your organization can produce a special report which highlights giant strides your company has made; say, for instance, how you meet the local content requirements in a region with no skilled labor. The PR agencies will distribute that report to the major industry events in East Africa and beyond. So, your message remains visible long after issuing the report. It will reach many investors and other stakeholders which wilk continue to raise awareness for your company. It will build relationships for you because the potential investors or stakeholders are have read how your organization handles risk and challenges, and the giant strides you have made despite the challenges.
3.Enhanced Trust and Credibility
PR improves the reputation of your company, and reputation is one of the major reasons people patronize businesses. When you tell stories about your company’s operations and activities, you raise customers’ trust and that of suppliers who would like to or who work with your company, because they understand your operations and activities.
4. Increase Brand Value
Public relations also help create brand awareness and maintain company’s image
Public relations is more than just publicity. It creates a perception that stakeholders should and would have about your company.