Posted By Andre Williams
SecretaryEver hear that phrase? And the “someone” they’re referring to usually constitutes a cute secretary with a high school diploma, or general studies degree if they’re lucky, whose public relations specialty is redirecting phone calls to voicemail and faxing press releases written by the HR Director.
Lately we’ve been pitching campaigns to energy companies who we believe are in desperate need of strategic public relations efforts. In doing so, we are discovering that many of our prospects in the energy industry either: A-Don’t fully understand public relations, or B-Don’t really respect its relevance to their existence. Many of the managers we speak to say, “We aren’t large enough to pay someone to do that PR stuff.” 
To me, it is inconceivable how any company in America can have an operating budget over $1billon and not have anyone directly responsible for implementing long-term, strategic public relations or corporate communications functions. But this is exactly why "Big Oil" has earned the negative perception it carries in the energy industry. For years they have conducted business within the realms of a “Good Ole' Boy” club that has operated under its own rules with no real respect for the corporate social responsibilities attributed to their business environment. Public relations has been nothing more than writing a check to pay for the koozies (foam holders used to keep beer cold) for the local fishing tournament. 
So if you’re happy with your image, just tell Susie the secretary to keep the koozies coming!

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