Case Study: Oil and Water: An Integrated Campaign Turns a Slippery Controversy Into a Two-Way Conversation

Company: ConocoPhillips

Agency: Fleishman-Hillard

Timeframe: 2006-2007

Within the last 10 years, skyrocketing gas prices coupled with a climate in crisis have caused a precipitous drop in national consumer confidence toward the oil and natural gas industry. From 1998 to 2005, that favorability quotient dropped 20 points and was deemed to be even lower than the tobacco industry--not a positive feat to brag about.

By 2006, as consumers began pressuring Congress to enact laws that could hurt the industry's ability to deliver energy supply, it became increasingly clear to energy giant ConocoPhillips that the American public wanted to be involved in the energy conversation. Thus, the company sought to develop and implement a communications effort that would create a dialogue with civilians about the energy challenges facing America. The result was a "Conversation on Energy" (COE)--an integrated campaign featuring a nationwide community meetings tour of 33 small and midsize markets, complemented by media relations, advertising, digital communications, community relations and leadership platforms.

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