Ward to the Wise

Make a Successful Launch into the Oil & Gas Industry Media


When you’re the “new guy” in the immense oil and gas industry, attracting media attention and drumming up message frequency can seem daunting. A dizzying array of energy technology and downhole achievements compete for media attention every day. To launch effectively, take heed of four simple tips to get the attention of industry reporters under tight deadlines.

Get organized.

Be strategic. Create a launch plan at least 4-6 weeks in advance of breaking news. Make a list of pre-announcement activities and assign internal timelines and accountabilities to meet them. Include items such as release writing and approvals; media training, research on reporters covering news and topics specific to your area of the oil and gas industry; and media pitch angles and Q&A development. Improper planning will show up on announcement day when your leadership team and investors are ready for results, not excuses.

Stay on top of trends.

Incorporate within your launch’s storytelling process a relevant oil and gas industry trend or economic situation your news addresses. Determine what your news means to the target audience and back up the stated demand for your support, solution or technology with timely statistics and data points. Help oil and gas media understand why their audience will want to read about your news and prioritize it over other less-impactful announcements. And, make sure you know what your target reporters have written in the past few months, and engage them as an individual, not a mass mailing.

Train your spokesperson.

Oil and gas media like to talk to smart people who are quotable. The CEO or subject matter experts are great choices, if they understand the basics of news and can get themselves quoted. Ensure your spokesperson is available on launch day for interviews, train them to deliver the story in bite-sized quotes, and collectively review your Q&A to address any potential issues. Offering well-informed sources fosters meaningful and long-lasting relationships with the media who influence energy industry decision makers.

Be nimble.

Once your news is finally out and you’ve gotten a reporter’s attention, be responsive. Ask about and respect deadlines. If you can’t meet their deadlines, then politely decline the interview opportunity by saying time or availability is the issue, rather than an unwillingness to speak. Apologize and ask how you can be helpful in the future as they track and cover the topic or issue, and then make sure you come through. They’ll remember it and be more likely to call you the next time they need help on a story.

Keep these tips in mind as you develop your oil and gas public relations launch and begin to build relationships with reporters in your niche. If you’re prepared and professional in your delivery, provide timely story leads and move quickly, reporters will start to know your name and be more willing to listen when you reach out to them. In fact, as long-time Ward clients can attest, as a smart, proactive media relations program matures post-launch, you’ll likely find them reaching out to you whenever something comes up relevant to your industry.

If you’re looking to launch into the energy industry and would like to cause communication with reporters who influence your key audiences, but aren’t sure how or simply don’t have the resources internally, contact us and let the Ward oil and gas public relations team get the results you seek.

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