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Case Study

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Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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  • 1. ExxonMobil
    • Challenge: How best to get out ExxonMobil’s position on key energy policy issues without the filter of editorial boards and in an authentic, believable way
    • Solution: Use the Web channel to speak more directly – and in new ways – to key audiences
  • 2. First, Change the Way We Talk APCO re-wrote all the issue/policy content, changing tone and voice
  • 3. Second, Push Out Our Message Using RSS and other feeds to push key facts and content out into the debate
  • 4. Third, Open New Channels -- Blogs Identifying and engaging the most authoritative and credible voices online: scientists, legal experts, advocates, economists, and journalists – many of which are critics
  • 5. Third, Open New Channels -- Blogs A strange thing happened to me last Friday: I participated in a conference call that put humble bloggers like yours truly in a conversation with Ken Cohen, the Vice President of Public Affairs for ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded corporation in the world. Consider this quote: “We believe climate change is a serious issue and that action must be taken.” Last year, that might have been said by an environmentalist in testimony before Congress — or maybe not, because discussion of the issue in Congress was controlled by Republicans who were more interested in what ExxonMobil had to say on climate change. But those words were actually spoken today by Ken Cohen, ExxonMobil’s vice president for public affairs. Exxon is a company run by good business economists.  They are unapologetic about their stance that profits matter and markets work.  I applaud them for that.  They are also realistic enough to know that perceptions matter.  With the obvious writing on the wall that climate policy is coming, they have clearly made the decision that being in on the conversation is better than being the whipping post. 
  • 6. Fourth, Assert Our Voice in a New Way – “Forward-Blogging”
    • Example: Energy Technology Group Blog
      • Shares information about technological advances made by ExxonMobil scientists and explains why those advances are relevant
      • Targets opinion elites, industry analysts, stakeholders on new energy technology
      • Features upstream and downstream ExxonMobil scientists; someone who can comment on the technology’s relevance from a business/market perspective
      • Significant portion of content is created and driven by ExxonMobil; a smaller portion may be a reaction to other technology news or developments on energy technology
        • APCO screens news from outside sources that merits reaction
        • Can showcase op-eds and events produced through other activities
      • Look for ways to deliver content in a variety of formats, including web text, video, audio, animation (as it exists)
  • 7. Fifth, Manage the Conversation We are being asked to help track and manage the conversation online as it evolves, particularly in Web 2.0 community sites

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