PSYOPS

In late 2011, Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project paid for me to attend an industry conference for communication executives, Media & Stakeholder Relations Hydraulic Fracturing Relations Initiative 2011.

I am not a good note-taker, not a morning person and I had not slept well the night before so I decided to tape the early morning presentations. After the first session, I ran out and got more batteries for my recorder because the revelations were so alarming.

They are calling it a war. They use the US Army/Mariene Corp Insurgency Manual against us because we are considered “insurgents.” They employ ex military PSYOPS personnel in our neighborhoods. They track us and map our relationships. I have blogged about this extensively and there was some media coverage but not nearly enough.

Here is where I will lay it all out for you. This is a work in progress.

MEDIA COVERAGE: A partial list of media coverage and blog posts:

Oil Executive: Military-Style ‘Psy Ops’ Experience Applied
Oil and gas industry using military psyops tactics to break ‘insurgency’ against fracking
A response to an industry caught with their pants down.
On psychological operations: what it means that the fracking industry is using military tactics in communities
PSYOPS: Range Resources official statement changes twice
Fracking season is upon us. Have you been inoculated?
Into hostile territory - most thorough reporting
Mind games in the Barnett Shale
In Their Own Words: fracking biocides are just bleach
In Their Own Words – the fracking chapstick edition
Fracking and Psychological Operations: Empire Comes Home
Are you in the Big Gas Mafia’s PSYOP database?
Total Surveillance

More revelations from the fracking psyops conference mentioned in Gasland II

PRESENTATIONS:

DESIGNING A COMPREHENSIVE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING MEDIA RELATIONS STRATEGY
DESIGNING A MEDIA RELATIONS STRATEGY
9.00 Understanding How Unconventional Oil & Gas Operators Are Developing A Comprehensive Media Relations Strategy To Engage Stakeholders and Educate The Public

  • Strategies for effectively reaching mainstream media to promote a company message to a wider target audience and drive education
  • Breaking down the barriers to win over and leverage a hostile and agenda-driven media, promote a positive industry image and combat misinformation
  • Understanding how to promote the larger economic and global implications of unconventional oil & gas production to develop the argument from a local environmental discussion
  • Developing the ability to access technical and regulatory data rapidly, condense and simplify it, to counter negative press quickly, accurately and confidently

Michael Kehs, VP of Strategic Affairs and Public Relations, Chesapeake EnergyPresentation - LISTEN

Michael Kehs – Inoculate reporters early sound biteLISTEN  (Have you been inoculated?)

Michael Kehs – Strong activist insurgency sound biteLISTEN

Matt Carmichael, Manager of External Affairs, Anadarko PetroleumPresentation  - LISTEN

Matt Carmichael sound bite – download the insurgency manual – LISTEN

Note: Chris Tucker, Energy In Depth tried to spin those comments by claiming they were meant as a joke, despite all evidence to the contrary. Carmichael is aformer senior communications guy for KBR, which was a subsidiary of war contractor Halliburton. Source

Dennis Holbrook, EVP of Regulatory and Public Relations, Norse Energy  - Presentation - LISTEN

9.45 Extended Question & Answer Session – LISTEN

 HYDRAULIC FRACTURING MEDIA RELATIONS CASE STUDY

10.00 Designing A Media Relations Strategy To Overcome Concerns Surrounding Hydraulic Fracturing

  • Evaluating the most effective techniques for debunking common misconceptions of the hydraulic fracturing process to overcome stakeholder concerns
  • Understanding the need for being less withholding and more transparent to truly engage and educate a misinformed media
  • Sharing successful techniques in developing key messages ahead of time to be able to be able to proactively and rapidly combat negative press
  • Understanding how to cultivate pitches and hooks that will appeal to mainstream media to promote a positive and accurate industry message

Matt Pitzarella, Director of Corporate Comms and Public Affairs, Range ResourcesPresentation - LISTEN

Matt Pitzarella sound bite- “We have several former PSYOPS folks that work for us at Range .. but very much having that understanding of psy ops in the Army and in the Middle East has applied very helpfully here for us in the in Pennsylvania ”- LISTEN

10.30 Question & Answer Session – LISTEN

10.40 Morning Refreshments Served In Exhibition Showcase Area (This is when I ran out and stocked up on batteries for my recorder.)

11.10 Influencing And Persuading Public Opinion With Emotion:
What The Industry Needs To Change The Game, Conversation, And Perception

  • Measuring public opinion and identifying flash points to gain an upper hand
  • Understanding how activists use emotion against the industry and explaining how industry can do the same
  • Explaining how to turn the tables by taking a page out of opponent’s playbooks and putting their techniques to work for industry
  • Six ‘outside the box’ recommendations that the industry can implement to turn the tide of public opinion

Greg Matusky, President, Gregory FCA – PresentationLISTEN

11.25 Question & Answer Session

LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA AS A COMMUNICATION TOOL FOR EDUCATING AND ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS TO COUNTER MYTHS SURROUNDING UNCONVENTIONAL OIL & GAS PRODUCTION

HARNESSING SOCIAL MEDIA

11.30 Understanding How Social Media Can Be Utilized Effectively By Unconventional Oil & Gas Companies To Engage Stakeholders And Drive Public Education

  • Explaining the development and growth of a successful social media programme to provide a framework for effective social media engagement
  • The Social Media Toolbox: Gaining followers, reaching your audience, engaging authentically and educating effectively across multiple platforms
  • Using Twitter: 140 characters and a #hashtag to broadcast a focused content-rich message
  • Developing strategies to utilize social media as an engagement rather than broadcast tool to educate and inform stakeholders and bypass conventional media
  • Developing strategies in using social media as an effective consultation tool to develop positive community relations online

Blake Jackson, Social Media Coordinator, Chesapeake Energy – PresentationLISTEN

Anne Hedrich, Manager, E-Communications, Apache Corporation – PresentationLISTEN

Nicole Nascenzi, Corporate Communications Specialist, Williams – PresentationLISTEN

12.10 Question & Answer Session – LISTEN

BRAND PROTECTION ONLINE

12.20 How To Protect An Unconventional Oil & Gas Brand Online And Mitigate The Threat Of A Negative Social Media Campaign To Minimize The Potential For Brand Damage

  • Evaluating the most effective tools and techniques to monitor how a company is discussed online to monitor public perception and quell unfounded criticism
  • Understanding the pitfalls of being unprepared and how monitoring new media can be used to develop robust action plans for public relations strategy
  • Explaining the most effective monitoring tools that are available to successfully monitor online chatter about industry-specific issues
  • Understanding how effective engagement on social media can actually help recognize & address potential new issues to drive a proactive relations strategy

Nicole Nascenzi, Corporate Communications Specialist, Williams – PresentationLISTEN

12.50 Question & Answer Session

1:00- 2.00 Networking Lunch Served In Exhibition Showcase Area

A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE FROM SPILMAN, THOMAS & BATTLE, PLLC

2.00 Coordinating Reactions To A Crisis: Conversations About Strategy Among A Company’s Legal And Media Teams

  • Examining how a team of legal and communications professionals can discuss crisis response strategies and tactics to find solutions to a hypothetical crisis
  • Evaluating these solutions and strategies to satisfy both communication and legal requirements

Session Chair: Ron Schuler,Member,Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC – LISTEN

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING SOCIAL MEDIA CASE STUDY

2.30 Providing A Case Study On How Social Media Can Be Used to Positively Influence The Public And Inform The Debate On Hydraulic Fracturing

  • Explaining the most successful techniques for gaining a following on social media platforms and starting an online dialogue to reach a larger audience
  • Developing strategies to best respond online to negative press & mis-information in mass media, quickly and accurately to better educate  and inform the public
  • Understanding the obstacles to a successful programme to understand how to truly engage and  develop a more balanced online industry presence
  • Discussing the best practices to activate stakeholders to become industry advocates on issues affecting operating communities to drive support

Blake Jackson, Social Media Coordinator, Chesapeake Energy – Presentation – LISTEN

3.00 Question & Answer Session

3.10 Afternoon Refreshments Served In Exhibition Showcase Area

ENGAGING COMMUNITIES: STRATEGIES FOR GAINING TRUST IN COMMUNITIES PROXIMAL TO HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATIONS & TRANSLATING GRASS ROOTS SUPPORT INTO WIDER PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE

3.40 Waking The Silent Majority: Evaluating How To Practically Transpose Grass Roots Industry Support Into Stakeholder Advocacy To Drive Public Acceptance Of Unconventional Oil & Gas Projects

  • Discussing the most effective techniques to incentivize stakeholders to become industry advocates in the community and in the broader arena
  • Evaluating the most effective way of taking the groundswell of support from industry benefactors to influence the media and subsequently the public
  • Understanding the different techniques for proactive engagement with a wide range of stakeholders from families to elected officials to drive successful communication at all levels
  • Refining the process for targeting the most successful forums for direct engagement of key stakeholders and communicators within communities

Kevin West, Managing Director of External Affairs, EQT Corporation

  • Evaluting the story unconventional oil and gas operators have to tell to engage stakeholders and develop relationships with communities
  • Explaining how to best use facts and a compelling message to change the debate from ‘danger’ to ‘opportunity’
  • Understanding the need to act fast, and act now to deliver the correct message

John Davies, Founder & CEO, Davies

4.30 Shared Question & Answer Session

BUILDING COMMUNITY RELATIONS

4.40 Identifying Successful Strategies For Gaining Trust in Communities Where Hydraulic Fracturing is Occurring To Become Better Corporate Citizens

  • Successful strategies for building grass-roots community support that can be transposed to high-density communities in new operational areas to minimize community uprising
  • Understanding the wide range of community concerns from water and air quality issues to potential socio-economic impacts to proactively dispel myths and reassure communities
  • Taking lessons learned from more developed plays to transfer experiences, avoid pitfalls and educate communities on the economic benefits of industry operations
  • Setting new standards for how unconventional oil & gas companies can responsibly co-exist with communities throughout the life of a project

Doug Hock, Director of Public & Community Affairs, Encana Oil & Gas

Aaron Goldwater, CEO, Jurat Software – presentation  - LISTEN

5.30 Shared Question & Answer Session

5.45 Chair’s Closing Remarks & End Of Day 1

6.00 – 7.00 Evening Cocktail Reception Served In Exhibition Showcase Area 

DAY 2: UNDERSTANDING THE LATEST STRATEGIES FOR EDUCATING NGOs, REGULATORS AND EMPLOYEES ON THE KEY ISSUES SURROUNDING UNCONVENTIONAL OIL & GAS PRODUCTION AND CREATING A COMPREHENSIVE CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

Chair: Mike Basile, Managing Member, Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC

08.15 Registration & Refreshments Served In Exhibition Showcase Area

08.50 Chair’s Opening Remarks

WORKING TOGETHER AS AN INDUSTRY: DEVELOPING INDUSTRY-WIDE INITIATIVES TO PUT UP A UNITED FRONT AND PROVIDE A CLEAR AND UNIFIED MESSAGE TO ENGAGE ORGANIZED NGOs AND ADVANCE THE INDUSTRY’S POSITION IN A HOSTILE MEDIA ENVIRONMENT

UNITED FRONT

09.00 Understanding How Individual Unconventional Oil & Gas Operators Can Work Together To Create A United Industry Front To Engage Stakeholders On The Issues Surrounding Hydraulic Fracturing

  • Understanding how the whole industry is stigmatized and using the lack of differentiation between operators to the industry’s advantage to cultivate powerful public relations
  • Evaluating how to best work together to advance the industry’s position without compromising the competitive nature of company operations
  • Reading From The Same Playbook: How what one company says can be attributed to the whole industry, and the ways to leverage that to promote a consistent message
  • Sharing the most effective tools and strategies to moderate environmental concerns over the hydraulic fracturing process and educate stakeholders on the substantial benefits of oil and gas production.

Lynn Seay, Director of Media Relations, CONSOL Energy
Jeff Eshelman, VP of Public Affairs and Communications, Independent Petroleum Association of America
Daniel Whitten, VP of Strategic Communications, America’s Natural Gas Alliance

09.45 Extended Question & Answer Session

EMPLOYEE ADVOCACY: DEVELOPING STRATEGIES TO EDUCATE EMPLOYEES AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO BE BRAND AMBASSADORS TO RESONATE A PROUD AND POSITIVE COMPANY IMAGE

EMPLOYEE EDUCATION

10.00 Educating Employees On Key Issues To Encourage Advocacy And Brand Management Within An Unconventional Oil & Gas Company

  • Discussing the most efficient way to proactively educate employees on the key issues affecting the industry to make them more effectual communicators
  • Understanding how to best mobilize employees to feel comfortable engaging within communities to promote a proud and positive company image
  • Brand Ambassadors: How to effectively incentivize and embed a sense of brand awareness in employees to safely promote employee advocacy
  • Understanding the best ways to use internal communications to educate employees and maintain a consistent corporate message

Tara Anderson, Director for External Mobilization, American Petroleum Institute

10.30 Question & Answer Session

10.40 Morning Refreshments Served In Exhibition Showcase Area

ENGAGING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL NGOs: UNDERSTANDING NGO’s STRATEGIES AND DISCUSSING BEST PRACTICE TO PRODUCTIVELY COMBAT NGOs ACROSS MEDIA PLATFORMS

STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH NGOs

11.10 Evaluating The Influence Of NGOs And Outlining The Most Productive Strategies For Dealing With Them

  • Examining the power and scope of environmental NGOs and understanding their strategies to develop proactive counter-strategies to combat their influence
  • Determining cogent approaches for dealing with extremist organizations and understanding the effectiveness of their position within mass media
  • Understanding how to take the emotion out of the debate and strive for a factual discussion on the larger topics associated with unconventional oil & gas production
  • Understanding how to position a message to come across as progressive and proactive rather than defensive and reactionary to redress the discussion

Chris Tucker, Spokesperson, Energy In Depth

11.40 Question & Answer Session

PROACTIVELY ENGAGING NGOs AND INDUSTRY DETRACTORS

11.50 Discussing How The Dialogue Can Be Adjusted From A Defensive To A More Proactive Approach When Debating The Industry Case

  • Evaluating the role of associations in fighting the industry’s case, and providing a case study of The Blueprint of Western Energy Prosperity
  • Understanding the most effective ways to promote the demand for natural gas as a clean affordable, abundant national fuel source to strive for energy independence
  • Explaining how the industry can proactively generate positive media coverage as appose to reacting to NGO and industry detractor generated stories
  • Developing strategies for improving productive communication with NGOs to drive a more balanced conversation in the media

Jon Haubert, Manager of Communications, Western Energy Alliance

Mike Garrison,Member, Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC

12.40 Shared Question & Answer Session

12.50 – 1.50 Networking Lunch Served In Exhibition Showcase Area

UNDERSTANDING THE PERSPECTIVE OF MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERS: HEARING THE VIEWPOINT OF THE MEDIA, COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES AND NGOs ON THE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING DISCUSSION TO BETTER UNDERSTAND CONCERNS AND CULTIVATE A MORE PRODUCTIVE, FACTUAL CONVERSATION

MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PANEL: THE INDUSTRY OUTSIDER VIEWPOINT

1.50 Hearing From Key Media Representatives, NGO’s And Community Stakeholders To Better Understand Concerns And Drive An Informed And Factual Discourse

  • Understanding the key concerns and views of community representatives to drive more proactive and transparent education and alleviate concerns
  • Examining the debate from the media perspective to better understand how unconventional oil & gas operators can better converse and build relations with media professionals and journalists
  • Engaging with an NGO representative to better understand their viewpoint and evaluate the most effective techniques for cultivating a more constructive and transparent relationship
  • Evaluating the most effective strategies for constructive non-divisive rhetoric between multiple stakeholders to develop stronger relationships with key figures in the hydraulic fracturing debate

Mark Riley, County Judge, Parker County, Texas
Scott Anderson, Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Defense Fund
Loren Steffy, Business Columnist, Houston Chronicle

2.20 Question & Answer Session

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS & SHALE: DEVELOPING ROBUST CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS PLANS AND MANAGING THEM ACROSS NEW MEDIA PLATFORMS TO RESPOND QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY AND MINIMIZE NEGATIVE PRESS

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY PANEL

2.30 Developing A Comprehensive Crisis Communications Strategy Specific To Unconventional Oil & Gas To Respond And Drive Quick Resolution

  • Anticipating the wide range of potential crises an unconventional oil & gas company could face to develop strategies to respond quickly and effectively
  • Developing the capability to provide accurate information to a dynamic media immediately and with confidence to promote the image of industry competence
  • Proactively planning for the next potential public relations crisis by promoting erudition of technological innovations to develop action plans for future issues
  • Evaluating internal crisis response plans for dealing with weather events and their potential to bring down communication lines to drive business continuity

Doug Hock, Director of Public & Community Affairs, Encana Oil & Gas Matt Pitzarella, Director of Corporate Comms and Public Affairs, Range Resources

Moderator Michael J. Basile sound bite: How can we lower the bar of the public’s expectations associated with the reality of mistakes   LISTEN

3.00 Afternoon Refreshments Served In Exhibition Showcase Area

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS IN NEW MEDIA

3.30 Understanding The Best Methods For Using The Internet And Social Media As Part Of An Effective Crisis Communications Strategy

  • Evaluating how new media can be used to get ahead of a story and develop immediate proactive responses to minimize and spin negative press
  • Understanding the importance of an online presence for brand protection and analyzing the pitfalls to avoid repeating new media mistakes
  • Evaluating the lessons learned from crisis communications online to learn the positives that can be drawn from engaging online
  • Understanding how to successfully monitor new media platforms to pre-empt potential issues and decrease lead times in media response

Linda Rozett, VP of Communications, American Petroleum Institute

4.00 Question & Answer Session

ENGAGING WITH REGULATORS & REGULATION: INFLUENCING REGULATORS & COMMUNICATING REGULATIONS SUCCINCTLY TO THE PUBLIC

REGULATORY AFFAIRS

4.10 Understanding The Most Effective Ways To Stay Current With Regulations And Framing Them In A Way To Relay To The Public

  • Evaluating the most cogent techniques for sourcing the myriad of environmental regulations to reduce lead time in response to media and public questions
  • Understanding how to boil down highly technical regulatory information into a concise yet informative format to make regulatory data amenable to a public audience
  • Repackaging scientific language and regulations into a succinct, understandable format to the lay person and deliver key messages most effectively
  • Understanding how to stay current with new and upcoming regulations as a communication professional to drive proactive public relations

Brad Miller, General Manager of Regulatory Affairs, Anadarko Petroleum presentation LISTEN

Tell them biocides are bleach sound bite LISTEN

Hydraulic fracturing – We talk about biocides. Wow, that’s a big word. That’s bleach. So we’ve got to start talking bleach. . . So we need to kind of bring what we put in there down to where people can understand.

Tell them polyacrylamides are ChapStick sound bite LISTEN

 —polyacrylamides—Ah, people get really worried when you talk about putting polyacrylamide in frack that they’re gonna pump down a well. What is that? It’s chap stick – so take your stick of chap stick when somebody talks about polyacrylamides. .So we need to kind of bring what we put in there down to where people can understand.

Tell them surfactants are Dove Soap sound bite LISTEN

Surfactants? It’s Dove Soap.

4.40 Question & Answer Session

4.50 Chair’s Closing Remarks And End Of Conference