OLD Media Moves

Exxon Mobil to boost its PR spending

February 8, 2006

Or maybe the headline should read “Exxon Mobil to boost its PR spinning,” according to a recent article in PR Week that was critiqued by The Weekly Spin.

The Weekly Spin writes, “After enjoying the largest profits of any company, ever, in 2005, Exxon Mobil has the resources — and the need — for expanded PR. The new campaign will ‘educate consumers and media about the inner workings of the oil industry, and the costs of producing, shipping, and refining crude,’ reports PR Week.

“It will include ‘PR, advertising, and media tours,’ as well as opinion pieces and meetings with editorial boards, including with regional and local media. Exxon will also give its ‘Energy Outlook’ talk ‘at college campuses, high schools, and to academics.’ According to PR Week, ‘while Exxon works with a number of PR firms, including Weber Shandwick,’ the new campaign is ‘entirely in-house.’ After earning a record-breaking $36.1 billion last year, Exxon wants to avoid backlash from consumers angry about high gas prices and weaken
support for the Windfall Profits Tax proposals before Congress.”

My interpretation: Exxon Mobil doesn’t like being portrayed in the media as a money-sucking profit-oriented company, which is how it has been viewed in recent earnings coverage. This sounds like a company afraid of the truth.

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