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September 29, 2011
Feeling Fretful Over Fracking? So Is the Oil and Gas Industry
Here's a public-spirited PR challenge. Once you have a notion of how it can be done, pick up the phone to the American Business Conference in Washington and offer to help quell the negativity around the term "fracking," as in the hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to access oil and natural gas reserves. The ABC is organizing a conference in Houston for that very purpose, to make "fracking" a friendlier term.

Can't be done, you say? You may well be right. But the hydraulic fracturing of rock is a technique that's been in use for over 60 years and is vital for capitalizing on the nation's oil and gas reserves. How those industries ever let the term "fracking" be uttered, much less gain wide currency as a nickname for their pursuits, is doubtless on the dark side of folklore. About the only way to try to domesticate hydrofracting is to conduct every such operation as impeccably as possible. And let's hope that's already the norm.

Still, there may be a crisis communication opportunity here. If you have a notion about what might help, call the ABC in Washington — 202-822-9300.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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