Context Magazine recently published an article discussing the ways in which proponents of Canada’s oil and gas industry can become more actively engaged in supporting the industry through quality public discourse.
Justin Reti of Cenovus Energy says that proponents find themselves supporting an industry that many people love to hate – leading them to refrain from publicly declaring their support. However, companies such as Cenovus are trying to change that by placing focus on fostering “positive energy conversations”. The company has developed initiatives that encourage employees to engage in conversations with friends, family, and neighbors in order to alleviate the anxieties that many have about the industry. By providing an opportunity to have open, honest conversations about energy issues with those they trust, these individuals can go on to engage in conversations with others, which could ultimately result in a shift in the public discourse surrounding Canada’s energy.
Importantly, this shift must begin with those within the industry itself. Increasing the level of engagement between employees in the industry and those close to them can help mobilize Canadians to actively support the industry as the conversation grows. Deryck Spooner of the American Petrolean Institute (API), says that “a personal conversation will always trump a piece of mail, and information from a friend or leader will always trump information from a stranger.”
Finding ways to foster “balanced, honest, solutions-oriented conversations” is an important goal for those in Canada’s oil and gas sector, and is crucial for combating the misinformation and negative perceptions that often accompany the public discourse surrounding the industry.
How engaged are you? Take the quiz at the end of the article to measure your own engagement in energy conversations – both the article and quiz can be found here.