A Cancelled Experiment

The natural gas online education program channel, Shale.TV has been canceled before their first show. Chesapeake Energy, citing “economic challenges” faced by the country and the industry, announced the move to abandon its online media venture.

GFW PRSA recently had Chesapeake’s VP, corporate development, Barnett Shale Division, come speak to the chapter about some of the company’s communications/PR tactics. She provided some excellent insights based on a wealth of experience and knowledge to listeners.

I was very interested in the Shale.TV information she touched on during th Q&A:

Q – When Shale.tv was announced, your quote may have been heard as demeaning to PR?
A – It was not meant to be demeaning to PR. I think news teams took it personally. I do think it is important to understand difference between corporate advocacy and mainstream journalism. Media is changing. We are doing an experiment and we’ll see how it goes.

Unfortunately, we won’t get to see how that experiment goes. I was very interested in how this corporate advocacy channel would do for their audience. I was looking forward to hearing about the successes and/or failures of the venture that brought in some recognizable media talent. This looked like an interesting PR challenge for the company.

I will give credit to Chesapeake for the Shale.TV idea. So what if it ruffled some feathers of some media friends. (It was probably more problematic to Chesapeake to have the local community up in arms.)  It would have been interesting to see what kind of measurable impact this experimental venture could have produced for the company.

We all know media is in a state of flux as is the PR industry. With so many tools and tricks to figure out and try, I think more experimentation with creative and unique ideas will only help us be that much more effective for our companies, organizations, and clients.
(photo credit: confusedvision)

Live Blogging PRSA Chapter Experiment

We have another excellent program planned today for the Greater Fort Worth PRSA chapter luncheon:

“There’s not only Natural Gas, but PR, in the Barnett Shale”
Presented by: Julie Wilson, APR, past president of the Greater Fort Worth Chapter PRSA, and vice president, corporate development, Barnett Shale Division, Chesapeake Energy Corporation

To say that Chesapeake’s public relations activities and some of Julie’s remarks have generated publicity, conversation and even some controversy, is like saying that Ike was a pretty good Texas thunderstorm. When the objectivity of Chesapeake’s new venture, Shale.TV, was questioned, Julie responded, “If we need to be a leader in brand-new media sources, we think that’s great. We’re willing to take the skepticism or criticism because we think time will prove this out. And we’re patient.”

Julie has graciously agreed to share her tactics and views with us and she’ll respond to questions during the luncheon.

And Now for Something a Little Different

As a service to our members and the interested community, I will attempt to conduct a live blogging stream in the next post for those that wish to follow along or those that cannot make the luncheon. My hope is that we can share with you some of the tacticts, strategies, and questions and answers that will no doubt be of interest to a large number of people. We’ll try this experiment and see if this is something we’d like to continue to provide for future programs.