Bridging the Communication Gap: Pioneering Sustainability in Oil and Gas Narratives
As the world navigates pressing climate concerns, the presence of COP28 in the UAE this year has undeniably shifted the spotlight onto sustainability, giving the dialogue on sustainability across the MENA region an unprecedented impetus.
An audit by Egypt-based PR firm Vantage Communications of media reporting on oil and gas companies in the MENA region has revealed the substantial role that sustainability plays in coverage of the sector while uncovering a need for effective communications strategies highlighting sustainability efforts.
Auditing the media stories on five leading multinational oil and gas corporations operating in MENA with a focus on Egypt, has revealed an intriguing facet of the coverage received by these industry giants.
In 2023 to date, stories related to sustainability, including renewable energy initiatives, decarbonization efforts, and environmental measures, accounted for an average of 20% of all stories about oil and gas companies, with the low end being 14% and the high end at 23%.
Delving deeper into the audit findings, despite the heightened focus on sustainability the sector is still grappling with balancing positive narratives within this sphere – nearly 50% of related stories lacked positive tonality.
Nazly Shamel, Founder and Managing Director of Vantage Communications said: “An average 20% of media coverage focused on sustainability is a giant leap that would have been unconceivable only a few years ago.
"The gap lies not in these companies’ commitment to sustainability and energy transition, but in their ability to communicate their efforts effectively.
“Oil and gas companies wield immense power to drive meaningful change, at Vantage Communications we advocate for a strategic paradigm shift urging corporations to take the reins of their narrative.
"An annual sustainability communications blueprint is imperative, while aligning their initiatives with diverse community support programs.
"By spotlighting their contributions to sustainable practices and showcasing community-centric endeavors, these companies can assertively influence the narrative, fostering a more positive public perception."
As the world marches towards a more sustainable future, the onus lies on oil and gas corporations to bridge this communication chasm. By harmonizing their sustainability endeavors with a proactive and positive communication approach, these entities can lead the charge towards a more eco-conscious and responsible energy landscape.
Vantage Communication’s audit encapsulated sustainability as a key theme, but has also unveiled the varied spectrum of coverage, including investment, exploration, stakeholder engagement, and community initiatives.