The oil and gas industry’s national awareness campaign was launched yesterday, with a warning to leaders that the sector could no longer run the risk of “staying in the shadows”.
One of the UK’s few growth areas, the sector is widely seen as not receiving a high level of public recognition.
Keynote speakers at the Energising the Nation’s Future campaign launch in Aberdeen spoke of the need to “proudly” open the industry to the media and highlight its successes.
Malcolm Webb, chief executive of trade body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), which is leading the initiative, said: “The oil and gas sector is the single largest industrial contributor to the UK economy.
“The campaign aims to ensure that our industry and our members’ contributions are recognised fully for just what they are: a true success story for the nation.”
Keeping a low profile put influence over energy policy at risk and made it harder to attract investment and new people into the sector, he added.
Paul Baverstock of Fortitude Partners, adviser to OGUK on its communications strategy, said the industry’s economic contribution to the UK was more than three times greater than the car manufacturing sector but received less attention from the UK Government. He told guests at the campaign launch: “We’re going to be calling on you to give us stories from all the way down the supply chain about why you are proud to be working in oil and gas.
“We want to have a renewed commitment to industry-wide external communication and . . . we need to continue to take a strong position on energy policy issues with a collective voice.
The executive vice-president for production at German-firm E.on, Felix Lerch, said recent work with the media had taken him out of his comfort zone but the company “had a story to tell” about its long-term commitment to the UK.