Reputation is central to the work of UKOOA and it has always been our desire to make it a key
focus of discussion in the Executive and Council rather than be dealt with discretely. Both the
restructuring of the Executive and the success of working directly with the Task Groups have
convinced us that the time is right to take the step of winding up of the Reputation Steering
Group. In future communications and reputation issues will be managed from within the new
Executive Committee and the individual Committees, Task and Work Groups.
Day to day communications and issues management will be handled by the UKOOA Secretariat as
in the past year.
UKOOA’s Communications Strategy continued to develop with all key audiences throughout the year.
In the Public Affairs arena, briefings were sent out to parliamentarians on a regular basis as well as
specific briefs on individual issues such as the Drill Cuttings Initiative, UKOOA’s Environment Report,
the Gas Moratorium, and Capital Gains Tax Rollover Relief.
At Westminster in March an All Party Group for the British Offshore Oil and Gas Industry was
established under the Chairmanship of Bob Blizzard MP. The Group has over seventy members
and held two meetings in 1999. Briefings for the All Party Group, other MPs, members of the
Scottish Parliament, and MEPs took place on a regular basis throughout the year.
For the first time UKOOA had a presence at all three Party Political Conferences, which included
a stand at the Labour Party Conference. We also sponsored the RNID Noise at Work Campaign
fringe meetings at all three conferences.
Work to develop UKOOA’s Media Relations Strategy also continued throughout the year. Press
releases were issued at a rate of more than one a week whilst background briefings were prepared
for issues surrounding the Atlantic Margin, the Industry’s Y2K preparations and liaison with the
Fishing Industry. Five informal briefings were given to the Trade Press in both London and Aberdeen,
whilst major press conferences were held to launch the Drill Cuttings Initiative and the signing of
the UKOOA/IUOOC Consultation Agreement.
Our Education Communications Strategy built on the work in 1998 and had two particular projects
that stood out. We have provided funding for a pilot project of in-service training for science
teachers required to teach the earth science elements of the national curriculum through the Earth
Science Teachers Association. In Scotland we worked with educationalists at grass-roots level during
the revision of the Higher Still syllabus. In doing so we have introduced Oil and Gas Industry
technology into the Scottish curriculum for the first time. The Higher Still “Controller Technology
and the Oil and Gas Industry” kit will be used by all teachers and students involved in technological
studies in secondary schools and colleges in Scotland.
Public Relations activities included exhibiting at the BBC Tomorrow’s World Live Show and the
Festival of the Sea at Maritime Ipswich.
We sponsored the RNID Noise Induced Hearing Loss Campaign. This was launched at the House of
Commons with a reception attended by the Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP, officials from the DETR
and HSE, over two hundred MPs, journalists, Bob Connon as President of UKOOA, and UKOOA staff.
In April we launched UKOOA’s new public website onto the internet at www.oilandgas.org.uk.
The site was aimed at the public rather than an internal audience and will continue to develop
in the coming years. Shortly afterwards we launched an intranet site for UKOOA members to aid
communication between Committees and other UKOOA members.
Issues management remains at the centre of everything that UKOOA’s communication team work
on. During 1999 the economic and fiscal environment became even more important than in the past
as can be seen elsewhere in this Annual Report.
UKOOA communications has now consciously refocused on the key target audiences that can impact
upon the industry’s well being, as is appropriate during such challenging times for the Industry.
At the end of the year the Reputation Steering Group completed a piece of research that had been
designed to take a snapshot of opinion formers’ views of the Industry. It also measured the progress
that has been made over the past two to three years and sought to gain some guidance as to how
the Industry might continue to improve its communications over the next few years.
Whilst the research revealed that there was much work still to be done, there was wide recognition
within the Industry’s key publics of the attempts that it has made to improve its communications
and the success that it has had in doing so. There was particular recognition that the Industry was
trying to be much more open than in the past in terms of its relationships with its key audiences,
publication of information and engagement with society, through initiatives such as the RNID sponsorship.
Annual Report Index
Back to Index