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Posts Tagged ‘PR Daily’

The PR War over Fracking

Fracking, which is a shorthand term for hydraulic fracturing (not a polite replacement for a colorful expletive), is a process that utilizes large volumes of high-pressured water, sand, and chemicals to fracture shale rock deep underground in order to extract the natural gas locked beneath it. While natural gas itself is the cleanest of the fossil fuels, and is often presented as a “green” solution, the safety and environmental impact of the fracking process has inspired increasing controversy and conflict. A PR war now rages between the energy companies that want to expand their fracking activities and the people and organizations who oppose the practice.

Oil and energy companies have invested a substantial amount of resources into natural gas, touting its viability and abundance while also attempting to reassure skeptics (especially those living in areas atop large shale reserves) that they are taking every precaution to ensure that the gas is being harvested responsibly and safely. However, a lack of regulation and disclosure rules regarding the chemicals used in the process haven’t exactly endeared fracking to opponents; it seems like folks would prefer to know exactly what these energy companies will be pumping into their land (and may potentially end up in their immediate environment via air and groundwater). Gee, who would have thought?

Some specific and well-documented concerns include chemical contamination of potable groundwater, surface water pollution from the dumping of salty post-fracking wastewater into rivers, air pollution near fracking sites, and methane leakage. Yikes–we can see why the energy companies may have some trouble spinning this to their advantage.

Negative environmental impacts notwithstanding, fracking can have a positive economic effect on the communities in which it takes place–and that fact is the primary selling point behind the energy companies’ PR efforts.

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First-Ever PR Daily Awards Closes Feb. 3

PR Daily and Ragan.com are handing out the first PR Daily Awards this year, with the grand prize winner receiving 10 free registrations to any of Ragan Communications’ conferences in 2012 or 2013.

Prizes will be handed out in a wide range of categories including Best Product Launch and Best Facebook Page. Each winner in those categories will receive a free registration. The grand prize will be handed out for the Best PR Campaign of 2011.

Judges include Reuters financial reporter and blogging editor Felix Salmon; Carlos Dominguez, SVP at Cisco; and Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang.

Click here for more info on entering. Winners will be announced the week of May 21.

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