Panel 1: Climate and Environmental Justice: Politics of Resistance


2018-2019 THEME FOR EHI


Panel 1: Climate and Environmental Justice: Politics of Resistance

“Protecting the Power to Pollute: Identity Co-Optation, Gender, and the Public Relations Strategies of Fossil Fuel Industries”

Shannon Bell (Associate Professor, Virginia Tech)

“Improve Your Habitat to Survive in the Long Run”

Derrick Jensen


Q & A

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3 replies
  1. Derrick Jensen says:

    Hi, i’m the sole caretaker of my elderly, disabled mother, who has been in and out of the hospital for the last two months. I will answer questions as I am able, but can’t promise anything. Thank you, Derrick

  2. Damluji says:

    Shannon, thank you for this paper! I particularly appreciate your thorough attention to gender in the content analysis of PR media that you discuss. (Sidebar: the WING awards and pink paint floored me!) Were you able to gain any access to interviews with public relations professionals who were involved in the production and distribution of the media you’ve analyzed? If so, what did you learn about the approaches they take in crafting these gendered narratives? And what can distribution practices like ad buys in certain markets and on certain media outlets tell us about how the organizations imagine and construct their audiences? In other words, are there particular demographics they want to reach with these ads by airing them at particular times in particular geographies? I realize this may be well outside your approach in this paper but I’d love tongew if you explored any of these additional sources in your study thus far.

    • sbell33 says:

      Hi Damluji,
      Thanks so much for your great questions! I have not conducted any interviews with PR professionals as part of this project, but I think that would definitely be an interesting future direction for this project! Interestingly, it seems that a lot of the PR materials that the oil and gas company front groups (and oil/gas companies) are creating are direct online marketing materials that are geared toward landowners who may be considering leasing their land for fracking. One of the first things that many folks do when they are approached with a lease is to “google” the company (and fracking more generally), so having these web-based marketing materials showcasing the women who work in safety and regulatory compliance may be one way for the companies to counter the negative press that landowners may have heard about regarding the risks of fracking. Online marketing videos have emerged as one of the dominant forms of advertising in recent years, and this form of targeted marketing is projected to continue to grow. So, while the radio and TV ads were part of my dataset, I actually think the most important artifacts from the dataset are the online marketing videos that are linked to the websites of the front groups and the oil and gas companies (and their youtube channels). But to speak specifically to your question about the airing of the commercials — most of the ones i analyzed were targeting specific geographies and timeframes, typically when there was a bill to increase regulations for oil and gas drilling. The ads were advocating for viewers to tell their elected officials that the oil and gas industry needed fewer regulations (so as to promote JOBS!)
      Thanks again for your fantastic questions!

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