Chevron is one of the world’s largest integrated energy companies providing a wide range of products and services. The company conducts its business in more than 100 countries with its headquarters in Ramon, California. The company is engaged in every aspect of the crude oil and natural gas industry, including exploration and production, manufacturing, marketing and transportation, chemicals manufacturing and sales, geothermal, and power generation. We’re also investing in renewable and advanced technologies.
Public relations play an important role in organizations and the society at large. Grunig (1992) stated that “public relations are also known as communication system is part of a larger organizational or societal system” (p.20). He therefore says that public relations scholars should criticize public relations for poor ethics, negative social consequences from the views of stakeholders within the company and even suggest changes to resolve those problems. Botan (2006) stated that at the “organizational level public relations must have value to the organization, by coming up with effective communication programs and functions that contribute to organizational effectiveness” (p.32).
It is also important to realize that organizations have an impact beyond their own bottom line. Botan (2006) stated that “organizations affect other organizations, individuals, and publics in the society” (p.32). It is therefore possible to say that organizations cannot be effective unless they are also socially responsible. The organizations public relations department demonstrates its value to the society when it contributes to the social responsibility of organization in different forms. The public relations department therefore plays a major role of representing the organization to the society at different levels and addressing issues that affect both parties.
Botan (2006) also states that the senior public relations manager or executive should be involved with the strategic management processes of the organization. The public relations contribute to the strategic management by scanning the environment to identify how the society is affected by the decisions that are made by the management. Botan (2006) also found out that public relations empower both men and women in all roles as well as practitioners of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds to address the factors that affect them (p.39).
Environment is one of the key global issues that Chevron has been addressing for a long period of time. This is because environment presents one the major challenges when dealing with energy production to both the organization and the society. The company faces considerable number of challenges when developing new projects in an environmentally sound manner while ensuring that existing operations continue to reduce environmental impacts. The design standards of chevrons new capital projects require consideration of environmental aspects and resource conservation which is vital to the society. In this context the company should implement performance standards at the existing operations to minimize emissions, discharges and waste and to promote responsible waste management practices factors which are very crucial to the society.
The major environmental concerns that Chevron has emphasized over time include conserving water resources, support of biodiversity and health ecosystems and restoring wetlands at the oil fields. Water conservation being one of the most important environmental issues the company ensures assess to corporate wide water consumption and potential water treatment and reuse technologies at all of their refineries to identify new recycling opportunities and options to further reduce our use of fresh water. On the part of restoring wetlands at the oil fields Chevron Environmental Management Co. (CEMC) offers a wide range of environmental liability management services, which include site assessment and remediation; health, environmental and safety due diligence; onshore and offshore facilities decommissioning; and well abandonment. CEMC strives to develop the best end-of-life solutions for company assets, such as beneficial reuse and not just regulatory closure.
Public Relations Department
Organizational and societal audiences at chevron can be addressed through their public relations department. The organization can use their public relations practitioners who in this case should serve as communicators between Chevron and its internal and external publics. The activities within public relations assist the societal audiences to understand the organization and the products they are offering. Heath & Vasquez (2001) stated that “public relations should be concerned with the status, roles, and potential for various segments of the citizenry” (p.179). To promote the organizational and societal audiences the public relations within the company should advocate a multi-method approach that would incorporate insights from both the organization and the society (Heath & Vasquez, 2001). They should also focus on combining organizational perceptions of the general public with the key themes and quantitative measures and strategic plans of the company.
Heath (2005) found out that “audiences should be told explicitly that they share organizational values as in when a company says it has a commitment to fairness” (p.404). Strategies that Chevron can use to enhance its relationships with publics include among others establishing common ground techniques with the societies and creating a way in which the audiences can identify themselves with the company through antithesis. The company should create an environment in which people can identify with organizations. This can be achieved if the company is capable of providing portions of the person’s identity.
The company’s public relations can use of identification as one of the strategies in which they should be capable of producing powerful associations with the society. Heath (2005) outlined that “through the use of public relations the company can rely on the identification strategy to help audiences fulfill their needs of belongingness while simultaneously garnering stakeholder commitment to organizational missions” (p.404). Heath (2005) also states that it is important for organizations to continually induce identification on behalf of their members to ensure success.
The public relations team at Chevron should learn that if a person feels like they are part of a given company he or she supports its values, and the employees are likely to be more productive. Chevron should therefore work to instill this type of identification through corporate newsletters, practice employee of the month programs and team building outings. Heath (2005) thus suggested that “the public relations of the company should assist the management in recognizing the need to remind employees continually of common interests” (p.405).