Public Relations and Issues Advertising

XTO Energy


XTO Energy desired to expand its Appalachian Region Operations to take advantage of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania. Although the parent name, ExxonMobil Corporation, is known across the world, stakeholders were not familiar with the natural gas operating side of the energy producer.

Ann Green Communications designed a communication strategy that began with learning as much as possible about the county and townships. The information was used to create an outreach program that resonated with all stakeholders.

The multifaceted approach included directly working with elected officials, township leaders and key opinion leaders to ensure constant and direct communications occurred. This allowed the company to stay ahead of issues and to immediately address challenges before they became obstacles to progress. The work positioned XTO Energy as the expert resource for their operations as well as the industry.


The outreach strategy included three key events to introduce the company and to educate the stakeholders about natural gas development. The first event was a key leader luncheon, where more than 200 elected officials, township leaders and business representatives came together to hear from the division senior vice president about XTO Energy and its plans for Butler County. That event was followed by a community open house that allowed for direct conversation between the Butler County XTO Energy team and the community. More than 300 stakeholders – elected officials, township leaders, business members, neighbors, environmental advocates, and other key stakeholders—gained information directly from the team doing the work. Stakeholders learned first-hand the company’s plans with regard to environmental and safety performance, roads/traffic, hydraulic fracturing, water usage and emergency response as part of the 12 displays set up at Butler County Community College. When it came time to share information about the company’s cryogenics facility, key leaders attended an invitation-only tour of the facility. More than 100 stakeholders attended the event. The success of these events were built by using strategically placed advertising—radio, television and newspaper.

Direct mail, push emails, open houses, and radio and newspaper advertising were used to reinforce messages about the company and its work. The same mediums were used to promote the open houses.

The success of this overall program positioned XTO Energy to be an example of how to introduce oneself to a community and it leadership. Elected officials and community leaders commented openly about the work and the positive impression it made. In addition to introducing the company and communicating its commitment to safe and environmentally sound practices, the company also positioned itself to be the resource for information related to its operations.