Chevron : Controlling output
Exemplary use of the website's unique strength in reputation management.
Chevron, US-based oil and gas giant, embraces a global website’s unique facility for strengthening the company’s side in an ongoing controversial issue.
Chevron’s home page includes an illustrated featured content link that is used to highlight corporate responsibility topics. Its current headline [15 February 2011] is Ecuador Verdict, a reference to an announcement the day before of a (unfavourable) court judgment in Ecuador on a multi-billion dollar compensation claim relating to the company’s Texaco subsidiary. A sub-heading says ‘Judgment marred by fraud and misconduct’, with a link to ‘Get the Facts’. This leads to a standalone dossier section, Ecuador Lawsuit, which pulls together background information, third-party News Coverage, and company press releases and videos. The top item on the landing page is a link to Chevron’s official statement in response to the judgment.
In addition, the lead item of the home page’s Chevron in the News selection is ‘Illegitimate Judgment Against Chevron in Ecuador Lawsuit’. This also goes to the official statement, which is located in Press Releases in the News section and has a right-hand link to the Ecuador Lawsuit dossier.
Chevron’s immediate handling of its reaction to the damning court ruling in Ecuador and its longer-term marshalling of content related to the long-running lawsuit are an object lesson in the unique role of a corporate website in reputation management.
The two resources it provides the communications team – a real-time, constantly updateable platform and virtually limitless multi-media archive – are heavy calibre weapons in their own right. But their power is increased by the degree of control the web environment gives the team over the content: it can pitch and present the company’s messages in and on its own terms to get across its case. In an era of fast-developing and rapidly spreading media channels in which the company can at best participate (and cannot afford not to), it makes the website more not less important than ever.http://www.chevron.com
First published on 15 February, 2011