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Background of Shell Petrol Company

Discuss about the Petroleum Company In Developing Countries.

The purpose of this task is to provide a brief overview about the public relations maintained by the company Shell petroleum in Malaysia. In today’s economy, it is very important for an organization to initiate their public relation activities so as to maintain their brand image in the target market. Public relations refer to the practice of maintaining the spread of adequate information in the target market about the organization. This process includes exposing the activities of the organization in the external market and circulating the information according to the public interest. The process of public relation is totally different from advertising in the marketing communication segment as in the process of public relation the organization aims to gain the interest of clients by maintaining relations with clients and keeping them satisfied for free whereas in case of advertisement or marketing the organization spend money to target the audience in the market (Shell 2018).

Further the basic aim of the public relation activity is to inform the audience, prospective people about the decisions of the company and their business activities in order to gain their interest. These activities in the market are managed for free. In order manage public relations; companies create a different department which only focuses on the market and relation of stakeholders with the activities of the company. Also the PR department further focuses on different sectors like, financial public relations, employee product relation, product public relation etc. The financial PR focuses on maintaining relations with the stakeholders and the clients, the employee PR takes care of the employees and the employment process of the organization and the product PR focuses on the products and its release in the target market (Santiago 2017).

The below mentioned task provides details about the company Shell Petroleum, role of its PR practitioner and challenges faced by them. Further it also discusses about the PR activities initiated by the company, medium of communication and image maintained in the market. More details about the task are discussed below: 

Shell Oil Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell an oil producing company. Royal Dutch Shell is a multinational company which is a part of largest oil producing companies worldwide. The Shell Oil Company is based in United States and is headquartered in Texas. The company is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with a group of around 94000 employees in more than 70 countries worldwide. Shell uses advanced technology to maintain sustainable energy in the environment for the near future. In Malaysia, Shell has been supporting the country for fueling the progress of the country over 125 years. The journey of the company the nation is intertwined as Shell plays the role of supporting the country and assisting the sustainable activities in the environment and Malaysia plays the role of helping the company to progress in their industry (Shell 2018). The business of the company has progressed modest kerosene venture to an alliance of companies engaged in producing all types of modern gas and oil in the industry. The company in today’s world has maintained a strong multi-faceted image in the country by the way of long term investments, innovative and sharing and impacting the local communities as well. The company is currently acting as a market leader by owning total 25000 gas stations in US. Further it shall be noted that the company is most visible public presence and it provides diesel fuel, LPG and gasoline at its gas stations (Shell 2018).

Role of PR practitioner

Furthermore talking about the strategy of the company, it shall be noted that Shell aims to seek reinforce their position as a leader in the gas and oil industry. Apart from that they also aim to satisfy the demand of the customers present in the target market. Safety of the members and environmental and social health is another objective of the company currently prevailing in the market (Fischer 2017). The purpose of Shell is to remain an important part of the global energy suppliers worldwide; the company believes that it is their role to deliver energy in the environment which is profitable to them along with the environment and society. Apart from that, talking about the departments of the company it shall be noted that Shell aims to work closely with their employees, partners, and stakeholders etc. to bring more sufficient and positive outcome for the people worldwide (Shell 2018).

The employees work together to produce output for the customers by using innovative technology in their internal process. The diversified workforces of the company continuously aim to increase the output for the people so that the world can collectively aim for environmental success. As the oil and gas extraction activities bring negative impact to the environment so the employees research for solutions to provide products to the customer in such a way without harming the nature. The people of the company are managed with the leadership programmes which increase the efficiency of the people and bring their talent out as well (Chong, et. al., 2015).

Further in Malaysia, Shell has a strong retail network which helps the Malaysian motorists to succeed in their life. The company is in a win-win situation by working in Malaysia as they get to earn brand name ad recognition in the market and the country earns fuel along with other various services in the market. 

With the help of pubic relation practices initiated in the company, they grew and embraced their performance worldwide. These practices immensely helped the company to grow and initiate the sales of their product in the market. Thus it shall be noted that PR officers of the company helped them to improve their image in target market and increase their sales as well. Further the role and activities which the public relation officers implemented in the organization are discussed below:

  • Community involvement: If an organization is only involved in initiating their business and is not involving the community in their business activities, then the customer will not take interest to purchase the products and services of the company. So, the public relation practitioners of the company involved the community in their day to day activities and informed them about the activities which the company initiates to extract the product from the environment and how they deliver it to them (van Vliet, and Male 2017). Being present in an oil and gas industry it is very difficult for an organization to maintain a good image in the eyes of the customers. So the company Shell has created an adequate image by managing their corporate social activities with the help PR officers and informing the public about their rights and duties as well. In this way people started taking interest in the activities of the company which gradually turned on the sales of Shell as well (Oil & Gas Journal 2017).
  • Media and public liaison: maintaining relationship with media and the stakeholders of the company is also an important part of the job of the PR practitioner of the company. Interacting with the media is the most important part of the process of public relation as it helps the organization in maintaining their image in the market. Suppose if the company does not maintain good relation with the media then the media will portray negative image of the company in the eyes of prospective customers. The PR officers of Shell adequately understand the importance of maintain relation with media, with respect to that they arrange interviews and circulate information about the new plans of the company in the market. They also write press release so as to make media interested in the activities of the company (Ite, et. al., 2013).

Furthermore talking about maintaining relation with the public of the company, the PR officers understand the crucial which they perform in the environment. So, the officers understand the importance of respecting the public and initiating activities according to their interest only. The organization adequately maintain the corporate social responsibilities and convey it people in the environment as well.

  • Handling emergencies: many times in going concern process the organization faces problems which hamper their regular day to day activities. This activity also ruins the well maintained public image of the company as well. So, it is the role of the PR practitioner to deal with atrocities in such a way that it does struck or block the activities of the company. As explained above, being present in an oil and gas industry, the company is more prone to threat relating to the catastrophic oil spill etc. this might occur as a disastrous event. So, the PR team of the company manages all such activities in the external environment (Andrews 2015).
  • Communication and consultation: Further communication is regarded as one of the most important role of the PR officers as they initiate communication in the organization. The PR team of the company circulates all the necessary information in the internal and external environment of the organization. They also seek the issues which are affecting the growth of the company. They maintain relationship with the employees of the company and aim to solve their issues as well. Further all the consultation services are provided by the PR team in the organization as well (Adoga, and Valverde 2014). 

Challenges faced by organization

  • Legal Issues: The Company Shell was fined with $291,000 from 2006 to 2010 because they were violating the law of Clean Air Act. The company became the second most fined company in Pacific Northwest in the year 2011. Before that in the year 2008, a lawsuit was filed against Shell stating that the company violates the Clean Air Act. The organization is among one of the largest producers of oil and gas in the industry due to which many times the company faced difficulty in managing their legal matters. Further the company also polluted the air with their activities in the market due to which the organization faced difficulty in adequately organizing their business activities (Shell 2018).

In response to that the public relation team of the company started handling all the legal matters of the company. Initially they stated on their website regarding the activities initiated by the company and how they are aiming to measure them so as to provide clean and fresh air in the environment. Further the management started studying the shift in climate change and how they can be resolved, according to which they made changes in their regular activities as well. So, in this way the organization managed to change their business activities to satisfy the requirements of the nature (Mas' ud, Manaf, and Saad 2014).

  • Contracting and procurement: The Company signs almost 1 million contracts every year in every part of the country with more than 120,000 suppliers worldwide. Also every country and company has their own rules and regulations to operate in the energy sector. Resulting to which many times it gets difficult for the company work according to terms and conditions of all the contracts as stated. All contracts are quoted at different prices for supply of fundamentally same product in different part of the country. So, in order to resolve such confusions in managerial activities of the company public relation team managed their legal and contractual matters. The team organized the contracts of the company with each country and initiated supply of energy according to terms and condition. This satisfied the requirements of both the contracting parties (Oxford Business Group 2018).
  • Technical Issues: technical issues refer to the issues which are related to the stations of the organization. Around 900 work stations of the company were affected as the employees of the company were unable to understand and handle the technical issues which the company faced. The company publically accepted the fact that they are facing technical glitches with their site system due to which their business activity is getting disturbed (Ismail, et. al., 2013). Due to this reason the motorists and the other customers of the company were unable to fill their tanks resulting to which dissatisfaction was increased under them.

The management team of the company Shell adequately managed the issues by issuing the statements in media stating that they are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused to the people as they were unable to fill their tanks from the products of the company. This issue was caused due to technical issues in their website which has centralized monitoring system (Albert, and Tanee 2017). Further the company also stated it on their website that the old petrol pumps are still providing fuel to people through cash as they are not linked to the centralized system of the company. Further the technical issues were overcome with the help of engineers of the company till then, the public relations team adequately handled the issue in the external environment and reduced the stress level of customers along with employees as well (Malay mail online 2017).

The company Shell has owned and operated their business for more than 100 years which gives the authority to the company to rule in the market and initiate the activities which are fit for the environment. The services of the company are promoted all over the world with an identified image in the market. Talking about portrayal of the image in the market,, it shall be noted that the company has adequately justified with their work due to which such brand image is maintained in the market. The organization never fails to provide adulterated products in the market or issue wrong statements in the media (Dozier, Grunig, and Grunig, 2013). The company always aims to provide true, meaningful and authenticity knowledge to the prospective customers present in the target market. Further the fact shall be noted that positive image can only be portrayed in the market if the employees of the working according to the objectives of the company. So, as the core value of the company suggests that they aim for honesty, integrity and respect for people in the market. The organization works accordingly to implement these activities in the organization (Ebegbulem, Ekpe and Adejumo 2013).

The company has maintained high standards in the market according to which all the employees initiate their activities. They do not compromise with the quality of the products and services which they provide; nor do they compromise with the safety and environmental standards present in the industry. Thus, due to these reasons high value of the company is maintained in the market. Further the public relation team of the company adequately supports to their motive as well. The team has helped them to sustain their image in the target market. The PR officers monitor the energy efficiency activities implemented by the organization so as to secure the resources from the future; also they check that the products are according to standard value or not (Shell 2018). Also the organization is always open for the problems of the clients, employees and they do not hesitate in listening to their suggestion as well (Denhardt, and Catlaw 2014). Due to presence of transparency in the working culture of the organization, the company has earned fame in the external market. Thus, it shall be noted that the company apply the general business principles along with Shell code of conduct due to which sustainability in the activities is maintained. As the company regularly issues statements about their upcoming projects which make them more connected to the public and subsequently increases the level of satisfaction as well (Mikesell 2016).

Medium of communication refers to the channels through which a company interacts with the people worldwide whom they want to attract. Further it shall be noted that communication is an important aspect which helps an organization to interact with the public on a whole. Further advertisement, public relation, online and offline promotion are some types of communication techniques which an organization uses to initiate communication. The company Shell mainly focuses on the public relation techniques to initiate communication with people (Youyi, et. al., 2013).

From the above analysis it shall be noted that communication is an important part of the business. Further the public relation techniques which the company uses in their business process are discussed below:

  • Press Release: press release activities are initiated by the company on a regular basis. As every time when good or bad news comes up with the organization, the first thing which they do is release such true and authentic statements in the market. Apart from that the main focus which the PR team keeps its focus on the core of their information that it shall not be molded nor hampered. Apart from that, the team also manages the information which is to be released in the organization and information which is not. This secures the activities of the company maintains a fixed image as well. The media always manipulates information in own way. They circulate information what they understand is correct, so with respect to that, the managers release information which is fair and cannot be hampered in any way (IPR 2018).
  • Social Media: as all the public relation activities which are implemented in an organization are for free purposes. This is the one of the differences between advertisement and PR. So, social media has now become one of the most essential ways to make public relation which can support the company. With the help of social media the company manages to initiate public relation techniques in the environment. As use of social media lays more impact on people, so the PR team informally circulates the information about the company’s activities which they initiate in the market (Foo 2015). This makes the customers to look more closely on the activities of the company. They demonstrate their corporate achievements through video, audios and images on social media platform. Also the customers can easily communicate with the team of Shell through media due to which the team also continuously receives feedbacks and survey results from the customers (Smith 2013).
  • Press Meeting: Press meeting involves the personal interview and announcements with the media members. With the help of press conference the company gets to interact with various personalities present in the industry and keep them interested in the activities of the company. Looking at the corporate social responsibility of the company, the PR team manages conference of the leaders of Shell with various other people connected to the company worldwide. This process centralizes the activities of the company which are currently running worldwide (Spicer 2013). Also media presence is important while holding the conferences so that the public on large basis can become a part of the interaction. Press meetings also improve the cross cultural transactions as well. As the meetings of the company are held on large scale and all other companies and segments become a part of it. So the industry overall becomes more responsible towards their business activities as well (Black 2013).
  • Participation: participation helps an organization in adequately managing their image in the eyes of all prospective people. Participation refer to the process of involving into community activities like charitable events, clubs etc. This gives the advantage to the company to get famous in the target market. Participation of the company Shell in all such charitable events helps them to adequately manage their corporate social responsibilities as well. And it creates a good image of the company also. So, the PR team keeps a record of the events in which the company has to participate (Coombs, and Holladay 2013).
  • Open house tours: open house tours refer to the process providing access to public to come and investigate the plant facilities of the company. Through this process people get to know about the internal infrastructure and the activities which are initiated in the organization Shell. This helps the company to gain the trust of public. With this process people deeply get to know about the process through which the company initiates their business process. These activities are controlled managed and monitored by the public relations practitioners of the company (Kunczik 2016).

In my opinion public relation activity is far better than the advertisement process in an organization. Advertisement now a day is very expensive and many times it does not adequately convey the social message as well. Apart from that the public relation activities in an organization looks at all the possible ways through which they maintain communication and apply them to gain the trust of people on a whole. Also being present in oil and gas industry, it is considered very important for the company Shell to gain the trust of customers in the market (Grunig 2013). With respect to that the PR activities adequately support the motive of the organization. PR team of the company also focuses on all major ways with the help of which they can create a brand image of the company in the market. This process is successfully implemented in the Shell Company as well (Davison 2017).

Conclusion and Recommendation

Thus in the limelight of above mentioned events the fact that shall be noted is that maintaining public relation is one of the most important part of the business process. Management of public relations helps an organization maintain a bond with the employees and stakeholder of the company as well. With the help of public only the organization gains acceptance in target market so it is important for them to maintain adequate relationship. Like in the given case of Shell Petrol Company which is placed in Malaysia as well; the company being present in one of the most threat prone industry safely initiates their business activities. The company maintains a good relationship with the public which promotes them in the market. The PR team of the company supports the environment as well through their activities. Further the organization shall initiate few practices in their process so as to gain more recognition in the market. The recommendations to the company are listed below:

  • In order to effective manage the activities of public relation the officers of Shell Petroleum shall government-ize the message. The company shall announce the news of their upcoming plan with the help of government. This will initiate the customer to pay more focus on the company seriously.
  • Technology is another way with the help of which the company shall initiate good public relations. Apart from that, the practitioners shall ensure that adequate communication is initiated between the public and the company. This will help the people to fully address their needs and issues.
  • Lastly, creativity is another aspect with the help of which the PR team can gain appreciation for the company in the target. Implementation of every activity creatively will improve the satisfaction level of the customer as well. 

References

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