Exxon community relations department = A+

This post begins a series of posts outlining current TV commercials and what makes them so excellent from a public relations perspective. First up: Exxon’s “National Math and Science Initiative”

With Americans paying $3.80 per gallon of gas and the memory of the BP oil spill fresh in their minds, few would rate any oil company favorably right now. So, what’s a company to do to raise their profile? Time to turn to the community relations department, which is exactly what Exxon did with their latest series of national commercials.

According to the company’s website, Exxon pledged $125 million to the National Math and Science Initiative in 2007, which aims to prepare students for careers in math, science, engineering, and technology. Their newest set of ads highlights the success of students in the NMSI programs (and subsequently hides the fact that their gas will soon hit over $4.00 per gallon)…

Jelani Grace is the new “face” of the ExxonMobil company, telling viewers that opportunities like NCSI are “where the American Dream lies.” Using powerful language and simplistic yet strong visuals, ExxonMobil created a commercial to showcase all the “good” they’re doing in the world. The corporation’s audience is potentially quite large, as most Americans depend on crude oil as their major energy source. Therefore, this commercial had to speak to large number of people and say to them, “We’re in your community, and we’re making it better. Trust us and invest in us.” The first time I saw it, I was in the gym and therefore saw it without audio, and immediately, I knew it was audience-appealing.  I would trust; I would invest. I mean, if you have to buy something anyways, why don’t you buy it from a company that does good for the world?

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

I strongly believe in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and put great faith and duty in the community relations departments of major corporations. NCSI is only one of Exxon’s community-based initiatives, and they’re using these programs to both better the world and their corporate reputation. Two benefits for the (hefty) price of one. Now if only they could lower the price of their gas; I’m sure every American community would appreciate that…


About Abby Ecker

PR pro and healthy living blogger in the First State
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