Online forum a PR success for oilsands producers

CALGARY: A Web site forum created by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) to spark a public discussion about the environmental impacts of oilsands development attracted more than 31,000 unique visitors in its first three months.

CALGARY: A Web site forum created by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) to spark a public discussion about the environmental impacts of oilsands development attracted more than 31,000 unique visitors in its first three months.

Canadasoilsands.ca launched in June with the headline “a different conversation”, and in the first three months also garnered over 200 comments, including 100 responses to the “today's question” feature.

 “That is the kind of conversation we wanted from the site: impassioned people on both side of the coin, revealing their thoughts and opinions,” said Travis Davies, public affairs advisor of the CAPP. “That is a positive aspect of the campaign because we now have access to those thoughts and ideas as we move into phase three (of the PR campaign).”

Canadasoilsands.ca has largely been promoted through media outreach that was supported by a modest print campaign. Davies said the recently revamped Web site aims to expand the conversation about oilsands by highlighting even more news coverage, both positive and negative. “The point of this is to show that the industry doesn't have its head in the sand—that we're aware of the issues, good or bad,” Davies said.

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