Regardless of the industry, companies invest heavily to create a picture perfect image that shows ideals, goals, and the best intentions for their target audience. Public relations (PR) have become a powerful tool that helps organizations distribute their message to the masses. Halliburton, a company dedicated to providing services to the energy industry, is one of the many companies that use PR to connect with their target audience. Although a great deal of creativity, effort, and other resources go into a website, the synergy it creates with other events, and its intent, the outcome of the message is not always the desired one. When disasters strike and the media magnify ...view middle of the document...
Target Audience of Halliburton’s PR Campaign:
Public relations shape the news people hear on the television and the information people read in the newspapers. Public relations influence the values of society and the perception of communities. Businesses are often involved in information spins, cover-ups, and subterfuge. The society demands ethics, truth, and credibility from companies and unfortunately, the PR departments often fail to meet the standards. Halliburton is one of these companies.
Halliburton is a United States-based company and it answers to SEC. The company’s main audience is its shareholders, stockholders, potential investors, energy companies, and government organizations.
According to Halliburton (2010), the company has “provided an image of a company that does no harm to the environment provides demonstrable social and economic benefits through sustainable relationships, sustainable technology and sustainable sourcing" (par. 3).
Ethical Implications Related To The PR Issues:
According to Leopold (2006), Halliburton, once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, “has been working secretly with one of Iran's top nuclear scientists on natural gas related projects and, allegedly, selling the scientists' oil company key components for a nuclear reactor” (p. 1)
Looking back at the 2006 events it is clear that the PR department handled the events very poorly. The New York Times reported that when they contacted the company, their response was “no comment” (Leopold, 2006). The inability to provide the appropriate and timely response to the government and the media cost the company a lucrative contract with the United States Army according to Multinational Monitor (2006), “The United States Army has sacked Halliburton” (pg. 1). The company was not only involved with an international incident but it was also defrauding the United States Army as well.
Halliburton’s questionable involvement with terrorists-sponsoring countries posed more than a few ethical questions: it asked for a change in the way the profiteering company operated and demanded justice. Despite the company’s involvement in several scandals, Halliburton’s’ PR department entered a crisis management mode as last resort. Through denials, cover-ups, and policy changes, the PR department salvaged the image of the company.
An Effective Market Research Plan
To develop an effective market research plan for Halliburton, there must first be an understanding of the products and services that they provide, who their customers are, and what their competition is doing. Halliburton’s primary focus is serving the oil and gas industry with equipment to perform their operations, and the services they need to be successful.
Halliburton has a limited customer base. Thus, their market research plan should target the satisfaction with what Halliburton is selling and what external and internal factors affect their customer’s decision to choose Halliburton.