XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corp., was laser focused on maintaining an open line of communications with the residents and leaders of communities where it operates in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
Company leaders wanted to share as much information as possible about XTO Energy’s work in the Appalachian region while also learning more about active philanthropic opportunities in those areas.
Ceisler Media’s team of pros and XTO Energy leaders launched community advisory panels (CAPs), in which residents, local officials, business leaders and other stakeholders could share ideas with company officials and educate each other on mutual needs.
The CAPs – in Butler County, Pa., and Belmont County, Ohio – comprised a broad cross-section of the community at large. These regular meetings brought together all sides for discussion and idea sessions. Often, outside experts from trade organizations, institutions of higher education, policy think tanks and more, addressed the groups.
Here what some community leaders said about these meetings.
Aside from answering questions from the community about its operations, XTO Energy also provided a firsthand look at its on-the-ground work, providing tours of drilling sites, completion operations, processing plants, midstream pipelines and more.
There was consistent dialog among all sides. Positive relationships were built between XTO Energy and the community. These partnerships led to constructive progress.
“Regular dialogue with key members of the communities was critical,” said Ceisler Media Managing Director Kurt Knaus, who served as meeting facilitator for both CAPs. “It’s not just telling them about XTO. It’s about listening. Every community is different. What might work in one community may not work in another, and the only way to know what works is to talk to the people who live there. The back-and-forth we experienced in the CAPs enabled us to do that."
And, XTO followed through on its promise to become a leader in the communities where it operates.
The company worked with school districts in Belmont County, Ohio, to sponsor “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,” helping to inspire a movement that encourages middle school students to pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
XTO Energy also helped to sponsor an aquaponics program at Slippery Rock University where students learned how grow their own vegetables, which were used in meals at the North Country Brewing Co.’s restaurant.