Association Adviser staff
When you say oil or gas in the U.S., most people
think of Texas, Oklahoma or Alaska. But it turns out Louisiana is actually the
country's No.1 producer of crude oil, and, when combined with offshore production, the No. 2 producer of natural gas.
Since 1992, the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association
(LOGA) has represented most of the independent and service sectors of the oil
and gas industry in Louisiana. As a tireless advocate for its 1,450 individual
members and 750 company members, LOGA creates business incentives for the
state’s oil and gas producers, fights against tax increases and burdensome
regulations, and educates the public and government about how important oil and
gas is to the state of Louisiana.
How does a seven-person organization pack such a powerful punch? By blending the
best of old school (speaking tours and lobbying) and new school (technology and
social media) communication tactics, according to Gifford Briggs, LOGA’s vice president and chief lobbyist.
Baton Rouge-based LOGA represents the independent “non-integrated” members of
the industry. These independent producers shouldn’t be confused with fully
integrated global conglomerates such as ExxonMobil, Shell and BP, which also do
exploration and refining, Briggs said.
Although oil business in the Gulf of Mexico region has been in decline since the
1980s, LOGA’s membership has grown robustly during the past five years thanks to
heightened attention toward the Haynesville Shale formation and a youthful
membership and staff that has “really embraced social media and helped us push
our brand,” said Briggs. “I’m 36 and the second oldest person here,” he joked.
The Haynesville formation, which came
into prominence in 2008, is a layer of sedimentary rock more than 10,000
feet below the Earth’s surface in northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas
and eastern Texas. It’s believed to be the largest natural gas field in the
contiguous United States. Several energy companies have begun work in the area
to explore the shale formation and drill for natural gas based on findings that indicate a potentially large supply trapped within some portions of
the shale. This has helped put the spotlight on Louisiana both geographically
and in terms of using cutting-edge exploration techniques.
“The need for energy is growing and the energy industry isn’t going away any
time soon,” said Briggs. “What’s changing is the global balance of production. We can finally start weaning ourselves off foreign oil—something we’ve been
talking about since the Nixon Administration.”
In addition to a revamped website, LOGA has about 7,500 fans across its three Facebook pages that are devoted to the moratorium on drilling, to the
Haynesville Shale and to the association itself.
LOGA also has about 2,500 Twitter followers and
its tweets are integrated directly onto the LOGA home page, which attracts
15,000 to 20,000 visits per month. This enables members to follow the oil and
gas industry in real time.
“We compile energy articles from all over our state,
and that’s important because many of our members are not necessarily residing
in Louisiana and don’t get the local news about our industry,” Briggs said. LOGA
also has an impressive iPhone app that is primarily a news reader. LOGA developed the app for
free, and it is downloaded 8,000 times annually.
In addition to an online member directory and
online buyers guide, LOGA’s daily eNewsletter and bimonthly news alerts carry the most important stories of the day, while the LOGA conference group,
headed by CeCe Richter, has transitioned entirely to electronic promotional
announcements and online registration for its events. “We’ve completely moved
away from paper. It not only saves us tons of money but seems to get us better
results,” said Briggs.
One of the biggest misconceptions LOGA fights is
that its members are similar to ExxonMobil, Shell and BP—massive global
organizations that are doing only a small amount of domestic exploration and drilling.
In actuality, LOGA members are primarily small independents doing the majority of domestic
“Everyone’s anger toward the big oil companies
shouldn’t be directed at us,” said Briggs. “We’ve helped keep oil prices down
so that in the U.S, we’re only the 100th cheapest gasoline in the
High Frequency Communication without
“Our members are very tech-oriented when it comes
to drilling and exploration techniques, but we’re not really that tech oriented
when it comes to computers and online communication,” said Briggs. “That’s a
challenge considering the insane amount of communication we send out. It’s just
to the point of being harassment—30 to 40 times per month. But, everything is
highly customized–we have 20 different templates, for example–which is one of
the best things we’ve ever done.”
Among LOGA’s seven full-time staffers are a full-time database specialist and a
communications person (marketing & membership development
director, Ben Broussard) who handles writing, news releases and getting LOGA in
“Before we teamed up with Naylor half a dozen
years ago, everything was technically in place, but Naylor really helped us
revamp and get integrated and more profitable,” said Briggs. “The eNewsletter
went from cost-center to profit center and our tri-annual magazine, LOGA Industry Report, wasn’t
representative of who we were and wasn’t very profitable. That’s all changed.” The
print edition now weighs in at close to 100 pages “and is something members are
proud to have on the coffee table” while the digital edition attracts about 600
Video is the next area on which LOGA wants to focus. “We want to do more webinars and more
video clips in our press releases,” said Briggs. “We’re being a lot more aggressive with
YouTube. Video-conferencing is also going to be one of our next big areas of
With OPEC oil reserves in decline and significant
new oil and gas reserves being discovered here at home, the global energy
balance is shifting and the U.S. could soon find itself at or near the top of
the list of the world’s oil and gas producing countries. Just as oil and gas
producers are using a vast array of old and new techniques to facilitate
exploration, LOGA is utilizing a variety of old and new communications tactics
to explore better membership recruitment and retention.
And that’s something that never goes out of
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