Stavanger company helps foreigners speak the Norwegian oil speak
A new communications company in Stavanger is to help oil and gas companies get a foothold in the Norwegian culture and ensure that they are talking openly with Norwegians.
“We will offer both communications and strategy services to our customers in the oil and gas industry,” Berit Rynning, a senior adviser at the newly established Add Communication agency, tells Aftenbladet.
The agency is part of the Add Energy group, and has been started exclusively by people with long experience in the oil industry. It is the first agency that is purely directed towards the oil and gas industry.
CEO Tor Bjarne Olsson says, “The industry needs a communications agency that knows the business. It is an important prerequisite for success.”
“This industry is facing some challenges others don’t. It’s a specialised industry with a lot of weighty technical knowledge. You need to know how the industry thinks if you’re going to succeed with communication. We do. At the same time, we want to play a role when new companies are to establish themselves here,” he adds.
The number of oil and gas companies has risen sharply in recent years. At present, about 70 companies – small and large, Norwegian and foreign – are pre-qualified for the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Unaccustomed to Norwegian openness
Some of the newcomers succeed, while others do not. Both Add Communication personnel think little understanding of Norwegian openness may be one of the reasons why it does not work for some.
“New companies face a different culture in terms of transparency and communication, contact with authorities, media, and employees. Authorities require openness here. Many are neither familiar with nor prepared for this. Some think they can accomplish communication from their home country, but it’s no use hiding behind an office in another country when it comes to Norway,” Mr Olsson declares.
“For example, framework conditions for establishment in the Barents Sea may be very different from what the companies meet elsewhere, with demands for ripple effects in local communities, safety and participation. We want to be a kind of translator for these companies,” adds Berit Rynning.