Marcellus/Utica Identity Crisis – What Should Our Region Call Itself?

Being a marketing guy, MDN editor Jim Willis knows that crystallizing a concept into a few key words is critical. You have to be able to convey your meaning in as few words as possible–and those words must be pregnant with meaning. Jim was lucky enough to name this blog/news site Marcellus Drilling News, which (mostly) conveys its purpose–to report on happenings in the Marcellus (later adding the Utica) region. A very smart person who’s given a lot of thought about our industry is Kathryn “Katie” Klaber. Katie owns her own consulting firm–The Klaber Group. But before that, she was founder and president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (a well-named organization). Katie lives and works in Pittsburgh. In a recent article for the Pittsburgh Business Times, Katie ponders over Pittsburgh (and our industry’s) “identity crisis”–by which she means our lack of good branding. Sometimes our industry and region is referred to as “Appalachia.” But that term often connotes the mountains of West Virginia, spreading out into Kentucky. Sometimes we are referred to as the “Marcellus/Utica basin,” which gets a lot closer to meaningful, but connotes drilling and leaves out the downstream. And sometimes we’re called “the Northeast.” But folks in Ohio consider themselves Midwesterners, not northeasterners. Why is it important to lock down an accurate, pregnant-with-meaning description for our entire industry (upstream, midstream and downstream), and our geographic region? According to Katie, it comes down to two words: capital investment. We need to brand ourselves and do it sooner rather than later, if we want to grow business in our neck of the woods…

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