Calling out the McKenzie Media Playbook
Give credit where credit is due — University of Colorado Public Health professor Lisa McKenzie must be moonlighting as a public relations professor/professional given that she sure knows how to work the earned media front, releasing reports that achieve one scary, fear-mongering headline after the other. In fact, we’ve seen this several times over the past few years, the most recent example earlier this month as McKenzie released her latest report. Like clockwork, this report successfully made a media splash in Denver and carried out a full-court press across the country with over-exaggerated and unsubstantiated headlines about oil and gas activity.
McKenzie study rollouts are a well-oiled machine at this point – with standard procedure is as follows:
- Alarmist sounding headlines in the media generated by inflammatory press releases promoting the study.
- Followed with push back by state regulators showing limitations of the study, and maybe an industry comment at the end.
- The report or media coverage may even have a mention by McKenzie admitting the limitation of her study and a call for additional money for more studies.
- The headlines are then used by anti-fracking activists to scare the public without any mention of the limitations of the study.