American Petroleum Institute (API)—State-focused Example

Contract Type: Multi-year contract

Dates of Performance: 2012 – current

Customer Contact:
Deryck Spooner Senior Director
American Petroleum Institute


DDC has actively partnered with the American Petroleum Institute (API) for years, designing, executing, and managing all facets of their key national advocacy program. API recognized a critical need for independent voices to help shift the focus of the energy debate.

DDC was tasked with creating an on-the-ground campaign focused on raising the profile of Energy Citizens in support of natural gas production from the “Marcellus Shale” formation in Pennsylvania. This was the first time a consumer-based advocacy group would collaborate with other local landowners, small businesses, and industry groups to support natural gas development from the Marcellus Shale site; conveying positions to government officials, the media, and the broader public; as well as building organizational momentum.


Our team wanted to make sure that Energy Citizens brought a meaningful, measured message to the debate. We therefore developed a messaging and complementary recruitment strategy to encourage education, engagement and mobilization around this issue. Using in-house tools and analytics, we identified and targeted key influencers based on their values and online behaviors. DDC worked with our in-state teams to develop a messaging strategy that utilized economic and safety facts and supplementing that approach with values-based messaging that included family and community issues. These influencers made significant impact at high- profile, well-attended local events and were integral in recruiting additional advocates to contribute personal comments to the state docket. Our creative team played a significant role in branding the Pennsylvania Energy Citizens effort—developing a state-level version of the national brand, and a series of collateral that included apparel, stationary, and bumper stickers to support their efforts.


The program successfully achieved campaign goals and beyond. In the state of Pennsylvania, the campaign achieved the following:

  • Recruited more than 2,300 qualified individuals;
  • Identified more than 25 regional volunteer coordinators across the state to organize activity in their congressional districts;
  • Assisted Energy Citizens to testify at 10 public hearings including EPA Public Hearing on Natural Gas and the Bipartisan Public Forum on the Marcellus Shale;
  • Organized five meetings between advocates and congressional offices, including two roundtable meetings with local congressional representatives; and
  • Generated 170 personal letters of support to the State of Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Commission.


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