I was on a quasi-vacation over the past couple of weeks and am just catching up on my periodicals. A June 16, 2008 article in ChemWeek titled Regulatory Challenges Top ACC agenda (subscription required, I believe) caught my attention. It quoted Brian Ferguson, CEO of Eastman Chemical and Bob Wood, Chairman and CEO of Chemtura about the need to improve the American Chemistry Council's methods of communications to the public.
They both talk about the need to improve industry communications out to the public in general. Ferguson talked about the challenge of scientists and engineers who don't make their living communicating to do a better job connecting with the public, while Wood talked about the need for using 21st century communication vehicles (blogs, for example) to get their message out.
I applaud the thinking on this and it will be interesting to see how these comments come to fruition, especially as Cal Dooley comes on-board in September to head the ACC.
Individual chemical companies should be more aggressive here as well. BASF, and their use of podcasts and tag clouds is a pretty good example of using some new technology to connect with its customers and the public in general. If you've seen anything cooler from a chemical company on its public web site, let me know, and I'll check it out.