IFAI member companies responded quickly to the Gulf oil spill and—in some cases—grappled later with inventory overstock and dropped contracts. At the same time, IFAI’s marketing department stepped in to supply accurate information about the specialty fabrics industry’s role in the cleanup by engaging high-level reporters and business editors around the world. This consistent outreach positioned IFAI as a valuable resource for coverage of the textile industry.
Marketing continued to follow stories about the cleanup in national media, writing follow-up letters to journalists with information about IFAI member suppliers and manufacturers who could help provide a steady stream of oil boom to the emergency response. Many journalists were not aware of the resources that were available and were reporting that there was no boom to be had anywhere.
The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the NBC Nightly News and wire services were among the major news organizations that benefited from IFAI’s vigilant monitoring of the status of the cleanup and the plight of member companies who felt misled by BP’s call for an unlimited amount of boom.
The IFAI website has also provided a central location for information about IFAI member activities surrounding oil boom supplies, components and production that could be accessed by BP, the U.S. Coast Guard, disaster recovery companies operating in the Gulf, nonmember companies that were looking for fabrics and components, and international media.