Happy new year – without further ado or discussion of Dry January, right from the off in 2015 there is a news story providing a great opportunity to create interesting and useful content. That story is the continuing fall in oil prices.
There was no gentle first day back at school on Monday, with the price of Brent Crude falling below $55 a barrel for the first time in five and a half years, and the oil price in the US also dropping below $50 for a short time. The FTSE 100, disproportionately made up of oil and other energy producers, also fell.
What does this mean for investors? For companies who produce, sell or use oil? Or for those less directly connected to the oil industry? For example, the FT reported over Christmas that North Sea oil companies were in talks with recruitment companies in Aberdeen to cut the pay of contractors by as much as 15pc, to reduce overheads following the halving of the price of oil since the summer.
If you’re one of those recruitment companies, your job candidates would most likely appreciate your informed view about what they can expect from wage negotiations this year, and perhaps other countries or relevant industries where they could use their experience.
The former US Treasury Secretary and Harvard professor Larry Summers has used the latest fall in the oil price to call for a carbon tax, saying consumers have enjoyed such a dramatic reduction in the cost of filling their cars and heating their homes that they could afford to pay a pollution tax. Taking a lead from Larry, does your organisation see an opportunity, or indeed a threat, in dramatically lower oil prices which it could use its own website and social media channels to publicise?
Whether oil prices continue to limp downwards or stage a recovery, there will be an impact on ordinary car drivers, energy bill payers, large corporations and entire countries (eg. Russia and Venezuela) alike. Either way, the opportunity is there to create timely and useful content for your customers and readers.