“Your statements are contradicted by facts, science, independent expert analysis,” David Poole, Range’s general counsel, said in a letter to Armendariz on Oct. 23. “You have chosen to publicly make false comments about Range and we must insist that you cease from making further false and disparaging comments against Range.”
Through a spokesman, Armendariz, who now works for the Sierra Club, declined to comment.
While Range may succeed in silencing some critics, that doesn’t mean it will win the war. Its actions could make it harder for the company to get applications approved by town officials, or lead to a popular blowback against the company in the places it is trying to expand, said Brenda Wrigley, a professor of public relations at Syracuse University.
“Public relations is about relationship building and relationship management,” Wrigley said in an interview. From what she was told of the Range case, “it doesn’t seem that they are using reputation management approaches that are advisable.”