BP’s former Head of Media Relations Neil Chapman did a guest lecture at University this morning. He firstly talked about how his career started as a ‘story teller’, as he calls it, on the Evening Gazette and how he believes the job he does today can still be known as just basic ‘story telling’. He even goes as far as describing himself as a ‘reporter with a conscience’. Most of the lecture however, was spent talking about the work and decisions he was a part of during BP’s Deepwater Horizon crisis.
It was interesting to hear Neil talk about the decisions BP made during the crisis and what they are still doing nearly a year on. Neil no longer works for BP but he stills talks very highly of them. During the lecture, Neil made a very relevant point that really stuck with me. ‘ Face to face discussion is still the best trust builder’, I completely agree with this statement, I believe that no matter how much social media changes the way we do PR or just communicate with our friends, the only way to build a real solid relationship with somebody is by having a face to face conversation with them.
He concluded his lecture with some helpful unwritten rules, that he believes will help students when they go out into the world of PR. He believes these tips will ensure students make the most of their career:
- Employees should always have energy, even if working after midnight. They should always have a positive attitude and should always take an interest in the organisation they are working for.
- Compliment and complement your peers- you work better as a team that way.
- ‘I don’t know’ isn’t said enough- admit when you don’t know something and then discuss what you can do to find out about it.
- An interview is a sales opportunity, it gives you a chance to sell you and your skills.
- You remember 100% of what you feel, not what was said.
- To tell the story, you have to tell the whole story.
- You need to get good information to the right people, that’s what it’s all about.
I think everyone of us, students or not, can take at least one of the tips from the seven above and use it to benefit us in our careers or on the long winding road of life!