Neil Chapman is one of the world’s true gentlemen. I got to know him about ten years ago when I was just starting to sell PIER and Neil, in his role as a lead for BP in crisis communication, became one of our best clients, and one of my most valued friends. (It’s one of the great benefits of almost any business, to meet people who come to mean a lot to you.)
Neil, unfortunately, found himself at the forefront of some of the events for which BP is now infamous, including the Texas City Refinery accident, pipeline leaks and corrosion issues in Alaska, and of course, Deepwater Horizon. Neil retired from BP and is now a consultant to primarily industrial companies looking to protect their reputation in the challenging public information environment we find ourselves in. If you believe in the value of experience, married to a genuinely smart communicator who is also someone deeply in touch with the human element involved in crisis events, you cannot do better than listen to Neil Chapman.
Neil lives in northern England these days and I live in the Pacific Northwest so we are on near opposite sides of the globe. But, I took the opportunity that Skype provides of talking with Neil about some of his experiences and recording that conversation for you to share. There is a 14 minute edited version and a 50 minute unedited version. I’ve heard from other communicators, including Jim Garrow, whom I respect greatly, that Neil’s comments are eye opening. I hope you get a chance to review them. If you do, I’d love to hear if you find this kind of Skype interview with leading lights useful. If so, I’ll be happy to continue.