Neil Chapman: “All I do for a living is tell stories”

Guest lecturer Neil Chapman, now of Alpha Voice, gave some fascinating insights into his 17 years working in communications for BP, leading up to the Deepwater Horizon, Gulf Of Mexico disaster that dominate world news for much of last summer.

Neil began his career as an ‘ambulance chasing’ reporter with Middlesbrough’s Evening Gazette, and went to BP via ICI’s employee newspaper. One thread ran through each role: “It is all about storytelling, taking something very difficult and make it understandable.

The Gulf of Mexico ‘incident’ was a major test. On April 20 last year, 11 workers were killed in an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig and oil gushed from the ocean floor for every day until July 15. Thousands of people, especially those who depended on tourism and fishing, faced ruin.

Neil described his role as interpreting highly complex issues in an away that was a accessible to those most directly affected by the crisis. These stories would be being part of the process which shaped the world’s view of BP, and how it was responding to a situation that could appear to be out of control.

“I trusted what we did would be good. I was a reporter with a conscience.”

Do you agree with Neil’s analysis of his role?

Thanks to the talented #mapr crew – Carly, Dear, Sofia and Nadia – for the video

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University of Sunderland
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One Response to Neil Chapman: “All I do for a living is tell stories”

  1. Lee Hall says:

    Philip passed on this link – great to see you guys experimenting with video!

    Looks good.

    Don’t forget the rule of thirds so you frame the subject more naturally and to hide your edits with cutaways such as the interviewer nodding or a shot of the subject’s hands.

    And always use a tripod to get that steady shot.

    Keep up the good work!

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