How did you get into corporate comms?
After journalism training, my first job was as a junior press officer at a council. I enjoyed the breadth of topics I was involved in, getting into the detail of a comms challenge and then making a difference. And I dressed up as a giant bee once! I was hooked.
What attracted you to the role at Murphy?
The scope of the role and a company that has a great reputation and goes about its business in the right way. There are some exciting challenges, but it has a solid foundation and a clear ten-year plan to build on. It is one of the most well-known brands in the UK, with over 3,500 employees, ranging from engineers, professional managers and skilled operatives.
People recognise our fleet of trucks with the iconic Murphy logo, our teams work on everything from delivering power by tunnelling right under London, to working on water, natural resources and rail projects – the breadth of knowledge and engineering expertise in-house is vast.
What do you hope to achieve with the company?
I want to make sure we deliver clear and measurable support to the company’s growth plan. There is a lot of change and we are central to that. I’d like to look back in a few years and point to a strategic approach that has delivered – and is delivering – added value comms support.
What do you like about working in-house?
A whole load of reasons – the topics, building relationships, getting close to issues. It’s a cliché, but each day is different. As my career developed in-house, I was lucky to work on a wide variety of projects in the UK and US. I also worked with great people, so the in-house association is a positive one for me.
How do you structure a good comms team?
It has to be relevant. Know your business, support its objectives and demonstrate value. I think the basis has to be scalable and flexible to support development and growth, and to quickly respond to future challenges such as new technologies.
How do you make yourself heard at board-level?
I’ve luckily worked with senior people who appreciate the value of communications, so it’s never been a huge challenge. That said, you’ve always got to demonstrate to the board that you can do a great job, get results and that you understand the commercials of a business. Persistence and patience will go a long way too!
How do you like to unwind in the evening?
I strangely find the mad rush of a 20 month-old toddler’s bath and bedtime quite therapeutic! Having been used to working (almost) 24/7 for so many years, I find it quite easy to switch off. In an ideal world, it would be nine relaxing holes of golf.
- Chris Mostyn is head of marketing and comms at Murphy.