Thursday, March 8, 2007
He won't be a free agent for long
Once again, we are all indebted to George Murphy. The lineups were long last night as people queued to fill their tanks, alerted by Murphy to an imminent increase in the price of gasoline.
Murphy (at right, CBC photo) warned us that the price would increase by at least 7 cents per litre, and the actual increase was close to 8 cents. For drivers able to get out last night, especially with larger vehicles, the savings were substantial indeed.
No wonder then that, when George Murphy talks, people listen.
It’s amazing that George, a taxi driver with no training in economics, is able to duplicate with uncanny accuracy the work of the province’s Petroleum Pricing Office, working from the basement of his home with nothing more than a computer and an Internet connection.
Equally impressive are Murphy’s public communication skills. Prior to his volunteer work on oil and gas pricing, George had no training or experience in communications. He is now one of the province’s best-known and most respected public policy advocates. He is quick on his feet, talks with confidence and handles media interviews in a friendly, forthright manner. When he talks, people listen. Reporters are quick to answer or return his calls. People trust him.
George Murphy has what I like to call ‘trust equity’ with the public. Combine that with his great media relationships and you have probably the most effective spokesperson in the province.
As noted above, George is driving a cab for a living. There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s a noble occupation for sure – but Murphy is certainly under-employed for his skills and status within the community.
That’s about to change. Murphy is switching lanes onto an entirely new career path, having just completed a public relations program at CompuCollege. He is now qualified to work in communications and has already performed some contract work for clients.
Any company or organization that would like to put a consistent public face on its public and community relations should give George Murphy careful consideration. Heck, they should grab him while they can! I predict that he won’t be a free agent for much longer…