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…

2 comments:

Mike said...

Nice post.

I believe George has saved me perhaps hundreds of dollars on my gasoline purchases over the last couple of years. (Yes, I am a heavy user as is George).

Congratulations to him on having completed the Public relations course at CompuCollege.

I guess in a way though, as a cabbie, George already is a practitioner of PR at its most challenging and finest. Especially when your client is coming from the George Street bars at 4 in the morning and they are mumbling, rambling incoherently, drooling or falling off the seat :):):).

Thanks for the savings George.

Greg said...

Geoff,

My experience with Newfoundland businesses and government is that merit is not what gets you a job.

You are right, George should have them lining up at his door. He is smart, personable and honest. So, why is he still driving a cab? It has nothing to do with George.

It's all about being in the right clan or golf club, ass kissing or "drinking the kool-aid". Heaven forbid you would hire someone for their talent and actually heed what they advise you.

...and he is not the only smart, talented, personable ...more than qualified, unemployed person out there.