Geoff Morrell’s Communications Journey: From the Pentagon War Room to the Disney Executive Suite

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Walt Disney Co. plans to name Geoff Morrell to the newly created role of chief corporate affairs officer. Morrell will step into the position as Zenia Mucha, who has spent two decades with the company, will retire at the end of the year.

During season one of The Business Communicators, we sat down with Morrell to discuss his unique career path that landed him in London as the EVP, communications & advocacy at bp, overseeing the strategic communications efforts for a company with operations in 70 countries. 

Morrell shared insights into crisis communications, rebuilding a corporate reputation, working with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and why the ability to write is the most crucial tool for any communicator.

Morrell also recalls strategies from his experience in the external communications field, using personal examples of demonstrated success in reaching, and re-engaging, diverse stakeholders. Listeners will learn:

  • What resulted from an advertising campaign launched with the goal of regaining public and media attention following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill when Morrell joined BP in 2011.
  • How an organization restructure changed the landscape and success factor for BP’s internal and external communications function.
  • Why campaign and messaging efforts are best executed by individual regions to match culturally-preferred communication styles and methods.

BONUS: Morrell also took some time to share his personal advice on advancing in your communications career – you won’t want to miss his guidance on how to:

  • Plan for success while remaining flexible for the unexpected.
  • Tapping into your emotional quotient (EQ) in developing communications plans to better relate to and demonstrate alignment with audience goals.
  • and more!

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Published by Austin Staton

Travel Nerd | Baylor Grad | Comms Pro | Past President at IABC Houston | Founder of Cautious Coffee + The Business Communicators | #SeekDiscomfort

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