Amber Wilson believes passionately that health and safety are interesting subjects, not just the traditional standbys of editors who need to fill a hole on a page or a screen. Proof of her commitment? Her long feature story about safety-at-work evangelist Luke Bell has earned Wilson and Fluor the distinction of winning the “Best Long Feature Article (Electronic)” category in Ragan’s 2015 Employee Communications Awards.
Wilson is an HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) communications specialist at Fluor, a global engineering, construction, and project-management organization. Her lengthy profile in Fluor’s “HSE Matters” newsletter of Bell, manager of the HSE function at Fluor’s headquarters campus in Greenville, S.C., reveals three useful maxims about reporting allegedly boring or routine organizational stories:
- Dig hard for facts and biographical info from your interviewee’s early company days. Ask for personal stories of the person you interview. You’ll find something you didn’t expect.
- Do background research in the subject dear to the heart of your profile. More unexpected facts and ideas will emerge when you and your interviewee talk.
- Passion is contagious. When you tackle a big subject like safety, you must find a person who’s passionate about his or her work.
Wilson did her digging and research and came up with gems from Bell like this:
“It’s different, but my motto is: Walk up the stairs, and ride the elevator down. Why? If you should fall, you have less likelihood of a serious injury falling up the stairs than you do falling down the stairs.”
“In the field, we always looked to the home office thinking, ‘What risks could they possibly have?’ But in reality, there are many hazards and near misses at offices.”
Congratulations to Amber Wilson, Sara Simmons, Leslie Milling, and Tiffany Martin of the “HSE Matters” newsletter staff at Fluor!