As Director, Corporate Communications, former news reporter Stephanie Higgins’ new “beat” is H&P’s global organization.
When she graduated from college, Stephanie Higgins never could have dreamed she’d one day be Director of Corporate Communications for one of the world’s premier drilling solutions providers. With her diploma in hand, Stephanie pursued her first dream; journalism.
“My first job out of college was being a news reporter with the Broken Arrow Ledger,” says Stephanie. “Then I worked at the Tulsa World for 11 years.”
Stephanie achieved her journalism dreams, but after more than a decade covering the news, she was seeking a new opportunity. She then worked as Director of Communications for the City of Broken Arrow and then in the communications department for another Tulsa-based company in the energy industry before the opportunity at Helmerich & Payne opened up.
“I joined corporate communications, or we used to call it, ‘the dark side’,” laughs Stephanie. “I’ve been in corporate communications for nine years now and at H&P for three. I love it!”
Despite the reputation that corporate communications have among journalism grads, Stephanie has discovered ‘the dark side’ is actually the exact opposite. It is challenging, but also very rewarding.
“I love being able to see the direct effect that my work has on other employees,” says Stephanie. “To be able to see that people are getting the recognition they deserve because of the work you did is really rewarding.”
She also loves H&P and what the company stands for.
"Being part of a company that’s really taking care of employees is refreshing,” says Stephanie. “As an employee, you really feel that you are a priority.”
Taking care of people isn’t just a top-down practice at H&P; everybody does it throughout the company. As the leader of the communications department, Stephanie is proud to help share that story.
While the work is rewarding, it’s also very demanding. Stephanie and her team are not only up to the challenge; they embrace it.
“For a global organization there’s a lot we dip our hands into,” says Stephanie. “Three-fourths of our employees are field employees based on our rigs around the world, so getting them the information they need when they may not have readily accessible email or internet access is tough. Same with international employees. We have time zone constraints, so a fundamental part of communications is figuring out those challenges.”
Stephanie says her career in journalism gave her a “huge leg up” as she moved into the corporate world.
“Journalism showed me how to build relationships, and how to write and adapt quickly. When you’re a journalist, every day is different, and every audience is different. Same applies at H&P - every day is different," says Stephanie. “Being a journalist also taught me how to deal with the media and other external stakeholders on high-level things that can truly affect the performance of your company.”
Beyond her journalism experience, Stephanie says her greatest “leg up” is her team.
“I love my team and they make it really fun to go to work,” says Stephanie. “We tackle hard challenges together every day, but also like to have fun. We support one another and have each other’s back.”
Whether it’s managing social media or working with the news media, communicating with rig employees around the world or helping executives manage messaging from the boardroom, H&P is grateful that Stephanie and her team have our backs.