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Parties, long lunches and the work of entertaining

January, 2016

PR isn’t all late nights and parties, and when it is they’re not quite as glamorous as you’d expect. Maxim PR senior account executive Erica Jones dispels the myths.

One of the many stereotypes I’ve encountered since joining the world of PR is the belief I spend my days enjoying long, boozy lunches and wild, glitzy parties.

It’s true in the sense I occasionally have the pleasure of working evenings, but the reality is much more mundane.

Picture caption writer

As a PR newbie I cut my teeth on events by following photographers around, writing down caption information for the social pages of glossy magazines. My role involved loitering at a close enough distance to write down the names of everyone pictured (in order, with identifying marks/clothes/hair) while not getting in the way of the camera or slowing down the journey around the room. It guaranteed I met almost everyone in attendance, but conversation was limited to name and job and as for alcohol – well I was once asked to top up a champagne glass before the photo was taken, does that count?

The thing is, even running around pen in hand, I can’t pretend I don’t enjoy it. After a couple of years my handwriting may not have sped up but my facial recognition has improved and nowadays one or two people even recognise me. It’s not a glamorous role, but it does mean I’m one of the few people in the room who gets to meet everyone, along with the barman and cloakroom assistant.

Networking

Next up came a selection of networking events. These come in all shapes and sizes, but my first encounters were with my peers, in particular people in similar roles to mine or those I might want to contract to support my work.

It’s easy to see how a few drinks in such company could turn into a fun night out, but arriving at a bar filled with strangers you’re supposed to get to know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In such situations Dutch courage can be required but careful not to drink too much or you morph from confident professional to drunk embarrassment, negating your reasons for turning up in the first place.

Dinner date

On a smaller, more intimate level food is involved (and I’m not just talking the canapés you subtly try to grasp at when no one’s looking). This could take place at noon or night, but no matter who’s paying it’s important to remember you were invited along for a reason.

Whether you’re there to provide an introduction, help keep the conversation going or to simply represent your company or client: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Erica Jones - Account Manager

Erica Jones

Maxim / Account Manager

posted in: maxim/client news, public relations,

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