Public relations is a business built from hot air
They promise the earth and deliver zilch. Everything’s “the best thing ever” and “better than the best” but don’t hold your breath (as they’ll charge for that too). Monthly retainers are their remit and expense accounts are their guiding forces. Enter the world of PR at your peril.
Yes, of course, there are public relations geniuses but the stereotype of Edina Monsoon of Absolutely Fabulous lives on in today’s generation of hype creators. They bullshit on a whim and pitch like there’s no tomorrow. Most will take on anything but, naturally, wouldn’t you if you got £5k a month for promoting fool’s gold?
Yesterday, I received an invite to a party from a PR outfit named Sheepish. I’d never heard of them before and they didn’t even appear to have a credible attempt at a website. A PR who doesn’t promote themselves and a PR whose name is defined by “embarrassment” and “a lack of self-confidence”? Surely not.
The invite was for nothing other than a party on the same day. “How bizarre and how ridiculous”, I thought, but on enquiring about how she’d found my details the publicist stated she’d found me via the Internet. I found myself thinking “how enterprising” but how wrong could I have been?
The event to which I was “Sheepishly” yet “proudly” invited was for a party for something called Oro Gold “at London Fashion Week”. It was to be sponsored by Lion Beers and Whitley Neill gin. It started at 8.30pm and RSVPing was said to be a “must”. I’d never heard of the beer (which turned out to be Nigerian) but as a gin lover, I thought this sounds like my kind of thing and decided to go with two fashion loving ladies.
Further information from the PR should have halted our enthusiasm. We were given a list of “event twits and hashtags”. This was followed by a complete list of real “twits” who had “confirmed in attendance”. They were described as numbering the “first IT boy, socialite and personality of the year 2011”, an “actor [who] has just finished playing a role in a movie with a big star” and someone who happened to be the “UK’s girl band”. I’ve no knowledge of the UK actually having an official girl band, had no clue as to who the “big star” could be and can’t imagine what the purpose of an “IT boy” is (something connected to computers perhaps?) but what was the real draw? “Expected in attendance: Abbey Clancy” was written in bold (sheepishly). One word: “Wow”. Two words: “How fantastic” Three words: “This is A-list”.
On arriving, we didn’t find a glistening official party connected to London Fashion Week but instead a grotty shop where an Israeli was peddling dodgy cosmetics. There was no gin as we were told we couldn’t go downstairs – where the gin was supposedly being served – “because a photoshoot [was] going on right now”. Who has a photoshoot in the middle of party, but, more importantly, where on earth was the promised Liverpudlian firecracker? Nowhere to be seen. We fled after 4-minutes. Proof yet again that that the land of public relations is frequented by nothing other than hot air.
Sheepish will be hosting another party for Oro Gold on Monday. I doubt I’ll find an invite in the post but I doubt I’d want one.
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