In an industry stuffed with charlatans and egomaniacs I stand out as a beacon of introspection, calm and probity (it’s all relative). At least, that’s what I conclude from the fact that young people keep asking me about what PR is and how to get into it. The first one is easy to answer - nobody knows. The second is more difficult but involves parents who are agency clients and aren’t afraid to blag you an internship.
“And do you enjoy food and drink PR?” is the next question. “Pleasure,” as Uncle Roger used to say when administering the slipper to me and his other nieces, “depends on your position.” So Karoline (with a K), as Great Leader, finds her mornings filled with hair and nail maintenance (Justin/Justine, one of London’s leading transgender hairdressers, is a regular visitor) and afternoons filled with lunch. The rest of us worker bees soldier on with the usual heady mix of bloggers demanding cash and freebies to plug our products to their audience of 15 (including their mum and themselves under four different names), arranging ‘high-profile’ pop-up events that will be ignored by every medium with an audience of more than 100, and tweeting inanities to the inane. God knows what this has to do with brand building, but everyone else is at it, so until the house of cards collapses, we’ll carry on.
More importantly, the news of the week is that someone you’ve never heard of (Arbikie) is launching a three-potato vodka. In the manner of razor blade inflation, more potato varieties must mean better booze. So why stop at three? What the fmcg world needs, more than deflation, competition and low-energy lighting, is a five-potato vodka. That would be two-fifths better.