Lights off for PR Stereotypes

December 1, 2015 |

Our industry is often blighted by a couple of stereotypes:

We are all bubbly-quaffing airheads.

We are all cold hearted, ruthless folk, who will do anything to gain coverage.

With this in mind, I wanted to share the story of our latest event to dispel at least a small part of these scandalous myths (I can’t lie, we do love a glass of fizz).

When our Nottingham bar / restaurant client Rocket@Saltwater challenged us to come up with a new idea for a ladies night, we went big with our ideas and amongst the weird and the wonderful, one stood out.

It basically involved our own version of Saturday night entertainment show ‘Take Me Out’. We decided to assemble eight of Nottingham’s most eligible bachelors for a bit of good old fashioned ritual humiliation. In our wisdom, we thought what fun it would be to parade them in front of an audience of 200 women, who would judge them using light bulb shaped cards to win a date. Those poor boys.

And so Take Me Out….to Rocket@Saltwater was born.

It was a couple of days later when a mate of mine told me the story of his friend Bronte Doyne, who tragically passed away from a rare form of cancer last year at the age of 19. He was thinking of ways to fundraise for the Teenage Cancer Trust in her memory.

This set the cogs whirring and I went off to read up a little more on Bronte.

Now, this is where the honesty comes in and I admit that I have a bit of a reputation for being PR stereotype number two and a tough nut to crack emotionally. However, something genuinely touched me about this story.

Looking through the pictures on the Just Giving page that Bronte’s mum Lorraine set up after her death, I could see how right Lorraine was when she wrote how Bronte “defied how ill she often felt, still smiling that beautiful smile no matter what.”

Being a bit of an iceman, things that I come across in the PR world don’t usually hit me that hard, but this one did.

I could see that Lorraine and her family had thrown all of their efforts into fundraising over the past few months and saw an opportunity to help via the Rocket@Saltwater event.

Now, Lorraine is the type of woman I like – bright, bold and up for a challenge. Needless to say she didn’t need much convincing, nor did Rocket@Saltwater when we told them Bronte’s story.

And, what a legend Lorraine proved to be. As a side point, if anyone is looking for a sales person – this lady can sell tickets like no other!

After weeks of planning, the night arrived. The boys were nervous, the drink flowed, the ladies got into the spirit (if not a little rowdy), matches were made and some didn’t go home alone (naming no names). However, the most important part was that we raised a staggering £1,370 for Teenage Cancer Trust, helped Lorraine share Bronte’s story and packed out the bar for our client.

Judging by the hangovers, a great night was had by all and we’ve certainly made some new Tank PR friends in Lorraine and her family.

Now, my colleagues will tell you that I don’t always have a smile on my face, but I have a wry one as I write this. That’s because I know our team has helped to make a difference. A drop in the ocean really in the grand scheme of things, but a difference none the less.

So, some may be cynical about PR pros, but let’s try and propagate some new stereotypes:

We like the odd glass of bubbly, but we actually have substance.

Yes, we will do most things to get coverage for clients but our hearts can be melted.

In reality, some of us are actually quite nice!