Does public relations need to party?

Tonight and tomorrow, I have professional parties to attend as the pre-Christmas “season” begins for me.  Tonight we’re combining our CIPR Wessex committee meeting with a meal in Winchester, whilst tomorrow is glam frocks and penguin suits (which are so this year) at the Guild of Motoring Writers annual dinner at the RAC Club in Pall Mall.  (And I’ve been invited to Kia’s media/PR party in London on Thursday if I can squeeze it in.)

In Jacqui L’Etang’s Public Relations in Britain – she is scathing of “fleshpots and undue influence” in the history of PR, criticising former IPR fellow and president of the 1950s, Maurice Buckmaster in particular (who was head of the special operations executive ‘F’ section in WWII, director of PR at Ford and then aptly represented the French champagne industry). 

Personally, I believe that networking is a vital aspect of public relations – in building relationships, keeping up with what’s going on, f2f communications or just having fun.  I’m actually quoted in Andy Green’s Effective Communications Skills book as championing “schmoozing”. 

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

3 thoughts on “Does public relations need to party?”

  1. That is quite a claim to fame, I love that word “schmoozing” too. Yes, networking is essential, its one of my main ways of meeting new clients.

    Talk about a small world, I contacted a press officer of a national organisation today for some info for my CRT test and he told me he was doing the same course, we had a nice online conversation about it, though he is off to Australia for the cricket over Christmas and only has 5 days to do it in – rather him than me.

    No parties for me, my head is stuck in my books, but have fun, the RAF Club sounds a very smart bash.

  2. I’m with you on this. Networking is just what it says, and in our case it’s spreading our net around the working world of Public Relations in order to keep up-to-date and with what’s going on in our profession. And, if that involves a little refreshment and “schmoozing” then great.

    Staunchly sober, anti-social, tut-tut people don’t automatically instill confidence in others. Showing you can let your hair down but keep the alcohol to sensible limits shows others you are totally in control in your working life and on social occasions too. This has got to be conducive, somewhere along the line, to building trusting relationships.

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