A very dear friend, legendary MIPAA honorary life president, and my avuncular guardian angel has sadly died.
Imagine Mad Men focused on public relations and transferred to swinging London of the 1960s and at its centre would be Gethin Bradley. No-one understood the relationship approach to our occupation better. No-one was more passionate about motor industry PR. No-one from his generation was as enthusiastic about modern developments in the field (he read this blog without fail and loved that MIPAA had introduced so many members to social media). No-one had more friends. No-one was ever more hospitable, kind and generous. I miss him so much already.
We even coined a verb – to be Gethined – defined as that feeling when you try to get up from a good lunch to find that your wine glass had been filled rather more often than you’d appreciated. That PR skill is no longer required in these less alcohol fuelled days. But I’m sure it will be welcomed on his heavenly cloud.
There are so many stories that Gethin’s friends and former colleagues could, and will, tell as they hear the news and recall the good times. None made him happier than talking about the 1954 Oxford and Cambridge Trans Africa Expedition he was involved in whilst a student, which led him into public relations. I probably heard his stories a hundred times each, but never minded, because he was a raconteur and he stimulated my interest in the history of public relations.
Over the past decade or so, I gradually took over Gethin’s role as general secretary of MIPAA – but he was always there by phone, email or when I made the trips to Kent after the appearance of Herbert, his cancerous tumour.
Wherever he went when he was still mobile, people knew his name. He was the epitome of the sociable public relations man. It was a job that he loved. But he was more than the life and soul that he appeared to be on the outside. He was intelligent, informed, the son of an amazingly strong woman of whom he was phenomenally proud – as he was of his children and grandchildren.
More than anything, one word sums up Gethin – and that is, friend. His passing is truly the end of an era.