“What do you think about Marcus?” my colleague Hugo asks me. “Marcus?” I reply, wondering what on earth he is referring to. Ex-boyfriend, ex-client, footballer, celebrity… I’m struggling. “Yes, like Jack’s. Naming a company after the founder’s Christian name. Goldman Sachs’ retail bank,” he says, putting me out of my misery.
So, my PR start-up will be called Henrietta. Very catchy. Actually, forget PR, I’m going to be a brand ambassador. Give me £500k and I’ll brand your company. “What’s your Christian name? Think of a fruit that’s not an apple or orange or blackberry!” Birds, that’ll be the new thing. Companies called ‘Eagle’, ‘Cuckoo’, er… ‘Thrush’.
Ping! A client emails to suggest tweaks to my draft press release. Absurdly, he wants his quote to say he was being “disruptive”, simply because he had started using a new bit of technology for managing his portfolio. “Disruptive” used to be the word for the naughty child at the back of the class ruining it for everyone else. I begin singing (to myself): “Oh yes, I’m the great disruptor…”
My reverie is short-lived – a call from a client who has spent much time pondering how to enter the PRS (he’s not alone there, methinks). “Can you put me in touch with the guys at intu?” he says. “They want to build PRS flats next to Lakeside and Merry Hill shopping centres. What they should be doing is converting the actual centres into flats with cafés and amenities, like the Americans did at Providence Arcade in Rhode Island.”
“Yes,” I reply. “And they can rebrand the company as intu Living”.