Good Friday turned out to be very good for me. My tactic of announcing my client’s profit warning at 5pm the day before worked a treat.
”Henrietta, how the f*** did we lose that one to those muppets across the road,” he barks, almost making me spill my skinny turmeric latte.
We’d been put forward by the company’s broker, there’d only been two other firms pitching and our proposed fee wasn’t too outrageous. It had looked like a slam dunk.
The post-mortem is interrupted by a call from a client, whose last press coverage was so good (to the surprise of all of us) that he wants me to “touch base” (ugh) with the FT and Investors Chronicle because, of course, they are desperate to write about him. I tell him I’ll give it my best shot, which is not strictly true.
As I’m walking back from lunch I bump into a rival, Hugo. He has the inside track on the big client pitch we lost. The winning lot, he said, had mocked up a Times front-page story with a headline proclaiming the CEO had secured the company’s £500m IPO. Total nonsense, of course, but the CEO had fallen for it and given them the contract.
Overpromise and underachieve – that’s what a PR’s life is all about.