Inspired by Jazz Chappell’s blog which appeared on Ragan’s PR Daily this morning, covering the essentials every woman needs to get by in PR, I thought it worth taking two, clanking, chubby index fingers to my keyboard to give you the male equivalent.
What qualifies me? I have a penis and I work in PR.
1) The ability to act, look or accept that everyone thinks you’re homosexual
I’ve lost count of the amount of times a client, once the trust and relationship is there, has asked if I’m gay. I’ve been described by a former colleague as asexual and I’ve worked with a number of gay men who claimed me as their own (I accelerated that last one by going suit shopping with him one day). But I know I’m not the only one. Score’s of my bro’s in the industry have experienced the same. Like female mechanics or female construction workers must be lesbian, a man in a woman’s PR world must be gay, right?
2) A golf swing
Ever been to a corporate golf day? If you have, you’ll know women clearly don’t play golf. Back off ladies, this shit is men only! On the rare occasion you do find a female golfer in the line up, you can see the colour draining from her playing partners’ faces. Overfed corporate legal partner suddenly realises his afternoon-long repertoire of in-law gags are going to have to be shelved.
3) A collection of Jim Davidson jokes
Have about four hours’ worth ready. See point 2 above. Don’t worry that they weren’t even funny in the 80s. But DO be ready to talk about lots of other things, just in case there are, you know, women around. Nails, perhaps. Or black high heels.
4) Beats by Dre headphones
Zone yourself out, dude. You’re 45-years-old, overweight and in an Armani suit that last fitted you on your wedding day 18 years ago. But nothing tells yourself ‘I’m still down with the kids’ than a set of oversized headphones on the tube. While you’re there, don’t ever think of getting up to offer your seat to a lady or someone who needs it more.
But it’s just for show. Under no circumstances must you use it. See Steve McLaren. Do the rain grimace instead. That’ll save you getting wet.
6) A fully charged phone
Ensure you’re ready to take emergency calls from the client and the media at all hours (hey, this is ‘two-way’ comms here!)…ah balls to that. You’ll let it go to voicemail anyway. You’re actually glued to the Sky Sports transfer tracker. You’ll never be able to concentrate later unless the loan move for Jimmy Bucket from Bury is confirmed before you get to your desk.
7) Spare shirts
Like Don Draper, us blokes all have a drawer full of crisply-pressed, expertly-folded, slim-collared, single-cuffed, ready-to-effortlessly-slip-on white shirts when a client unexpectedly announces they’re in reception. Because clients are forever just turning up out of the blue on your doorstep…
8) A tidy desk
Keep a corner of the desk free lads, where are the girls gonna suggestively lean, eh? We’ve all got girls who suggestively lean on our desk, haven’t we…? Do get some around the office. You’ll know the ones, because they have nail varnish and files on their desk and black heels under it.
Actually, scrap that. You’re more likely to get boys leaning. See point 1.
9) Everything by Apple
iPad, iPhone, MacBook Air and a Mini. Line them all up (in size order). It’ll make your clients think you’re bang up with tech, yeah? In reality, the 500 work-related, job-enhancing apps you’ve downloaded and never used will remain untouched. You’ll eventually give up your iPhone4S to your eight-year-old daughter because there’s more of her crap on there than your own. You already have your eyes fixed on the 6 with its built-in projector. Which you’ll never use.
10) Good coffee
Real men look powerful drinking strong coffee. Fact. Drink it standing up for an even more masculine effect. Make sure its been shipped in direct from Italy in ‘authentic’ brown paper bags and is full bean. Insist to all that it’s worth the office manager investing in a £3,000 grinding machine for the kitchen. The clients will love it! Use it twice then serve them half a spoon of Nescafe Gold in your Poundland ‘twitter’ mugs thereafter.
11) Sticky Notes
THE office essential, brothers. So you’ll never forget the list of jobs your wife has texted you that morning. Cancel Sky, your gym membership and your Men’s Health subscription (none are having the desired effect), book the childminder for Friday night, buy Thomas a present for the kids party on Saturday. And so on. Somewhere in there is one for winning new clients and developing a Snapchat strategy for the new construction client, or something.
This is a man writing this. Like I can think of 12 things at the same time. Get real.
By Christian Cerisola