WPR’s, Angela Oakes describes a challenging day working for an industry body
3rd October 2013
8.00am: To aid what will be an undoubtedly busy day, I start my morning with a strong Americano and head to my wardrobe, ready to “dress to impress”!
8.30am: Suitably “armoured”, I set off to my private members’ club Home House in central London to meet with Garry Durston, marketing director of PR Newswire, our main sponsor this year.
11.00am: After the meeting, I grab a chance to enjoy a coffee in the luxurious Georgian surroundings of this beautiful Adam-designed townhouse on Portman Square and use the laptop to catch up on emails in one of the elegant drawing rooms.
12 noon: At midday I meet Joint WPR President Sue Hardwick at the new Schrager-designed London Edition Hotel in Berners Street, the bar being a potential venue for the next WPR monthly networking event. We grab a bite of lunch, and continue planning our 50th anniversary event in November.
1.30pm: After this, back to the WPR admin office in Erskine House, near Bond Street to meet our web designer Pau and our lovely new blogger Katie to discuss website updates, social media, etc.
3.30pm: Before the evening festivities kick off I take advantage of the quiet to check emails and Twitter, and make a phone call to a WIJ (Women in Journalism) committee member, arranging a joint member’s event. I also remember to text my 17-year-old son, Oliver, to wish him good luck on his driving test – maybe third time lucky!
5.00pm: I set off for the Kensington Hotel for the WPR Dress to Impress event. Last minute PR tasks being as they are, my assistant Marie and I find ourselves picking up a full-length mirror and trying to fit it in the back of a black cab on Kensington High Street …
On arrival we are warmly greeted by the hotel PR reps from If agency.
5.30pm: We welcome the dynamic Manina and Annie from the Red Leopard image agency and introduce them to the hotel event manager to facilitate the room set up.
6.30pm: Guests arrive, including lone man Francis Ingham, CEO of the PRCA. After braving a discussion with the girls on tie colours, he escapes on the excuse of a dinner in Chelsea.
With the Red Leopard ladies ready to begin, we encourage guests to top up their wine glasses and find a seat. Introductions are made and Manina and Annie wow with their stylish ways.
Afterwards, there's a chance for us all to learn what colours we should be wearing ...are we a spring, summer, autumn or winter? Lots of networking and then one-by-one the members head home, goody bags most-definitely in hand!
Check my text messages on the phone and good news. Oliver has passed, so brief call home to say “congratulations!”
9.00pm: Finally it is time for a late-night supper at the hotel to catch-up with two WPR committee members.
10.30pm: Head for the train home, at the end of long day …
12 midnight: ... which is followed by a much-needed sleep!
Angela Oakes, joint president of networking association, Women in PR (WPR)
Katie’s blog can be found here