How to get fired with a smile from Hacked Off Flack

I have just had a phone call from a mate who has been made redundant at another PR agency. I was obviously gutted for her, but less upset that a competitor agency is doing so badly it is having to lay off staff.

So how is my friend coping with her sudden lack of employment? With her usual flair, composure and dignity.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! If you are laid off, why not make a fuss?

Ask for more

Whatever the severance deal is, ask for a better one. Employment lawyers are worth a call. Just one letter from them can add several grand to your pay off.


Make your ex-bosses squirm. Laying people off is not a nice task, but on the other hand it’s not as bad as being let go of. So make sure your bosses know how upset you are, how your career is over, how your children will starve … Might give them a sleepless night or two if you’re lucky.

Keep your clients

You may have it written into your contract that you can’t work with your clients in the near future, but there are always ways and means. Make sure you keep your clients sweet, so that they follow you into any new ventures.

Get on the phone

You have to act quickly to put your side of the story to journalists before your company gets a chance to put its own version out. If you think you have been unfairly dismissed, threaten to leak some delicate information to the press. You may find you are offered a bonus to keep quiet.

But don’t burn your boats

If you want to work in this industry again, it may pay to be circumspect. No one wants to employ someone who badmouths their employers.

Burn your boats!

On the other hand, if you plan to leave PR, then hey! Go wild! Get on to Twitter and Facebook. Hijack your employer’s Twitter account if possible. If you can, secretly film your boss saying something unethical in a meeting, then put it out there. Oh the fun you can have …

Leave a present

No, nothing that disgusting. But you could lock an open tin of tuna into your desk drawer. That could smell pretty unpleasant in just a few days.

Get drunk

Now you have an excuse to go down to the pub at lunchtime and stay there all day. You can be as boring as you like, everyone will be feeling sorry for you. For a day that is. After that, you’ll need to sober up and get looking for a new job. And probably, a better job. How many people have you heard say that being laid off was the best thing that ever happened to them? I have lost count. And some of them aren’t even lying.