Can I Ask A Favour


So my book is finally written. It’s called How To Heal A Broken Heart – it’s been edited and I’m expecting the proofs to arrive any minute now.

And now begins the publicity push: I am taking my brave pills, getting over the cringe and asking favours of colleagues, contacts and friends, which got me thinking, how much should we ask of others? How far should we push them for our own gains?

It’s a conundrum that happens both sides of the PR/journalist divide. A PR friend of mine, who I’ve known and worked with for decades, is friends with a media personality and an influential book reviewer. They met through work, but their relationship has now morphed into something deeper. She would like to help me, but she also doesn’t want to ruin her relationship with said person.

I totally get this, nobody likes to feel used, but conversely most of us like to feel helpful. When asking for help I think it’s about skilled diplomacy, having enough chutzpah to ask, but not being so pushy you make someone feel uncomfortable – and sometimes giving them an out.

I think it’s also about making sure something is relevant, and that you are giving them something back (e.g. ‘this might be useful for your show’). Be confident, be cognisant this person might get lots of requests for help, but also remain sure of your own value.

Now I just need to learn to do as I say.