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Have you got any cringe making stories from your childhood that your mother likes to trot out in front of girlfriends/boyfriends/random visitors? I have.

About how an Italian exchange student tried to argue the toss about some minutiae of grammar and I stormed out, muttering that I wouldn’t have a foreigner telling me how to speak my own language.

Yep, that’s me, a right little Nigel Farrage at the age eight.

From more recent times, my dear friend Jo likes to remind me of when we first met many years ago and she tried to interest me in a PR-heavy pitch involving an up-and-coming chef by the name of Gordon Ramsay.

“Thing is, Jo,” I said, “if I want to get hold of a chef like him, I’ll just pick up the phone and call the restaurant.” God, what a pompous tit I was.

True, though. Not with Gordon any more obviously (wonder what ever happened to him?) but you have to recognise what the deal is with PR pitches involving chefs. You need to be offering access to someone I can’t get hold of otherwise.

In exchange you will get a feature with rather heavier fingerprints of “advertorial” than would otherwise be the case.

It’s a grubby little secret we all connive in, but it’s all about your market value, and that will vary from publication to publication, and story to story. Nigella welcoming The Times into her home to talk about her love for Ambrosia tinned rice? Yes, yes and yes.

Celebrity chef Joe Bloggs on how he uses Tefal pans in his new restaurant, not so much.


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A nice example of PR by stealth: A nod to the current trends, a bit of lateral thinking, and the client''s company introduced without fanfare. Nicely done.' See press release


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