That’s not true actually. I say no to 70% of my invites. The events are too early, too late, too far away. Too time consuming. Not relevant. I mean I’d like to go to most of them, but if I did I’d a) never do any actual writing and b) never see my kids.
But occasionally there’s one I just can’t resist.
This week it came from the Armani beauty press office. Subject line? ‘Dinner with Cate Blanchett.’ This was almost enough in itself, but when the occasion was described as ‘intimate’ it sealed the deal. (What constitutes intimate? Ten people? Twenty? Answers please).
Lots of brands offer up an A lister as bait but there’s a massive difference between a celeb showing up for five minutes at a party for five hundred, and one who really gets stuck in and converses and engages with us hacks.
Next draw? The dinner is at The Connaught. Easy to get to. Familiar but fabulous. Yes please.
Onto the table plan. Journalists with any sense of realism know that they are not always going to be seated next to the a lister, but still it’s good PR to make everyone feel part of the gang. One table is preferable to two. Moving the celebrity around between courses even better. And any way in which the room can be made to feel informal, and personal to the A lister is great. Like the hacks are their guests, not the brand’s.
It’s a funny/weird thing – human beings being treated as a commodity in this way, but the truth is we all, brands and hacks and just about everyone else, want a sprinkling of their star dust.