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Do you want to know every food writer’s favourite restaurateur? It’s Jeremy King, of Corbin and King fame.

It’s not really for what he’s achieved (although, let’s be honest, no one can touch him for that. How many people can claim to have changed the face of London dining in the way he did with the Ivy, the Caprice and the Wolseley?) It’s not for the slickness of his restaurants or his largesse either (yes, he might help favourite writers get a better table, but quite rightly he’s never been one for offering anything on the house).

No, it’s for his impeccable manners. Make a favourable mention, no matter how small, of one of his restaurants and you receive a hand-written note expressing his delight, surprise and gratitude for your gracious remarks.

It’s a fine example of soft PR. Because while I’m not in this business for the praise, it’s always nice to be appreciated, and that appreciation brings its own rewards. The few seconds it takes to put pen to paper, to fire off an email or make a phone call creates a virtuous circle: I’m more likely to be well disposed to those who show themselves to be well disposed to me. It’s basic psychology, innit?

And it’s such an easy win for PRs. Free at the point of delivery, a demonstration of professionalism in that you are keeping on top of press coverage, and a good advert for the values of your client (cc them in too so that they know that).

It’s such a no-brainer I’m amazed everyone doesn’t do it as a matter of course. 

What Tony Thinks…

“People are probably so desperate to go out and eat again that they don’t need extra incentives, but Petersham is using the reopening to publicise a charity close to their hearts. Could it augur a new spirit of philanthropy?”

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