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Thank You To The PROs

Sitting on a plane last night (sadly, row 63, not far from the loo – so much for the glamorous life of a “luxury” journalist) I started to feel slightly guilty that these columns were starting to sound like a weekly ticking off. A regular moan about how you PRs could do better.

Not this week. As I was being tossed around in a sandstorm above Algeria, I recognised that some weeks, no one could have done better. That sometimes you have been absolute lifesavers.

This week, LUXX went to press. Because we are such a tiny team (two editors, two subs, a picture editor and two designers), just before we go to press it is all hands on deck. My phone is put on silent. I don’t open my post. And emails are glanced at and put into Follow Up folders: To Do Today; Travel Ideas; Hotel Reviews; Luxx Feature Ideas; Interiors ideas; Invitations to RSVP.

Being optimistic, I’d put a few breakfast meetings in my diary, thinking I could start my day with an hour of gathering information, before I got to the office at 9.30. Only, of course, I couldn’t. I had writers to send PDFs to, layouts to look at, proofs to read, headlines to write – as well as a list as long as my arm of things to do before I jetted off to Africa on Friday night.

But being brilliantly flexible people, rather than cancel our meetings in the West End, each of the PRs I’d arranged to meet came to London Bridge to see me – either in my office or somewhere nearby. I had a 15-minute gobbled lunch at Pret with Olivia Graham to talk about trips. A glass of water in our canteen with Nicole Gordon from Bird, and a cup of tea with Sarah Curran from Mango. Even Jane Quinn stepped gallantly into Roast, above Borough Market, to tell me about the extraordinary art events around the world she’s involved in – despite the fact she’d recently broken her arm and had had to get dressed, and across town, one-handed.

To all of you I say thank you. Thank you for swapping a lovely croissant and espresso in some glam hotel in the West End for a rushed chat at London Bridge. Thank you for schlepping across town. Thank you for bringing printouts of your news with you, to reduce the amount I had to scrawl in my notebook, and for following up afterwards with emailed information that will make my life so much easier. Thank you for understanding that sometimes, with the best will in the world, I just can’t do everything.

In short, thank you for being such PROs. Some weeks, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Post Author

Lisa Grainger has worked for The Times – from the arts and news desks to The Times Magazine and LUXX – since 1995. When she isn’t working as deputy editor of Luxx, Lisa freelances for publications from Departures and Travel + Leisure to The Times, pens a monthly interview with a leading British craftsman for Walpole, and is sustainability editor at Country & Town House. She has won awards for her travel writing on Africa, and is a regular contributor to panels on conservation and luxury travel. Her compilation of African myths and legends, Stories Gogo Told Me, funds schooling for orphaned girls through the CAMFED charity.


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