Diary: Tales of endurance in Turkish odyssey

With the holiday season in full swing and most PROs' thoughts turning to spending time away from the office, PRWeek was intrigued to hear of the antics of four PROs who opted to spend their summer hols together.

19 Management and Victoria Beckham mouthpiece Charlotte Hickson, Radio 1 press man Julian Payne, Cake planning director Jim Dowling and Frank PR co-founder Andrew Bloch have just returned from Turkey.

We hear Hickson made a considerable impression by eating the same meal every night (chicken kebab), while Bloch spent six and a half hours one day on a lilo without moving.

Dowling ploughed his way through an impressive eight books during the sojourn while Payne is understood to have changed outfits five times in one day ('Chris Moyles (Radio 1 DJ) gets sent loads of gear that doesn't fit him,' explains Bloch).

But was there talk of spin and strategy amid the sun, sea and (talk of) Becks? Bloch will only say: 'Mobiles were banned in the evening. Four PR people with mobiles switched on does not make for a very relaxing holiday.' How very true.

Valencia list offers two bites of the pie New-business pitches are usually ultra-competitive but this was taken to extremes when two parts of the same travel PR firm went head-to-head for the Valencia Tourist Board (VTB) account.

McCluskey International acquired VTB incumbent, Marketeer, last year and moved into the same Hammersmith offices - but both wanted a piece of the paella, so they both hopped onto the six-strong pitch list when the account went up for grabs.

McCluskey principal Judy McCluskey tells us: 'Not all Marketeer's contracts were automatically handed over, particularly where they had government contracts.' McCluskey romped home. PRWeek hopes it doesn't generate any bad feeling over the office partitions.

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