Virgin Nairobi trip makes PROs sweat

With a Knox-Johnston-esque passion for pursuing pastures new, Virgin Atlantic's Kenyan press trip last weekend - marking its inaugural flight to Nairobi - generated mountains of coverage.

But despite being an expertly-organised project, it got off to a decidedly rocky start. The opening press conference saw journos stagger off the plane, at 5am, into a marquee set up on the runway.

The scribes and snappers took their places in a hot tent already populated by the Kenyan media.

Unfortunately Nairobi TV had positioned itself in front of the video screens. Worse, when Sir Richard Branson started speaking, it became apparent that neither he nor the Kenyan vice-president had working microphones.

But the UK media were more worried when, half way through, a giant helicopter - apparently requested by the Kenyan dignitary - almost landed on the marquee itself.

One could only admire the calmness of Branson and his PR team, although PRWeek's representative noted more than a few raised eyebrows and some extra perspiration.

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