Hall of Famers join for 21st bash

Gatherings of PR folk do not come more stellar than the throng gracing PRWeek’s 21st anniversary party last week at the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures & Commerce.

Addressing attendees from PRWeek's 'Hall of Fame' (download supplement here), Haymarket Publishing group chairman Michael Heseltine gave a rousing speech on the importance of PR, which included fond reminiscences of his first days on the campaign trail.

In the late 1950s it appears he was bundled off to contest a seat in one of the least Tory-friendly constituencies in the UK – Gower, in the heart of the South Wales mining community. However, the party neglected to give him the back-up he would come to expect later in his career. 'My support team consisted of a girlfriend, a dog and a Land Rover,' he confessed.

In the case of some guests, the anecdotes began before PRWeek's party had even started.

Travelling to the bash in a taxi with Adrian Wheeler, Diary was amused to learn what the GCI Europe chairman has been getting up to in his spare time: surfing the net buying trees for other PR men.
Wheeler revealed that he had snapped up 20 crab-apple trees from Tree2mydoor.com ('living gifts for lasting memories') for his pal Christopher Broadbent, Barclay Stratton founder and current Kaizo non-executive director.

'But why?' asked Kaizo chief Crispin Manners with raised eyebrow, further along the back seat. 'He likes them, they're for his farm,' replied Wheeler matter-of-factly.

No Good yet
One of the first guests to turn up was former Hill & Knowlton chief David Wynne-Morgan, who appeared very keen to catch up with another PR bigwig, interrupting his own anecdotes twice to ask: 'Is Tony Good here yet?'

As we enquired from Wynne-Morgan whether he thinks son Jamie (ex-H&K and now at M&C Saatchi Sponsorship) will one day make it into a list of PR grandees similar to that compiled in this issue, Wynne-Morgan – ever the PR man – was keener to show that he hasn't lost his touch, enthusiastically talking of his ongoing work for current clients.

But he did seem to think working at PRWeek sucks the life and youth out of its reporters, and issued an ostensibly serious warning to our newest recruit: 'You won't look like that after you've been there a few months.'

Recalling the morning after a most enjoyable night before, Diary must concede he has a point.

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