DIARY: Travel boss falls for a tall tale and looks on the Brighter PR side of life

The latest way to land new business is to pretend you’re not in PR at all.

The latest way to land new business is to pretend you’re not in PR at


Yes, in a world where doing thing in the same way as everyone else just

gets you to the back of the queue, Debbie Flynn, of the agency Brighter

PR and her partner Jane Richards have just landed a year-long contract

from the luxury cruise company Silver Sea by pretending to be in, er,


Earlier this year Ms Flynn was at the Geneva incentive travel show

representing the interests of her client, the millionaire Peter de

Savary and in particular, his luxury Scottish retreat, the Carnegie Club

at Skibo Castle.

Standing with a crowd in a hotel bar at midnight, she was approached by

a couple of travel trade types; one turned out to be with Aris

Zarpanely, boss of Silver Seas UK. ‘We’d had enough of talking travel,’

said Flynn, ‘so we said we were in the medical business researching

impotence just to liven things up. I’d once had a boyfriend who worked

in impotence so I could talk about it with great authority,’ she adds.

‘I think they thought that as a pharmaceutical company, we’d be a great

sales lead for his cruise business.’

The following day, however, Flynn bumped into the two at the incentive

show and spilled the beans, whereupon Zarpanely said if she could do as

good a communications job on his business, as she’d done on him, she

could have a trial project. ‘Now he’s given us a year-long contract. It

certainly beats cold calling.’

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