Following PR Week’s exclusive revelation that Boris Yeltsin has called
on Sir Tim Bell to help swing the coming Russian election (PR Week, 12
April ), it emerges that other of his countrymen are turning towards UK
PR agencies to extricate them from tight spots.
One such agency, Powerhouse, recently had a call from a chap with a
thick Russian accent. On being assured that, yes, he had reached the
Powerhouse, he advised senior account executive Kate Steele that he was
in the energy industry and was keen to do business.
Kate assured the caller that, although energy wasn’t the agency’s main
specialist area, they were working in such fields as new media and hi-
tech and she was sure they would be able to help.
Good, said Kate’s prospective client, as he had a number of nuclear
power stations, mainly in Russia, at a very good price and if they were
interested in talking money...
After Kate explained that, erm, actually they were a public relations
agency, rather than an adjunct to the UK nuclear industry, there was a
long, strangled pause, the caller admitted he’d made a terrible mistake
and the line suddenly went dead.
Powerhouse director Adrian Weston confirms that the agency has no
immediate plans to diversify into the nuclear property market.
He says: ‘We have been thinking of moving from software accounts into
hardware but not quite that far,’ adding, ‘I am intrigued about the
outcome of his next call. Someone in Britain may have woken up this
morning as the proud new owner of half a dozen dodgy nuclear