Diary: How horizontal networking could be your key to corporate success

Just when you thought PR was shaking off its image of long lunches and cocktail parties, along comes Roger Hayes, honorary president of the International Public Relations Association, with a book that elevates it to a science.

Just when you thought PR was shaking off its image of long lunches

and cocktail parties, along comes Roger Hayes, honorary president of the

International Public Relations Association, with a book that elevates it

to a science.



Systematic Networking - A Guide for Personal and Corporate Success is

Hayes’ bid for management guru status - and a surprisingly illuminating

read.



Hayes, also director-general of the British Nuclear Industry Forum,

argues that in an age of short-term contracts, home-working and the

break-down of traditional hierarchies, proper networking is the key to

professional success.



Homing in on corporate hospitality, Hayes notes that few companies do it

properly. ’Table planning, knowing enough about your guests’ interests

and the pecking order to ’mix and match’ correctly,’ is an art form, he

writes.



Later in the book he offers this advice: ’The best consultancies I know

are those who invite their competitors to their annual party.’



But, perhaps, the most intriguing aspect of the book, is the glimpse it

gives into the romantic side of Hayes’ character. Women, he says, are

the best networkers - ’more attuned to the more informal horizontal

networks within organisations and communities’.



Warming to his theme, Hayes reveals: ’In my younger days I dated a PR

woman in New York in the normal way men do. Ten years on I visited her

and she was so busy tending to her hundred staff (mostly women) that we

had to eat lunch at her desk.’



Now that’s what I call romance.



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