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
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
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
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.