The epithets ‘reticent’, ‘taciturn’ and ‘timid’ rarely come to mind when
thinking of Roger Haywood. Indeed, those who know the past IPR president
might reflect that ‘ebullient’, ‘loquacious’, even ‘Falstaffian’, are
more apposite terms.
Therefore, I was most perplexed to hear that the Kestrel Communications
chairman has been receiving confidence-building tips.
It all happened, apparently. when Haywood was chatting with a woman
journalist at a press launch for Dutch telecoms client KPN. In response
to her query as to who he was, Haywood explained his company had
actually organised the whole bash but that, as a rather shy and retiring
chap, he didn’t like to push himself forward.
The irony was wasted. The hackette told Haywood that shyness just
wouldn’t do in PR, that she too once suffered from a lack of confidence
and could therefore help him. She thentook him aside and spent several
minutes administering advice, as to how, on being panic-struck, one
should imagine oneself as an actor assuming a confident role.
A bemused Haywood tells me: ‘It was so kind of her, I could hardly say
that I was actually being ironic.
‘It’s funny really, because most people would say: ‘For God’s sake, shut