One of my friends used to work for the PR consultancy equivalent of a 'sausage factory.' She was always at the office until late into the night and a lot of weekends were also gobbled up by her job. She told pretty worrying tales about Account Managers breaking down in tears while driving to work and turnover was so high that her team was constantly changing. She found it all very unsettling and highly stressful. She lasted less than six months.
I just don't think that is right. If your employees are unhappy and are not allowed to unwind in the evenings or at weekends, then it will come out in the work that they do. It's inevitable. I also think that it's highly unethical to treat people like this, whether they are being paid big bucks to manage a huge PR campaign or they are on a much more modest wage, down at the local corner shop.
My life is very balanced. I work from 8.30am-5pm, unless I have a late meeting or am organising an event etc. If I can't do my work between those hours then I am either not organising my time properly or my employer is giving me more than I can manage on my own. I relax by indulging in my hobbies (horse-riding, although I am also taking up snowboarding) and spending time with my boyfriend and my family.
I do love my job but if I didn't have other interests and an opportunity to spend time doing them, I would become demotivated, lethargic and would not be able to work to my full potential.
If you are sat reading this in the office at 8pm and you are still nowhere near the bottom of your pile of work, you may fit the typical 'sausage worker' profile! Remember- you do have a choice here. There are plenty of great PR consultancies and employers out there who recognise that content employees benefit everybody. Make sure you're with one of them.
I will happily admit that I am part of the up-and-coming generation that is passionate about buying organic, free range products. I am quite content to indulge in a nice slice of roast chicken and stuffing as long as I know that the bird was treated with respect and kindness while it was alive.
I am always keen to learn more about how I can enjoy the things I love without harming the environment and the animals in it, which is why I tuned in to Jamie Oliver's 'Fowl Dinners' last night.
Despite criticism from the Herald's Michelle Hewitson, I still believe that the show was a great success. I think it achieved the goal of shocking viewers and making them think a little about what they are eating.
Also, kudos to the Corporate PR Manager from Hellman's Mayonnaise for announcing, on the show, that the company will no longer be using eggs that aren't free range. It's good to know that such a popular, well known brand has taken a stand and chosen to do the right thing.
I don't care that this show was used as a blatent PR tool for Waitrose, Sainsburys and even Mr Jamie Oliver. If what he is doing goes some way towards stopping things like this happening (and it isn't just a British or American issue- follow this link for a Kiwi example) then it can't be a bad thing.
Don't forget to include RSVP details and a cut-off date
Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of organising a lavish launch event for a brand new company called, Lumino Pearl Dental Spa. The luxury spa, which is based in Remuera, is the very first of its kind in New Zealand. Allen Baker, who all those 'Ten Years Younger' addicts will know as the man who transforms smiles, is heading up the venture and will be offering a complex list of appearance dentistry treatments.
The 'Great Gatsby' themed launch party, which took place last night at the spa, was a great success. Dawsons did a fantastic job with the decorating and catering, the Mike Nesbit Jazz Trio provided the tunes and top photographer, George Passmore, was on hand to capture all the fun and excitement on film.
A number of beautiful prizes were donated from local businesses, including a microdermabrasion treatment from Forme Beauty Spa, a beauty pack from Sarah Priddy's Nails and last (but certainly not least!) a gorgeous pearl necklace from Angela Daniels. Allen Baker also donated two hygiene appointments and two Britesmile whitening treatments.
I was thrilled that a lot of people really made the most of the occasion, taking the opportunity to dress up in all their 1920s finery (including myself!) I will post some more photos later so that you can admire all the feathers, sparkles and lace for yourselves.
I've just stumbled across this great corporate website. At first I thought it was real (and run by a group of arrogant you-know-whats...) Then I carried on reading and quickly realised that all was not as it seemed.
This fake site is full of golden quotes but here are a few of my favourites:
'Our main consulting strategy is to convince clients that we do stuff they can't do themselves, and that we deserve lots of money for it. The best way to do this is to always look good, and always sound like we know something you don't. Because we do.
Are you confused yet? Of course you are. And that's just how we like it. Our marketing professionals are constantly coming up with new ways to make you feel inferior and stupid. Because you are. And we're not. We're new-age, eMoving, marketing consultants.'
'We have lots of shiny espresso machines, and all of our new-age eMovers (that's our cool way to say "consultants," remember?) drive to work in VW Beetles. Appearance is everything to us, because we'll get more of your money by looking cool than we will by doing quality work.
If you call our office, the phone will be answered by a very disinterested intern, giving you the impression that we're too important to talk to you. Because we are.'
If you're at the end of your working day, you're running out of enthusiasm and you've suddenly come down from that sugar and caffeine high you had been surfing since lunchtime, have a look at the Huh? website. It's a great laugh. And we all know of a couple of companies out there that are sailing dangerously close to being true-to-form Huh? corporations!Kudos to the person that came up with this site. I salute you.
Another morning- another giant mug of thick, black coffee.... I don't even like coffee. I drink it because it gives me a buzz and it is more socially acceptable to drink Nescafe in the morning than a bottle of fluorescent blue Powerade.
Coffee has come into my life because of a significant increase in my work load. Don't get me wrong- I'm very excited about having a variety of different things to be getting on with. I'm a total fidget- the kind of person who is constantly tapping their feet and looking around for something else to do. I get bored and demotivated when I don't have anything to do. No- my problem is with shutting my brain off when I get home in the evenings.
Last night, as I was settling down, ready to go to sleep, this is what happened:
Me: Ahhh, lovely, lovely sleep
Brain: Excuse me. Before you nod off, I was wondering...are you sure that you have invited all the people you need to for this launch event you're organising?
Me: Shut up, I'm trying to sleep. But now you mention it...I can't remember if I added that key media contact to the guest list...Maybe I should get up and check.
Brain: And I hope you realise that you have to phone thingy and so-and-so tomorrow, and look through those notes, and type up that article and write up that other thing. Oh, and update your blog.
Me: I'm perfectly aware of all this- why are we going over this at 12.30am??
Brain: Also, seeing as you're still awake, let me tell you about this great idea I have for that new client of yours.
And so it went on.
How does everyone else relax when they get home in the evenings? Are you ever able to take your mind entirely off work or is it always lurking at the back of your mind, wherever you are and whatever you're doing? Does it get easier the longer you are in the job role? Maybe I should take up yoga...