The inaugural PR Happy Hour launched on Tuesday 22nd November at Foundation Bar in London’s Covent Garden.
A popular question asked during the evening was “so why are you doing this?” The popular notion was that TNR & PR Newswire must love a good social drink (which of course we do!), but this myth was put to bed by our joint MD Tim Kerr being teetotal. As a result of this, I thought I would set the record straight and clarify the thinking behind the first PR Happy Hour.
My colleague Penny Joyner and I sat down and decided we wanted to host a PR & Media event that people within the industry would actually want to attend. We initially thought about an informal breakfast, afternoon or evening meeting and came to the conclusion there were a lot of these events in people’s diary’s already. We then thought about potentially hosting a networking event, but having compared this to speed dating in the original invite – you know our views on that. (Apologies to those speed daters out there, please don’t take it personally!)
The rate we were discounting ideas at rapidly narrowed our options. The main criteria of the event was to lay on something different, fun & sociable for people. We figured that people in the PR & Media industry have a tough life that often involves juggling multiple balls at 100mph – figuratively speaking. Then the idea struck us that we should just host a drinks event at an uber cool location like Foundation Bar. The idea was not to give the evening a label like “networking”, and to just do it because – well why not! The idea of people just turning up to evening drinks to chat, let off steam and just shoot the breeze started to tick all the boxes.
It was however missing a certain something, a little USP to climb nearer to the top of people’s social diary. I’ve always been a believer that the simplest ideas are often the best, and when the idea of free drink was voiced, I knew that we had found a winning formula. I mean, what better way to round people up in one place than by offering free drink! We successfully got TNR & PR Newswire on board to very generously sponsor the bar; which is no mean feat in the PR & Media industry. Then out of that the name ‘PR Happy Hour’ was born!
The night itself saw people come from as far afield as Bristol & Gloucester. Some arrived at the beginning & stayed until the lights came on, and some popped in for a few hours for a chat and colourful drink from jam jars. We had a great turn out including David Ross from The Sun propping up the bar chatting to people; Cowboys (my name for blokes from Cow PR), 10 Yetis, McDonald’s, Frank & Ketchum to name but a few. Our stunning TNR camera person, Gemma De-Ville, caught the eye of a few as she shot the whole evening on her Z5 in a pair of 5” Kurt Geiger heels without even a wobble!
A lot of effort was put in to make the evening a success and we certainly enjoyed it, in fact I’m pretty sure everyone there did as well. We definitely believe this is the template for more evenings to come and will be looking at dates in 2012 soon. Keep your eyes on the @PR_Happyhour Twitter feed for more info!
Post by Alex Waite (Marketing Executive @ TNR Communications)