After 10 years… some lessons learned

posted by Brendan Hodgson

A few tidbits, miscellany and lessons learned from 10 years of working in the PR trenches – some (if not most) have happened to me, others to colleagues (you know who you are):

  1. Never (ever) forget a name – particularly if that person is paying the bills
  2. Never pick a fight with your boss… even at the Christmas party
  3. In Norway, doors open differently than they do in Canada. ’nuff said.
  4. Always turn off your Crackberry/cell phone in a meeting… and certainly don’t get caught clandestinely trying to check your email 
  5. Never leave a meeting before the client does… or unless they have clearly indicated that they are through with you
  6. If you are in a bar, keep your laptop attached to you at all times
  7. Never tell a client he looks like a bug (even if he did)
  8. Make friends with the limo driver – they’re smarter than us
  9. If you question an individual’s moral or professional ethics, make sure there’s no dotted lines
  10. Don’t discover until after take-off (en-route to London) that you left your passport in the lounge in Ottawa
  11. Don’t reply in a derogatory way to someone’s email, particularly if you actually meant to forward it to someone else
  12. If you think it, it doesn’t mean you should say it
  13. Let the president interrupt you, it’s their perogative
  14. Never go anywhere with colleagues where swim suits are involved
  15. If you’re going to toss a senior executive in the pool, make sure their wallets and BB’s are not still in their pockets
  16. Don’t get between Brendan and Jo-Anne when they’re fighting

(and to my colleagues I ask, are there others?)



Kalle Siebring

And if ever in the Bangkok office:

1. Never ever open the door with your foot instead of your hand

2. Participate in the fire drill practice (this should be easy as it’s being announced 6 weeks in advance)

3. Never say no to a meal

4. Instead, offer your colleagues a meal every now and then, even if it’s just a bowl of rice at the street vendor under the highway

5. Don’t wear a jacket. It is too hot.

6. Make sure you have enough fuel in your car when driving to a client (in the midst of a crisis!)



Sean Reid

Never bring a prospective client to a restaurant (of your choosing) without any cash on you, only to discover that the place doesn’t accept credit cards.



donna Papacosta

Wise advice. I’m still working on No. 12!



Brendan Hodgson

Lesson learned #17: Don’t sit on a panel with smart people, as they will either make you look bad, or…

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