Military Dinner 2016

Written by Katherine Sykes, Senior Warden of the Company of PR Practitioners

The Company of PR Practitioners’ seventh annual military dinner was held on 28 April at the Barber Surgeons’ Hall in Monkwell Square, featuring guest of honour Air Commodore Nigel Bradshaw, Head of Media and Communications at the Royal Air Force.

The military dinner is one of the highlights of the Company’s year. Generously sponsored by Metlife and BAE Systems the evening celebrates the close relationship between the PR Practitioners and the media operations groups of all three defence services: we are delighted that so many members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force are able to attend.

Communicator of the year awards

Each year the Company presents an award to a member of each service in recognition of their excellence in communications.  This year, Communicator of the Year awards were awarded to Major James Horspool, representing the Army and Squadron Leader Martin Morris, representing the RAF. We heartily congratulate them on their achievements.  An award will be made to a member of the Royal Navy later in the year.

The joke

PR Company dinners are known for their glamour, fine food and wine, and warm fellowship. In Air Commodore Nigel Bradshaw we were fortunate enough to also have an interesting and entertaining speaker, who not only completely understands the world of PR but is able to poke gentle fun at it too – his amusing analysis of the nature of the PR professional aroused much merriment:

A PR man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted someone on the ground below.  He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees latitude north and between 59 and 60 degrees longitude west.”

“You must be an engineer,” said the PR man. “I am,” replied the chap on the ground, “How did you know?” “Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.

The man below responded, “You must be pretty senior in PR.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said the engineer, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You’ve risen to where you are due mostly to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people underneath you to solve all your problems for you. The fact is, you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s all my fault……….”

Thank you, Air Commodore, and thanks to everyone, for making the evening such a success. After dinner donations raised over £500 for the Company’s Charitable Trust.