The Fame Game

Matt Stokoe, Associate Director, Clarion Communications

Celebrities. Like timesheets, status reports and early morning photo calls, working with celebs is one of the many joys that everyone who works in PR will have experienced – most tend to be pleasurable and memorable encounters, though there are some ‘sleb’ partnerships which end up being quite the opposite and are rarely spoken about ever again (we all know who the culprits are...).

However, whether working with an A-list diva or the nicest Z-lister ever to come out of Reality TV, one thing that all PRs have in common is the obligatory tendency to collect snap shots of these brief, but always interesting, encounters.

Some PR agencies like to ram their brushes-with-fame down your throat as you walk through the door, with large blown up portraits of said stars posing with the team, positioned strategically next to their array of random awards (that no-one has usually ever heard of).

Fortunately we don’t do that at Clarion, but that’s not to say that some of the teams aren’t proud to show off the famous people they’ve worked with on various campaigns – which is why we’ve established the Wall of Fame in the kitchen.

There’s nothing more enjoyable than waiting for the kettle to boil and perusing the latest additions – such as the Vue cinemas team hanging out with US rockers Kings of Leon during a recent Twinterview, or the Rubicon boys with legendary Sri Lankan bowler Murali after one of their cricket days.

However for me, what’s more interesting than admiring famous faces on the wall is clocking the number of times the same Clarion faces appear; for this is where you really get to see who is star struck, who is obsessed and who out of your colleagues has tendencies to become a serial stalker.

Without mentioning any names (obviously), I’ve noticed a few faces that appear quite regularly on the wall and it makes me laugh every time I see them, especially if they’ve added more since the last time.

In all seriousness, it’s good fun and for many of us, one of the perks of working in PR - especially if you get to meet and work with someone you’ve admired for ages.

I’ve had many enjoyable encounters with celebrities over the years, and it’s always the ones you least expect that turn out to be the nicest – working with old skool BBC TV presenter John Craven a few years ago is a notable highlight and right up there with the time I met current heart throbs JLS for Vue cinemas this year. Even if I’m the one who looks like the slightly awkward older band member in the middle...

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