Surviving the PR Festive Season in Style (or not)

Niall Hughes, senior account manager, Clarion Communications

It's Christmas party season - and just as I was getting to grips with the gym again, we’re once more in the middle of a booze and indulgence-fuelled five weeks of office, supplier and client dinners and drinks.

So how do you survive the season to be jolly with dignity and relative good health? Beats me - but here's my favourite tips from the internet and some of my own, which I’ll be following this year.  And I’d like to point out from the start that I am not guilty of some of the mistakes listed below…

Pick your battles
If like most PR professionals you have back-to-back events, pick the one each week that you are really going to enjoy/need to network at, and stick to soft drinks and early nights for the rest.

Plan ahead
Yeah right, I hear you say - if you're anything like me you plan to go home early and before you know it, you're out with your best friends Jack and Stella at 3am.  So what to do?  Plan ahead, and book your taxi home in advance, or as I do, book a class/personal training session at the gym for the next morning; it's essential that it's something where your absence will be noted.  Hopefully the thought of working out with a hangover will temper your judgement…

So you've picked your big night of the week, lets say the office Christmas party. You're confident you can get through the next day with a hangover, and have even pre-booked your liver transplant at your local A&E. So here’s a few things to consider (and by consider I mean avoid like the plague):

Social media
If you're likely to tweet after the main course delete the app off your phone.  You can load it again the morning after.  But what you mustn’t do is tweet your colleagues, embarrass yourself, or say something that will get you sacked/dumped/extradited.

Duck face
There will be photos, and many will find their way onto the internet: don't pout like a cross between Keira Knightly and a blow up doll.  The internet will thank you.

Beware the photographer
Never forget that somewhere out there, possibly lurking in the shadows, is a colleague who's going to take at least one photo of you - they’ve been given the responsibility of event photographer. This photo will be sent round your office the next day with all the rest, so make sure yours isn't of you provocatively dancing with some random person falling over, or something worse.

Remember who you're with
Whether it's your CEO, client, spokesperson or just colleagues, don’t forget you're at a work function. Now is not the time to tell your favourite politically incorrect joke, discuss your promotion or talk about your sex life.

Have fun
Don't talk about the office and your work load - you're here to enjoy yourself, so grab yourself a drink and get Festive.

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