Public Relations

Let’s be friends

A previous Supper Club meeting

Networking needn’t be nasty.

I spent an hour today talking about networking on Frank Leaver’s show on Radio One Mallorca. I hope I did myself proud. I was on the radio because this week (in fact 7pm on Thursday November 5th, then Thursday December 10th) I am restarting (after a year off) an informal networking and friend making group that I had originally set up five years ago. It’s called The Supper Club and is a great opportunity to make new contacts, catch up with old ones, possibly do some business, definitely have a laugh, and get dinner thrown in all for under 20€. If you want to attend then email your reservation to info@moodbeach.com and get yourself over to Portals.

It’s not so long ago that I hadn’t even heard of the term “networking”, but I think I’ve always been a “networker”. Back in the day I might have been called less flattering things, like “busy body”, “do gooder” or (crivens) “nosy parker”. Why? Because in order to be an effective networker you don’t spend hours talking about yourself “selling” whatever it is that you need to get across, no, you spend time finding out about others and working out what might be helpful for them, perhaps make connections for them which they will find useful, and think about their issues and problems trying to find solutions. It can be exhausting doing this, it’s a relentless one way street so you need to know when to politely slow to a halt on your helpful assault and wait to see if the other side reciprocates. Like unrequited love, it’s not healthy to be in a one sided relationship.

But networking needn’t be frightening, approach it with an open mind, remember to stay authentically true to yourself, perhaps arm yourself with five opening questions that you can try out to get the conversation going, or perhaps a joke, and step in. If you need one then ask for an introduction, go to the organiser and say “Can you introduce me to….” and get them to help you. The good thing is that at a networking event other people are there with the same aim as you so you don’t need to feel strange about talking to a complete stranger, and remember, you get out what you put in. Don’t forget your business cards.  The networking doesn’t finish there either, the next day you need to send a message to the people you connected to: either as an email, a Facebook request, a text message, a phone call, whatever seems appropriate to the situation.  

The more you network, the easier it gets, but you have to keep doing it. There are plenty of different types of groups in Mallorca, so go find one, invite me to it, and let’s do it! http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

New balls please

So, I am back in Mallorca, and after the all-you-can-eat extravaganza which was the UK, I am now on a diet in order to fit back into my clothes. What was here in the newspapers to greet me on my return? Only photos of our Minister for Tourism on a hunting trip: Sr. Carlos Delgado with a set of dead animal’s testicles placed on his head and blood running down his face. That put me off my dinner, I can tell you. I thought it was just the British politicians who were getting involved with animal gonads on questionable holidays with Z list celebrities, seems like the Mallorcan ones are getting in on the act too.

This is the same Sr. Delgado who on a recent trip to the UK for the World Travel Market was invited to a breakfast meeting by British tour operators. The tour ops roundly criticised the ruling bodies of Mallorca for not doing enough to solve the problems of Magalluf: the prostitutes, pickpockets and muggers, the frequent deaths of young people as they fall off balconies, and the terrible accidents that happen on Punta Ballena. The British tour operators bring hundreds of thousands of people to Mallorca every year, and they have stated that the safety of their customers is of the utmost importance, so Mallorca must do something about this.

And it is getting really difficult to understand how Mallorca is ever going to improve its standing with the UK tourist industry if they don’t get a grip on how the Brits feel about animals and how we feel about privilege and the abuse of the class system. Mallorca does have a class system, and most of us are on the lower rungs of the ladder whilst Sr Delgado is most definitely up there at the top. Why allow yourself to be photographed with animal genitalia on your head? How does that make you appear? When a PR client tells me that they don’t want to have a Facebook account because they don’t want to have ‘naked drunken photos’ of themselves posted on the site, I tell them that the simplest way to prevent that from happening is to not have the photos taken in the first place. A minister for Tourism should surely understand about first impressions and the media? I thought Mallorca was supposed to be restyling itself as a holiday destination for outside pursuits like cycling, climbing and sailing, perhaps he missed the memo.

In the past year the main stories that have been in the UK media about Mallorca are: Bradley Wiggins goes to Mallorca (great), David Cameron goes on holiday to Pollensa, (good) Kerry Katona goes on holiday to Portals (not everyone’s cup of tea, but still good coverage) young people are run over on Punta Ballena (bad bad bad, video went viral),  young people die when they fall off balconies after having drunk too much in Magalluf (terrible) and this week, in the Daily Mail, our Minister of Tourism wears testicles on his head (story went viral, hit the Daily Mail which apparently has one of the world’s most read websites…. bad with a capital B for Bollocks). Even tennis player Rafa Nadal normally our ‘good news’ story has been a ‘get well soon’ story this year. So perhaps rather than wearing them on his head Sr. Delgado may like to strap on a pair and get on with revitalising the tourism industry, or step aside and let someone else do the job.

New balls please, new balls.

(Come along now! Mallorca desperately needs a makeover in eyes of the international press and there are a handful of people independently working in PR (I’m thinking the delicious Sarah Drane of Purple Cake Factory, the awesome Anna Nicholas of ANA Communications, and the fabulous Dominque Carroll from the Foment Del Tourismo) on the island who are trying to do exactly that. I am going to join them and my mission will also be to get better coverage for our beautiful home. I will be organising press trips for journalists to come to the island in the new year, so if you have a business or would like to make a suggestion of somewhere they should visit whilst they are here then please click on the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top of this article). 

P.S. Image is taken from the Daily Mail website

P.P.S. The author’s opinion is not necessarily the opinion of any of her clients, yadda yadda.