When was the last time PR changed your behaviour? For Neil
Patterson, creative partner at Mitchell Patterson Grime Mitchell, it was
earlier this month ...
’I woke up on the Sunday to the news of Diana’s death. I was shocked by
the tragedy. I even think I cried. But very quickly, my personal
feelings were soiled by 24-hour news reports and media coverage. Was she
a charity worker or an icon? Was the resulting reaction something that
needed to happen? Does an island population periodically need something
to rally us together?
’Because I was confused, I simplified the issue, put it in perspective
and distanced my feelings from the mob. On the day of the funeral, I was
in the South Downs with my thoughts on other matters. I’d virtually
managed to forget about the whole tragic thing - and I was determined
not to get involved in the mass mourning. No TV coverage, no one-minute
silence for me.
’While I was walking on the Berkshire Downs, Concorde flew over. Now
this is what I call the 11 o’clock Concorde. It flies over on its way to
New York at the same time every Saturday. This time, I didn’t look up, I
looked down at my watch. Eleven o’clock. No matter how hard I tried to
avoid doing so, I stopped in my tracks. If it is at all possible to have
complete silence with oneself, I did. I stopped arguing with myself.
I stood for a minute, the only living person on the Downs that morning,
silent. Just like the mob I had tried so hard to escape from.’