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Public Relations – Not Quite All Sex in The City

Why you’ll never be Samantha Jones if you work in PR

Top Banana offers a warm welcome to our latest guest contributor Tom Walker who is a Freelance Copywriter writing for PR Week

Sassy, always dressed head-to-toe in designer couture and usually holding a large glass of something alcoholic, Samantha Jones of Sex in the City is the inspiration for some people seeking a career in Public Relations. The only problem is, Samantha Jones is a fictional character and the realities of PR work are a whole lot different from the media’s popular portrayals of it. If you’re looking for a life of shopping and sipping booze at star-studded events, PR is definitely not the career choice for you. Lie back and imagine having your toes manicured and your dainty feet massaged while you read our guide to why you’ll never be Samantha Jones if you work in PR.

Welcome to Public Relations, grab yourself a glass

You could be forgiven for thinking PR is all about organising and enjoying elite parties for the rich, beautiful and influential if you only have Sex in the City to go on. But think again. While events often figure as a part of a PR campaign, there is so much more to the role, and even when you do find yourself at such a party, you’ll be working more than you’ll be having fun.

Make easy money for big shopping trips

Samantha Jones might be living the dream of earning big bucks with what appears to be little work. In reality, PR involves long hours and hard work, leaving less time for shopping for shoes. PR newbies should expect some mundane work, including lessons in grammar and writing. There’s a lot more work and learning to be done than the media would have us believe.

Prada, darling

Samantha Jones would be seen dead out and about in anything less than the best designer labels, but you’ll find, while dressed well for events and meetings, real PR professionals are largely office and as such can afford to be a little less image conscious. And what’s more, Samantha enjoys a fictional bank account and a TV network with product placement deals. Don’t be fooled.

No comment

You’ll find Samantha Jones and other representations of publicists in popular culture frequently using the phrase ‘No comment’, but you’re unlikely to hear a real PR pro using those two words as an answer to probing questions. Just as criminals find in police interviews, ‘no comment’ tends to make someone look evasive at best and plain guilty at worst. Press officer jobs require honesty and smart answering, not the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears.

If you’re relived to find that Samantha Jones is not representative of real Public Relations professionals, a career in PR might be the challenge you’re looking for. PR professionals need to have tenacity, patience, clear strategies and excellent interpersonal and communication skills. A career in PR will be less about shoes and champagne and more about clients, deadlines, campaigns and communications. PR is a dynamic and exciting career for those who enter the industry for the right reasons and with no illusions to live like Samantha Jones.

Return of the Flesh Eating Bananas

An old hoax has surfaced in Mozambique that claims ‘flesh-eating bananas’ have been imported into the country and placed on the market, spiking fear.
The hoax claims the bananas came from neighboring country KwaZulu-Natal, and that the bananas will infect people with necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria which destroys the skin, tissue and fat covering the muscles. Sky News reported the rumors of the flesh-eating bananas resulted in a “plummet” in the sales of fruit since the hoax surfaced, and the country’s health minister had to reassure people of the fruit’s safety after determining it was a hoax. An official press release was issued that said, “The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is aware of the email circulating claiming that bananas from KwaZulu-Natal can infect people with a flesh eating bacteria. “The information received from the Department of Health reports that the email is a hoax, and any claims regarding poor food safety will be investigated. The department said in its report that at this stage they don’t see any need to do so as they deem this claim to be a hoax.” The circulating hoax also warns of likely amputation and possible death, so it dangerously suggests those who cannot seek immediate medical attention should burn the skin surrounding the [supposed] infection. Horacio Simbine, a banana supplier, said he has been “unable to move bananas out of his warehouse because of the rumor,” reports Zimbabwean. According to Snopes, this hoax is a recycled one. Its origins date back to 1999 when an email circulated that flesh-eating bananas were being shipped from Costa Rica to the U.S. and people should avoid purchasing bananas for three weeks, which is exactly what the current hoax indicates. Here is the email text Snopes has collected and posted that details the recent 2011 incarnation of the hoax: “Please don’t eat bananas for the next 3 weeks Several deliveries of bananas from Uvongo Kwa-Zulu Natal South Africa have been infected with necrotizing fasciitis, otherwise known as flesh eating bacteria. Recently this disease has decimated the monkey population in the south coast. We are now just learning that the disease has been able to graft itself to the skin of fruits in the region, most notably the banana which is one of south africa’s largest exports. Until this finding scientists were not sure how the infection was being transmitted. It is advised not to purchase bananas for the next three weeks!!! If you have eaten a banana in the last 2-3 days and come down with a fever followed by a skin infection seek MEDICAL ATTENTION!!! The skin infection from necrotizing fasciitis is very painful and eats two to three centimeters of flesh per hour. Amputation is likely, death is possible.. If you are more than an hour from a medical center burning the flesh ahead of the infected area is advised to help slow the spread of the infection. The FDA has been reluctant to issue a country wide warning because of fear of a nationwide panic. They have secretly admitted that they feel upwards of 15,000 South Africans will be affected by this but that these are” Acceptable numbers”. Please forward this to as many of people you care about as possible as we do not feel 15,000 people is an acceptable number.”

Top Banana – Latest Results

At the begining of the year TB was compelled to do a spot of vanity searching for [top banana] to see how well thought of the site was a year after its creation.

The disappointment of not appearing in the top results was quickly lifted by the discovery of many other worthy contenders – who for example would have thought that a serious UK Job Site would market itself as All the Top Bananas – the UK’s most helpful job site.

Now Top Banana is becoming more and more used as an exclamation of greatness but I would have thought that the phrase Big Cheese would be appropriate for a high flying executive recruitment agency however the search results failed to deliver anything associated with careers, jobs or recruitment.

Full marks to the local authority web site for Caerphilly – commanding a number two (snigger) spot for its Big Cheese Festival.

Finally a mention for this blog – Calm Banana – great name – a lovely clean site found when searching for french music.

A little deeper is a page of one liners the best of the bunch (ha) being my favourite “I’m only smiling because I don’t know what’s going on” – top banana!

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