History’s Greatest PR Guy

On my way home from Wolfstar tonight I was drafting one of my many grad scheme applications and came across my favourite question so far (yes I have favourites). The question was If I had a table at a top London restaurant who, if I could have anyone, would I choose to invite?

The question reminded me of a recent post by Stuart Bruce about his favourite communicators, especially Cicero.

My pick for favourite dinner guest is Voltaire. This is partly because Voltaire, like Cicero, was a great Orator. He may even have been the wittiest person ever to live which would make him alot of fun over steak. He could also, however, summarise the greatest theories ever created in 12 words (a handy skill in writing a news release), was the master of the catchphrase (‘all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds’) and had a massive imagination (Micromegas is possibly the first science fiction story). In short Voltaire was a damn good PR guy and you could learn more in an evening listening to Voltaire than in years at a PR agency. Think about it:

Imagine having the man who said “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”on the phone selling you a storyVoltaire

How about brainstorming with a man who was exiled from France for  being too witty?

A new media specialist on the team? Voltaire specialised in writing pamphlets, still a new medium in French politics.

If Voltaire were alive today he would be in PR. Cicero would be in public affairs but I think Voltaire would dive straight into consumer; he took shots at everything he could so he’d yearn for the variety of consumer and would undoubtedly devote himself to pushing every brand to it’s limit.

That’s my first proper post thanks for joining me and I hope you come back for more.

I also thought about any other historical figures I could picture in the industry and I came up Casanova, it takes some serious reputation management to seduce nuns and still emerge the good guy.


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