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Refreshingly honest view on world of the PR man.

It has been said by the more unkind of Pudding Chare's colleagues that PR people and honesty have a similar relationship to dogs and lampposts.

However, one newly established Northumberland-based PR operation promises strict, not to say, excruciating candour.

Keith Hann Communications, as the name would suggest, has been set up by Keith Hann, Newcastle-born doyen of the financial PR world and former managing director of City agency Hudson Sandler.

Referring to his time at Hudson Sandler certainly seems to deliver on Keith's promise for no-nonsense honesty. Instead of buffing up his CV by puffing up his profile, he declares on his website that he was "a notably uninspiring managing director and a predictably pointless deputy chairman".

If that's got you itching for more, here are a few to try on for size:

The mission statement: "Like any top City adviser we seek to do the minimum of work for the maximum amount of money."

On a list of `things we can just about manage': "Not constantly predicting defeat. Looking like Alfred Hitchcock. Laughing in the right places."

For contact details: "We were going to provide an address and telephone numbers on this page, then it occurred to us that it might lead to people interrupting our afternoon TV viewing or meal times." If this unique ( and, it has to be said, highly refreshing ( approach to financial PR is not enough, then a quick glance at the Keith Hann Communications staff should surely impress.

Besides the eponymous head of the company ( who sneakily includes the fact that he has actually worked on some of the biggest accounts in the City ( the payroll also includes Arthur Boardmann-Hann and Craster Hann.

This quite disgraceful nepotism when it comes to senior appointments is deflected by the fact that the two aforementioned gentlemen are Border Terriers.

The elder Arthur is, apparently, "proud of his formal police caution for biting a postman's testicles". His website also mentions there is a vacancy for a girlfriend/wife, housekeeper/carer and a trainee Border terrier.

Candidates are advised to be "moderately attractive, exceptionally thick-skinned and, ideally, fully housetrained".

Added to that, you have what Keith describes as "a number of largely made-up quotes from leading Northern businessmen, and a few old jokes" and even a serious bit where the agency boss talks about his belief that "it is entirely possible to conduct effective financial PR without diverging from the truth" and promises "a total dedication to client satisfaction".

All in all, an enticing package, topped off with the company motto "like we care". Superb.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2004
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