What this PR learnt from a QC
I was more than thrilled when our MD announced to the office that she had won four hours of advocacy training with the reputed Michael Bowes QC during a silent auction at the Bloomsbury Art Fair.
Though the link between legal advocacy and PR may not be immediately obvious, I had a sense from my legal training of the broad and transferrable skills that effective advocacy cultivates. These skills, such as listening and persuasive speaking, are not just useful in legal practice, but form the basis of nearly all day-to-day PR activities.
In preparation for our first session, we were instructed to devise and share with Michael, a typical scenario involving a pitch to an existing client. On the day itself, this scenario was brought to life in a role-play during which we each took turns to present the pitch to Michael’s assistant, the lovely Merry Neal, who was acting as the client. Following our presentations Michael assessed our skills and demonstrated how we could improve on the performance, using what he termed the ‘Hampel method’ (aptly named after a famous English Judge).
The general consensus, following the process, was just how accurately Michael had identified each of our “headlines” (a selected part of the performance which could be improved) and how much we all progressed in our replay!
The experience was enjoyable and enlightening and I am looking forward to part two.