Review: Always Print The Myth; PR in The Modern Age with GQ Editor, Dylan Jones
On Tuesday (21st April 2015) I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a PR exhibition called Always Print The Myth: PR in The Modern Age at the prestigious and stunning V&A Museum.
The V&A is a museum of art, design and performance, so the concept of having a PR exhibition there, may be quite strange to some. But PR is an art as much as a science isn’t it?
People have a romantic idea of the art world, of artists sitting in garrets, painting away. It’s not like that, of course. It’s an industry, the same as PR.
At some level, the public relations industry is a filter of modern culture. It’s about trying to get the right messages to the right people as quickly as possible. With its creative nature, PR easily fits with this art mold, so for me, it was a perfect venue.
As an avid reader of GQ, hearing about an opportunity to listen to the stories of Dylan Jones, wasn’t going to be something I’d let slip. Successfully getting one of the 50 or so tickets before they rapidly sold out.
Eagerly awaiting the performance we were originally grouped in a grand, room that reminded me of something from Hogwarts, with large oak lockers from floor to (very high) ceiling containing what I could only guess as very important artefacts.
The beginning of the performance saw us delve into the influential world of modern public relations with an introduction from Alan Edwards; an extremely well equipped PR mogul who has been at the forefront of the industry for the last four decades, working on building personal brands like Michael Jackson, and the Beckham’s, right the way through to high end government politicians.
After this elaborate introduction from Alan, we were brought through to the performance studio. An extremely well thought out set, with three rooms covered wall-to-wall in culture changing clippings of days gone by.
Ranging from Thatcher’s era, to the modern day social media take over, it was fabulous to walk through a timeline of PR and journalism, gaining a real understanding of the transition of PR and how it’s developed from a combination of advertising and journalism. Compared to other industries, it’s quite scary in-fact to realise how fast and how much things have changed.
Once Dylan was introduced, the room was instantly tamed, clinging to every word. It really is easy to justify his journalistic success.
Dylan then proceeded to answer various questions about the media and how journalism has changed and how PR has had its influence.
He gave great insight into how he grew up in a Daily Express family, going to Chelsea School of Art, to becoming the editor of the international GQ brand that now publishes in over 20 countries.
Although this was an exceptional evening for anyone interested in PR. Take the title with a pinch of salt. The phrase ‘PR in The Modern Age’ was not really covered. Instead it was more of a history lesson and although extremely interesting, I did leave a little bit underwhelmed with such high expectations of hearing their direct thoughts on where PR is as an industry and where we might be in the near future.
I guess rather naively, I thought I might get a quick shortcut into journalistic habits and preferences. Having said that, the average audience age was around 30 so my opinion as a respective baby of the industry would no doubt be different to those established in their media professions who obviously relished in the spoils of the industries history and greatness.
The exhibition runs until 9th May, so if this sounds like your thing, then get along.
There are still tickets to see Sir Bob Geldof speak, so hurry up!
Tickets cost £18 (includes wine) available from: http://www.vam.ac.uk/whatson/event/4567/always-print-the-myth-pr-and-the-modern-age-1965947635/
Future nights include:
Saturday 25 April: Tom Watson, MP – Politics
Tuesday 28 April: Sir John Hegarty, Founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Wednesday 29 April: Sarah Sands, Editor of the Evening Standard
Thursday 30 April: 19.00-20.30 Mystery Guest – Massively influential PR with an incredible art collection and also related to a famous British artist. 20.30-22.00 Dennis Morris, renowned music photographer
Friday 1 May: Alastair Campbell, author, journalist and former Director of Communications for the Labour Party
Saturday 2 May: Jeremy Deller, Turner Prize winning artist. SOLD OUT.
Tuesday 5 May: 19.00-20.30 Hala Jaber, Award winning correspondent. 20.30-22.00 Sir Bob Geldof, musician and campaigner
Wednesday 6 May: Lynne Franks, Founder of Lynne Franks PR – PR
Thursday 7 May: Paddy Harverson – Royals
Friday 8 May: Lord Tim Bell – founder of Bell Pottinger
Saturday 9 May: Ken Sunshine – founder of Sunshine Sachs.