I started compiling a short list of things I wish I knew when I started my life in public relations. These are all the food items, which ended up being longer than I thought. Have any to add?
Breakfast is optional. I know very few public relations professionals who eat breakfast. This meal seems to be one of the first things that gets eliminated from the lives of public relations professionals.
Coffee is your friend. A fresh pot of coffee can usually be found in my office in the morning, around lunch, in the afternoon, and in the evening. Most of my PR friends can go the entire day without food, or sitting down, or even slowing down. But I don’t know any who can go the day without coffee.
Eat when you can. You will work through lunch. You will work late, pushing dinner back for hours. Your phone will ring with a call you cannot miss just as you were walking out the door to catch a quick bite. Trust me when I tell you that, if you get a chance to eat, you need to go ahead and take it before the next emergency strikes.
Pack snacks and hide them everywhere. I have had many a day saved by granola bars and snack packs of nuts and dried fruits. You’re going to become an expert at sticking non-perishable, easy-to-eat food items in your desk, in your bag, and even in your car.
Finger foods become important. You will start to pick foods based on whether you can eat them while walking from one meeting to another.
You are not the guest. If the dinner or luncheon is “your” event, you probably aren’t going to get to eat.
Fresh and healthy food is hard to have. You can find a hamburger faster than you can find a salad. And the hamburger is easier to eat.
You will become an expert on where the drive-thrus are. Around your office, or the place where you most often have events, or the place where your clients are found you will become a regular. Whether you want to or not.
Always have coins for the vending machine. It never fails that you will have a lunch meeting, without food, in a building with a vending machine… and you will not have a dollar, or even a few coins, on you.
The best brown bag lunches are simple. They don’t require refrigeration, or heating, or preparation. The best packed lunches are conveniently placed in your bag or on your desk. And you can get to it and start eating in less than a minute.
You will be able to eat a complete meal in 5 minutes. Okay, maybe 7 minutes. 10 if I stop to chew.
You will wear your food. The laws of the universe state that on the day when you have a tv interview, you absolutely will drop food on the front of your blouse or suit beforehand.
I’m sure there are others, but these were the ones that made the list today.