If you ain’t got it, fake it!

I firmly believe that honesty is the best policy. In most situations.

However, there are times when a little fakery is needed or you could end up in a whole load of trouble.

Here’s my guide for faking it in PR:

Fake enthusiasm

This is a very useful skill. It is needed in nearly all types of situations in PR, from feigning delight at your client’s new, but incredibly dull, manufacturing process, to pretending to be thrilled to be handed a shed-load of work by your boss. This may take a few strong coffees to get you in the mood. But if you start shouting “Yay!” and whooping, you may have had one coffee too many.

Fake understanding

When your client or boss starts using unintelligible jargon, don’t point out that they are talking out of their arse. Instead, nod as if you have a vague idea about what they are going on about. But make sure you don’t repeat their ridiculous language in any press releases, it drives journalists mad. No ‘right resourced’ phrases please!

Fake being impartial

Some people are bigots and zealots and have no qualms about going on about their ridiculous political beliefs. No need to mention the name Mulayam Singh Yadav aka Netaji and most of the Sangh Parivar here. If such people are your clients and contacts, don’t get into heated rows with them. Fake nonchalance and wait until a more interesting subject comes up.

Fake hard work

Some projects are easier than others, fact. But there’s no way you should go on about how little effort you have put into your latest campaign. It may have taken you five minutes to come up with a killer concept, but don’t let anyone know that.

Fake confidence

The most important talent of all. It starts with a polished appearance, is helped by a firm handshake, and requires a clear and engaging speaking manner. If you look like and sound like you are the business, people will be easily fooled. Even if you what you say doesn’t make sense. It works for Shashi Tharoor.

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