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Why I might love PRs more than my Family

Over the years I’ve gained a reputation for being a bit mean to PR execs.

In my defence, I don’t think I’ve ever made a PR cry, which my ex achieved on an almost weekly basis when he was a news editor. Well, I’ve only done it once, to my knowledge. And I felt really bad about it afterwards.

However, Christmas 2010 marks a turning point in my relationship with the PR community. Because, frankly, the presents I received from PR people this year were about a hundred times better than the presents I got from my family. Yes, I know what matters at Christmas is spending time with our loved ones and being spiritual and stuff, but still, it’s nice to get a good gift isn’t it? And, frankly, the family let me down a little this year.

You think I jest?

Bulova WatchOne PR sent me a catalogue and invited me to choose a beautiful Bulova watch so I could look extra posh this Christmas – I chose the Wintermoor ladies diamond watch, which has a really simple face and stainless steel strap, with diamond detailing. I have had so many compliments on this watch,  it’s beautifully sparkly without being fussy and has a really neat invisible fastening so it looks seamless. I felt significantly posher while wearing it.

My Mother gave me a fleece blanket with an Avatar design. Yep. Because nothing says Christmas like a big blanket with a blue alien face on it. Also, she bought me spot cream. Yep. Spot cream. Let’s just let that sink in, shall we? Spot cream.

Neither of these gifts makes me feel any posher, I must confess.

Another PR sent me three boxes of chocolates to say thanks for some blogger outreach training I did with his company. I did share with Flea, although I stole the nicest ones first, obviously. I find it admirable that the PR didn’t mess around with ONE box. Oh, no. Let’s give a gift like we mean it – THREE boxes. Result.

My daughter gave me a book about SEO, handed over in a WHSmiths carrier bag. With the receipt still in the bag. The credit for this thoughtful gift goes to her Father, of course.

Tefal_actifry_familyThe PR for Tefal sent me an Actifry, which is a deep fat fryer without the fat. This little gadget makes lots of amazing dishes, cooking food with just hot air and a tiny, tiny spoonful of oil. It has to be said, we’re mostly using it to make amazingly crispy and fluffy garlic and paprika potato wedges, which are virtually fat free, and might actually be my new favourite thing in the entire world.

My brother bought me a purple shirt from M&S. It’s stripy and has a collar and is the sort of shirt you wear under a suit. I haven’t owned a suit since my last job interview, which was 11 years ago. Thanks, bro.

So in the PR v Family gift game, it’s 3-0 to the PR community thus far.

On the bright side, I think my family gift haul was actually an improvement on the year that every single member of the family bought deodorant for my brother, and he spent all of Boxing Day crying in his room because he thought we were all trying to tell him he had body odour. I think that might be worse than your Mum buying you spot cream for Christmas. Just.



Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

About The Author


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.


  1. Merry

    Still not worse than baggy tights from your nana for ‘older, larger ladies like us’.
    Thank goodness for the PR people 🙂

  2. PippaD

    I must admit that I am in love with a couple of PR people this Christmas too. In fact I think that my husband is in love with a couple of them… this worries me only slightly more than one might think!

  3. Emma

    Ha.. Jon got spot cream for Christmas from his Mother! I also got from the mother in laws mother panties which were too big for me, I think I might ask Jon if he wants to swap them for the spot cream!

  4. Nikki

    Sally- you are an absolute tonic and should be available on the NHS. That was so funny – spot cream??? Honestly??? I’d have shot them.
    PS As a PR person I think the key gifts are a great strategy but do they really buy your loyalty or give you a fuzzy feeling about that PR or brand? I’d be interested to know…..I have a great pair of Sony noise cancelling headphones to spare from a client to give you if it helps my cause ;-))))

  5. Barenakedmummy

    Could be worse, my gran got given cheese one year. She was not impressed – calling everyone a little bitch!!!

  6. Craig McGill

    Nikki, with Sally I think it just saves being criticised the next time round :-).
    Seriously though, cracking post, gave me a chuckle but I don’t think any PR expects the loyalty to be bought (would be great if it worked that way though).

  7. Sally Whittle

    Ah, I never got the incontinence pads, although I *was* offered the intimate massage appliance.

  8. Sally Whittle

    You are still the champion of worst present EVER, I think.

  9. Sally Whittle

    Don’t let him meet them. They’re all 23, you know.

  10. Sally Whittle

    Well, you never know when you might need spot cream, whereas you’d need to actively gain weight to use the underwear.

  11. Sally Whittle

    No, of course it doesn’t buy loyalty to a brand (though if the product is amazing, it works as a word of mouth thing, I’m sure). But random gifts aside, saying thankyou is WAY more important when dealing with bloggers as opposed to journos, I think.

  12. TheMadhouse

    I think you did pretty well with the spot cream and the fleece. One year I got a plate with a fur cat on – what was she thinking!
    I think that random pressies are a lovely idea and I am more than happy to have any that Sally doesn’t need or want!
    As a parent blogger, I get far too many things for the boys and nothing for me!

  13. Nikkii

    Spot cream? You lucky cow…..

  14. Rachael

    I hear you on that one, although, I have only received one Christmas gift this year BUT that was a giant bottle of Baileys. However, all gifts are welcome…especially…booze!

  15. PippaD

    Way too old for him then.

  16. Merry

    I thank you!
    can I have an award? A blog badge perhaps? 😉

  17. Surprisedzoe

    I had fantastic pressies from my family but wow for you and your PR contacts.
    P.s. I’m sure the watch sets off the blanket fabulously dahling…

  18. Marylin

    Oooh you’ve reminded me I *must* write up a review for the Actifry… we’re loving ours too… I now make the best chicken drumsticks with various seasonings on them in Crieff, I’m sure of it! 😉
    The paprika chips are awesome too.. mmmm.

  19. Diane

    Oh wow. Both at your excellent haul from PRs and your kinda sad but I’m sure well-meant haul from your fam. (Your chap did well though, right?) Spot cream is the nadir of Xmas presents. Truly. I don’t suppose they’d pay attention if you made a Wist?

  20. Nikki

    I didn’t quite mean buy your loyalty but does it actually make you remember the brand more? and feel warm and fuzzy? I thought hacks were too cynical than that LOL. I’ve even had editorial hacks turn down gifts of late because they’re not allowed to accept them!! What’s happening to the world lol.
    I always try to make a point of saying thanks to journos for responses and sometimes for coverage – it’s only good manners and costs nothing 🙂


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