Writing in PR Week, big gun Graham Lancaster suggests that PRs need a mix of talents. These include a good intellect and quick, street-wise mind to assimilate masses of information quickly, as well as being obsessively inquisitive and a sales person par excellence. Such are the basic requirenments to succeed in "the best job in the world", "the senior service of all communications disciplines".
At 42, divorcee John Blake fits the bill. He is international director of Globecom, the third largest PR group in the world, earning almost £100,000 a year in 1996. His role is to court and win big international clients, such as Korean giant, SGT. And not only does he court and win the $1.5m contract, he courts and wins chairman Sool Kay-Sheen's beautiful, alcoholic, model girlfriend, Jane Field.
And he in turn is courted by MI6, to spy on Sool.
This is dangerous territory. Blake will not emerge unscarred, but he will have some fun on the way. Like when he finds Jane standing in his hotel door way, wearing riding gear and holding a whip.
"...her eyes now glazing over in a kind of aroused dreaminess he had seen before in some highly sexed women. Women wanting sex, not him.
"I just hope you're not a typical PR man, Blake. You know? All talk...."
Happily, Blake proves himself up to the task, as Jane is to tell confide in a girlfriend.
"He is funny. Funny-amusing funny. Also his world isn't so different from ours. PR and modelling. It is all about image, confidence and presentation."
- Grave Song, by Graham Lancaster, 1997 Coronet