Avoiding the Cracks

All of us in the office were buzzing last week, as news came through that the Australian team had been shortlisted for no less than five gongs at the Campaign Asia Pacific PR Awards to be held in Hong Kong later next month, including the prestigious Agency of the Year. By all accounts, that makes us the single most nominated office of any PR agency in the region.

But of course being shortlisted is a long way from winning. So we’re all getting on with the business of our business and doing a terrible job of skirting around the issue at the water-cooler for fear of jinxing our chances.

In fact, so hilarious has the subversive no-speak policy become, that we’re toying with the idea of re-badging the awards Voldemort or Macbeth or something equally non-conformist and luck-testing in the hope that such irreverent humour will stop us thinking about it.

For some of our colleagues in Asia Pacific, a willingness to even consider the prospect of flying in the face of good omen is insane. But then it’s the Australian way, isn’t it – a tendency to buck the trend, say it as it is and get on with the task at hand rather than worry too much about what anyone else thinks. Or at least that’s what we like to believe.

The fact is Australians are as superstitious as anyone, despite themselves. Our history is built on stories and beliefs passed from generation to generation. More-so, the ever-evolving cultural diversity of our nation has brought a richer tapestry of traditions and superstitions to our shores. And of course pavement-crack avoidance remains as popular on our city streets as does hopscotch in our junior schools.

So for all the collective unspoken thoughts across the agency that “what will be, will be”, I’m now waiting for someone to plonk a golden dragon on my desk with the assurance that it might improve our luck at the Campaign Awards given the location and its significance to Chinese culture in 2012.

And whilst I’ll chuckle at the ridiculous notion that at $5 trinket will secure our good fortune, I’ll also quietly ensure that it sits at right angles on my desk, adjacent to the window that over looks the courtyard so that its glow reflects gently across the office floor. It is, after all, wholly un-Australian to decline someone-else’s well-meant generosity.


About ianrumsby

Ian Rumsby is Australian Chairman and EVP Asia Pacific at global public relations firm, Weber Shandwick Worldwide. Like every PR flak he is a wannabe journalist. And the advent of blogging presents him with the chance to be exactly that. To some degree. Ian's agency career spans 17 years during which time he has worked for two PR firms. He joined Weber Shandwick Worldwide at its inception in 2001. Having ran the firm's Australian operation for 4 years, a business he continues to chair, he's now immersed in the Asian operation which he hopes will provide a plethora of material for his blog. Ian is English, fiercely proud of it and all the more so as someone who's been living in Sydney since 1998. During that time he has not sent a single Bondi Beach postcard to anyone in Blightly. Instead, he has focused his efforts on getting married, staying married and fathering two delightful young boys. So far, he has been successful on all counts. He's hoping his foray into cyberspace changes none of it.
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5 Responses to Avoiding the Cracks

  1. Maha says:

    Congrats to you and the team on the nominations! Maha

  2. Maha says:

    Oops – okay I’ll buy that golden dragon!

  3. Ronald Wong says:

    Ian, best of luck to you and your team. No doubt it’s vindication for all the hard work. I hope all is well and I hope to see you in HK soon!

    Ronald Wong

  4. Tony Gray says:

    Ian, Congratulations to you and to your team. Break a leg!

    Tony Gray

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