How not to make a first impression

Posted by admin | August 16, 2011 2

London Blogger Meet Up

One of the (unsung) advantages of blogging is we guys and gals are at the cutting edge, riding the wave, capturing the zeitgeist, innit? Well “sponsors” seem to think so which is why we Bloggers get so many commercial approaches. Now in over 3 years I’ve avoided that temptation, Blog categorisation (which tends to be driven by advertising) and other inducements which stop your blog being personal. However one jolly non-compromising outlet for sponsor’s largesse are the regular Blogger Meet Ups, for which this piece is an unashamed plug. London bloggers can be a solitary bunch, hunched over their laptops, leaving comments all over the place but not actually meeting and greeting much. All that changes when we have our London Bloggers Meet Ups.

It’s a good chance for a post-work drink and chat with fellow bloggers, and a rare opportunity to put faces to names for those with really long link lists. They are also a chance to learn more about any aspect of blogging, whether it’s technical help for getting the look that you want, tricky questions about advertising and money, how to write better posts or what you can do with video clips. This monthly meet up is our chance to have all our questions answered over a drink in central London, normally paid for by friendly sponsors who indulge us with food, drink and freebies, not necessarily in that order. A recent Meet Up was sponsored by the computer giant Dell to kick off their Trade Secrets campaign which you can check out on Facebook soon. Of course the very generous bar tab helped us ease back into the year, but possibly the biggest crowd puller was the Dell Vostro laptop competition which was the prize going for a song or more specifically a piece on how to make a “Good First Impression.”

Well there was no way I could compete with my savvy, young fellow Bloggers – Hell, half of them seem to work in advertising or some such sexy media stuff! So I decided to play to my weaknesses and help the kids by letting them learn from my mistakes on how NOT to make a good impression. As a 20 year old I twice discovered how NOT to make a good impression and in the spirit of this competition I shared this with my fellow Bloggers so they can make a good impression by doing the opposite of what I did!

Lieutenant General Carl O’Sullivan – Call him General!

The first time I gloriously made a BAD first impression was when I was escorting the Chief of Staff of the Irish Army, Lieutenant General Carl O’Sullivan around a radio display with his ADC (Aide de Camp). In my nervousness I addressed him as Lieutenant O’Sullivan. Almost instantaneously I received a sharp dig in the ribs and a whisper in my ear “For F#@ks sake call him General!” Afterwards the ADC had a more considered discussion that the military etiquette is always to address an officer of composite rank by their higher rank, never by their lower rank.

It got worse, later the same year at a reception at a European Scout and Guide Conference I ended up talking to a very attractive blonde girl who spoke English with a slight American accent. She told me she was the Chief Commissioner for Lichtenstein and noticing her name badge said Nora Lichtenstein I said this must lead to lots of joking. She smiled sweetly and moved on. One of her party then told me I had been speaking to Nora Prinzessin von und zu Liechtenstein, or Princess Nora von Lichtenstein to us common folk.

A typical blonde female Lichtenstein Scout – note the large Lichtenstein badge which can so confuse the unwary

So who was this Nora who had such a lucky escape? She worked for the World Bank and the International Institute for Environment and Development, among others. She speaks French, English, German and Spanish. On June 11, 1988, she married Don Vicente Sartorius y Cabeza de Vaca (November 30, 1931-July 22, 2002), Marquess de Mariño, and she has a daughter, Maria Teresa Sartorius y de Liechtenstein (born 1992). She has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1987. She was president of Liechtenstein’s National Olympic Committee from 1982 to 1992 and she has been president of Special Olympics Liechtenstein since 2002. Hey, I know I messed up and blew my chances of living in an Alpine Castle with summers on the Riviera!

HRH Nora Prinzessin von und zu Liechtenstein

Furstun Vaduz – one of the family gaffs

Needless to say these incidents at such a young age had a crippling effect on my self confidence and since then I have never tried to chat up a princess. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression! However you can pick up tips on Blogging (do as I say, not as I do) from Andy Bargery’s 10 Lessons and Tips on Blogging on the London Bloggers Meet Up site as well as read my fellow London Bloggers tips on making a Good First Impression on the comments to the Blog;

Bloggers get free cocktails

In solidarity with my Good Buddy and fellow Blogger MuMu who is leaving paid, pensionable employment to concentrate on channelling Les Monstres and running her own business every Wednesday, I will co-host a We All Make Mistakes Blog Hop.

The rules are very simple:

1. Follow me on GFC and Twitter if you have an account – I will follow back;

2. Share a mistake you have made in the comments. Please do it for the rest of us!

3. Visit as many other blogs as you can!

4. Have fun!

So please, what is your mistake today?

If you want to co-host this Blog Hope copy this into your post;


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2 Responses

  • Thanks for you solidarity, DC!

  • Emm

    Oh my gosh… you didn’t??? Those are catastrophic mistakes! I can’t think of anything offhand which is not to say I haven’t made mistakes, but rather that I have erased them from my memory. We’re going to try make a turn on Tuesday, so hopefully see you there.

    My only wish for the PR types at these meetups is that they’d grow a background, figure out what they want from us and spit it out, rather than simply trying to grab as many Twitter followers and business cards as they can.