The blag is in the bag

The “blag” is an art form in media circles. In fact, I’d go as far as saying some of the displays I’ve seen over the years have been so polished that the practise of blagging itself deserves chartered status, much like some of our industry’s more mainstream specialities – think CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) and the like.

The blag seems to work on a number of levels and my novice status in the art has taught me that one's early attempts at bagging the freebie should, like most things when a beginner, be modest.

Getting yourself a pair of tickets to Jodie Marsh's Keeping It Real Monday night book launch should be a good start point. Like most things media, blagging also seems to be about knowing the right person.

Having grown your little black book of blag-friendly contacts over the years, only those with a cool and collected verbal swagger will achieve "master practitioner" status.

Having honed the art of "giving good phone", they will walk away with some of the industry's ultimate trophy blags. Those money-can't-buy backstage passes to Glastonbury, a seat in the platinum circle at The Brit Awards or the strictly necessary jolly to Los Angeles.

It's all very well giving it your best on the phone, but for the brave and the bold among us, there's another level of blagging to conquer. Yes, face-to-face combat with clipboard Gestapo at the pearly gates of the VIP area for that must-have wristband is an exhilarating sport, all too often played by the inexperienced.

Only a razor-sharp brain bursting with reasons as to why one really must be in there will see the forearms and necks of the lucky few blessed with the presence of a wristband or "Access all areas" laminate.

Pink, green, gold, black, you name it, where there's a free drink, there's a wristband and a market ripe for blaggers.

One final thought on committing the ultimate blag. My own experiences – and those of some of my fruitier colleagues – tell me that behaviour is key, especially if the blag is set to become an annual event in the social calendar.

Attaching oneself to the bar, hoovering up the free food and asking people what event you're at before being found slumped by/in a dustbin by a guest who really was invited, is simply bad form.

When seeing the perfect blag from start to finish, the accomplished among us will see the word "band" [sic] used only when attached to the word "wrist".

Jenny Beckman is head of marketing for LBC 97.3FM and LBC News 1152AM

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