The Knack; How To Social Climb, by Liz Brewer, Publicist to the Rich and Famous

IT'S NO good thinking that, because you've just won the lottery or made a lot of money by fleecing someone, you will get invited to grand dinner parties. You need to have done something that elevates you to being a person that people would like to know. You have to offer something - there's no point in getting invitations to society events unless you've got something to talk about and to contribute, otherwise you'll just feel totally out of place, very uncomfortable and wish you were down the pub.

If you're going to try and go right from Z to A in society, have a reason to do so. What is it you want? If it's because you're marketing or promoting something, then fair enough. But remember that unless you are one of the world's doers and contributors, nobody will be interested.

If you do get invited to places, don't over-network and try to turn every occasion into some sort of opportunity; people can tell it's not genuine and you might find yourself being dropped. Be subtle. One tip is to always write and say thank you to your hosts - that way they will have your name and address, so you may get invited again.

You'll have to learn manners, of course. There are various rules, such as only talking to the person on your left at a big dinner party - it seems strict, but it's there to prevent people being ignored - you'll learn them as you go along. Prepare to get very organised; if you are invited to dinner parties and openings every evening of your life, you'll need to be. You may want to consider learning about art or wine; there are courses for this type of thing. But remember that you're only at your best when you feel comfortable - unless you feel happy with the new society you've entered into, there's absolutely no point in being there.

Interview by Fiona McClymont

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