30 Years 30 Stories

  • What cake is this?

    I return to the office after lunch and in the reception there’s a huge cake with a client’s logotype.

    “What cake is this?” I ask, curious.

    “I don’t know, but the client is celebrating its anniversary and sent the cake to the publishing department.”

    “I really feel like having dessert. Do you mind offering everyone a slice with coffee, please?”

    Late in the afternoon, the kind colleague that cut and offered the cake storms through my office: “Catarina, after all the cake was meant for a photographic session! And now what? I didn’t even have the courage to tell them half of the cake is gone…”

    “Oh, shoot! What a mess! Well, we have to order one just like it to the pastry shop next door and I’ll pay. This is just what I needed!”

    And the rest of my afternoon was spent trying to get the same logotype – without the Internet then – and a skilled confectioner, and calming down the producer… Nice trickery my team played on me! Lack of habit. We don’t deal much with cakes in this activity!

  • A sick person

    I had a bizarre moment as a member of LPM. I had business meetings with a client in a room whose air conditioning was always making me sneeze. At the end of the fifth meeting, the client says that I was always ill (I rarely am). Next week, I showed up for work with a cast on my arm.

  • Cheese

    17th February 2012, IV APED’s Congress. I was part of the production team selected for accompanying the event. And what’s the best thing that could ever happen to a person that doesn’t like cheese and can’t stand the smell of cheese, than to be working long through the evening, in a Museu do Oriente’s room full of cheeses? That’s what I call team spirit and love for my job!

  • What will you have to drink?

    I don’t forget the three days I went to work at a McDonald’s restaurant, because the brand demands it for everyone who works with it. The aim is to work at the restaurant, going through all stations. Since the grill to the French fries, we’re treated as any employee in its first days, and my new colleagues thought I was really going to stay in that MacDonald’s position.

    I went to the restaurant in BP Padre Cruz. As I don’t have a car, I took a taxi to the restaurant during all three days. Later I realized that I was already known as “the taxi girl.” I spent most of my time at the French fries station. In peak hours I had to hear my colleagues urging me to be faster, and oh well, I wasn’t made for that kind of job. But some of them still comforted me, saying that in the first days it was normal to be slower, and I could do better in time. They really didn’t know I was just passing by…

  • In a hotel for 6 months

    In 2009 I received the challenge to move to Porto to be part of Unicer’s Communication Department while our colleague was in maternity leave. I stayed there for about 6 months, a period of time that I still remember, because the overall balance was so positive. And living in a hotel is, definitely, an unique experience!

  • Where’s the bag?

    A business trip. Destination: Gaia. Accompanying the Marés Vivas Festival. Computer: checked; wallet: checked; suitcase with all my clothes and personal items: not checked! What’s the problem, when it’s just 4 nights away from home?

  • Is there Crioulo on Google translate?

    One of the most interesting projects I was involved with in LPM is, certainly, the one that put me in the work team a presidential candidate for Cape Verde in 2006.

    My role was limited to the content production for the campaign. I took special pleasure from the creation of the scripts for broadcasting.

    I did my research well and I was responsible for replicating the many themes based on the available research, defined as a priority by the candidate’s entourage.

    Part of the final result was presented in Crioulo. I didn’t understand, nor understand now, anything of Crioulo.

    I also couldn’t count on the many online tools that help us today in more complicated translations.

  • Of whom I found here

    I could tell the story of the day that ORM became a field of expertise in LPM. I could also tell the story of when I was asked to live in Angola, and I went, and died from the heat every single day. Or how happy I felt to help organizing the NewsMuseum’s first public session at ESCS, the school where I dreamed of being a PR in the largest communication consultancy firm in the country, with the most important and sophisticated clients… But the story that pops up right from my mind is another one. It’s the story of Isabel, Catarina and Tavares. The story of Patrícia, Gonçalo, and Luís. Of Alberto, Ana Maria and Rio. It’s the story of the people I work with from forever, that are relentless and dedicated, upright and modest, even having on their hands the most complex PR projects in Portugal, and how they affected and affect my life in such a distinctive way.

  • You have to go to Madeira to solve a crisis. Today.

    20th February 2010. Madeira is affected by an unprecedented rainfall that leaves a destruction path on its way. A client connected to the management of shopping centers calls and asks for help: “we need you here.” It was the beginning of a different working week, where the crisis management went from paper to action. The overall balance couldn’t be more positive: satisfied client, intact reputation, strengthened relationship of trust. And an experience that would define the next steps of my professional path.

  • One of the best lunches of my life

    It was on the day of Imedeen’s presentation, a premium beauty brand, to the best bloggers of the country. Or, so I hoped, they would be present. We sent personalized invites, tried to catch their attention in the most creative and relevant way possible, but there’s always that flutter of nervousness. Will they show up? Will they understand the message we want to send? That morning, a crisis bursts with another client. I cannot longer go. How so? Twisting and turning, I can get away and to my huge satisfaction, I found a room filled with interested and attentive bloggers. When it was finished, I went with my colleague to the nearby pastry shop to eat something. We ended up having chocolate croissants at Bernard for lunch, at 4 pm. It was one of the best lunches I ever had.

  • I didn’t even want to leave Brazil

    To accompany a client’s initiative in Brazil I had to make a lightning trip: go aboard on a Monday morning and return on a Wednesday at the end of the day, going through two Brazilian cities. Among many ups and downs, I was close to not go aboard on my way to Lisbon, because the flight was overbooked. After a long wait, they literally gave me the last seat on the plane (the ideal one for who’s afraid of flying, because it’s the place where you best feel trepidation!). After already being in the waiting room with hundreds of people, I was questioned by a Brazilian Police Officer and forwarded to an airport corner to be searched. They always justified these actions reporting it was normal procedure, but of the 250 people boarding the plane, I was the only one who went through this kind of procedure…

  • Escaping a firecracker

    In 2013, and to monitor a specific client situation, I participated, as an observer, in a demonstration in front of the National Assembly. Pretending to be just passing by, I would observe the movement inside Fernandes stationery shop. The demonstration began and I went to the place of arrival. I took my place near the reporting television vans parked outside because I knew the TV team from SIC. The street was packed, the sound was deafening, the protest chants against the government were offensive and aggressive, and the atmosphere was heavy. Suddenly a firecracker explodes. I jumped and honestly… I was very afraid. The technician from SIC told me not to go in the reporting television van… I didn’t go in at the first firecracker but at the fourth one I was already inside the vehicle.

  • Itching to meet you

    It all started as a business proposal for an anti-flea dog collar. But since we cannot advertise the product, the proposal couldn’t be meant for an anti-flea dog collar. We had dogs and cats as a hook. We were approaching Summer holidays. We had astounding numbers for abandoned pets, so we bet on an adoption campaign. We contacted seven animal protection associations and went looking for a new owner. “Itching to meet you,” that was the slogan for an initiative that started out without noise but that gained more and more prominence. We distributed bags everywhere. We worked hand in hand with a blogger who went over heels to raise followers. We took vets to the television and we took the television to the kennel.

    In the end, we knew we had saved some of these pets. But we weren’t aware that there were more than 200 to get a home and a happy ending.

  • In the time of fax

    Colombo’s opening eve. At that time the corrections and the approval of texts were made by fax... The client marked the alterations on the paper, rewrote and resent it by fax… After many text versions for the opening, at the end of the day what were true paper sheets continued to be sent, with more and more corrections of the meanwhile approved text version. There was someone that couldn’t hold himself any longer and started kicking the paper sheets that spread across the Areeiro’s office hall. A feature that left our current Chief Executive flabbergasted.

  • The Boss’ car went down

    In 1997 I went to a meeting in Figueira da Foz with Luís Paixão Martins and after all set and done, we returned to Lisbon for a fine lunch. All was well, we took A1 to Leiria and we were counting on arriving in Lisbon, Areeiro – where LPM was located – early. But all of a sudden the Mercedes starts to fail and stops. There came a tow trailer that took us to Porto de Mós, where the car would stay there for repair. We ended up arriving in Lisbon at 10 pm. The car would be repaired but soon after it was replaces by another one…

  • The prince’s christening

    One of the projects I most enjoyed working on was the christening of S.A.R., the Prince of Beira, Dom Afonso de Santa Maria. It happened on the 1st of June 1996, in Braga, and I was 30 years old or so. I can’t explain why, but I think that all the surname’s family weight, the fact that a new generation of Casa de Bragança infants was beginning, or just the fact that I like tales about royalty, can make me say that this was one of the projects I want to highlight in my 26 years of experience in LPM…

    From the promotion and the accompanying of interviews, photoshoot sessions, accreditation of national and international journalists, the organization of the press office to the attendance of the ceremony, this was a period I fully lived and that made me feel like “mission accomplished.”

  • How so, on top of a car?

    Monsaraz, Alentejo. The launching of Tourism projects of Excellence. Briefing received three days before the session. Tent installing for the session with the Prime-Minister (150 pax.) Previous technical visit done and the definition of all details set. The LPM team arrives at the location and I receive a call: “Graça, we don’t know what to do, the men installing the tent set up the structure on top of a car. They didn’t find the owner.” The result: they dismantled the tent, the firemen removed the car and, of course, the tent was set up again…

  • The client is always right

    Horse riding event with the best worldwide socialites in the VIP area. The client’s instructions: “Keep journalists far away from that area!” The journalists: “Come on, we have to go there or we’re here doing nothing!” And you insist: “Mr. President, can we just consider the entering for journalists only for a brief moment?” The answer is clear: “No!” You take a chance and let the journalists enter in the banned area. The result: awesome media fuss and… a satisfied client!

  • I only came here for an internship

    1st of April and it wasn’t a fools’ day. I headed to the 4th floor on the no. 30, in Avenida João Crisóstomo – yes, LPM was located in the middle of Saldanha back then. Transposing LPM’s door, I began my professional path with an internship in the firm I currently – and proudly – belong in. It’s already been a decade. I learned and grew up as a person and as an expert. I continue to grow up and learn, everyday. Back then we were about 20 co-workers, and today we exceed a hundred people. But LPM’s DNA stays the same: experience, competence and influence.

  • Going to a meeting with the boss

    In my first three days in LPM I was immediately gifted with a presentation to a client with Luís Paixão Martins. I repeat: with Luís Paixão Martins. The bar couldn’t be any higher. How would it go? We didn’t know each other. I had no idea how Luís Paixão Martins was in business meetings, because it was the first time we would be together in one. Would we be on the same page? Would it go well? The result: it couldn’t go better. Without even talking before, we made the presentation together as we had been working together for years. On the right times, I spoke and he spoke. The client loved our proposal and I got out of that meeting with a hundred kilos less on my back and feeling so proud of being a part of LPM’s team.