"It's not what you know - it's who you know" is a cliche that has always been a strange source of comfort to me.
Not least because if I dwell too long on the what that I know bit, I only get depressed.
The who I know bit doesn't cheer me up too much either, but it has set me thinking about one way of promoting our city and our region.
Regular readers (hello Jim and Bridie in Astwood Bank) will know my views that neither Marketing Birmingham nor Advantage West Midlands can be relied on to promote this city and the region proactively. I still don't understand why.
I think it's something to do with a " strategic approach" so that rules me out, understandingwise, but for those of us who do try and get positive news stories into the national press on a regular basis, talking to London newsdesks or specialist correspondents about stories from that amorphous area "The Midlands" can be a disheartening experience.
It is all to do with local knowledge and perspective.
Can you imagine how the south Birmingham tornado would have been reported if it had swept through south London?
The horror, the trauma, the shock ... the irreparable damage to the jellied eels industry, pearly kings and queens in tears.
It doesn't bear thinking about. So to achieve coverage in the nationals we either have to have an earth-shattering story, something on par with the parting of the Red Sea, man's first powered flight, the discovery of ciabatta bread - or we need to get sneaky.
I recently sat down with a veteran of the newspaper business. Yes, someone even I call a veteran - ha, ha, thank you very much. We got to reminiscing about all the journalists who once worked in this region who now work in London, whether it be in TV, radio or the national or trade press.
Within seconds we had to turn the beer mat over and start on the other side. If Tony Flanagan and I can come up with 20 or 30 names quickly, Lord knows how many the likes of Fred Bromwich and John Lamb could throw into the mix.
If we are to promote this region and our capital city to their best advantage, perhaps we need to draw on the memories of those who cut their teeth here?
I don't know whether Marketing Birmingham or Advantage West Midlands order the kind of comprehensive cuttings service that most of us in PR insist upon for our clients, but it would be interesting to see a comprehensive monthly compilation of what has been printed about our area, perhaps on a website if copyright laws allow.
If we were to combine our knowledge of those we know with a constant monitoring of those who are prepared to write about events in the West Midlands, we could effect a sea change in the way the region is perceived.
Unfortunately it requires more than a modicum of proactivity so I am not going to commit myself to a breath-holding record attempt.
On the other hand, if some of the region's senior old hacks and PR persons, together with the public sector's communications heads, fancy a get together at, say, the IoD hub, then I'm up for it. Any takers?