PR boss Clive Reeves talks work, rest and play, the bus ride of shame… and why we need a ‘first impressions’ officer in Brum
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I run my Clive Reeves PR consultancy. We look after manufacturers, retailers, educators and, luckily for us, a couple of great bars and restaurants in the city centre.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
We’ve just moved into a new office in Temple Street – it’s so convenient you wouldn’t believe. I need to use my car most days, although I’ve made the concession of having a Smart car because it’s cheap and environmentally-friendly.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
I drive in from Sutton Coldfield. Sometimes I have to take the ‘bus ride of shame’ to collect my car when I’ve left it in town after an evening out. On buses, it’s compulsory to sit upstairs, preferably in the front seat. And fellow drivers please note – the Tyburn Road has not had a bus lane along it for many years now. Please use both lanes!
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
The city centre is definitely the place to be. Lots of people know each other and business people tend to be happy to help each other. We have a satellite office in Brussels – wouldn’t it be great if we could ever just get on Eurostar in Birmingham and get off three hours later in Brussels or Paris?
It really depends on the type of meeting. A good shout at the moment is Café Opus in Brindleyplace.
I do enjoy a proper restaurant lunch and think that considerable time should be devoted to it – such as the entire afternoon! We are spoilt for choice with the likes of Purnell’s, Opus at Cornwall Street, Adam’s, Lasan, San Carlo Fumo, Hotel du Vin. As an ordinary Brummie lad, I love Bedders chip shop in Small Heath – £6 for fish, chips, peas, bread and butter and a cup of builders’ tea made with sterilised milk!
I’m not the powerwalking type. If I need to get out of the office, I’ll probably go and get a haircut or just drive home and give the day up as a bad job.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
The Colmore Business District for work and Mailbox and Brindleyplace for socialising. Sitting in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral watching the world go by isn’t bad either.
Not a pint, but wine. The choice is between Fizz Friday at Epernay and Cafe Opus, where there’s Scott Colcombe singing and making us feel calm or The Bureau on Colmore Row, where it’s great to be on the roof – weather permitting.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
We should have a Birmingham ‘first impressions’ officer, someone responsible for sorting out the annoying, but easy-to-fix problems that taint a visitors’ first impression of the city. Abandoned road signs, unswept streets, rubbish and those bloody plastic barriers which are more hazardous than what they’re trying to protect us from!