Insights

Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf… and CPL

A trip to a Paris cemetery reminds Phil Minett of how CPL’s editorial and design expertise benefits our clients and their readers

I have recently returned from a trip to Paris. Mrs M and I had been before and “done” the usual touristy things, so we were casting around for other places to visit; a CPL colleague suggested Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one for dismissing suggestions out of hand, but the thought of wandering around the “dead centre” of Paris wasn’t something that exactly floated my boat.

Nevertheless, on a gloomy day in late autumn, I somehow found myself being steered through the cemetery entrance where we were soon overtaken by a hearse. It did not look promising.

But that underwhelming feeling soon changed when I began to read the free guide and pored over the map being handed out to visitors by a uniformed man at the small gatehouse.

The cemetery – part park, part burial ground – said the leaflet, takes its name from King Louis XIV’s confessor, Father Francois d’aix de La Chaise, extends to 44 hectares, contains 70,000 burial plots and the mortal remains of some one million souls.

First impressions are of a small town; a plethora of Gothic gravestones, burial chambers and mausoleums extend as far as the eye can see. As well as being the final resting place of thousands of ordinary citizens, it is home to the burial places of many world-renowned men and women.

The map helpfully points you in the direction of the graves of such luminaries as Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Chopin, Collette, Edith Piaf, Pissarro as well as – and a surprise to me – the American singer-songwriter Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors. His tomb is marked, in a typically unconventional manner, by a large tree studded top to bottom with pieces of chewed gum – ‘tributes’ from his legion of now-ageing rock fans.

Despite my earlier misgivings, it all made for a very interesting and enjoyable experience.

On the Metro journey back to our hotel, it occurred to me that there was a certain similarity – strange as it may seem – between my initially unpromising day out and some of the work we do here at CPL.

A number of our clients would be the first to admit that the information their organisations or professions need to impart is not the most “sexy”. It is important, but perhaps not the first thing that people rush to read about. More Père Lachaise than Eiffel Tower, shall we say.

That’s where we at CPL come in. Using our editorial and communication expertise, we are adept at presenting information, however specialist, in a readable and attractive manner. Through clever sub-editing and design, we ensure clients’ digital, print and video content is credible and engaging for their readers.

We are the equivalent of that informative leaflet about Père Lachaise in Paris – the numbered streets and layers, the helpful guide pointing people to the most interesting spots to see. Turning something that, on the face of it, sounds an unpromising way to spend a few hours, into time well spent.

If you’d like CPL to do the same for you, please get in touch with me philip.minett@cpl.co.uk

Phil Minett
is senior associate - editorial
at CPL

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