Monday, 4 June 2007

The dirty dozen…categories

Here are the twelve categories for the Flackenhack Awards 2007 with a bit of explanation and (very simple) entry requirements. All entries on email please and they must be emailed no later than August 31st 2007 to Clearly entries need to relate to work carried out in the last year or so.

The cost per entry is: absolutely nothing! Late entries will be frowned upon (but probably included). Not too late though, eh?

Given we’re asking for nominations for some categories on email, the potential for vote-rigging is huge. Please don’t…though if you really can be bothered to set up a load of different email addresses then fair play to you.

Entries in other categories will be judged by our esteemed panel. We’ll announce the members of the judging panel very soon but suffice to say, it’s heavyweight.

Enough preambling, away we go:

1. Best result in the face of adversity
Got a fantastic result when your back was against the wall? Needed to sell a story to a national on the day of a general election? One shot to secure a top notch briefing for a visiting US executive who was also known as liking a drink and punchy in the face of aggressive questioning?

Give us a maximum of 300 words – and make them good - of how you (or someone in your team, modest folks as we know you are) pulled the cat out of the bag when it looked more like you’d be joining it, and you could pick up the coveted statuette. It’d be great if you could give us the contact details of someone else who could confirm the story (and your contact details too, obviously). If it makes us laugh then all the better…

2. Most valuable piece of coverage
Not all coverage is created equal…and by the same token, a splash in the FT doesn’t always have a valuable knock-on result. We’re looking for a single piece of coverage that you can build a case for as having enormous value. Maybe it was the piece that tipped the balance in a huge new contract for a client? Or one that your client’s CEO stuck on the wall which ensured your agency’s retention for another year? Or perhaps a piece that snowballed beyond all expectations?

What we’ll need is a scan or print of the coverage (audio/video files of broadcast would be cool, but don’t break your balls) and a maximum of 300 words stating the case for it being of such immense value it deserves the gong. We’ll need your contact details too, obviously.

3. Loveliest client
In celebration of those tortured beings that end up paying our salaries, we want you to nominate the client that does it right; that celebrates the successes, that gives credit where it’s due, that chases payment, that likes a beer…and that you’re happy to go out for one with (obviously we’re talking about an individual here, not a company).

A maximum of 300 words should do it. We’ll need your contact details but not, at this stage, the client’s.

4. "Fair cop guv'" biggest fuck up
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had that sinking, sick to the pit of my stomach feeling when it’s all gone arse about tit and there’s nowhere to hide; it was undeniably, irrefutably…not even a junior AE to point the finger at…our fault. The CEO’s waiting at the Hilton Park Lane; the journo’s hanging around at the Hilton Hyde Park… Half a second after pressing the send button the realisation dawns that you “replied all” rather than “forwarded” and now your suggestion of “skipping dinner and getting straight down beast with two backs before the girlfriend expects me home” is winging its way around numerous hack inboxes across the capital. You know the sort of thing.

Let’s celebrate the cock-ups! Yours or something you’ve seen. Give us 300 words and your contact details.

5. Hack nominated tech PR agency of the year
First category for the hacks to nominate: give us your tech PR agency of the year (or tech team in a bigger agency)? All we need is an email from a genuine journo email address with one agency name (and some reasons, if you like) and we’ll do the counting. We might also get in touch with a few of you ourselves.

6. Hack nominated PR person of the year
Like the above but for an individual in agency or in-house that represents the best of the best (or the least bad of the bad…whatever you like) in PR execution.

7. PR freeloader of the year
Sorry, did we say “freeloader”? Of course, we mean “freelancer”. This one can be nominated by anyone…agency people, in-housers or even hacks, but it’s for the best PR who has been operating in a freelance capacity, wherever that may have been.

8. Flack nominated tech hack of the year (staff)
Now it’s the turn of all you PRs out there to pick out one tech hack staff writer (B2B or consumer) as the worthy winner...and tells us why. One nomination per person, please.

9. Tech hack of the year (freelance)
It’s a lonely old life, so let’s give one of them a gong to polish. Again, this could be a B2B or consumer tech specialist, or someone who works between the two, and can be nominated by flacks, staff hacks and fellow freelancers alike.

10. Least communicative hack
Go on then, which is the hack that you’d rather email than pick up the phone to, though you know you’re never going to get a response? Who is it harder to get a positive reaction out of than to get a “nice work fella” out of Sir Alan Sugar? Silences on the phone that seem to drag on like a Chelsea v. Man U cup final? Give us the name (clearly we’re expecting nominations from flacks, mostly)...anecdotes welcome too.

11. Consumer tech publication of the year
This one’s for everyone…media and PRs alike. Only thing to note for the hacks is that you can’t vote for your own publication. Yes, yes, I know that makes it almost impossible… We’re not after the one that looks best on top of a pile of clippings, or the one that’s done you the most favours this year…we’re after the one you go to for solid, unbiased consumer tech news, views and reviews.

12. Business tech publication of the year
Exactly the same as the one above but for B2B tech insight. We’re not splitting nationals and trades; online or offline – it’s irrelevant these days – we just want to know who’s got the most biz tech credibility.

The easiest thing, I reckon, would be to cut ‘n’ paste the categories you want to enter or nominate into an email and fill ‘em out. Once again, send entries to

Over to you.