Monday, 29 October 2007

The video...

...can be seen here.

I would embed it, but I can't work out how.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Of course it's not the taking part...

...winning's all that matters. And here are those that matter from the other night.

Best result in the face of adversity - winner: Hugh MacLeod/Stormhoek/Microsoft
Come on, how much adversity do you want? A year-old cartoon...a bottle of South African plonk...stick one on the other and that's a story? Are you kidding? Oh, and not only that, but if you're anyone other than a Microsoft employee, you won't be able to get hold of a bottle. Still, it was good enough for the Financial Times to run half a page about it. I ask you.

Most valuable piece of coverage - winner: Omnifone for the launch of MusicStation
Rob Lewis - quondam co-founder of - and his chums chose to stay under the radar for four years. Then, on the eve of 3GSM, they unleashed a massive payload of coverage. The full story can be seen on Fullrun.

Fair cop award for the biggest fuck up - winner: Google...
...for its incredible exploding European Press Day in June. Eric Schmidt and the co-founders of You Tube flew in to speak. Then the air conditioning failed, the wi-fi stopped working and water starting leaking through the ceiling. To cap off a lovely day, Google pissed off the German hacks in attendance by giving them nothing to write up. Specifically, the company said that it would launch local language versions of You Tube in France, Spain, Holland and Poland -- but not Germany. That is bad.

Hack nominated tech PR agency of the year - winner: Sonus PR...
...not least for its beautifully orchestrated lobbying of tech hacks which resulted in loads of nominations from journos…all uncannily similar in their wording. Respect

Freelancer of the year - winner: Nikki Alvey
Described by one client as a 'PR terrier' Nikki was urged by our compere Paul Wooding 'not to piss up the lectern...'

Staff hack of the year - winner: Phil Muncaster, IT Week
Described by one voter as: “Probably the best journalist to have to call in the world. He’s always friendly and always honest, but politely so. If you want an opinion about a campaign before you embark upon it, he’ll give you his honest answer. Most of all, he’s up for beers – and not only at the expense of the client or agency. Top bloke.” Phil also won an impromptu award on the night for best haircut.

Freelance hack of the year - winner: Dan Ilett
“Friendly, approachable, willing to give advice - happy to work with you to build a story. Yet equally, still objective and insistent on 'proper' stories.” Enough said.

World's least communicative hack - winner: Jason Stamper, CBR
We're still waiting for confirmation that he actually exists. Jason, if you're reading this, we have a very cheap trophy waiting for you...

Consumer tech publication of the year - winner: Stuff
Couldn't be there to accept the award so sent a text: "sz cnt b there 2nite. Thx 4 award." Nice.

Business tech publication of the year - winner:
Also won the best acceptance speech award: "Thanks for this...and thanks to The Register and ITPro for being a bit shit."

The keen-eyed among you will have noticed that there weren't awards in the "Hack nominated tech PR person of the year" or the "Loveliest client of the year" categories. This is because we received absolutely no nominations in either. What a wonderfully positive world in which we all work...hacks hate PRs; PRs hate their clients.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

The Flackenhacks: About the night before last. . .

OK. Now at least one hoity-toity sort has expressed concern that no one has blogged much about The Flackenhacks.

Melanie at Fake Plastic Noodle -- which deals among other things with "avant-garde PR" -- means that "either A) They were boring or B) Everyone drank so much they forgot what happened".

Avant-garde PR? I wouldn't know it if it hit me in the face.

As for yesterday, I took the day off. Well, mostly. Making up for lost time, here's my stuff:

Stephen Davies of WebITPR has kindly posted some pix here:

Among other things:

  • Our spies tell us that the large contingent from Midnight narrowly avoided a ruck with a bunch of "gobby" lads on the train back home to Brighton. The boys had a lucky escape, we reckon.
  • Acceptance speech of the night came from the otherwise mild-mannered Matt Loney, editorial director of ZDNet. Taking the gong for B2B site of the year after trouncing The Register and IT Week, Loney thanked his shortlisted rivals for "being so shit".
  • We spied two Next Fifteen MDs -- Nick Giles of Text 100 and Grant Currie of Inferno -- bitching about cost pressures. Of course, this is what MDs do over beers. But it would appear that Microsoft's recent decision to cut 20% off its UK PR budget has left the bean counters at Next Fifteen jittery about the costs of Text's impending office relocation. . . Next stop IKEA, Nick. . .
  • What goes on tour: Who was the agency fromage who slagged off a particular account manager in front of the cameras on the night? If Fullrun was TWL, we'd tell you. But we're not, so we won't. Anyhow, the boss in question did email us this morning sounding a bit concerned that we'd release this bit of video on to YouTube. . .
  • Lost minds, lost property: Sonus did an Amy Winehouse and had their trophy mislaid, nicked, whatever. We're ordering a new one for them. They seem very keen. Which is nice.
  • One half of TWL managed to mislay a laptop while stumbling around Mayfair trying to locate Daryl Willcox's private members' club in the wee hours. . .
  • The Mystery Of The Porn Tree: OK, here's how it goes. On the night, Nicky Alvey, the freelancer, mentioned it to Andrew Smith of Object Marketing. Apparently, it will mean something to anyone who worked at Brodeur in the 1990s. . . We really need to know more about this, so c'mon guys, don't be shy.
  • Kevin Withnall of Vanson Bourne has no recollection of spilling a glass of wine all over Giles Fraser of Brands2Life. And Tim Hoang of Rainier PR has no recollection of knocking a glass of champagne over Chris Long from the BBC. Which is a pity. Because Long apparently turned round and agreed to run the story they'd been discussing. . . In the words of Andrew Smith: "Barely 8pm and already people falling over -- marvelous!"
  • Talking of which, the liveblogging didn’t work very well. The keyboards at the Audi Forum were weird demented German metallic things. Built for looking at, obviously. Which seems to have irritated Fiona Blamey of Prompt Communications a bit. . . Sorry Fiona: we'll get our act together next time round.
  • We met up with Simon Corbett, late of Edelman and now running the UK branch of Blanc & Otus. Fresh-faced Corbett has a secret history as a entrepreneur. Sounds like it'll come in handy at Blanc & Otus. . . Someone else -- not Simon, obviously -- suggested that the outgoing Blanc & Otus MD Simon Glazer has been exiled to the PR equivalent of the Aleutian Islands. Ah yes; we think we should be told. . .
  • The smokers' huddle outside in Piccadilly was a nightmare. You'd go out there, have a smoke, get ready to go in, only to be pinned up against the wall by a new arrival. The fetching Alexandra Pullen of Text 100 seemed to spend the entire night outside. . .
  • . . . As did the wonderful Jessica Twentyman, who was not best pleased that Dan Ilett walked away with freelancer of the year. Putting on her best Judy Garland-on-medication voice, Twentyman was last heard bellowing "I own this town" down the full length of Piccadilly. . . Note to TWL: This was what stopped the traffic, not the big pink cock.
  • Sir Big Wadd of Rainier reckons it was like the "Restaurant at the End of the Universe, where everyone gets reunited after a long absence". That's good, we think.
  • Hotwire? Is it being sold? Who knows? Alexis Dalrymple of that parish wins our award for bullshitter of the night for his performance on this score. Whenever anyone asked him what was going on, Dalrymple raised his voice to 90Db, flapped his arms in wide circles and talked a load of bollocks. Superb.
  • Someone emailed us today saying how taken they'd been with Jennifer Walker of Porter Novelli. Marriage was suggested. Not that we're an advocate of arranged unions or anything like that, but Jennifer, if you're interested, drop us a line. We'll put you in touch with the smitten lad. He's a good 'un.
  • Moral guardian of the night: Nick Booth holding a bottle of Becks in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other, urgently telling me to quieten down the audience during the ceremony. At least, that seemed to be what he was saying. . .
  • Mike Magee -- recently returned from a two-month sabbatical -- left early, excusing himself with the line that his wife had to be up early in the morning. Said Magee: "She works for the NHS, you know." Nice one, Mike. Tell us, though: exactly how much did you make from flogging The Inquirer to VNU?
  • Big thanks to. . . our impeccable (and well-dressed) front-of-housers from Spark and Midnight: you were fantstically well-organised. Thanks also to TWL, DJ John Ozimek (from Liberty Communications) and compere Paul Wooding (of Weber Shandwick). We couldn't have done it without you.
  • Thanks, too, to our sponsors, whose proud logos are lined up alongside this post. We hope it worked well for you. . .
  • I've got a stack of people to call and enough breakfast, lunch and dinner invites to last six months . . . Meanwhile, everyone's assuming we'll do it again next year. Looks like we've got four sponsors lined up already. We still haven't got a clue about the size of this year's booze bill, though. . .

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Brands2Life joins the party. . .

Breakfast at Chez Gerard in Victoria can be a bit hit-and-miss. But our Full English there with Giles Fraser the other morning brought forth another offer of financial support for The Flackenhacks.

Brands2Life has joined Edelman, Golin Harris and O Marketing as a Flackenhacks supporter. In crude terms, they're putting the equivalent behind the bar of their top per-hour consultancy rate. Not a shabby amount, I can tell you.

Thanks to Giles, Sarah and the folk at Brands2Life. See you on the night!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The shortlists...

OK, here's the moment that some of you might have been waiting for. Or not. It kind of depends on the category. Anyway, here are the shortlists for The Flackenhack Awards 2007. There are a couple of categories missing...we have our reasons. Further explanation on the big night itself.

If you've been nominated and, as yet, haven't arranged to attend the event, drop us a line at and we'll sort you out.

Best Result In The Face of Adversity
BT: For extremely shrewd handling of the emerging debate on network neutrality and broadband capacity limits
Edelman: For its successful launch of the domain on the day the FT ran a front page story with the headline: “Arrival of 'dotmobi' domain raises concerns’ and which in just over 400 words slated the company
Hugh MacLeod/Microsoft/Stormhoek: For sticking a year-old cartoon on a bottle of South African plonk that you can’t even buy and persuading the FT to devote half a sodding page of editorial to it

Most Valuable Piece Of Coverage
Omnifone: For the pre-3GSM launch of MusicStation
Context PR: For the three and a half minutes of work (backed by 15 years of experience, obviously) that he put in to arranging an interview between his client, SurfControl, and a Reuters hack, which resulted in more than 30 pieces of top quality coverage across the globe
Donald MacDonald: For the British-born Intel marketer's interview with hometown newspaper The Swindon Advertiser, which took place as his company planned huge job cuts in October 2006

The Fair Cop Award For Biggest Fuck Up
Brando: For its meaning of Easter cock-up for Somerfield
Google: For its incredible exploding European Press Day in June

The Hack Award For Tech PR Agency Of The Year

The Flack Award For Staff Hack Of The Year
Phil Muncaster, IT Week
Rik Turner, Computerwire
Chris Green, IT Pro

The Flack Award For Freelance Hack Of The Year
Danny Bradbury
Ken Young
Dan Ilett
Miya Knights

Consumer Tech Publication Of The Year
Tech Digest
Guardian Technology

Business Tech Publication Of The Year
The Register
IT Week

Monday, 15 October 2007

Lastminute tickets: Get 'em here. . .

Need to pick a last minute ticket for The Flackenhacks?

Here is where to do it.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Vanson Bourne joins Flackenhack Supporters Club

Our thanks to Kevin and Graham at Vanson Bourne, who have become Flackenhack Sponsor no.7.

Your help is really appreciated, guys. We promise you a party (and an audience) to remember. . .

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

BackAHack @ The Flackenhacks

Ever been too shy to ask someone out?

No, we didn’t think so. You work in PR, after all. Asking people out is what we do.

But perhaps you're feeling, um, a bit spotty. Somehow, you've mislaid that last 10% of habitual self-confidence.. .

The client is spanking you for mentions of Wodgetworks point release v.1.0.1. But all you've got to work with is crap.

Folks, we've got the answer: Back-A-Hack at The Flackenhacks.

It works like this:

Step 1: You invite the hack of your choice to The Flackenhacks.

Step 2: They say: "Why yes, I'd love to come."

Step 3: You buy their ticket.

Step 3: We give you a bit of a touch on their tickets. Like this:

-- 10% off the RRP of £65.00 for one or two Backed Hacks.
-- 20% off for four or more Backed Hacks.

Step 4: And then we let the world know who you've invited so that we don’t all start falling over one another to irritate Peter Whitehead.

Back-A-Hack is a good idea, and here's why:

1) Let's share, baby. If every agency invites one hack, we'll have dozens of them at the event. There will be more to go around for everyone. (Hmm, the dating analogy starts getting decidedly dodgy at this point).

2) It should enable you to tell your boss that you're going to The Flackenhacks -- but reluctantly. As it happens, you're going for work purposes. The next step in this particular line of reasoning is to argue that the cost of 20 Flackenhacks tickets should be run through the training budget. . . Nice one.

In the end, we're intent upon throwing a good party. We think hacks should be part of it -- but we've only got so many free invites to give 'em…

Interested in Backing A Hack at The Flackenhacks? If so, drop us a line. . .

A few things: Taffeta ballgowns, seating etc

A couple of people have asked about The Flackenhacks dress code.

There isn't one.

As TWL puts it: "Come as you might for a night down the pub. Or for a party. Or straight from work. A dinner suit would probably be over doing things and fancy dress might stand out a bit."

And another thing.

A couple of people have asked whether they can get a table near the front.

We're not doing tables -- at least in the sit-down-for-a-lump-of-rubber-poultry sense of the word.

There will be plenty of spots where you can lounge about, sit down and generally hang out.

But the accent is on moving around, having a chat, catching up with old friends. And maybe making some new ones, too. In other words: informal. . .

New sponsors!: Spannerworks & O Marketing

Welcome to The Flackenhacks' latest sponsor, Spannerworks.

Thanks to Antony Mayfield, head of content & media at the Brighton-based digital agency (whom some of you will recall from Harvard) for his support. See you on the night, Antony. . .

Thanks too, to the indomitable Rose Ross of O Marketing, who has stepped up to the plate as a supporter with Edelman and Golin Harris.

What's a supporter? It's kind of like a sponsor. But your logo is smaller. . .

Monday, 1 October 2007

Porter Novelli Goes Mpeg. . .

Porter Novelli, one of our sponsors, has suggested sending in a crew to capture The Flackenhacks for posterity.

We were initially hoping that they'd be able to hand out snapshots. . . rather like the pictures of your good self experiencing 4.5 G-Force on the Nemesis Inferno ride at Thorpe Park. . .

But it seems these guys are far more high-falutin than that. They're proposing moving pictures. folks. Anyway, we're up for it. But we need to sort out the details.

Got ideas for rude questions? Feeling inspired in 2D kinda way? Then send us your suggestions for disruptive cross-examination of the massed guest list.

Perhaps we can point them in the direction of agency bosses with awkward news to conceal. . .

Our Tech Blogger Face-Off

Next topic of gentle conversation is our Tech Blogger Face-Off.

We'll be inviting along a bunch of the world's leading tech PR bloggers to write up the awards in real time. . . at least during the early bits.

Or until they fall off their perches. Whichever comes soonest.

You're welcome to drop into The Flackenhacks' Demilitarized Zone and pick a fight with them. Or, as we suggest below, why not try stroking their multi-coloured fur?

(Demilitarized Zone? Yes, it's our version of the dreaded Ch*** O** place that often attracts old folks in clubland.)

Stephen Davies of WebITPR, Fiona Blamey of Prompt PR and Andrew Smith of Object Marketing have agreed to take up the cudgels.

And there will be more. Our hit list contains Benvie, Bruce, Collister -- and a few more besides.

If you want to come along and blog, you don't need to be an A-lister. You just need a blog. Do us a favour, though, and drop us a line in advance. . .

. . . oh, and don't forget to prime your mobile with Flickr log-in details. By doing so, you can upload plenty of embarassing pix while your head is in the clouds. Or thereabouts.

Flackenhacks: The Running Order

So guys. . . here's an update on ticket sales.

One hundred and forty tickets sold thus far. And counting.

So we're on track for a glorious night. . .

Here's our timetable for the evening. We've got a few more things up our collective sleeve depending on how ticket sales pan out during the remaining three weeks until the event.

So this is approximate, but confirmed:

7.30: Doors open
-- Discreet Prosecco-guzzling and lounge sounds.

8.00 Tech PR Blogger Face-Off: Open For Business
-- Watch (and taunt) the community's A-list bloggers as they file live from the party.
-- Stroke their multi-coloured fur in our Blogger Chill Out Zone.
-- Wanna blog from the Flackenhacks? Just join the queue before drink takes over. *

8.15: The Flackenhack Awards 2007
-- Presented by your compere Paul Wooding of Weber Shandwick, esteemed understudy to Bernard Manning Esq., late of Manchester's Harpurhey quarter. With some very special guests . . .
-- Security Alert Status: In Dulux terms, Amber Forest 4.

10.00 Hang The DJ
-- John Ozimek of Chomp (and late of the Ministry of Sound) takes his turn on the wheel of fortune. Apparently, his noise levels will be acceptable. But can he induce an audience of exhausted and drunken screen zombies to dance? We think yes.

10.07 Tech PR Blogger Face-Off: Closed For Business
-- Last A-list blogger falls off perch. Guaranteed.
-- Personal Security Alert Status: Flaming Orange. Carriage of gels prohibited.

11.30 Er, Carriages
-- What this means is taxis for the bosses. And, yeah, the last tube for those of you who have had enough.

12.00 The World's Leading Guide To High-Class Clubbing
-- Can you identify the (necessarily) Masked Avengers and join them on a "louche" tour of London's finest nite spots? The password, in case you need it, is: "Rupert Goodwins".
-- Personal Security Alert Status: Multicoloured and pulsating rapidly. Proceed with caution.

* No, you won't need all of that temperamental wi-fi malarky. We've got four PCs with fast connections on the premises. All you need to do is get the A-listers to move their butts.