REAL NEWS HERE!!
Flack's colleagues at PRWeek's social media unit appear to have jumped the shark this morning, deciding to tweet all day in the style of Donald Trump to mark The Donald's inauguration.
Flack reckons this could be GREAT FUN! Follow here, join in and enjoy - here are some of the best efforts so far:
@prweekuknews belittling the office of POTUS. No respect. But you are run by snowflakes. Shame! Sad!!— Chris Blackwood (@Blackwood_C) January 20, 2017
WPP: fending off the Manila gangsters
Flack's PRWeek colleagues frequently find that their Google News Alerts for 'PR' turn up news on Puerto Rico, and the Brazilian football club Atlético PR.
Well, Flack this week was tickled to find that WPP staff get something even more interesting on one of the monitoring services they use - the occasional snippet about the activities of the Philippines justice department's Witness Protection Program.
Let us know if you ever get any other unfortunate similar cases of mistaken identity - perhaps you used to do PR for the bank BNP Paribas, for example.
Creative Shootout gets personal
Yesterday's Creative Shootout live creativity competition was a rare opportunity for PR folk to judge and accidentally sabotage their competitors' efforts. The contest - won by one of the two teams from Mischief - saw eight teams of PR pros give a 15-minute response to a brief from the mental health charity Time to Change.
Provoking a titter or two was Text100's idea of how to tackle the taboo of mental illness. "How many people would admit to having debt?," their team asked the audience. Plenty of hands went up. The questions got more personal, until it came to: "And how many of you are willing to admit that you’ve watched porn?" Plenty of hands went up. "Well, you’ve just ruined our presentation," Text100 joked, before going on to detail their idea of a takeover of Pornhub.
"Who else is scarred by finding out that their MD watches porn?," asked another contestant later in the day.
Kudos to the eventual third-placed team from Ready10 for their populist attempt to win votes with this picture on their ballot box. And to Wire's Gerry Farrell for his vocals.
Agency Hunts for talent
Kudos now to Field Consulting for their quick reactions to news that Stoke-on-Trent Central MP and former Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt is to step down to become a director at the Victoria & Albert Museum:
Labour MPs looking for a new job will be interested to hear we are recruiting for a new Account Manager https://t.co/AOZOuDIS5P— Field Consulting (@we_are_field) January 13, 2017
Flacky Potter and the virtual reality Spurs experience
Flack was offered the chance this week to attend a virtual reality tour of the new stadium being built for Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Geared up with VR headsets and Xbox controllers, a handful of journalists were given an all-access pass to the stadium’s new hospitality suites, premium areas and Michelin-calibre restaurants.
Headsets off, hacks were also given the chance to walk out onto the pitch at White Hart Lane, where the club currently plays its football.
The club’s ambassador, former Spurs captain and defender Ledley King – who, interestingly, still has both knees – was also on hand to promote the new stadium and meet journalists.
However, while discussing the new ground and Spurs’ chances of winning the Premier League, King turned to Flack and said: "Sorry, but has anyone ever told you how much you look like Daniel Radcliffe?"
Yes Ledley, they have. What a legend.
What the Fox?
Flack has already noted PR shop Talker Tailor Trouble Maker’s tendency to attach entertaining quotations to their press releases. The agency did it again with news of its six-figure brief with online gambling firm GVC holdings.
Talker Taylor co-founder Gary Wheeldon said: "Thank fox we started 2017 with a win, we spent so much money over Christmas on lobster, Hatchimals and Barbie’s three-story Townhouse, that we need to recoup the costs."
Wheeldon (right) and fellow co-founder Steve Strickland also provided this pic in a nod to the quotation. Nice work, chaps.
Westminster grub: it's worse than you thought
Flack's eye was drawn by the curiosity value of a press release on the UK Parliament website entitled 'House of Commons catering correction'. It details how the Mirror had written an article about "MPs and their aides" complaining about food in the parliamentary estate.
But as the release made clear, it wasn't just MPs and their aides, but also peers, their staff, staff of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, civil servants, other pass-holders, external contractors, visitors and journalists.
Where's the nearest Pret, Flack wonders?