Flack on Friday: PR woes, mistaken identity, made up for the awards, football fever

In Flack this week: comms pros explain why the job ain't easy, alternative PRWeek awards, new season football fever, and which agency was mistaken for a dud music festival?

Anything for an easy life

Flack doesn’t generally get drawn into comment sections of social media posts, but this was an exception.

Writing on Linkedin, comms trainer/consultant Helen Reynolds has asked her audience to finish this sentence: "Anyone who says working in comms is easy, has never dealt with..."

Here are some of Flack’s favourites: demanding clients, indifferent journalists; non-news stories that colleagues think [are] the most exciting thing ever; policy people turning plain English back into gobbledegook; someone who thinks issuing a press release is the same as placing an ad.

There’s more: a boss who tells you we are not accountable to the media; someone who thinks 'no comment' is big and clever; people who can't define audience, message or purpose; and, err, dead bodies.

Perhaps the best response was a bit more long winded: "Here's a project we've been working on for XX months/years, without thinking about how we want to tell people about it for best effect, and therefore not involving you at all. I guess we should *probably* tell people about it. Now, comms it, comms monkey. Oh, and by the way, if the project fails it's now your fault."

Bitter personal experience…?


PR agency Hope&Glory has an interesting weekend, after it came under attack by social media users who mistook the consumer shop for the music festival of the same name. The festival was cancelled on the second day after reports of a series of problems on day one, including delays and long queues.


Gongs out

As you all know, the PRWeek awards – taking place this year on 18 October, get your tickets here – are the Oscars of the PR industry and Flack likes to think the gleaming trophies themselves take pride of place in the ivory towers and upon the mantlepieces of esteemed communications luminaries across the land.

Apparently not so. "And the PRWeek award for alternative use of a PRWeek award goes to…" 


He's got good tweet for a Bigg man

Following the launch of PRWeek's eagerly anticipated new signings for its 2017/18 fantasy football team, Flack would like to congratulate MHP for this punchy hashtag.

New Premier League comms chief's diving experience

Moving from fantasy to real football, an eye-catching line on the CV of new Premier League comms director Emma Wilkinson is her previous experience as an international swimmer.

Can anybody see comic potential in the fact that swimming, of course, is a sport where diving is an integral part, whereas it is frowned upon in football? Any takers? Sometimes, Flack can't just do all the work for you...

Bell Pottinger partner urges prison over false campaign

While most of Bell Pottinger keeps schtum as it is dragged through the dirt over its controversial work in South Africa, one partner has been kicking up quite a fuss.

James Chapman, a former aide to Brexit secretary David Davis who joined the agency six weeks ago, has spent much of this week composing a series of punchy tweets arguing that it was "past time for sensible MPs in all parties to admit Brexit is a catastrophe", suggesting that Boris Johnson should be jailed for his part in the pro-'Leave' campaign, criticising Theresa May's leadership, calling for the creation of a new political party and referring to the broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer by the nickname GBH. And more beyond.

The busy boy has garnered media attention aplenty and is clearly enjoying the limelight and notoriety - could he be angling for a move away from Bell Pottinger, Flack wonders?

That said, he wasn't too happy with the Guardian's art editor:

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