Flack on Friday: Hot gossip from the Power Book launch, and more

In Flack this week: best excuses for not attending the Power Book party, lessons from the night, and why was a PR chief annoyed for being listed in the comms elite?


Power Book: the big launch

Around 200 top in-house and agency PRs were in attendance at the launch of the PRWeek Power Book on Tuesday night at The Ned in The City. See pictures from the night above... and gossip below.

Power Book: excuse me

Two agency chiefs shared a common reason for not turning up at all; WE’s Marcus Sorour and Harvard’s Louie St Clair were supporting Fulham FC in its resounding 3-0 victory over Sheffield United. PRWeek news editor and fellow Whites fan Sam Burne James salutes them.

Elsewhere, Flack’s favourite excuse for turning up late to the Power Book came from Weber Shandwick’s Jon McLeod, who was at his Russian lesson. He’s ahead of the curve, perhaps; within a couple of years, the Power Book will presumably contain nothing but Russian speakers.

Power Book: power play

Flack admits some of his PRWeek colleagues were slightly anxious to see the reactions of the UK PR elite when the top 10 power lists for different sectors were announced as part of the Power Book. Not that we don’t stand by them. More that we’re concerned about the reactions of some high flyers who didn’t make the lists, especially after a tipple or two.

What Flack didn’t expect was a berating from one senior agency figure for being included in a top 10 - apparently deeming themselves unworthy and complaining about getting stick from counterparts.

No pleasing some people, eh?

Power Book: lessons learned

Flack was pleased to see that one Power Book entrant, Taylor Bennett foundation CEO Sarah Stimson, got a lot out of the launch party.

(The final point, incidentally, relates to a warning from PRWeek’s Harrington about some short term hygiene challenges after his water supply was cut off. Flack can confirm the supply has now returned. Phew.)

Power Book: best of the rest

As PRWeek readers pored over the industry Who's Who's (what?) contents, Flack was relieved to see some signature Twitter funnies from the (t)witterati: 

Cirio sings from the wrong hymnsheet

Kudos to Flack’s regular source Martin Ballantine, MD of Piracy Corporation and a regular scourge of ropey PR, for this piece.

Italian tinned tomato brand Cirio was evidently struggling for social content this week - until it noticed the return to the West End stage of, err, Evita, which tells the story of Eva Perón, the wife of former Argentine president Juan Perón.

Flack does note that Eva is buried under the name Maria Maggi, making her the namesake of Nestle’s tomato sauce brand Maggi. In conclusion, she may not be Italian, but she evidently loved a tomato.

Influence dilemma

Influencer marketing certainly has its pitfalls. Speaking at The PRWeek Forum this week, which looked at the science behind the genre, one panelist gave an anecdote that pointed to the downside of not doing your homework.

James Erskine, founder of influencer marketing platform Social Circle, recalled how a publisher signed up a social media influencer for a book launch campaign. Great - except said influencer had a big following in Australia, where the book in question was published by a rival company. The social media star was effectively selling books for the competition.

Be careful out there, folks.


Warm greeting

At some point in everyone's life an email will be sent starting with the dreaded "Dear [first name]". But this post from a freelance journalist on the TechJPR Facebook group (for hacks and flacks in the tech sector) takes the idea to a new level:

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