Flack on Friday: Baku calling, trophy trauma, Stormzy PR cliche

In Flack this week: Tory leadership contender's PR operation gets people talking, and Stormzy as you've seen lots - and lots - of people and things before.

Long way Outside London

Among the relatively small contingent of football supporters to brave the arduous journey to watch Arsenal play Chelsea in the Europa League final in Baku was legendary entrainment PR man Alan Edwards.

But it wasn’t just about football for the founder of Outside Organisation (probably a good thing, given his side, Arsenal, lost comfortably in what is generally seen as a disappointing match).

Talking of far-flung places, Mongolian rock sensation The HU (not to be confused with The Who, which Outside also represents), flew into London recently to catch up with their PR reps. (Pictured below, left to right: Back - Brandon Friesen, tour manager; Tuga, translator; Gala, lead singer; Emily Bigg, Outside; Dan Waite, Eleven Seven. Front - Brendan Bourke, Hardin Bourke Entertainment; and Edwards.)

Edwards certainly gets around, doesn't he?

Debate me! Debate me!

Secretary of State for International Development Rory Stewart, the latest contender in the cast of thousands involved in the Conservative leadership race, had media outlets gasping "who does his PR" this week as the MP embarked on a one-man listening tour of the nation.

Inviting people to come and talk to him and even challenge him, Stewart turned up in a variety of unlikely places, including Kew Gardens.

Within hours, his #RoryWalks tour had spawned a thousand memes and jokes and he has since been asked who is looking after his media and PR operation.

The answer, somewhat prosaically: "There’s a nice guy called Joel in my office." Hat-tip to Joel.

Revelations that Stewart admitted once smoking opium at a wedding in Iran 15 years ago will do his chances with the millennial vote no harm either…

Anything to declare?

It’s been a big few weeks for sector awards, with the PRWeek Global Awards winners announced at a glittering London do and the shortlist for the Campaigns for Good Awards (the joint scheme between PRWeek, Campaign and Third Sector) also revealed. Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted entrants.

Flack heard one recent industry awards event that faced a bit of a hiccup, however. The trophies were unavailable because they were impounded by customs before the event, which was held overseas. Awkward.


Sticking with the topic, remember to get your entries in for the PRWeek UK Awards – the deadline is 6 June. There will be no trophy delivery issues for the Oscars of the UK PR industry (or Flack certainly hopes that’s the case, but given the awards night is two weeks before the planned Brexit day, who can tell?).

It’s a floater

EE was the first of the mobile networks to roll out its 5G coverage this week – a tech game-changer so huge that Flack can imagine marketing, PR teams and agencies spending years planning a unique, never-been-seen-before launch event. Or, "f*ck it, let's just float Stormzy down the Thames":

Always look at the fine print

Flack is aware that Ready10 is never an agency to waste an opportunity for a bit of "fun".

Following its latest account win – savings site VoucherCodes.co.uk – the agency offered VoucherCodes for a "free PR idea" – an offer designed to help marketing folks in a similar vein to that Piers Provoke generator.

However, a quick check of the T&Cs makes for interesting reading. Flack dusted off its magnifying glass to investigate, and found a few interesting lines about recruiting PR talent, not wanting to poach rival agencies clients and something about a mariachi band harassing anyone who using  Ready10’s ‘free PR’ idea without their permission.

PR pros: Twitter needs you!

Earlier this week, Flack was made aware of an unusual job ad that could appeal to some of the luminaries of this industry.

Twitter is looking for a… wait for it… a Tweeter-in-Chief. The job description begins rather ominously: Tweet Tweet. You’ll be @Twitter on Twitter. Our Tweeter in Chief. You’ll set the tone of who we are and how we act, and talk to people on Twitter. No big deal.

Flack is aware of a few PR industry pros who don’t mind an old tweet or two that might be well suited to this role given the traffic they pull (@AndrewBloch, we are looking at you).

As a bit of fun, Flack would be interested to hear from PR pros on how they would pitch for this role.

Please contact Flack’s news editor arvind.hickman@haymarket.com The most creative responses might make next week’s Flack.

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