Flack on Friday: Cannes controversy, protecting your sources, Mayor feeling blue, pen plea

In Flack this week: Best buzzy office initiatives, what not to ask a journalist, Mayor feeling blue over Reds, and Cannes Lions boost shares?

Cannes Lions mean bull markets? Or is that more BS?

Lots of talk yesterday about Brunswick partner Marshall Manson’s lambasting of Cannes Lions. Manson, who formerly ran Ogilvy PR’s UK operations, labelled the awards element as "BS", saying there was "zero" relationship between success at Cannes and commercial success, and Cannes had become "a parody of itself".

In response, Cannes Lions MD Simon Cook countered that there’s a "wealth of evidence out there that proves that Lions-winning creative work is linked to commercial success". This included, Cook said, an "all-time share price high" for "the majority of former recipients of the Creative Marketer of the Year award".

Manson wasn’t having it:

Flack predicts the issue will be hotly debated over many a glass of rosé on the Croisette in a couple of weeks.

Perks of the job

PRWeek’s Best Places to Work Awards have been and gone for 2019, but Taylor Herring has issued a crib sheet for agencies that want to be in a with a shout next year:

All’s well that pens well

Flack was left red-faced after spectacularly losing a colleague’s Hilton hotels-branded pen in circumstances too long-winded to explain.

So what? You cry. Journalists must have pens emerging from every orifice - what’s one more, or less?

But the glum-faced colleague told Flack that this was, in fact, their favourite pen. Perfectly weighted with a matt finish, so good that "words flow seamlessly from its tip, transferring my best ideas from brain to paper".

Action was needed as this pen was clearly not going to return of its own accord. Flack took to Twitter, tagging Hilton, to launch an urgent appeal for a new pen.

Although ‘liked’ by numerous industry stalwarts, not a peep was heard from the Hotel group until… by forces of serendipity hitherto unknown in the observable universe, the deputy editor of this august publication (that’s PRWeek) announced he was sitting next to senior Hilton comms figure Saamia Razvi (she’s in our 30 Under 30, no less, and was waiting to have her picture taken) and would Flack like him to secure a pen and seal the deal?

Yes! Not one but THREE branded pens duly arrived at PRWeek towers this week; ensuring a happy colleague, a relieved Flack and proving beyond doubt that all’s well that pens well. You’re welcome.

Source of resentment

Media relations news now, and Sky News City editor Mark Kleinman had some sharp words this week for one senior PR figure and his or her bizarre approach to reactive comms.

Through gritted Tweet

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson spoke this week in glowing terms about Liverpool FC's Champions League victory, subsequent victory parade and the PR boost it has given to his city.

Flack reckons it can't have been easy for Anderson to gush about The Reds' success, however... given the fact he's a huge fan of Liverpool's city rivals Everton.

He admitted: "When I was tweeting to say well done to Liverpool I was getting a fair bit of stick - from both sides actually. But for me I want Everton to be better not bitter, we need to focus on how we can become as strong as Liverpool."

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