more flack less hack

So the Ruder Finn team is gearing up for a mass outing to the Flackenhacks award ceremony tonight for what may well prove to be *the* event of the 2008 PR calendar.   Our pockets are full of Moo cards, our bellies are empty ready for inevitable pie and booze consumption and our marketing fund is running low, having paid to sponsor the event this year (with a bit of a twist!)

Here is the awards shortlist:

1) PR agency of the year

No shortlist for this one. Just one winner. You’ll find out who tomorrow night.

2) Tech hack of the year — freelance

· Jessica Twentyman
— Murinho reversed (kind of): Britain’s loss, Portugal’s gain

· Danny Bradbury
— You lot like Mr Bradbury. A lot.

· Nick Booth
— “Damn fine writer, full of great story ideas and always up for a laugh.” And did we mention boxing?

3) Tech hack of the year — staff

· Chris Williams (The Register)
— Excellent run of exclusives on Phorm. A bit polemical. But so what?

· Martin Veitch (CIO)
— For services to magazine editing. Worth £200 to Mike King.

· Charles Arthur & Michael Cross — Technology Guardian
— Free Our Data: So good, HM Govt sikked lobbyists on the authors

4) Biggest fuck-up

· O2 PR calls Register readers “a bunch of techie nerds”
— It might be true, but take your elbow off the redial button, mate

· Bloomberg News: Steve Jobs is dead
— Er, sorry about that.

· John Browett, CEO, DSG: “We’re not a retail disaster in an absolute sense”
— So how do you feel about things in relative terms, John?

· Shiny Media co-founder tells TechCrunch it’s sooo hard to be a start-up
— . . . and then loads of critics line up to tell him his sites were crap

· Reed Elsevier decides to sell off Computer Weekly amid Great Depression Mk.II
— MiniMag (Ministry of Magazines) staff now so totally alienated that it’ll be a nightmare whether or not the deal succeeds.

· Microsoft: The Gates/Sienfeld ads
— Delusional creatives from half-witted Mad Men in Florida. Do we need a link for this one? Nah. . .

5) Rudest hack

· Charles Arthur

· Gary Flood

· Giles Coren

6) Media budget cutter

· Graham Harman, MD of business-technology at Incisive Media

· Sly Bailey, CEO, Trinity Mirror

· Geoff Wilmott, chief executive of Centaur

· Jerry Yang, CEO, Yahoo

7) Up its own arse

· Google’s Zeitgeist conference
— Queen whatsername from Jordan? What’s all that about?

· The “merger” of Computing & IT Week
— Er, wasn’t it a closure?

· Steve Ballmer: “Vista is the most popular OS we have ever produced”
— Come again? What metrics you working with there, Uncle Fester?

8) Wank 2.0: User-generated twat

· Ben Hammersley, deputy editor of Wired UK
— Blacklisting PRs? Outrageous. Is Tim Dowling’s Ben Lagen really Ben Hammersley?

· Jeff Jarvis, author of Buzz Machine & Guardian columnist
— Whining New York professors coming over here, telling us how to run our media? No thanks mate

· Richard Bailey, lecturer, Leeds Metropolitan University (PR Studies)
— A platter of self-promotion garnished with essential oils of arslikhan

· Richard Millington
— Still at it. Working with Seth Godin. FeverBee? WTF?

· Brendan Cooper, Fleishman-Hillard
— Cooper calls himself “Your friendly digital social media PR, ummm, thingy”. He didn’t come last year because he thought he’d have to pay to get in. But on his blog he’s boasting about “blagging” a ticket to work on the registration desk tomorrow night. So here, to entertain you, is an extract from one of Cooper’s recent posts:

This year, the focus of thousands of bloggers from around the world is on poverty.

There are plenty of statistics on global poverty, and you can see many excellent posts on the Blog Action Day site. But what does poverty actually mean?

Poverty can take many forms. Today, for example, I’ve been intending to post on the subject all day but found I simply could not find the time to do so. This is poverty of time. . .

Increasingly I also see poverty of relationships. . .

9) Loyalty to dead media formats

· The bosses at Independent News & Media
— Editor turned MD Simon Kelner thinks the web is like a horrible noisy bar. Really

· The Financial Times
— Crap online, brilliant in print. Memo to Mr Barber: Resign and hand the show over to those Alphaville boys. Before it’s too late.

· Incisive Media
— When he shut down IT Week, MG Graham Harman told Press Gazette: “You have to say to yourself ‘If I was launching into this market now what would I do? What do [readers] want now and how do I service them?’”
Fine advice. So why the hell is Incisive still publishing Computing as a weekly newspaper? Answers on a postcard, please.

10) Rebrand of the year

Company in trouble? Call it something else…nobody will ever guess. Product not selling? Give it a new name…that’ll boost sales. Do they think we’re stupid? No, they don’t think it. The research said so.

· Enfatico
— Jesus. What’s this? A pizza ‘n’ pasta chain? No, sorry. . . it’s the appalingly weak name given to WPP’s standalone agency dedicated to Dell. Apparently, Enfatico signifies: “a hyper-responsive, truly integrated marketing agency designed from the ground up to create value for our clients”. Or should that be client?

· CNET Networks becomes. . . CBS Interactive
— Take one hallowed digital brand and flog it to a TV company whose DNA owes more to Mad Men than Granted, we quite like CBS’s logo. It has stayed the same for so long that it’s become hip again. Back to square one? You betcha.

— The “leading global consulting, systems integration and outsourcing company” isn’t quite the world’s leading anything. But the guff it used to explain its rebranding this year was very dire. El Reg’s gag about cutting corners is priceless.

11) Bandwagon jump of the year

· McAfee warns of terrorists in virtual worlds
— But if they’re virtual, can they terrorize us? Er, no. don’t think so.

· HP, Sun & Teradata: Wind power madness
— Why have hardware manufacturers started using pictures of wind farms on their websites? Like, everywhere. . .

· IBM: Project Big Green
— Big Blue promises to spend $1bn on a bid to “dramatically increase the efficiency” of the company’s software and hardware. But IBM has told no-one how it intends to spend this money. . . And oddly, the company stopped issuing Big Green press releases around the time (late August) that the price of oil started to plummet. Funny that.

Hope to see lots of familiar faces there and meet a few from behind the avatars.


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