badhack

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Huey of the news

There's a well known tale of journalist who was interviewing the MD of a very large IT company in his office. After a few minutes, the journalist says "Excuse me a second." He then picks up the waste paper basket and throws up into. Without missing a beat he says, "Sorry about that. Where were we?"

New balls?

Working on the Borland account in the early 90s was an education. A trip to the US saw some classic antics, such as the journalist who, during a week long visit, didn't attend a single press meeting, but had tennis lessons with the hotel's professional coach every day. He then presented me with the $600 bill and asked me to pay it. The same journalist also copped off with one of the female delegates, caught a nasty rash, and wanted me to pay the medical bill.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Another Badhack mention...

No sooner do we get blogged for the first time, we get mentioned in another blog - and it's a cracker! Neil MacLean at the Travel PR Blog gives us a mention and then entertains us with a great story of his own...it's got the lot; exotic location, hookers, champagne...travel PR sounds like the life for me.

And then - you'll never believe it - I notice yet another mention of Badhack on Andrea Weckerle's New Millennium PR blog.

What's going on? A silly idea in the pub and this is what happens.

Badhack has been blogged about! We're very excited. And by the lovely Antony Mayfield no less (Badhack worked with Antony many moons ago).

Antony really gets it (because he's a bright bloke). Badhack's just a bit of fun! We don't take ourselves too seriously, and we'd be horrified to think that anyone else did. Of course we don't believe that all journalists are alcohol-fuelled lecherous bed-wetters with little respect for anyone. Most of them are totally professional and extremely knowledgeable. It's just funny when they slip below the very highest levels of professionalism. We're juvenile like that.

Keep the stories coming in.

Friday, February 17, 2006

On message

There’s an IT hack who hoovers drinks at media events, overtly letches at any cleavage on display and then tries to sell his media training ‘skills’ to anyone who will listen. Including the waitresses!

The great client robbery

My favourite was the time I took a bunch of hacks over to Brazil. Upon arrival one disappeared and only turned up four days later to catch his return flight. Turns out he spent the time trying to track down Ronnie Biggs in an attempt to get an exclusive, despite the fact his flights were paid for by my client.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It's all a bit new

Chaps - sorry about all the funny fonts and formatting going on here, I'm still getting used to this blogging stuff.

Thanks for the contributions so far...a good first day methinks.

Some sort of teleporting machine perhaps?

Which journalist, formerly a staffer at a channel weekly, once claimed, at 11.40am, that she thought she’d make her 12.30 lunch briefing at the (central London) Charlotte Street Hotel on time….despite still being on the platform at Birmingham New Street station (some 100 miles away)? Happily her journalistic aptitude outstripped her time-keeping skills.

Cocktail sausage anyone?

Hold onto your breakfasts...

There was a journo who insisted on showing my client his newly-pierced (and weeping) cock, having only met her 2 minutes before.

Soiled

There’s the one about the hack who gave in to the temptations of the hotel mini-bar one night on another press trip to the US, drank the entire contents on his own, shat himself (and amazingly all over his clothes) and appeared outside the PR’s hotel room door in the middle of the night, wrapped in a shitty sheet, asking for help in clearing up and finding new clothes.

Not smart, casual

There was an infamously bolshy, yet curiously untalented, IT weekly hack who was insistent he be included on a media trip to the US. Way after check-in time, he eventually pitched up to the airport. He had clearly come straight to the airport from his bed, unfortunately not via a shower. He only had the clothes he stood up in (which could nearly stand up on their own) and a passport. Not even socks.

He spent the rest of the trip aggressively insisting that the PR folk looking after him buy everything from spare clothes to toothbrushes, to chewing gum, and providing him with cash to spend himself – on top of all the free food and booze which he regarded as his birthright.

Happily, the dot com bust winnowed this excuse for a journalist out of the system. Last heard of trying to join the PR industry…

Thirsty devil

I remember the IT trade journo who turned up at a media launch event a full 30 minutes after it had finished, didn’t acknowledge anyone as he walked into the room and made a beeline for all the dregs of wine in people’s glasses. Having rapidly drained about five in silence, he ambled over to where the (American) clients were standing, open-mouthed. His opening comment was “You think you’ve had a hard day? I started the day with an argument with my bitch of a girlfriend. I couldn’t be bothered after a while so I plunged my hand into her chest and pulled out her still-beating heart.” He was quickly ushered out, grabbing at spare glasses of wine as he left.

Who's the snoozer?

Ahh, bless...
Picture the scene…one eminent Sunday national technology journalist attends a one-on-one briefing on an exciting bit of technology (big release). After requested two cans of coca-cola the journalist then spends about 40 minutes of the next hour of the one-on-one meeting fast asleep – we're talking snoring and all. No amount of coughing or prodding could keep the man awake long enough to get something of worth out of the meeting. No apologies or explanation – and yes he wrote an article on the technology in the following Sunday’s paper and yes it held no truths and had more holes in it than a sieve. Good work hack.

So no doubt we'll get plenty of stories about general drunkeness at press events...my personal best was a few years ago when the editor of one of the UK's two weekly network mags (now no more...the mag, that is) go so plastered that he vanished from the client event, leaving me holding his bag, jacket, wallet, phone....

We couldn't find him anywhere so left all his gear with reception at the venue (London's Cafe Royal). Only in the magazine's diary the following week did we find out that said editor had been found by a couple of London policemen and spent the night in Bow Street on a drunk and disorderly charge.

It's funny, he didn't have quite the same level of credibility with the client after the event...

Good morning all! Welcome to the first post of the brand new and shiny badhack blog.

So what's badhack? Well it's the site that aims to strike a balance with those like the Bad Pitch Blog where concerned members of the world's journalistic community kindly help PR professionals improve their skills by highlighting where we're not performing at 100%. Merci, merci, merci! How very altruistic of you all.

But, wait a minute? Can we not help our journalist friends in a similar way? Do we not see on a daily basis less than perfect standards of writing, interviewing and general behaviour from those in the press? Wouldn't sharing these experiences help improve the overall standards of the Fourth Estate? I think it would.

This blog will be nothing without the full and enthusiastic participation of the PR industry, so please email mrbadhack@googlemail.com with stories of where journalists might have let themselves down. Of course, we're not here to name and shame individuals, so we won't be naming names of contributors or journalists.

Watch this space.