Well. . . . fuck us sideways: it’s late. The Jackenhacks Organising Team is dead on its feet. But before we turn in. . .

Big thanks to everyone who came along. When we staged the first of these things in 2007, the audience was the star. It was the same last night.

Thanks, too, to Steve Earl and Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications for being brave enough to front the gig.

A big thank you to those of you who were nominated, or won awards that you’d rather not have won — and yet took it with good grace.

Michael Litman’s acceptance speech? He asked to make it. And if that doesn’t make you want to hire him, we’re not sure what will.

Thank you, too, to John Garewal of Dennis Publishing for his threat of legal action. It gave us something to talk about.

Many thanks to wonderful Laura of Trimedia for helping out with registration. Your immunity to cold was much appreciated. Thanks to Shane and his crew at The Dust Bar for doing the business.

Thanks, too, to Twitter, Eventbrite and Google, without whom the Jackenhacks wouldn’t be possible.

Thanks to Steve Earl (again) for his blog post entitled “It’s a funless old game”. It seemed only right that the best debate about the Jackenhacks happened on someone else’s blog.

Along the way, Matt Ravden, Will Sturgeon, Eric Doyle and others made some interesting comments ahead of last night’s event.

We liked this one from Will:

No client worth having is going to think “F*ck me, Bite/LEWIS/WaggEd/whoever won a big pink cock at the Jackenhacks…I should probably steer clear / stop / start working with them.”

Well, of course. But we can see where Matt Ravden was going with this argument for creating:

a genuinely inclusive environment for competitors to be friends and co-boozers for a few hours, rather than having some kind of ‘in-crowd’ getting together to laugh at people THEY think deserve to be mocked.

Odd, that. Here at the Jackenhacks, we always thought we were the out crowd, rather than the in crowd. Perhaps it’s up to someone else to do the inclusive thing. If you’re thinking along those lines, get in touch. Maybe we can help you out.

But the whole idea of in crowds and out crowds, in a way, is the point. Take away the iron claw of Big Media, insert social media in its place, and what happens?

You get voices everywhere. Running off in lots of directions. Add in some situationism and the mix gets volatile. We start to think: our verdicts end up being defined by our perspectives.

It’s called debate. PR Weak – like the rest of Big Media – likes to use the word. But because of the rusty old conventions of journalism, the promise never lives up to the reality.

Er. We’re not quite sure how we got from a party in Shoreditch to the future of media and free speech in the workplace.

It might be the wine. It might be you lot. But we got there.

Next year? Who knows. If you want it, we’ll do it. But if not, we won’t. Let us know what you think.

Meanwhile: G’night all.


We’re looking forward to seeing you all at The Dust Bar this evening. It’s gonna be a good one. . .

Doors open at 7pm, followed by a free bar, food and smoothies courtesy of those fine people at Crussh. Pete “Wrong” Devery of Microsoft will spin some early evening tunes.

Wadds and Earl should be onstage at around 8.30pm, handing out gongs.

After that, Hamish, The Dust Bar’s resident DJ, will take over on the decks. From then on, we’ll keep the pay bar going until our funds run out.

Oh, and we’ve arranged for hotdogs at 11pm. 

Need a peek at the guest list? It’s here, on Google Docs.

See you later, people. . .

At an awards ceremony like ours, it makes sense to have a category for misfits who don’t belong anywhere else. So here they are: the special ones.

Mike Butcher (Techcrunch)
For finger-wagging at the national press about its coverage of a clearly PR-driven story about the world’s oldest Twitterer, Ivy Bean. Then Butcher backtracked, experiencing a complete sense of humour failure, when TWL took the mild piss. Odd.

The statement announcing that Inferno was to be folded into Bite was a masterpiece of cock. As follows:

”new communications model…growth trajectory…human and interactive dialogue…multi-channel expertise…new engagement model…woven into the fabric…deeper executive resource…shifted up a gear…unbeatable competitive edge…incredibly compelling proposition…skill-sets…embrace this evolving landscape…shared vision of innovative, audience-centric, channel-neutral communications…springboard…new world of content and conversations…”

Chris Wood (Cake)
For his enlightened approach to work experience candidates. Get them building fucking pyramids while you’re at it.

Band & Brown
For running a campaign to attract more social workers to the profession. Top-drawer stuff.

PR Week
For its general PR forum, which boasts just two topics – digital PR and the death of the embargo. A quiet year in PR, then.

John Garewal (Dennis Publishing)
For threatening The Jackenhacks with legal action. Er, why bother? Surely we don’t matter? We’re just. . . a party, right? (See you tomorrow night, Felix. . .)

Jean Wyllie (Porter Novelli)
Boy, oh boy, note the lack of BS in the exit quotes Wyllie delivered up to PR Weak on announcing her departure from Porter Novelli. What a woman. See you round, Jean.

In the words of one of our judges (words forced out of his mouth while munching a kipper in The Wolseley during our judging breakfast), there’s “so much shit” in the PR industry that this has become a devilishly hard category to judge. Nevertheless, here’s our shortlist:

Growing alarmingly large and has inserted its fishy tentacles into all manner of pies. (Octopus pie with mixed metphors on the side? Who writes this crap? — Ed)

Giles is probably a bit worried about what we might say about his haircut at this point. But mark our words, he and Sarah have had a good recession.

3 Monkeys
They’re rather good, this lot: an apparent non-tech agency hoovering up tech business. Tells you something.

Immediate Future
The future’s bright, the future’s Kingston. Immediately.

For blowing the top off the PR Weak Tech League Table (6.2m…in which currency exactly?)

Grant Butler Coomber:
Actually we couldn’t think of anything to say. But we thought them worthy of an arbitrary mention. Just because.

As always, nominations for this category were — ahem — somewhat thin on the ground. When it comes to giving our editorial cousins the recognition that some of them deserve, you spin doctors are a flinty-eyed, tight-fisted, two-faced lot. . .

Which is a shame. Coz this is one of the few awards we give out with a straight face. That said, here’s your shortlist:

Peter Whitehead (FT Digital Business)
For busking, for his sophisticated taste in ladies’ footwear, and for generally becoming one of the most likeable hacks in the Twitterverse).

Rupert Goodwins (ZDNet)
Yes, we know: Rupert has been known to emit the odd irritable noise. But he drinks in the ancient style. His blogging remains a marvel. And he has done a fair old job of holding ZDNet together through tricky times.

Chris Williams (The Register)
For his coverage of the Phorm in a teacup. Except it wasn’t quite a teacup. Behavioural advertising isn’t a dead cert so far as the readers of El Reg are concerned. Arguably, it was Williams’ coverage — and let’s be straight about this, his crusading — that pushed Phorm’s management to the point of no return.

Andrew Orlowski (The Register)
Some would say he’s turning into the Paul Johnson of tech reporting (choleric, contrarian, and aggressive, too.) But that’s fine by us. Half the time, we don’t know what to expect when we read his stories. But we know we want to read them.

Paul Carr (The Guardian. . . and elsewhere)
Carr would be columnist of the year if we possessed such a category. But we don’t. So he’s mixed in here with everyone else. (Oh. How funny. We’ve put him next to Orlowski. . .)

Phil Muncaster (V3 or whatever it’s called)
Because no shortlist for tech hack of the year would be complete without The Munk.

Ah, the perils of organising satirical parties.

Earlier this week, The Jackenhacks Organising Team received an email from John Garewal, deputy MD of Dennis Publishing’s technology publishing division.

Its subject was our suggestion earlier this week that Dennis has closed Computer Buyer Computer Shopper.

Like most sensible people on the wrong end of a misdirected blog comment, John could have gently pointed out our error.

He could have noted humorously that Computer Buyer Computer Shopper is still in business, and that Computer Shopper Computer Buyer, a far less important satellite title, was the one that closed.

But no. Instead, John – bless him – chose to threaten The Jackenhacks with legal action. As follows:

I read your post – Shortlist # 4 and would be grateful if you could check your facts.

Please remove your comments regarding Computer Buyer Computer Shopper immediately

If you feel it’s appropriate to leave these libellous ramblings on view, Dennis Publishing will not hesitate to pursue you for damages.

I look forward to hearing from you, today.

John Garewal

Dontcha just love it when publishers come on like amateur barristers? We do.

Mmm. As for the prospect of Felix Dennis – that sainted hero of the Oz trial – pursuing The Jackenhacks (and its 3p-worth of assets) through the courts, well, the mind boggles.

To be honest, we’d rather that Felix came along to The Jackenhacks and read some poems.

So Felix, if you’re reading this, we made the correction ASAP. And we’ll leave a free ticket on the door for you next Wednesday.

Come along, enjoy the party, share your poems with us. We’ll even give you free wine to drink.

But leave Garewal at the office. It sounds as if he needs to get on with generating some ad revenue. . .

Tarquin & Hugo: At home on their grand estate in Cumbria. The woodchip-burning boiler that heats their 242-room stately home is housed in the small shed visible in the background.

Tarquin & Hugo: At home on their grand estate in Cumbria. The woodchip-burning boiler that heats their 242-room stately home is housed in the small shed visible in the background.

It’s a perennial bloody nightmare: who on earth would want to compere The Jackenhacks?

Every year, we reduce the amount of awards we hand out, and the amount of time alloted to prize-giving. But it’s still a big ask.

Shoddy trophies, chaotic organisation, a dismal rider and the undying enmity of nominees: these hardly count as attractions.

Paul Wooding, late of Weber Shandwick, compered The Flackenhacks in 2007 and 2008. Predictably, he no longer answers our emails.

Yet this year, we have comperes who really seem to be looking forward to the gig: Tarquin Earl and Hugo Waddington of Speed Communications. Ahead of the big night, we teased open their kimonos during an in-depth interview at their stately home in the frozen north. . .

Q: How long have you worked together?
A: 14 years. Next year will be our crystal anniversary.

Q: Industry rumour has it that you changed your names by deed poll to Steve and Stephen because — and I quote — “It’ll make it easier for PR idiots to remember us”. Can you confirm this?

A: No.

Q: Have you ever fallen out?

A: No. But we’ve always had a clause in our employment contracts that any dispute would be resolved by a five-minute mud wrestle in Golden Square. Sound business planning.

Q: So, Tarquin and Hugo, tell us this: How much did you make when you flogged Rainier PR?

A: It’s on record in PR Weak, which of course is never wrong. But more than half was an earn-out. And we had to share it around other shareholders — plus the taxman of course. Anyway, don’t be so fucking rude.

Q: Why are you still working?

A: See above.

Q: How did it feel to kill Rainier PR?

A: All good things must come to an end. And why have life Rainier when you can do it with Speed.

Q: Many believe that the rebranding of Rainier, Mantra, Custard et al involves a none-too-subtle reference to a low-end chemical stimulant. Back in the day, some suggest that Wadds had the look of the young Bez. Care to clear things up?

A: Better a young Bez than the old one who’s sat nodding off in front of his screen at the moment. But we wouldn’t make a subtle reference. If we wanted a narcotics nod we’d have called outselves Skag.

Q: So have you ever done speed?

A: Not in the working environment; that would be very wrong.

Q: Hugo: we’ve heard that you were the rightful heir to the Waddington Brewery empire. But as a toddler, you managed to drink an entire year’s-worth of stock, thus sending the company into bankruptcy. Having been drinking with you, we can well believe it. Yet still, you consistently deny the claim. What’s the real story?

A. I will tell you after 10 pints.

Q: Tarquin. Are you really an Earl?

A. Yes, I was born that way.

Q: Earliest entrepreneurial experience?

Young enterprise business at school, but I was banned after three weeks for anti-competitive practices (Earl).

Q: Hugo. You’re a proper northern monkey, living there and everything. Yet you remain sensible enough to come to London to run a business. What do you think of those like Bruce and Davies who claim there’s still a proper living to be made in the Grim North?

A. The digital village is a global village mate, and it is digital. And it doesn’t stop when the M1 becomes the A1.

Q: You two volunteered…no, fuck it, you begged…to be allowed to compere The Jackenhacks this year. Was that simply to avoid a nomination?

A. Begged is a bit strong. We weaseled, we badgered, generally behaving like woodland animals. But we would see it as an honour to be nominated for one of these awards, unlike some of the weasels out there who are currently crying foul.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve been given in PR?

1. Each day you work for a client you’re a day closer to finishing your work for them (former non exec)
2. Cash is not king; it is the mother of all kings (former accountant)
3. Pay this bill or I will put you in jail (the taxman)

Q: Top tip for aspiring PR entrepreneurs?

Don’t work for shit. Set up your own business and give us 80 per cent of the equity in exchange for occasional advice.

Q: Any regrets?

That PR takes itself far too seriously without any real justification. As far as the sale of Rainier goes: not selling it for more money, of course.

Q: Hypothetical situation. You can have one person in the industry knocked off. You know, quietly disappear…concrete Jimmy Choos…and there’ll be absolutely no repercussions. Who gets it?

A person who used to work for us. You know who you are.