Jack Flack Nipping at Your Ears



UPDATE: Chrish Roush has pointed out that PR Week outed Jack Flack as Paul Pendergrass last October.  Boy that’s a letdown.  Anyways, it’s still a great read.  Read Paul’s interview excerpt with PR Week on Talking Biz News here.

By Kyle Austin

I think I have a new top-ten favorite blog.  The author goes by the name of “Flack.”  Jack Flack.  Jack Flack is the alias of the PR flack behind the Conde Nast’s Portfolio Business Spin Blog.  A must read for any public relations executive that casts an eye at landing exposure in the business press.  He recently got my attention for noting the problems with Steve Ballmer’s public statement on formally or informally speaking to Yahoo!, in Steve Ballmer is Perfect 

In which he applauds Kenneth Li of Reuters for taking Ballmer to task on his past tensed quote: 

Commenting on the status of his company’s march on Yahoo, Ballmer said:” There’s been a range of dialogue and there’s a range of alternatives being considered. I think it’s best for me not to get into the detail.” Li rightly then pondered: “Is that a real past tense, or could that dialogue still be taking place?”

What else has this Flack guy done recently? 

  • He nailed the failure of the PR strategy around Starbuck’s publicity stunt.
  • He rightly praised Chrysler President Jim Press (Who sounds like he should be his made-up antagonist on the blog).
  • He caught on to Hollywood publicity efforts going highly corporate.

So who is this Jack Flack? 

Is he based on the character from “Cloak and Dagger?” 

Chris Roush at Talking Biz News knows who he is and is offering a free year of Portfolio to whoever unmasks the mysterious Mr. Flack:

The thing is, “Jack” is hiding his face behind a newspaper on the blog, much like “Home Improvement” neighbor Wilson W. Wilson Jr., who appeared over the top of the fence separating his yard with Tim Allen’s. So, we don’t know what his face looks like. And “Jack Flack” is obviously not his name.“So, here’s my offer: The first person to post a comment to this item that correctly identifies Jack Flack— and I am aware of “Jack’s” true identity — will receive a one-year subscription to Conde Nast Portfolio.”

Urban Dictionary thinks they know who he is:

Jack Flack is a the father figure who appears from the mist to save the lost. Jack Flack is a legend who wears a black leather sport coat, appears from nowhere and vanishes once he has restored confidence to the scared and doubtful hero. He is a modern day saint.”  

Note to Urban – I think you may have confused this with Joe Black. 

Anyways, you can be assured Mr. Flack that I’ll be reading and when it comes time to unmask you, don’t be surprised if I’m the one behind it.


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