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How to catch flack.

PUBLICITY TRICK A REAL TREAT

Flack-bashing, that time-honored pastime of cynical newspaper scribes and editors everywhere, has gone high-tech. Recently launched "Whack-a- Flack" allows reporters some cyber-retaliation, giving them a chance to pummel publicists with paper airplanes fashioned out of press releases.

Dubbed a "stress release," Whack-a-Flack gives users a chance to vent on public-relations firms they feel deserve a good paper pelting. "Shoot the paper airplanes one at a time at the PR flacks that pop up from behind their cubicles (everyone knows that a flack can't stay out of sight for too long)," the instructions note. Players pick a reason for targeting certain firms, ranging from being "clueless" to "butt kissers."

And in an ironic twist, Whack-a-Flack (http://www.whackaflack.com) was created by none other than a ... PR agency, Boston-based Sterling Hager, for a company called e-tractions Inc. An online entertainment company based in Bedford, Mass., e-tractions figured it could attract some positive PR by acknowledging the negative aspects of the profession.

But reporters and editors who now feel smug about having a Web site that validates their frustration with spin doctors had better be ready to take cover: The company is considering more games, including one dubbed "Whack-a-Hack," in which flacks return the favor against arrogant reporters who blow off PR phone calls and press releases.

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Title Annotation:public relations industry
Comment:How to catch flack.(public relations industry)
Author:Davis, Joel
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 9, 2000
Words:220
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