Flack: What’s in a name?

A look at where the arguably derogatory term comes from and what it means today.

A look at where the arguably derogatory term comes from and what it means today

When I started blogging several years ago, I came up with a name that I thought was sure to get some attention. FlacksRevenge.com was intended to be equal parts ironic, provocative and irreverent. It is shorthand for the central theme: reformed media suitor turns tables and uses social media tools to become media critic. Take that, callous media! See my first post, which lays things out.

I received some interesting feedback to my blog (in general, not what I had hoped for). Some were puzzled. Some outright disliked the name. Most ignored the blog.

The problem was that most people outside the field did not know what a flack was. Many in my targeted audience—PR and marketing people—found the term offensive. It took lots of explanations for friends and family, many of whom barely understood what I did for a living in the first place. One or two people commented that they thought it was a great name.

In this era, it is not enough to be good at what you do. You need to build your personal brand and make sure that it resonates loudly and clearly across your networks. For better or worse, I have built some equity in the name and it is now part of my personal brand.

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