Lately, instead of smacking the pack of yeast, I simply isolate the smaller packet within and squeeze it between my palms. You'll feel it give, and squirt into the main packet/pouch. No real risk of rupturing the main packet this way. I typically move the activator pack to the top of the yeast pouch before doing this. It's been working really well too.
I activate the yeast, ensure it swells a reasonable amount (typically in under a few hours) and then pitch into my starter for a run on the stir plate (typically 24 hours). I've been getting solid results this way. I also put the flask into the fridge once the starter is finished so that I can capture more yeast and decant most of the spent starter before pitching the slurry.