Some PR on a Friday…

Trevor Cook has a very interesting post titled "The revolution may not be blogged" which ponders whether the "new media revolution" has stalled somewhat.

Moreover, when they do blog organisations, like Telstra, often find it extraordinarily difficult to see their social media efforts as anything more than just another way to get out messages and push products. In the hands of a PR pro, the opportunity to bypass the ‘media gateway’ can just mean an open invitation to pump out unfiltered propaganda.

Overtime, more organisations will adopt social media tools and they will have to become just a little more open, transparent and accountable to get the full benefit. Sadly, it will be a slow process.

More on Trevor’s blog.

Heather Yaxley has a great post on "fast" and "slow" Public Relations.

Everyone in PR should know that quick reactions are required when called by media working to deadlines – this Fast PR is even more important in ensuring online media audiences get their fix of Fast News. 

But we also need good old fashioned Slow PR skills in building relationships, identifying possible feature articles, developing individual angles and stories, thinking outside our traditional media relations focus and taking the time to be accurate, informative and effective.

Bill Sledzik continues his recent strong run with a post on what PR is not..


Public Relations is NOT… Advertising… Promotion… Publicity… Media relations… Public affairs… Selling… Marketing…


Read the full post here.

This blog is operated under the "greenhouse code", particularly when dealing with the "outing" of PR people.  Well you just never know do you?  You might be tired one morning, send a sloppy e-mail and next thing you’re RSS-meat of the week.

Mark Rose takes the New York Times’ Joe Nocera to task for Nocera’s outing of a PR person who was pitching on behalf of a manufacturer of "juvenile transportation devices" – I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Fair play for Rose, but the use of the phrase "children have become fashion accessories" is at the very least ill advised.


Finally, it’s Friday… New Media Douchebag  [Hat tip to Lee Hopkins]

The passing of a great human being…

Back in October I first became aware of Randy Pausch. 

I’m sure there’s few of you who aren’t aware of the man who delivered the famed "Last Lecture".

His talk inspired me.  His talk saddened me.  His talk made me laugh.  But most of all, his talk made me think.

What an incredible gentleman.

Since I first saw the video I have kept an interest in his progress via his web site [it seems to be down] and today I was truly saddened today to hear of his passing.

You know Randy Pausch has done something few can claim, he has made people around the world, to stop, think, take stock and hopefully make decisions on what is really important in their lives.

While Mr. Pausch was interviewed on every major US television channel, for me, his original, unedited Last Lecture is one of the most powerful and thought provoking pieces of video on the Internet.

Do yourself a favour, watch the video, buy the book and invest your time thinking about what really matters to you.

I can only imagine the pain and suffering of the Pausch family at this incredibly painful time.  But I hope that in the weeks, months and years ahead that they are consoled in the knowledge that Randy Pausch was, and is an extraordinary human being who touched people’s lives.

Devices of mass disruption… what is PR?.. Blog rankings… Web 2.0 fatigue…

Device of mass disruption or eh is it a phone?

Guys seriously I have stayed silent on this subject long enough. 

It’s a phone.

It’s not a six inch device of mass disruption.

Apple has done a good design job but I am bored to my back teeth with the ridiculous posts and tweets.

I had a radio on my cell phone in the late 90’s.  If these devices were going to disrupt/kill/change radio it would be more likely to happen with radios on MP3 players.

Why, oh why, is every 1.0 release of every 1.0 piece of hardware or software "game changing"?

Me? I love my HTC, fantastic resolution, full touch screen, proper camera, great keyboard for grown up e-mail and word processing, not to mention loads of software – and the best part?

It’s not threatening to kill any industries, take people’s jobs and the battery lasts more than 35 minutes and HTC don’t advise you to turn off the 3G, you can have all the speed you like baby.


*I debated whether to categorize this under "He would say that", and I did in the end. But regardless this is true.

What’s PR then?

Bill Sledzik takes a run at a unified definition of public relations working through a variety of textbook definitions.

Tom’s Opinion: This is a breath of fresh air, it’s great to get some informed writing on this topic.  Too often when PR is discussed, what’s really being discussed is "media relations", which although a major element of the profession is not the whole story.  This is also the reason why we see so much rubbish about the "death of PR".  The reality is that great communication remains a strong and valuable asset and Web 2.0 doesn’t change that.  Yes it’s about relationships (duh), yes it’s about understanding the tools and channels, but at the core it’s about great communication and and audience insight.

[Bill also tackles the issue of whether PR is part of marketing.]


PR Blog Ranking Mania:

Man it’s PR blog rank weekend an I’m sinking faster than a stone, however while I’m gurgling water, I’ll use one of my last breaths to pass congratulations to Stuart Bruce :-)

More here, here, here, oh and here.


Web 2.0 Fatigue

Lauren Vargas has an interesting post on Web 2.0 fatigue and how to avoid it, she has a really interesting video (though it’s a little out of date) at the foot of the post -  worth a watch!

Ireland: Blog Digest [vanity post]

Things have been a little quiet here as I was away last week in Atlanta, Georgia on business.  While it was nice, given our current Summer, to get some heat into the bones, I’m not sure I’m made for that much heat!

If you’ll excuse the self-promotion, Marie Boran was kind enough to mention this small piece of the blogosphere in last Thursday’s Irish Independent Blog Digest section.

You can read it here.

Irish Times: PR Keeping up appearances

Shane Hegarty has a piece in this weekend’s Irish Times on the (potential) impact of the downturn on the PR business in Ireland.

You wouldn’t have thought it this week, however. The Government’s announcement that widespread cutbacks would include a halving of the PR, consultants and advertising budget was a sign that hard times may indeed be ahead. While details are still vague, the Government plans to save €21 million this year through the measure. It will trickle down to the high-profile firms which have specialised in State and semi-State work. Carr Communications is reported to earn €800,000 a year through such contracts, while they constitute about 10 per cent of Edelman’s business. Other companies which specialise in the area include Murray Consultants and Bracken PR.

This week, however, people within the industry were expressing no great panic either publicly or privately. It is clear that they are either determined to hold steady, or that they are talking themselves up in a way that only PR people can.

They argue that much of Government spending in big campaigns, such as the €12.5 million Change campaign dedicated to raising awareness on climate change, goes on advertising, making the media’s focus on PR alone somewhat skewed. The larger companies have diversified enough not to have to rely solely on the public contracts, while recruitment within the industry remains quite buoyant.

You can read the full story here.

PR depression, online PR slides, online journalism, Spectrum 48K, McDonalds, social media and the best telemarketing call ever…

From the perspective of a long-time PR practitioner, I have to admit that I find this thoroughly depressing.


Karen Miller Russell has an interesting post on measuring social media.  The post is based on content from the recent Edelmen summit in the US. Via Mr. Collister.


SlideShare has a collection on online presentations on the subject of (ahem) PR 2.0. Via Mr. Dugan.


And speaking of online slides, Neville Hobson shares some of the content from his recent CIPR talk.


Chris Green, Editor of UK publication IT Pro, shares his views that journalism online is about more than writing, it’s about search engine optimization, generating comments, and driving the visitor to read other content on the site. Andrew Bruce Smith has some detailed perspective.



Clive Sinclair pioneered bringing computing to the masses in the early 80s with the ZX80, ZX81 and the Spectrum 48K.  Chris Vallance from the BBC has an interview with the man himself… who doesn’t use the InterWeb :-)


Steve Rubel shares his views on how to get productive with social media, and I’m sure we can all do with help in that department. has an interview with Jill McDonald, McDonald’s Chief Marketing Officer for the UK and Northern Europe.

We’re not an online retailer, but our consumers are spending more and more time online, so what is the appropriate way for McDonalds to manifest itself online and engage and entertain our target audience? I really want us to take a step back as a brand and look at how we should be using the digital space.


If you haven’t already heard this Tom Mabe telemarketing call, I suggest you do, it’s absolutely fantastic..

Twitter Tourettes

[Warning, grumpy old man post]

So I have been jumping in and out of Twitter, mostly lurking, the odd bit of participation.

My opinion of Twitter has changed since January.  I do see value in it.  Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes it’s informative and sometimes it’s useful (often it’s not :-) ).

Sometimes Twitter will even facilitate an enjoyable exchange.

However, there’s always someone looking to ruin everyone else’s fun and I call them “Twitter Tourettes”.

What is this?

Well this is those individuals who have forgotten or lost their common sense filter on Twitter. 

Rather than send one or two “twits” on a particular thing or subject they send twenty streams of consciousness that have no value to anyone and just serve to make Twitter harder to follow.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say I had just discovered Project Gutenberg, I might send a message like this:

I just discovered Project Gutenberg, it’s really cool..

Tom Murphy 0s ago via twhirl

Fair enough you might say. In fact you might even say, hey I’ll check it out.

I’m happy, you’re happy, or you’ve ignored it.

But with Twitter Tourettes I’d then go..

There’s loads of books on this thing!

Tom Murphy 0s ago via twhirl


Hey they have the book Aaron’s Rod

Tom Murphy 0s ago via twhirl


and the book Aaron Trow

Tom Murphy 0s ago via twhirl


and the book Abandoned room

Tom Murphy 0s ago via twhirl


and the book Abbeychurch

Tom Murphy 0s ago via twhirl

Etc. Etc. I think you get my drift.

Enough already.

Sometimes ladies and gentlemen, less is more.

You can of course follow my well measured and insightful twits @tpemurphy

Help… I think I’m a middle of the road digital PR guy…

I can think of no greater insult (speaking personally) than being described as “middle of the road”. 

Anyone who knows me can probably can attest to the fact I’m a little excitable and certainly opinionated :-)

But I am increasingly coming to the realisation that as time goes on, when we’re discussing online PR, I am middle of the road.

How have I come to this realisation?

Well I have come to recognise that change takes time, and in most cases change takes longer than we think or expect.

I don’t agree or support the view that traditional media is close to death, or that people are willing to spend 16 hours a day checking feeds, sites and blogs.

I do believe that we’re seeing an evolution. 

Things are changing, no question.  The online world is becoming more important every day and every single PR practitioner needs to understand and participate in this new world.

At the same time, while I think that in general the PR business is beginning to realise the change taking place and understand how it impacts our audiences and how we communicate and reach people, I am sometimes stunned by the perceptions and beliefs of some of my less-enlightened brethren.

I met with a student today as part of their her thesis on crisis communication. (I think they interview me as the control looney.)

Her research found that a sizeable proportion of PR people surveyed believed (and I’m paraphrasing here) that online wasn’t a priority at a time of crisis. She also found that many practitioners believed that the “poor writing” and “poor presentation” of web sites and blogs meant that many felt they were inappropriate outlets for their clients.

Oh my lord.

In Ireland, probably more than most countries, traditional media remains the most important outlet to reach the masses, but online is increasingly important.

The idea that online doesn’t matter, or because a blog hasn’t gone through a rigorous editorial procedure, that it’s not suitable or relevant – with no knowledge of its reach – is ludicrous.

So you see, I am middle of the road when it comes to online PR.

I have multiple blogs, dip my toe into Twitter, social networking etc., but I also recognise that the best form of communication is face-to-face, that the traditional media remains a vibrant and welcome part of our media landscape and that while changes are taking place, nothing is dying (bar the fax probably and look how long that’s taken).

Excuse me while I fetch my slippers, turn up the fire and work on my model railway.