Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for July 2002

Mon, 22 Jul 2002 12:29:48 GMT

Back in the office…

Back after a week’s vacation and spam seems to be taking over the world. I think the fact we put our e-mail addresses at the end of press releases and on web-sites is leading us all to take on more than our fair share of spam. My poor spam filter is very tired….

Written by Tom Murphy

July 22, 2002 at 1:29 pm

Posted in General

Thu, 11 Jul 2002 12:10:40 GMT

PR Opinions is on vacation until July 22, 2002!

Written by Tom Murphy

July 11, 2002 at 1:10 pm

Posted in General

Wed, 10 Jul 2002 11:19:43 GMT

Flash Hall of Shame #13… The Rosen Group

Written by Tom Murphy

July 10, 2002 at 12:19 pm

Posted in General

Wed, 10 Jul 2002 10:42:48 GMT

Flash Hall of Shame #12…. Liberty Communications..not only appalling Flash navigation but pop-up ads as well…jeez

Written by Tom Murphy

July 10, 2002 at 11:42 am

Posted in General

Mon, 08 Jul 2002 18:46:33 GMT

*Update* An open letter to the PR people at Apple: Think Different…
If you’re interested in reading more on Apple’s latest PR disaster (including some very interesting insights into how NOT to handle media) have a look at AppleLinks, ThinkSecret, and for a limited time on the front page of GraphicPower (no permalink). Also industry analyst Amy Wohl’s take on the continuing saga.

Written by Tom Murphy

July 8, 2002 at 7:46 pm

Posted in General

Fri, 05 Jul 2002 14:01:57 GMT

Flash Hall of Shame #11… WhiteOaks PR Network (Europe)

Written by Tom Murphy

July 5, 2002 at 3:01 pm

Posted in General

Fri, 05 Jul 2002 13:17:35 GMT

An open letter to the PR people at Apple: Think Different…
When it comes to scoring own goals, no company is more accomplished than Apple Computer.

I have always had a soft spot for Apple and their brilliantly designed hardware and software and of course their carefully cultivated and managed ‘wacky’ image. I have in previous lives been an Apple user and still think their laptops are second to none – though I’m a Windows user by profession.

So why is it that Apple continually chose to alienate the very people who have kept the company alive through the dark and miserable Scully, Spindler and Amelio years? Why do they upset the very people who have bought into their ‘Think Different’ theme?

Whilst other companies spend huge amounts of time and money on building, nurturing and protecting their customer relationships, Apple seems happy to screw the very people who fight hardest on their behalf.

Communications and PR seems to be at the root of a number of their problems. The company for some reason dislikes the Apple rumor sites on the Internet. I’m from the school that believes no (or very little) news is bad news. These passionate people create and maintain these sites ’cause they love Apple. Their readers read these sites because they want to find out more about Apple and ahead of time. Now maybe I’m missing the point, but from where I’m standing any company in the world would give their right arm for that kind of passionate following. But not Apple.

Apple continues to try and strangle these sites – rather than maximize their appeal and reach – that’s a major mistake. Let’s cut to the chase, Apple is a very small player in the PC world. Any assistance, third party or otherwise should be embraced.

There is a furore on at the moment over the purported Apple-sponsored move to revoke or refuse press passes to the authors of many ‘amatuer’ Mac-sites to MacWorld as reported in Wired.

This is only the latest in a series of PR mishaps. Matthew Rothernberg has a very interesting piece on EWeek on this subject.

Only last year Apple’s PR firm was in the midst of a famous Weblog row which could have been resolved both quickly and easily but instead grew into a major firefight.

It seems Apple’s PR people aren’t thinking differently at all. Rather than harness the goodwill and entusiasm of all these online users, they set out to frustrate them. Has no-one at Apple heard that good communications is essential with all your audiences? Have they missed the Internet, newsgroups and weblogs?

Apple, accept some free PR counsel. Work with these people, harness the goodwill that’s out there and make the Mac platform relevant once more. Kicking your own people has never worked for dictators in the past, learn from history, think different – or the switch you’ve been promoting recently might be quickening in the opposite direction. [Comment]

Written by Tom Murphy

July 5, 2002 at 2:17 pm

Posted in General

Thu, 04 Jul 2002 07:38:37 GMT

Happy July 4th!

The world’s most phenomenal PR machine keeps rolling….
Yesterday I gave a small example of how blogging can be used as a PR tactic. Today I found a great example of how the world’s best PR machine is already targeting and influencing blogs. If you had any misapprehensions about the role of blogging and PR then they should be evaporating as you read.

Microsoft has one of the slickest PR teams/operations in the business. The company recognized PR early on as a key element for success in the IT business. Since its early days Microsoft has built, grown and refined its PR team and its results have been staggering.

In response to a negative entry about Palladium on Dave Winer’s weblog, the Microsoft PR machine were on to him in a flash. You may agree or disagree about the power of the blog, but while you’re debating it, others are influencing and contributing to blogs all over the Internet. Get going… [Comments]

Written by Tom Murphy

July 4, 2002 at 8:38 am

Posted in General

Wed, 03 Jul 2002 07:31:46 GMT

Utilizing the power of the blog….
Phil Gomes recently recieved feedback on his ExpertPR article on blogging asking has he ever actually used blogging for clients.

Well here’s an example of successful PR blogging. A couple of months ago, Google released the APIs to their search engine as a Web Service. Obviously this was very interesting to our company as a Web Services vendor. Some guys in marketing came up with an application for the Google API using Web Services… they created Googlemail 🙂 Now you can send an e-mail to with your search terms in the subject line and it will send you back the top ten results from Google.

Whilst not exactly changing the direction of the industry, it’s a nice example of how easily you can create useful Web Services and it actually has some useful applications such as the ability to store searches, access searches from handhelds etc. We promoted Googlemail through relevant weblogs and have had over 30,000 different people using it. It’s also generated quite a bit of ink. The fact that we contacted bloggers with an interest in this area, opened it to their readers and to other bloggers and quite quickly the word spread. It was an interesting and worthwhile exercise. Furthermore, some purists didn’t appreciate it and this created some excellent educated debate on the whole area.

Here’s a recent story from UNIX Insider that appeared on Googlemail.

So there’ s no question that in the networked world within which we live you can use weblogs to promote a product or message, however be careful. Your message must be relevant, your product must be relevant, you should be upfront about your agenda and you should know and understand a blogger’s interests BEFORE you get in touch. Do these guidelines sound familiar at all? Good PR practice is good PR practice regardless of the medium or the message.


Written by Tom Murphy

July 3, 2002 at 8:31 am

Posted in General

Tue, 02 Jul 2002 09:59:12 GMT

Brunswick Group get busy in TV land….
The WSJ also reports (guess who has been catching up on his reading!) that troubled celebrity Martha Stewart has turned to the Brunswick Group for assistance in her current stock scandal, and while that’s keeping their New York office busy, their UK office is helping the BBC in a bidding war for the now defunct ITV digital station.

Written by Tom Murphy

July 2, 2002 at 10:59 am

Posted in General