Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for August 2002

Wed, 07 Aug 2002 07:30:59 GMT

No, we want you to invest in PR…we just don’t think it’s effective…

Thanks to Phil Gomes who picked this one up. Edelman, the well known (“world’s largest privately-held PR agency”) has decided to celebrate its 50th anniversary by getting suppliers to pony up cash for an advetorial in Ad Age.

Now I’m not a big fan of advetorial, I admit that, but this seems absolutely ridiculous. A PR firm with thousands of PR professionals, celebrating its 50th anniversary by paying for an ad in the advertising bible.

Anyone spot the irony? Can Edelman now tell clients, “oh you’re much better off getting editorial coverage than advetorial..what’s that? oh yes well we prefer advetorial ourselves but…”

This is all the more surprising given a fantastic piece of PR that Edelman executed a couple of year’s back when they held their global meeting in Canada and got the participants to come up with marketing ideas for the brand ‘Canada’. A fantastic story ran in the Canadian Financial Post.

Looks like Edelman thinks PR’s not worth the hassle. I’m sure their clients will be impressed.

Supplemental: On the front page of the Edelman website they have a link to a webcast on “Marketing in the Post-Advertising Era” – oh the irony of it!

Written by Tom Murphy

August 7, 2002 at 8:30 am

Posted in General

Fri, 02 Aug 2002 11:36:37 GMT

ChannelEdge..Top marks for creativity…but where’s the meat?

I’m sure if you’ve been scanning the marketing press during the week you’ve probably come across the announcement of “ChannelEdge” the new joint venture between Ketchum and IDC.

ChannelEdge’s raison d’etre is:
” a strategic alliance formed in July 2002 between Ketchum and IDC to help technology companies define and deliver winning channel strategies and communications.”

From the outset this defintely gets kudos in terms of creativity, but the more I read about it the more questions it raised with me.

Question #1
What experience do the PR guys have in creating ‘channel strategy’? Looking at the biographies there is no question but that these PR folks are very successful, experienced and capable PR people, but back to the question, if I am paying for consultancy I am paying for expertise and experience. Not one of these PR people (according to their bios) have worked in a channel role or inside a firm with responsibility for the channel…, so is this a channel PR program? Now in fairness the IDC analysts do have channel experience…but

Question #2
If Ketchum are offering channel communications (given they have no actual channel experience themselves) programs. Isn’t this a standard PR service? Why do they need to create a joint venture?

Question #3
What’s the relationship between Ketchum and IDC? Does it stretch beyond ChannelEdge? What are the lines of demarcation that allow IDC to be an ‘honest broker’ for non-Ketchum (or ChannelEdge) clients?

Maybe I am being cynical and even unreasonable, but look at ChannelEdge’s “proven three phase approach”:
1. Assess
2. Plan
3. Execute

It’s not really pushing back the barriers of channel marketing is it?

My initial take is that this is a clever marketing ploy to sell some channel-related PR services – and in that I say best to luck to them. If they are serious about offering strategic channel counsel however I would recommend they head-hunt an experienced channel executive (or marketer). Talking about co-op funds etc. is fine in practice but in reality it’s about more than a press release.

This is a high-profile example of the PR industry’s continued attempt to become more than PR. Can they carry it off?

Written by Tom Murphy

August 2, 2002 at 12:36 pm

Posted in General

Fri, 02 Aug 2002 08:41:14 GMT

Did we get any coverage? Search me…
There’s nothing like a stuttering economy to encourage chat about bringing PR in-house. Though as an aside I’m intrigued that people immediately believe it’s cheaper, sorry more cost-effective to build in-house teams, even though quite often it’s not cheaper.

As budgets tighten, all over the web conversations spring up about how to do PR and PR research on the cheap. The most popular ‘tip’ I’ve seen recently on e-mail lists and web sites is:
“Hey dump those monitoring firms and subscription services, Google’s news search engine is all you need.”

Pardon? Have any of these folks used it? It’s a 1 out of 100 for accuracy, reach and depth. Try it out. Unless your client/employer is regularly on the news pages of the AP, Wall Street Journal and USA Today this search engine is not for you (yeah sure your client is top of the news every day…sure 🙂

In fact, people who can’t afford clipping services are typically small and private. If you rely on the Google news search engine you may get depressed.

So what’s a solution? Well it’s not perfect, it’s not guaranteed to track every hit, but waaaay better than Google News Search are free consolidated search products like Copernic (or shell out $40 for the more detailed version) and manually tracking your key targets. Though in my opinion paying for a clipping service (online or offline) may be a better, more productive use of your time….

Written by Tom Murphy

August 2, 2002 at 9:41 am

Posted in General

Fri, 02 Aug 2002 08:27:32 GMT

There is some money for online content…
According to the Online Publishers Association more than 12.4 million people have stumped up hard earned cash for online content, a rise of 56% over Q1 2001.

The leading revenue generator is Real Networks followed by the Wall Street Journal Online. On the downside the top 100 websites account for 97% of all revenue. You can read the full report here (Adobe Acrobat required).

Written by Tom Murphy

August 2, 2002 at 9:27 am

Posted in General