Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for December 2002

Fri, 13 Dec 2002 15:03:05 GMT

There’s no question that rumors present a quandry. Rumors can be very damaging to your reputation and your business.

But what if the rumor is positive? What if it’s creating buzz and anticipation around future product launches long before you’re prepared to talk about them. What if these rumors come from people who are truly committed to your company and your products?

Should you strong arm the offenders? Should you ignore it and secretly delight that people love your firm enough that they are willing to speculate about future revenue earners?

We’ve discussed Apple before and it’s clear that their approach is to crush the rumors and their sources.

To a certain extent I can understand that they are sensitive about the intellectual property around their designs. After all their innovative design has translated into improved sales and survival.

I think the news that Apple is suing a contractor who Apple say stole company trade secrets and posted them on the web is fair enough. They are running a business and they have the right to protect it.

However, hopefully they will take a more casual line with the Apple enthusiasts who share their rumors and ideas ahead of major Apple events. There is a difference between espionage and enthusiasm, I hope Apple will find the balance.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 13, 2002 at 4:03 pm

Posted in General

Thu, 12 Dec 2002 10:02:54 GMT

Thanks to PR firm G2B Group, their newsletter had an interesting link to an interview on with Jimmy Guterman on the demise of Media Unspun and also on Blogs. According to Technology Marketing, Guterman is now looking after a new weekly online column called “Media Notes” over at Business 2.0

At the Supernova conference, Dan Gillmor gave a talk on Journalism 3.1 that covered how blogs and journalism are converging. BoingBoing has blogged the talk here.

Finally, Susan Trainer at Trainer PR got a great mention on Dave Winer’s popular Scripting news. Nice.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 12, 2002 at 11:02 am

Posted in General

Thu, 12 Dec 2002 09:34:16 GMT

Scott Adams casts his sharp eye on journalism…

Dilbert on Journalism

Written by Tom Murphy

December 12, 2002 at 10:34 am

Posted in General

Wed, 11 Dec 2002 08:34:18 GMT

The term �Buzz� has been around since the first bloom of the dot com bubble. Buzz is simply a cooler term for that old favourite �Word of Mouth� � an idea what has been around for decades. And let�s be honest there�s very little difference.

What is different is that the Internet potentially creates a perfect environment for powerful Buzz or Word of Mouth 2.0 (WOM 2) if you prefer.

But let�s step back for a moment. The promise of word of mouth is that people will discover information from respected sources and because they are respected, people will want to find out more. Is this not one of the basic tenets of Public Relations?

It seems to me that if any profession is ready made to manage and create buzz, it�s PR.

So why is PR not driving the discussion? Why is it �Internet� marketers who are running with the idea?

I say it�s high time we take the lead on WOM 2, understand how it works, how it�s measured and how we can integrate it into our plans and tactics.

I don�t believe that WOM 2 is about false postings to bulletin boards � it�s unsophisticated, can normally be easily spotted and it removes on of the core requirements for WOM 2 – namely the medium must be a respected source � not a stranger. It�s also why companies that hire beautiful people to loudly discuss new consumer electronics or movies in public also miss the point.

WOM 2 is about understanding who the influencers are and providing them with new ideas and products. The people aren�t necessarily your traditional media, they could be a customers, a partner or even a supplier.

So, to kick things off, here�s some essential reading:
– Professors from Yale and Harvard have conducted a study to try and measure WOM 2. You can read about it here.
– Marketing Profs have an article on �Monitoring Buzz�
– Here�s a short piece from Business 2.0 on Building Buzz
Seth Godin�s �Unleashing the idea virus� looks at Buzz and Viral Marketing
– Emanuel Rosen�s �Anatomy of Buzz� looks at how to create and leverage WOM 2

There�s no excuse why you can�t start looking at how you can build WOM 2 for your clients.

Let me know what you think

Written by Tom Murphy

December 11, 2002 at 9:34 am

Posted in General

Mon, 09 Dec 2002 19:41:58 GMT

Back in September I mentioned a fantastic feature that appeared in New Yorker magazine about the world of Hollywood PR. Unfortunately the New Yorker doesn’t publish features online but the UK Observer yesterday re-printed the feature and it’s now online. Do youself a favor and have a read!

Written by Tom Murphy

December 9, 2002 at 8:41 pm

Posted in General

Mon, 09 Dec 2002 19:36:42 GMT

PR news is getting harder to find online.

Last week, the excellent O’Dwyer’s announced it was following the example of The PR Network (tempremental site) by adopting a subscription (albeit for a small sum) based service. Its decision has removed one of the best (free) places on the Internet to find out what’s going on in the PR business. PR Week does publish one in-depth story online a week (and the PR Week Worldwire is worth subscribing to), but the fast starting Corner Bar PR seems to be unfortunately grinding to a halt.

So where do you go for PR content? The Holmes Report still has some great content, and you could do worse than checking out the links on the left where Phil Gomes, Kevin Dugan and Richard Bailey regularly fill their PR blogs with great news and views. You should also bookmark James Horton’s Online-PR website which includes a huge number of PR-related links.

Finally the PR services firms are a good source of PR editorial. In particular, MediaMap’s Expert PR and Press Access’ the Scoop run regular features and how-to’s.

If you have any additional suggestions let me know.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 9, 2002 at 8:36 pm

Posted in General

Mon, 09 Dec 2002 12:08:26 GMT

I don’t know about you, but I conservatively estimate that probably 60-70% of my e-mail is now spam. If you’re working in PR and you post press releases with your e-mail address on a website, you are probably facing a similar toll.

While products such as Cloudmark are helping remove some of the clutter the weight of spam continues to grow and it impacts everyone’s ability to effectively communicate over e-mail.

With that in mind it’s always pleasing to hear that some spammers are getting a little of their own medicine.

Alan Ralsky is acknowledged as one of the world’s most prolific spammers and recently anti-spam advocates have been signing him up to every direct mail service they can. The result? His new plush house is besieged with paper spam. He’s so annoyed he’s threatening legal action against the anti-spammers. Mike Wendland of the Detroit Free Press reports.

(In Mike’s original story, he writes: “Ralsky agreed to this interview and the tour of his operation only if I promised not to print the address of his new home, which I found in Oakland County real estate records” – hee hee hee nice way around the issue….)

Written by Tom Murphy

December 9, 2002 at 1:08 pm

Posted in General

Fri, 06 Dec 2002 11:55:03 GMT

Morning. I am in the midst of culling large volumes of e-mail and catching up on news and blogs.

Thanks to everyone who dropped me a line in my absence both those who are delighted that I haven’t yet shuttled off this mortal coil and even those who wish I had 🙂

Here are some stories that piqued my interest recently….

O’Dwyer’s have announced a subscription for their online PR news, though at $20 per year it seems reasonable

– Mattel are experimenting with the power or blogging. They’ve launched Barbie’s blog (I kid you not) [FLASH required]

– Fellow PR blogger, Phil Gomes has a very interesting article on Mediamap looking at Instant messaging and its implications for PR – recommended reading for all.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 6, 2002 at 12:55 pm

Posted in General

Thu, 05 Dec 2002 14:05:55 GMT

You will have noticed that PR Opinion have been very very quiet for the past ten days.

Mea culpa, I had meant to post a note to the affect that I was leaving on vacation, but of course in the rush to get everything done, I forgot.

Normal service will be resumed shortly……

Written by Tom Murphy

December 5, 2002 at 3:05 pm

Posted in General