Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for March 2003

Tue, 25 Mar 2003 12:01:42 GMT

The passing of a history maker…..   

The high-tech PR business was built around the innovation and intelligence of a small number of early entrepreneurs. 

Adam Osborne, the creator of the world’s first affordable “laptop” in 1981, was one of those people.

His company, Osborne Computer Corporation, although a huge success at the time, selling over 100,000 computers in one year, fell foul of a common practice amongst technology vendors today. They pre-announced a successor to their hot selling product, the Osborne 1, it was delayed, and sales collapsed.  The result was bankruptcy.

Although out of the industry limelight for the past decade, Osborne left a rich legacy. 

He died in his sleep last Tuesday in India. 

RELATED LINK: “A computer in every hand” – Salon

Written by Tom Murphy

March 25, 2003 at 1:01 pm

Posted in General

Tue, 25 Mar 2003 09:37:17 GMT

The changing face of Tech PR…..  

Ketchum’s newsletter this month has an interesting interview with PR Week‘s Andrew Gordon, looking at how Tech PR is fairing in the downturn.

“What I hear most frequently is that clients aren�t as concerned about what publications they appear in but what publications their competitors appear in. �Why aren�t we there?� is still the main question. There�s still some egotism involved.”

Looks like some things never change (in any industry!)

They also have an interesting piece written by Mark Jackson on Technology PR in the UK.  Mark is a former colleague [FLASH and pop-up warning!] of mine from the dim and distant past – you know when Windows 95 was really exciting! Of course that was before he was doing testimonials for software companies.

Aside: Someone passed Ragan’s fine feature on “blogging and PR” to me the other day and I noticed I was  listed as a “British PR Pro”, while I take no offence at the “PR Pro” reference, I must protest my innocence of British nationality!

Written by Tom Murphy

March 25, 2003 at 10:37 am

Posted in General

Tue, 25 Mar 2003 06:32:22 GMT

PR and the Oscars……  

USA Today last week ran a prominent story on the importance of studio publicity in landing the coveted gold statuette.  The article analyzed some of the recent scandals affecting nominees, though it doesn’t look like they influenced the outcome….

Written by Tom Murphy

March 25, 2003 at 7:32 am

Posted in General

Mon, 24 Mar 2003 16:34:01 GMT

The new second generation independents…..   

The merger mania that saw many of the top independent PR firms snapped up at the end of the last decade is reaching it’s natural conclusion.  Many of the original entrepreneurs are once again seeking to return to their roots.

The latest is Andy Cunningham, a veteran of the technology PR business, who is spinning the Citigate Cunningham CXO practice out as an independent entity from Citigate Cunningham, although Incepta [FLASH warning] who bought Cunningham in 2000, will retain a 25% holding in the newly independent firm.

CXO offers “strategic communications programs” and was launched in November 2002.  Cunningham communications itself was launched in 1985.

As an aside.  The Citigate Cunningham website has no mention of this news, in fact, the front page has an announcement on the foundation of Cunningham CXO from last November….

Written by Tom Murphy

March 24, 2003 at 5:34 pm

Posted in General

Mon, 24 Mar 2003 16:14:34 GMT

The world of media blogs according to Forbes……   

Forbes magazne has named what it believes are the top five media-related blogs:

  1. Metafilter
  2. Blogcritics
  3. I Want Media
  4. Gawker
  5. Romenesko

Written by Tom Murphy

March 24, 2003 at 5:14 pm

Posted in General

Mon, 24 Mar 2003 15:59:07 GMT

How RSS can work for Public Relations….. 

Phil Gomes has written a whitepaper (PDF) on “Using RSS in Corporate Communications”.  It’s definetely worth a read for any PR person interested in learning how RSS can help you get your message out.

We’re very flattered that he’s included Cape Clear‘s RSS feeds as an example!

Phil’s PR firm, the G2B Group has also published it’s latest newsletter.

Update: CNET has a story looking at how publishers are looking to use RSS to reach out to readers.

Written by Tom Murphy

March 24, 2003 at 4:59 pm

Posted in General

Mon, 24 Mar 2003 14:53:39 GMT

Newsletter tips…. 

Whilst I was travelling around last week, a number of key design issues for e-mail newsletters became very apparent.  Here are some thoughts:

1) HTML only newsletters are useless to remote readers if the content requires a live Internet connection.  I read a lot of e-mail off-line when travelling.  If I pull up an e-mail and it consists of empty boxes, I delete it.  Remember to include the content as plain text

2) Most people on the road still only have regular access to 56K Internet, and that’s best case.  Large, graphic intensive e-mails take forever to download and don’t make a good impression.

3) Finally and I’ve written this before.  Provide links to an online version of the content.  A story is more liekly to be viral if I can forward a link rather than the entire e-mail.

4) If you go to the trouble of putting a newsletter together, why not include a “call-to-action” such as an offer to download a more detailed whitepaper?

5) Remember to include contact details….

Written by Tom Murphy

March 24, 2003 at 3:53 pm

Posted in General

Fri, 21 Mar 2003 14:31:55 GMT

Thanks for the feedback…. 

I’ve had a lot of correspondence over the past week from many of you.  Most of it has been complimentary, some of it hasn’t!

But I would like to thank you *all* for taking the time to get in contact.  Whether the feedback is positive of negative it’s much appreciated!

Written by Tom Murphy

March 21, 2003 at 3:31 pm

Posted in General

Fri, 21 Mar 2003 13:47:54 GMT

Interesting refferals….  

From time to time I check how you are coming to PR Opinions and sometimes the findings can be most interesting.  By far the single most popular search term that refers to this blog is “Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky”.

That story about the leaked internal memo, which originally came from the Holmes Report continues to run and run. It is an interesting case study in how information propogates online.  Although you might get an immediate online traffic spike for news, more controversial or interesting issues seem to have a life of their own through word of mouth.

In the case of the agency above, given the queries are mostly from Google, I am assuming that people were chatting at the water cooler and then going and finding out more.

So although the Internet is immediate and speed is a characteristic, the fact that it is the world’s largest archive means that any story can have a longer shelf life than at first expected.  In this case it’s bad news for SS+K.

Of course by mentioning the story again I am shamlessly promoting PR Opinions, let’s just say it’s an experiment 🙂

Written by Tom Murphy

March 21, 2003 at 2:47 pm

Posted in General

Fri, 21 Mar 2003 13:35:03 GMT

PR Opinions this week….  

Has been quiet as I’ve been out on the road – not literally of course 🙂 Normal service will resume shortly.

Written by Tom Murphy

March 21, 2003 at 2:35 pm

Posted in General