Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for December 2003

Additional PR Blogs

Over the past week or so, I’ve come across two more interesting PR-related blogs for your delactation.

 Trevor Cook covers a wide variety of PR topics including a recent post on how blogging is entering the hallowed realm of Internet PR.  

 Meanwhile, John Cass is hosting the new PR Communications blog.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 19, 2003 at 12:59 pm

Posted in General

The ole presentation chestnut

Doc Searls points to a very interesting article he wrote back in 1998 on giving presentations and the advice is as relevant today as it was then – probably more relevant given the number of “PowerPoint Readers” that proliferate meetings these days.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 18, 2003 at 9:01 am

Posted in General

The underside of marketing…

While Australia’s The Age is “exposing” what they consider to be shady practices in the healthcare marketing sector, it pales into insignificance when compared to the tobacco industry.

A new website, Tobacco Papers provides an online repository of UK Tobacco companies’ marketing plans and reports through the 1990’s.

It makes for fascinating reading.  A summary report on these documents entitled “Keep Smiling, No one is going to die” is available for download.

The title was taken from the closing lines of a document written by an Ad agency to its tobacco client… nice.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 17, 2003 at 3:03 pm

Posted in General

Litigation, activism, Santa and communicating with your audience…

 I have said this before and I am saying it again, soon the most desirable qualification a PR professional can have is a law degree. Santa Barbara County prosecutors announced they are filing charges against Michael Jackson and in the same breath announce they’ve hired a PR firm to handle media relations around the filing.

 Ross Irvine evaluates how traditional methods of influencing public policy are falling behind the grass-roots activists who use networks to influence opinion and policy.

 Colin McKay is getting into the spirit of the season with a whole array of PR postings for Santa Claus…

 The Online Journalism Review looks at how celebrities in trouble are turning to the web to communicate directly with their audiences. On a related note, Jeff Bridges (who is not in ANY trouble) has one of the most innovative fan sites I’ve seen.  He hand writes updates to the site and then has his entries scanned and posted…

Written by Tom Murphy

December 17, 2003 at 1:19 pm

Posted in General

The life and times of a PR junior…

One of the topics myself and Phil Gomes discussed last week was the antiquated merit system applied in most, though not all, PR agencies.

You start at the bottom doing all the administration work no one else wants and then you focus for the next five years on getting as far from the media as you can. This of course is all motivated by the fact that “strategic” client counsel is the end-game for any self-respecting PR pro.

I know this process very well because I happily participated in it throughout the early 1990’s.

Now I fully realize that media relations is a small part of the PR discipline and whilst the public perception of PR is that of Press Relations, our profession encompasses a far wider range of tasks and areas of expertise.

However, with hindsight, it seems to me that this desire to move away from the media is very very wrong.

Good media relations is an under-appreciated asset.  The accepted practice of foisting media relations on the juniors is one of the main reasons journalists get so hacked off with PR people who don’t know the first thing about media relations – or the story they are pitching.

Media Relations also provides a unique insight into what’s happening in any given market.  A series of successful media meetings can deliver more market intelligence than a month of desk research.

I am happy to see, that among the blogging PR populace anyway, there is a recognized need for effective media relations as part of our more “strategic” services.

Effective media relations technique is difficult to master and it’s a shame when its discarded in the name of career advancement.

I hated doing all the administrative tasks when I started out, but at the risk of sounding like a grandad, it has stood to me.

That was a very long introduction into a story from ESPN which describes the role of Junior Publicist for a sports team one of the worst jobs in sport. If any of you are working in that role, we all know your pain! [Thanks to Darren for the link]

Written by Tom Murphy

December 17, 2003 at 8:19 am

Posted in General

PR's influence on health advice…

Australia’s The Age publishes

Written by Tom Murphy

December 16, 2003 at 6:38 pm

Posted in General

PR Opinions is back online..

Hello again.

Things have been a little quiet here for the past week.  But I’ve a great range of excuses, first of all I was working in California, which somewhat restricted my ability to post, but not as much as when my laptop, in a blatant plea for help, decided to commit hari-kiri and take my entire hard drive to the afterworld.

After much gnashing of teeth, tinkering with setups and desperately searching for passwords, settings etc, PR Opinions is now finally back online.

From meeting with a whole range of PR people and media in California it’s apparent that things are definetely on the up.  No one wants to come outright and say things are growing again but everyone is reporting brisk business, the freelancers are busier and reporters are more stressed than ever.

I also had the opportunity to meet up with Phil Gomes while I was there and we had a great evening out with much discussion around the technology business, the PR business and the state of the market in general.

PR Opinions will be back at full steam in the morning.

Update: Nothing is ever easy is it? 🙂 Thanks to everyone who has let me know about the image problems on the home page.  After a lot of tinkering, I think they are now fixed!

Written by Tom Murphy

December 15, 2003 at 4:19 pm

Posted in General