PR is never forgetting the basics….

I was talking with a former colleague of mine over the past couple of days.  She was faced with a major problem. 

If you’ve worked in PR for a while you’ll have experienced the sinking feeling in your stomach when your boss or your boss’ boss holds up a magazine and thinly veiling their anger asks “why aren’t we in this industry round-up?”.

It’s a nightmare, but it happens.

My friend’s problem was more acute.  While magazines move on and you can begin to address the issue immediately, analyst research reports have a much longer shelf-life. If you’re not in the analyst report that’s bad, if it’s a negative analyst report that’s a whole lot worse. Analysts are important in the technology business.  Not just for their reports, but because companies submit enquiries and base (at least part of ) their purchase decisions on their opinions.

Now of course dear reader, you are well aware that one of the major differences between PR and advertising is control. PR can’t guarantee results.  You’ll never see an Ad professional carefully opening a magazine to see if the ad made it!

The upside of PR (and the downside for a PR person’s mental health) is that analysts and journalists make up their own minds and as a result are more trusted sources.

The trick is to work bloody hard to make sure you are reaching and building conversations and relationships with the journalists and analysts covering your market.  That sounds like common sense, but often it gets lost in translation.

My friend’s firm was focused on briefing the most senior analysts covering their industry.  The firm’s executives weren’t interested in “junior” (their term not mine) analysts.  Unfortunately it was one of these analysts who wrote the report.

It’s a timely reminder for all of us that Public Relations is a complex discipline. It involves anyone that will influence your audience and your programs should reflect that. While it might be nice for your execs to be mixing with the headliners, it will be of little commercial value if you ignore the people actually doing the work.

Start with the foundations. Once your program is built from the ground up you’ll minimize the risk of these issues. Of course you’ll never remove them.  For that you need to buy the advert…..


Hands-on blogging: New Communications Forum 2005

Speaking of reality, Elizabeth Albrycht and Guillaume du Gardier have announced  New Communications Forum 2005, a two day hands-on event aimed at providing communicators with the knowledge they need to get a blog up and running.  This will include training on how to use the tools, advice on managing the blog etc.

The event is taking place in the US near Silicon Valley in January 2005, with a European event in France during February 2005.

This is a great idea, cutting through the hype and helping marketing communicators to get up and running quickly and effectively.

Blogs killed radio, TV, magazines, cars, telephones….

These days it’s nice when a posting on a blog makes me smile.

Shanti Bradford has done just that. Commenting on the propensity of certain bloggers to make sweeping generalizations on the impact of blogs, with no research, no proof points, no knowledge, Shanti is declaring that:

Let’s just get it clear right now. I’ll say it first.

Everything Is Dead.

Everything. Is. Dead.

Blogging killed it all. Blogging is the mass murderer of branding, advertising, corporate image, corporate communication, corporate ideology, mission statements, public relation, press releases, marketing, blah blah etc etc.

Hurrah! Blogs, smlogs. 

Let’s add some reality to this subject, please.



Thanks to Constantin for the link and the nice birthday wishes (though it was October 20!)

Blog relations… a new spin?

Trevor Cook has penned an interesting article for Australia’s Walkley magazine on PR and blogging which looks at the impact of blogs.

“In my view, the real long-term usefulness of blogs for public relations is as a way of getting information into the public arena without having to go through the media gateway. The trade-off, of course, is that information distributed in this way doesn�t come with the third-party validation of an independent media. Bloggers will have to replace this validation over time by building their own reputations for credibility and fairness.”

The problem with the free flow of information…

The e-consultancy in the UK has an interesting article on how blogs, e-mail and other online tools are giving stories, casual comments and online discussions a life of their own….

“Well, we’re about to find out what will happen with this trend. In particular, media insiders in the form of PR people are starting to get very keen on blogging…. Which throws up an interesting quandary – the first rule of PR is don’t become the story. But will PR bloggers be able to resist, as they take on blogging for themselves?”


Links from the above piece: 

New PR/Communications online community…

A new site, Communintelligence has launched as the “Communications and PR Knowledge Portal”.

It’s promoted by an Iowa based marketing communications company:

“ is a new knowledge-sharing portal built and supported by communication leaders, associations, schools and businesses. Our goal is to help improve organizational and human communication by giving Communication, PR and Marketing professionals instant access to expert-led knowledge communities, learning events, resources, associations, schools and businesses. The site uses leading-edge self-publishing technologies to allow topic experts and members to build comprehensive, ever-evolving, wisdom-sharing communities on key communication topics, from internal communication to intranets to visual literacy and writing.”

It’s worth a look.


I see a certain PR blogger’s firm is a featured listing on the site!

No that's not me…

I have come to the conclusion that my parents didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time debating what to call me.  I mean ‘Tom Murphy’ isn’t exactly exotic or unique.

A cursory search on Google brings up PR people, politicians, software developers and playwrights.

Earlier today I came across a blog from another Tom Murphy called “Representative Press” which covers motives for 9/11 and attacks on President Bush.

There’s no biographical details, but just in case you thought I had a side line on political intrigue… I haven’t.