Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for November 2004

PR Misc – November 30, 2004

 Jim Horton has posted a full case study on a political campaign undertaken by  California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District to secure tax-based funding for any earthquake-related repairs.

 Richard Edelman discusses the importance of ethical behavior and outlines four suggested ethical pillars:

  1. First, we should not take on any client in the way that a lawyer can claim that every client deserves representation. We are not working in a court of law….
  2. Second, we need to be utterly transparent in our work methods….
  3. Third, we should demand a seat at the decision making table and not simply accept the role of mouthpiece for legal counsel….
  4. Fourth, our billing methods should provide the same incentives to client and agency….

 The Globe and Mail reports that CIBC is facing some significant PR challenges as it has emerged they’ve been erroneously faxing customer information to a scrap dealer…

 Interested in how the media may change in the future? Andy Lark links to an interesting potential verion of the future of media.

 It looks like a potential merger between UK PR group Chime Communications and Incepta won’t be happening after all., the self-styled PR agony uncle site created by former vice chairman of Edelman David Davis, has reported that it has handled 3,000 PR-related questions since the site was set up two years ago….

Written by Tom Murphy

November 30, 2004 at 10:26 am

Posted in General

Blogvetorials… trust the audience…

Shel and Octavio have posted some interesting comments on my post last Friday regarding ‘blogvetorials’.

It’s definetely a grey area, but agreeing a “blog code of ethics” and then implementing it, would be probably impossible.

I think you have to put your trust in people who read blogs.  People are intelligent.  If a blogger is promoting products for cash, I’m fairly sure readers will spot it.  Maybe not immediately but certainly over time.

The Internet provides a fairly democratic environment. If your blog is credible, has interesting or useful content and is providing honest opinions then there’s a good chance you’ll get a readership – whatever the size.

As Octavio points out, you have once shot at credibility.  Should you lose it, then it’s gone.  That’s a very dangerous threat for any blogger tempted to plug products for payment.

On the other hand, Google has shown us that as long as advertisements are clearly flagged as such, then audiences/users have no problem with them.

So, if you want to make your first million from blogging (you probably need help) then by all means include advertising on your blog, and mark it for what it is.  You may find that the real cost of breaking your readers’ trust is far more expensive than any short-term revenue.

Written by Tom Murphy

November 29, 2004 at 9:34 am

Posted in General

Blog advertising…

Shel Holtz reports that Marqui has done a deal with fifteen bloggers to insert mentions of Marqui’s “hosted communications management services” into their blogs.

“The bloggers will get $800 a month to mention Marqui with a link once a week in their blogs and post its emblem on a page. They’ll get an additional $50 per qualified sales lead they send to Marqui….But transparency and integrity are the order of the day, King said. Information about Marqui’s “Blogosphere Program” is posted on its corporate Web site, and bloggers are urged — but not required — to disclose the relationship.”

I think it should be easy enough to spot if any marketing bloggers are in this program.  I think it would be quite hard to subtly post an entry on “hosted communications management services” 🙂

On a more serious note, as long as the mentions are flagged as advertising, I don’ t have a problem with this.  Just as in the physical world where advetorials are highlighted, as long as these blogads are highlighted and the blogger is up front with their readership I don’t see why this should pose a problem. Of course if they’re not up front that’s a different matter….

Written by Tom Murphy

November 26, 2004 at 10:34 am

Posted in General

New PR blogs and listening to the media…

Two more PR blogs and some interesting reports from media roundtables….

  • Bob LeDrew, another esteemed Canadia PR blogger, runs the FlackLife blog. He points to an interesting profile of San Antonio Public Library Pro, Beth Graham.


  • Steve Rubel has discovered another notable addition to the PR blogging ranks. Barbara Heffner of Chen PR has started a blog called Clark Lane. Barbara has an interesting report on a Businesswire panel on targeting online media:

“Paul Gillin, editor in chief for TechTarget, was a tad more direct: “In general, I advise you never to do exclusives in print or online. You give CNET an exclusive, and 10 minutes later everyone has picked up on it and you’ve got dozens of reporters pissed off at you, for a jump of 15 minutes that no reader notices.”

  • Maria Perez over at MediaInsider posts a report on the Publicity Club of Chicago’s recent lunch that tackled the subject of freelancers. If there’s one media group that is growing fast it’s freelancers.

“She urges PR people not to �try to draw me into a web� that features only one client. Her editors trust and pay her to present a balanced feature and that can only be done with multiple sources. As a PR person herself in the health care industry, she writes mainly for trade publications. There is a crossover in content between her services; however, she uses a wider variety and different sources when she writes, and the information she presents is more flushed out.”

Written by Tom Murphy

November 26, 2004 at 10:14 am

Posted in General

Naked Gun FT Style….

Drew and Andy (or should that be AndyDrew) both link to a story on SpinBunny about how FT Editor Andrew Gowers had a ‘Naked Gun’ moment at a recent FT gathering in Paris.

Following a speech to his fellow workers, he walked backstage (with his microphone still on) and made a phone call:

“Spies tell of a wholly embarrassing incident in which editor Andrew Gowers made a glowing speech about the success and planned future success of the esteemed publication. But then the daft bugger went backstage, forget to take his clipmike off and the whole audience heard him take a call on his mobile.

Amongst the tirade of abuse dished out as commentary on how the meeting had gone, he was heard to dismiss it as the usual load of bollocks and a waste of time.”


  • If the link to SpinBunny doesn’t work, please don’t give out to me, it doesn’t work for me either and I know for a fact the site isn’t being blocked by my employers, I have tried a whole load of ways to access the site with no success and the only way I get to read it is via bloglines.

Written by Tom Murphy

November 26, 2004 at 9:46 am

Posted in General

PR Misc – November 24, 2004

Now before you head off for some R&R, here’s some reading for you….


Written by Tom Murphy

November 24, 2004 at 3:27 pm

Posted in General

Made to measure….

As I’ve written before, the lack of widely agreed metrics that attempt to measure how PUBLIC Relations programs impact an organization’s objectives is an issue for everyone in this profession.

PR Week (link courtesy to Shel Hotz) has an interesting article written by Claire Spencer, a fellow of the UK IPR.

She points out that measurement is a multi-dimensional discipline that needs to tie back to an organization’s stakeholders and audience(s).

Claire outlines five relationship concepts that could be used to reflect the success of any organisation:

  1. What qualities make people want to support an organisation? These would include integrity, ethics and values, financial strength and power, leadership, and that it’s competitive.
  2. What makes for a good organisational offering? These include products and services that deliver fitness for purpose, quality, durability, price/value and after-sales support.
  3. What stimulates demand for an organisation’s goods and services? Market availability, acceptance and desirability, strong brand attributes, distinctive marketing and promotion, good delivery and distribution mechanisms and responsiveness to the consumer.
  4. Does an organisation deliver for its employees in terms of internal communication channels, competitive pay, a good working environment, a record for health/safety, best practice recruitment policies, good redundancy handling and work-based opportunities.
  5. What makes a company good at managing stakeholder groups? It’s management of other (non-customer) ‘influencers’ in terms of recognition of their concerns, facing up to the issues, two-way communication and responsiveness.


Some other measurement-related reading:


Written by Tom Murphy

November 24, 2004 at 2:56 pm

Posted in General