Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for January 2005

Another PR agency blog…

Reichert Communications a high-tech PR agency has kicked off a new blog entitled Vitamin T.


Written by Tom Murphy

January 31, 2005 at 10:35 am

Posted in General

PR Misc – January 21, 2005

With the New Communications Forum taking place last week it�s no surprise that there�s a lot of content from the event and a lot of excellent insights into the challenges and opportunities facing PR � check out the links below…


 However, before I get to that, aren�t the reports of the US government�s spending on PR most interesting?  The fact that Ketchum has received over $95m is hard to believe!  No wonder there are doing VNR�s – I�m surprised they haven�t launched their own TV channel with revenues like that coming in the door. Other agencies should find out who does their business development�


More related comments from:


 So, onto New Communication Forum�. The show was a great success by all accounts and brought together a lot of knowledge on how communications and blogging will develop and impact Public Relations and journalism.  Here are just a few links to content from the event: 


 Jim Horton links to the Lex Files memo that gives recommendations on how the media can intersect with blogs 


 Trevor Cook has a review of the new book Tailspin – PR disasters.


 Robb Hecht points to a new book from Linda VandeVrede entitled �Press Releases Are Not a PR Strategy�.


Written by Tom Murphy

January 31, 2005 at 10:33 am

Posted in General

Stand up and fight for… errrr… Public Relations?

As you are probably aware Public Relations is a euphemism.

Whenever someone is caught doing something underhand, whenever a diaster strikes, whenever someone’s ethics are called into question you can bet that the two little letters that will appear in the reportage and/or the discussion are P & R.

PR’s image problems are no secret.  The profession is hounded by the dual problems of ignorance and a small number of high profile “practitioners” who bring the profession into disrepute through their behavior and their practice.

For the unwashed masses it doesn’t matter that the vast majority of PR people (many of whom have nothing to do with the media) are hard working, stressed individuals who try their best to communicate honestly on behalf of individuals, groups or organizations in an ethical manner.

Nope.  Once those two little words pop out, a whole pandora’s box of preconceptions flood into the minds of the uninitiated.

If you want a graphic illustration of this, just read the comments posted to Jay Rosens much maligned recent post. ‘Cover up’, ‘spin’, ‘they’re all the same covering each other’s backs’ etc. etc. etc.

Oh please.

For too long I believe that PR people have let this perception problem slide.  It’s up to individuals and industry organizations to address these misconceptions.

Shel Israel, who no longer practices PR, has a great posting on this very subject.

“I was in PR for more than 20 years, and am proud of the work I did. The majority of people I knew and worked with were good and honest people who, if anything, were guilty of trying too hard to please both clients and the media. PR people generally counsel clients to come clean on controversial news.  Get bad news out and get on with it. Tell the public your sorry, when you’ve done wrong and make sure you repeat the mistake again. Cover ups never last–so come clean up front. Yep, we had our shady characters and over a beer and in private I’ll share a few stories with some of you. Every industry has liars. Every industry industry has people who open their mouths and display ignorance.”

I have been working in PR since 1991.  It’s an exciting, rewarding career that requires hard work and dedication, but it’s worth it.

Let’s put a line in the sand and from this point on address the ignorance and the prejudice.  If there is justifiable cause for concern at the practice of our peers then let’s highlight it and criticize it, but let’s stop letting the unjustified criticisms float by.  

We are not doing ourselves any favors.

Written by Tom Murphy

January 27, 2005 at 10:15 am

Posted in General

Blogs on New Communications Forum…

New Communications Forum 2005 (turn your speakers off..) is under way and it seems to be a great success.

As you’d expect lots of bloggers reporting:

Written by Tom Murphy

January 27, 2005 at 9:43 am

Posted in General

More and more and more and more PR blogs….

Well the PR business (thank the lord) continues to sprout new blogs.  The more the merrier, in my not very humble opinion…

 Morgan McLintic a VP at Lewis PR (Flash Warning) has kicked off a new blog looking at PR in Silicon Valley. He’s already got loads of posts up.

 Eric Schwartzman has kicked off his blog.

 Voce Communications, home of PR bloggers Mike Manuel and Matthew Podboy have launched their agency’s blog Voce Nation. (They boast a most impressive intellectual blogroll)

 Drew also points out there are two new UK IT PR blogs:

Both are very new and very anonymous for some reason I can’t work out…. IT PR is not a job for the secret service…

Written by Tom Murphy

January 27, 2005 at 9:29 am

Posted in General

More payments.. non-disclosure… I blogged it…

Andy Lark has pointed out yet another snafu around undisclosed payments. It seems Maggie Gallagher who was a media advocate of the recent civil marraige legislation was paid over $20K by the Bush administration.

Here’s Maggie’s response.

The story doesn’t interest me terribly but just in case Jay let’s another one blow in a week of two, it’s important we all have the moral high ground.

Now, that’s myself and Andy sorted….

Actually having said that, if Jay doesn’t cover this in the next five days maybe I can log a post:

Bloggers are missing as journalist takes cash bung for Bush

We’ll just keep this between ourselves for the moment, I don’t want to miss my chance…

Written by Tom Murphy

January 27, 2005 at 9:15 am

Posted in General

PR Misc – January 26, 2005

The problem with going away for a couple of days is the backlog.  There’s been a lot of great content over the past few days, here’s a summary….

 There’s been some interesting new posts on the whole Ketchum affair. In no particular order of preference:

 The New Communications Forum kicks off today on the West coast.  There’s a great program planned and you can expect a lot of blogging from the conference.

 Trevor Cook has some interesting posts on What is PR? and some words to avoid in your communications.

  Elizabeth Albrycht tackles PR’s perception problems and there’s some excellent commentary and discussion following the post.

“My credibility issues with PR have nothing to do with blogging.

They have to do with usefulness.

I get 50 pitches from PR people every day. I get about a half-dozen a month I can use. So when I get a cold-call from a PR person, my first thought is, “This conversation is going to be a waste of my time.” Mitch Wagner

 Shel Holtz asks does the public need to be guarded against Public Relations?

“I know I�m beginning to sound like a broken record, but individual bloggers are not going to turn the tide. The profession as a whole�as represented by its associations�need to point out these failings and, where appropriate, take action. (Ethics policies, for example, provide for sanctions against violating members, including expulsion from the association.)”

  Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz have released their fourth weekly PR podcast, this week covers the new Boeing blog, PR and blogs and the Ketchum stuff.. 

  Bob LeDrew offers some advice on managing PR partnerships.

  Sally Saville Hodge over at MarketProfs offers guidance on using Op-Eds effectively.

“A single op-ed will not change the way you or your organization is viewed overnight. But combined with other related initiatives�from informational or tutorial bylined articles to systematic survey development and dissemination�they are an integral part of an expertise-oriented PR program that will help solidify your firm’s standing as an expert in its field.”

 Fredrik Wacka over at points to an interesting review by Michael Cote of how his company use their internal corporate blog.

What People Post

  • News stories in our industry and about our company.
  • Status of various test and performance clusters. So, instead of having to send out emails or answer phones all the time, you can say, “just subscribe to the performance cluster weblog. It’s always up-to-date with performance test status.”
  • Brain-storming about strategy, feature sets, and process.
  • Sharing customer visit/phone call notes.
  • The “I exist” posts. Like I said, a lot of people just post one initial, “I’m here!” post and then disappear.
  • Soliciting ideas/help. For example, one person recently posted the age old question, “when should I use wikis vs. weblogs?”
  • Off-topic posts, like pictures of stars (the space ones, not the Hollywood types) or what the frozen burgers in the freezer look and taste like.

     Mike Manuel points out an interesting blog from start-up Jambo networks on their preparation for the Demo event which will launch their product.

     Melody over at Mark Borkowski’s blog points to new research which finds that the UK public still believe that journalists make a positive contribution to life in Britain.

    Written by Tom Murphy

    January 26, 2005 at 9:38 am

    Posted in General