Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for March 2005

Global PR Blog Week…

Planning for the second Global PR Blog Week is underway.

It’s still in the early stages so, if you’re interested in getting involved through participating, providing some content or discussing the event’s format, now is the time.

The planning process is public you can find out how to get involved here.

Written by Tom Murphy

March 31, 2005 at 11:40 am

Posted in General

PR Misc – March 31, 2005

 David Tebbutt has published an interesting list of the “rights” of the journalist and the spokesperson in an interview and is requesting debate on this list. Stuart Bruce has posted some comments.


 Colin McKay has a very interesting post from the Managing Editor of ABC News in Canada on why “months” aren’t newsworthy….


 Topaz Partners have two interesting posts.  One on the art of the e-mail pitch 2005 style – including the fact that you might (gasp) have to use a telephone .  The second post concerns an interesting PR discussion following the recent IAOC blog event. 


 Voce Communications have an interesting interview with Bob Wynne, VP of media relations at Oracle.

“The need for speed in developing messages and communications, the need for integrity in dealing with all audiences and the need for a solid understanding of what impacts the company’s bottom line will remain the same. Everything else will change. That’s just the way it is. Get used to it.”

 Jeremy Pepper has an interview with Chris Shipley organizer of the ever optimistic Demo conferences.

“It’s not difficult – the key thing is that the fundamentals for getting to DEMO are on the Website. The thing that makes a difference in pitching for DEMO is to understand the value for the client at DEMO. Being an advocate for both the client and DEMO, being a bridge. PR people overzealously pitch clients to DEMO, but not DEMO to the clients. Too many times, I have had companies say to me at the pitch – so, what is DEMO. The agency did not explain the value, and the client comes in blind.”


Written by Tom Murphy

March 31, 2005 at 10:23 am

Posted in General

Yahoo 360 – Soup to nuts..

Well Yahoo’s new blogging service Yahoo 360 is chugging its way around the viral Interweb taking the Gmail approach to “closed” testing – i.e. you can only be invited by someone already on the system.

PR blogger of the year, Mike Manuel has been working on the launch and Steve Rubel has a brief review of the new blogging service. 

Thanks to Bernie Goldbach I know have some invitations if anyone is interested in trying it out.

Just in case there’s a rush, priority will be given to those who fill out this terrific PR survey

Written by Tom Murphy

March 31, 2005 at 9:42 am

Posted in General

New Spoof PR blog…

A new spoof PR blog has appeared from the offices of the fictional (I hope!) Herring Waffleman “communications” agency.

A quick search on Whois appears to point to a gentleman in Australia….

Thanks to Steve Rubel for the link.

Written by Tom Murphy

March 31, 2005 at 9:30 am

Posted in General

PR Misc – March 29, 2005

 The San Jose Mercury News looks at the PR lessons [Free subscription required] from Wendy’s recent crisis.

“The real trick of responding to something like this is to do it in a way that shows you care it happened, that it’s something not in keeping with the way you do business and you feel badly about it,” said Lou Williams, chairman of L.C. Williams & Associates, a Chicago firm that holds the hand of companies trying to navigate their way through corporate crises.


 Ken Deutsch gives some interesting feedback to Amy Joyce‘s article last week on how corporate blogs are offering little or no value to their readers:

“Companies that use the traditional command-and-control approach to public relations and brand protection will fail to take advantage of the power of the Internet.”


 The Richmond Times Despatch offers some advice for a career in Public Relations from Katherine Woodall:

Public relations has changed in the past 25 years.

“It keeps it interesting,” Woodall said. “You need innate curiosity, superb communication skills and a desire to learn and understand new things. You have to be willing to do a lot of things, make mini-changes.

“If you are open to change,” Woodall said, “opportunities happen.”


 Trevor Cook is currently writing a very interesting paper on whether blogging will retain its current revolutionary zeal or will in fact be consumed by corporate interests.  You can download the latest draft here.

 On a related matter, Trevor has some interesting comments on Colin McKay‘s question does the blogging emperor have any clothes on


 Jim Horton rightly bemoans an awful article that positions PR in the cheap advertising business through an analysis of VNRs.


 Kevin Dugan questions the validity of David Daniels assertion that RSS will have a limited impact on e-mail marketing. I tend to agree.  I don’t think RSS means the end of e-mail marketing but over time I’d expect to see a lot of e-mail traffic such as newsletters etc. being available as RSS feeds.  In addition, because RSS is different to e-mail, it will require a different approach.  At the very least it makes common sense for marketers to evaluate RSS. Ignoring it makes no sense at all.


 PR firm Shift Communications has been doing a lot of work recently on attempting to build tighter links between the PR function and the sales organization.  Their latest initiative is to support marketing professionals in understanding the origin of in-bound leads.  It’s a noteworthy initiative, however, I can’t help thinking that if marketing staff aren’t already effectively managing this process, what are they doing? and more fundamentally how are they being measured?


 Infoworld has a great feature on blogging and wikis in the enterprise.


 A lot of PR bloggers are turning up on WebProNews here’s a selection of some of the more recent hits:

  • Shel Holtz asks is Disney’s image so bad that even when they’re right, they’re wrong…
  • Mike Manuel thinks its a fun time to be in Public Relations…
  • Steve Rubel questions the validity of a job listing on Craig’s list for a blog PR specialist in Chicago.


 Finally Tom Murphy is conducting a *very* interesting online survey on Public Relations.  You can participate here.

Written by Tom Murphy

March 29, 2005 at 9:47 am

Posted in General

Surveys, bunnies and the power of simplicity….

PR Opinions will be fairly quiet over the Easter period.

Thanks to everyone who has already completed the PR Opinions survey, we’ve already passed last year’s number of respondents.

Why not take a couple of minutes to fill it out.  As one of the respondents has commented “it’s simplistic” – come to think it that may have been a criticism 🙂

Written by Tom Murphy

March 24, 2005 at 9:03 am

Posted in General

Corporate blogs: Bueller… Bueller.. Bueller

Amy Joyce at the Washington Post questions the value of corporate blogs.

“Looking back before the dust settles on 2004, it was a great year of building momentum for BCA [Boeing Commercial Airplanes]. Our orders went up, with 272 in ’04 compared to 239 in ’03. It was a super year for widebodies for us,” wrote Randolph S. Baseler, Boeing Co.’s vice president of marketing, on Jan. 17 in his first entry at

“With blogs like that (Boeing’s Randy Baseler), who needs news releases? Some Internet watchers wonder if a blog that sounds like nothing more than a corporate press room is worth the effort.”

I think Amy’s article raises an interesting question.  The point of a corporate blog is to provide a human face on the organization.  If that “face” is mumbling corporate speak then my advice to you is don’t bother.  The corporate blog should provide opinions, observations and color.  If you’re going to use the same formula as a press release then put it out on PR Newswire.

This is why you need to be careful whom you choose to front your corporate blog.  You need an executive with time, opinions and an understanding of one-to-one communication.  If you don’t, then you’re wasting your valuable time. Don’t create a corporate blog just so you can take it off your to-do list.  Create a corporate blog to improve your communications with your audience, to build rapport, create relationships and help your audience get a better insight into your organization.


Written by Tom Murphy

March 24, 2005 at 8:49 am

Posted in General

Blogs come in many shapes and sizes…

Two interesting blog related items:

 Steve Rubel has a good post on the emergence of two different models of business blogging, namely:

  • Bottom-up blogging – where employees themselves blog
  • Top-down blogging – where the blog is driven by the corporate team

It seems to me both have a useful role in effective communications.


 Meanwhile, Fredrik Wack�STRONG> over at the CorporateBloggingBlog, points to an interesting analysis by Dennis Hamilton on the differences and similarities of internal and external blogs.


Written by Tom Murphy

March 24, 2005 at 8:28 am

Posted in General

Now hear this….

The latest installment (#17) of Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson‘s ever excellent podcast service For Immediate Release includes the long-awaited podcast interview with the world’s most read PR blogger, Steve Rubel.

It’s an incredibly interesting interview and I highly recommend it (as I do all the previous podcasts from Shel and Neville).

Steve has covered an incredible amount of ground and is the PR profession’s head evangelist on the potential of blogging.  If you want some real insights download the MP3 and put aside an hour.

Shel and Neville are providing a fantastic service for anyone interested in understanding the changing dynamics on online communication, you’d be foolish not to take advatange of it.


Written by Tom Murphy

March 23, 2005 at 9:52 am

Posted in General

New and notable…

First up, another PR firm has launched a blog. BitePR has launched a collaborative agency blog called BiteMarks. Bite are also hosting a seminar on blogging on April 6 in San Francisco.

Also new is the MarcomBlog a collaborative effort featuring David Forstrom, Bill French, Guillaume du Gardier, Josh Hallett, Neville Hobson, Dee Rambeau, Octavio Rojas, Tara Smith and Dale Wolf. Please check out Tara Smith‘s excellent post on PR bunnies.

Written by Tom Murphy

March 23, 2005 at 7:51 am

Posted in General