Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for May 2005

PR Miscellany – May 17, 2005

[Note: My blog software Radio Userland is currently deleting posts for reason unknown.  As a result I’m re-posting yesterday’s PR Miscellany]

Loads going on, here’s a sample…

 IBM is the current blog meme of the week with news that they are encouraging staff members to get blogging for the good of the company. James Snell at IBM has released some common sense guidelines for employees.

 Speaking of blogs…. the folks at Topaz Partners link to a research report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and BuzzMetrics which has found that (shock! horror!) blogs haven’t displaced traditional media. Did we really need a report to discover that? Sounds like the blog echo chamber is as strong as ever…. can someone hit that reality switch over there please…

 Philip Young and Richard Bailey both point to a new PR blog Beyond the Spin which is the online companion to the UK magazine produced by PR students.  They plan to publish each Monday and are accepting articles for consideration.

 B.L. Ochman has published an interview with Alice Marshall who writes the always interesting Presto Vivace blog.  The interview includes some solid advice on blogging and its benefits.

 Michael O’Connor Clarke releases the third in his series on the seven deadly agency types.  Today he looks at The Behemoth.

 Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson have released their latest PR podcast, the thirty third in the series.  Recommended listening as always.

 Steve Rubel points to a story in Investor’s Business Daily on the need for publishers to evolve and to use the Internet to get closer to the reader.

 Fredrik Wacka reports on an article from Compliance Solutions Advisor which looks at the risks of corporate blogging.

 Amy Gahran takes a look at defining what a blog is (and isn’t).

 Dee Rambeau highlights a story by Robert McMillan of the Washington Post on getting up and running with RSS. He rightly point out it’s not as simple as it should be.  He should recommend that readers use a simple primer on RSS!

 Stuff magazine in New Zealand commends the press kit for the new Eidos game Commandos Strike Force. Meanwhile Newsday looks at the growing PR sophistication among video game publishers.

 It’s a while since we had takeover mania in the PR business, news that Waggener Edstrom has made an acquisition in Hong Kong could be a good sign…

 Public Relations elections… can you think of anything more frightening 🙂

Written by Tom Murphy

May 18, 2005 at 10:16 am

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – May 13, 2005

 English PR student Stephen Davies has a new blog called PR blogger.

 Lloyd Trufelman (great last name for a PR guy!) has an excellent article in the latest issue of the PRSA newsletter PR Tactics on the challenges of the consumer generated media.

“What lies ahead Focus and research will become an increasingly important and time-consuming part of the PR process. As news communities develop, we will need to become active participants, offering views, comments and angles on both breaking news and background issues. Contributing to blogs and wikis, researching the new podcasts and aggregators, and simply keeping up with technology will become more important to PR professionals. Just as it was with traditional media, we will need to cultivate relationships with these new publishers.”


[Thanks to Eric Schwartzman for the link]

 Michael O’Connor Clarke has posted the second of his seven deadly agency types: The One Trick Pony.

 Rene Blodgett has some interesting notes from a recent event sponsored by the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association (SVAMA) on what CEOs what from marketing.

 Catherine Helzerman [blog] has kicked off a great project to create a directory of PR/Marketing/Communications blogs.  Go list yours today.

 Morgan McLintic ponders whether you should add your blog’s address to your business card.

 John Federico has a prescient cartoon from EWeek that predicts how blogs will probably get caught up in the corporate machine.

 Jean at Macketplace, a site for Macintosh publishers, looks at the best marketing tactics.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 13, 2005 at 1:41 pm

Posted in General

Marketing+Opinions+Female=Radio Talk Show Opportunity

Mark Hughes, CEO at Buzz Marketing is casting around looking for a female radio co-host for his radio show The Buzz Factor.
The job specification is:

“Can you talk your **s off?  Are you female? Do you want to co-host a nationally syndicated talk radio show? Mark Hughes at Buzzmarketing is looking for one.  Here the down & dirty:  hardly any money at all, big exposure; need a deep voice, the gift of gab.”

If you’re interested then e-mail Mark directly: mark at buzzmarketing dot com

Written by Tom Murphy

May 13, 2005 at 12:48 pm

Posted in General

Blog problems…

Not sure what’s happening with Radio Userland, but it is eating my posts, so excuse PR Opinions’ appearance while we try and discover the problem…

Written by Tom Murphy

May 13, 2005 at 12:42 pm

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – May 11, 2005

 The alarm:clock tirade against the PR agency business which I commented on yesterday has generated a lot of comment and ire, but one of the more interesting pieces – and given the source – possibly one of the more relevant pieces has been written by Business Week‘s Sarah Lacy. You may not agree with it but it’s interesting nonetheless.

[Link courtesy of Constantin Basturea‘s excellent PR Digest]

 Speaking of PR agencies, Michael O’Connor Clarke is back blogging and he’s adding some further fuel to the fire with a new series of posts titled “The Seven Deadly Agency Types” and he kicks off with Type 1: The Classic Sweatshop.

 Alice Marshall points to the ‘de-marketization‘ of Adobe’s Q&A around their recent acquisition of Macromedia – it makes for amusing reading.

 Andy Lark refers us to an essay that comes to the defence of poor, beleagured PowerPoint.

 John Cass references an interesting PR primer article from 2003 written by Bruce Hadley for software CEOs. The article includes a link to the ever wonderful, relevant and insightful “Care and Feeding of the Press” by Esther Schindler.

 Stuart Bruce has pointed out that PR Opinions is a little slow.  If anyone else is having similar problems with the blog can you let me know.  I’ll go and kick my ISP’s derriere.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 13, 2005 at 12:41 pm

Posted in General

New and notable…

  • I’m not sure how I missed it but Rene Blodgett has a blog called Down the Avenue.


  • MS&L have a blog called Blogworks up and running.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 11, 2005 at 1:07 pm

Posted in General

Listen, learn and expand your PR mind….

When I started this blog many moons ago it was to capture useful PR-related content from around the InterWeb.  At the time there wasn’t a huge amount of decent content and the PR publishers were increasingly hiding their content behind the firewall.

No vision for me, nope.  I didn’t spot this fundamental shift in communication models, nope. I just wanted to aggregate links to content that I thought was useful.

If we fast forward to today it’s amazing to see the change.  We now have well over 100 PR blogs (see the right hand list for many of them) with more being launched all the time. Their authors are delivering fantastic content and opinions and recently we’re seeing a whole raft of very interesting interviews with various PR luminaries.

I’m a firm believer that you never stop learning in this game and one of the best ways to learn is to listen and read. So check out some of the more recent PR interviews:

  • Renee Blodgett, Founder Blodgett Communications [Shel Israel]
  • Richard Edelman, CEO Edelman [Shel Israel]
  • Al Golin, Chairman of Golin Harris [Jeremy Pepper]
  • Neville Hobson, Business Communicator and Prominent Blogger [Shel Israel]
  • Shel Holtz, Principal, Holtz Communication + Technology [Shel Israel]
  • Mike Manual, Voce Communications [Shel Israel]
  • Tony Russo, CEO Euro RSCG Life PR [Robb Hecht]
  • Steve Rubel, PR blog king and CooperKatz blog leader [Shel Israel]
  • Jerry Swerling, Principal of Swerling & Associates [Jeremy Pepper]

Written by Tom Murphy

May 11, 2005 at 1:04 pm

Posted in General

Hell hath no fury like a PR agency scorned….

alarm:clock for the unitiated is an online magazine/blog that covers technology start-ups.  Last week they posted a story advising start-ups to fire their PR firm because they’d be better off doing the PR themselves – and they’d save a lot of money in the process.

Among the criticisms they make are:

  1. PR agencies are full of hot air
  2. Journalists prefer to talk directly with the start-up
  3. PR agencies don’t get the new model (i.e. blogs)
  4. The best start-ups don’t use agencies
  5. It’s a waste of money

As you can imagine, the post started a fire storm. I recommend you read the original post and its comments then read David Parmet‘s postJeremy Pepper‘s take (and the subsequent comments) and Mason Cole‘s comment.

The problem with this discussion is that it is completely theoretical.

I would strongly disagree with alarm:clock’s assertion that start-ups don’t need PR agencies, as I would disagree with anyone who believes that all start-ups need PR agencies.  It depends on their business, their requirements, their assets and most importantly their objectives.

Life just isn’t that simple.

I think I have a fairly good perspective on this issue, I’ve worked on the agency side, I’ve worked in start-ups, I’ve consulted with start-ups, I’ve worked in large public firms and I’ve consulted with large public firms.  So I have a good view of the strengths and weaknesses of each combination.  What that experience has taught me is that there’s no one simple solution.

My advice to everyone is to think long and hard about what you are trying to achieve with Public Relations. What resources do you have available, both in terms of human resources and budget. What are your business objectives? What do you need to do to help you achieve those objectives? Do you have the necessary infrastructure to support an internal staff member or an agency?

The first step in this process is to build a clear picture of your requirements and your objectives.  When you have done that you are ready to move to the next stage.

Unfortunately there isn’t any fast and simple solution.  However, I recommend you get out and talk to people.  Talk to your friends, colleagues, business contacts, journalists and analysts and find out their views on the PR people and PR firms they know. Build a clear brief that outlines your requirements.  Then at least you can begin to make an informed decision.

Finally, always ensure that your expectations are aligned with those of your PR staff member or PR agency.  I’ve always found that the biggest source of problems in a PR relationships is misaligned expectations on both sides.

Remember just like most business functions there is no silver bullet…


Written by Tom Murphy

May 10, 2005 at 10:43 am

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – May 10, 2005

 Constantin Basturea has put together a fantastic resource with links to the more interesting PR news of the day… it may render PR Miscellany unnecessary.

 Shel Israel has some very interesting interviews with Shel Holtz and Richard Edelman over at the Red Couch.

 Nick Denton has some refreshingly fortright views in this New York Times interview on Gawker and the whole blog phenomenon:

“The (blog) hype comes from unemployed or partially employed marketing professionals and people who never made it as journalists wanting to believe,” he said. “They want to believe there’s going to be this new revolution and their lives are going to be changed.”

 Randy Schwartz over at SearchViews asks are blogs the future of Corporate PR.

 Morgan McLintic asks should PR firms ghost-write client blog posts.

 Insulting the interviewer is always a great way to get a good interview… or so Paris Hilton believes [Courtesy of Topaz Partners]


Written by Tom Murphy

May 10, 2005 at 10:01 am

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – May 05, 2005

 Jeremy Pepper has a great interview with Dan Gillmor, former San Jose Mercury News Tech luminary, author of the wonderful We the Media, contributor to the Financial Times and latterly founder of Grassroots Media Inc.

“Just that I would encourage people to understand that this is all still fairly new, and people are starting to get it in a significant way in the news business and in the PR business.

It�s going to take a lot of trial and error to get it right, but the best thing for people in traditional industries is to not try to control it � or to “harness” the power of citizen media. In the physical world, to harness means, for example, to throw a bridle over a horse�s head and fight with the horse to where it�s going to go. That�s not what I want to do, nor what anyone else should be trying to do. It�s about working with, and paying attention, to the blogs and grassroots.

It�s a conversation.”

 Walt Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal has a guide to using RSS. [Thanks to Mike Manuel for the link]

 New and Notable: a new PR blog from Ken Kerrigan called InPeRspective.

 More accusations of possible impropriety in the award of a government PR contract and here’s another one for a public schools PR contract.

 Speaking of possible impropriety in government PR circles….

 In the latest move towards transparency in journalism 🙂 Fast Company magazines asks its readers to pick the winner from three recent PR pitches.


Written by Tom Murphy

May 5, 2005 at 9:11 am

Posted in General