Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for August 2005

PR Miscellany – August 11, 2005

  • As part of the For Immediate Release podcast series, Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz from time-to-time focus on a specific person or subject. Their latest project is a 45 minute interview with Constantin Basturea, who is, in my opinion, the most tireless provider of online PR information and resources. Not only does he run his blog, but he is the man behind The New PR Wiki, the PR Digest, and I think it’s fair to say the main driver behind the second annual Global PR Blog Week. Hear more here.
  • Cisco CEO John Chambers discusses the importance of corporate citizenship in BusinessWeek. Of course the more cynical among you may be wondering when Cisco will try some “analyst citizenship”. Not me though.

    Q: How else has Cisco’s reputation for corporate citizenship aided shareholders?
    A: It has had a huge impact on our brand. We have one of the top 20 brands in the world, right up there with names like Coca Cola that spend a huge amount more than we do on advertising. Part of that is that people like to be in business with people they respect and trust.

  • David Ferrabee, Managing Director of the Change & Internal Communications practice at Hill & Knowlton‘s London office has started a new blog.
  • Media Insider has an article written by Bill Stoller on how to build effective online press rooms.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 11, 2005 at 8:48 am

Posted in General

Global PR Blog Week 2.0

After an incredible amount of hard work by a whole range of people , the program for the second Global PR Blog Week has been released.

This year’s event will take place on the 19th to the 23rd of September, 2005 and it’s highly recommended as a unique collection of free PR content, advice and opinions.

I believe special thanks should go to Constantin Basturea who, as always, has invested a lot of personal time in getting the program up and running.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 10, 2005 at 12:26 pm

Posted in General

The Quality of online information will be self-regulating..

ZDNet journalist David Berlind poses a number of interesting questions in a recent posting. In particular he tackles the spectrum of journalists and bloggers and their willingness (or not) to publish and be damned (i.e. don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story). He also asks can PR people adapt to shorter news cycles, and in particular the instant deadlines imposed by blogs.

These are interesting questions, particularly for anyone involved in communications on behalf of individuals or organizations.

First and foremost, I believe that, for the most part, journalists and bloggers who take the time to check their facts will, over time, attract a wider audience than those just willing to post any unsubstantiated rubbish online. Credibility is important in any communications medium and the Internet, and faster turnaround, does not change that. There are exceptions. The Internet provides the perfect medium for connecting like minded individuals. As a result if “Group A” find an unsubstantiated rumor that attacks “Group B”, then many of the participants in Group A will be happy to publish, read and discuss that rumor regardless of its basis in fact. But for the majority, credibility is not a commodity.

On the question of PR people meeting the needs on online publishing, there is no question we can do a better job turning around queries. However, there needs to be a sense of realism here. There are limited resources available, executives have busy schedules and sometimes there are valid reasons why certain information takes longer to produce. So while PR people need to raise the bar, I also believe that there needs to be some agreed rules of engagement around what is an acceptable turnaround time for an incoming request. I’m sure we’ve all been victim to an incoming request for comment at 5.45pm for a deadline of 6pm which has been specifically delayed to try and get a rushed response or worse an “unavailable for comment”.

There are going to be speedbumps as we evolve into new publishing cycles, however it will only work if we agree some standard rules of engagement for the behavior of both parties.

More on David’s post from Andy Lark and Jeremy Pepper.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 10, 2005 at 11:22 am

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – August 10, 2005

I am having RSS-induced guilt. All this unread PR content… maybe I should just stop taking vacation….

  • Colin McKay points to a very interesting “Crisis Response and Communications Planning” manual prepared by the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph in Canada for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

  • Excuse me as I sit back and reminisce for a moment. When I started this blog there were only a handful of PR people blogging and one of the first was Phil Gomes. It turns out Phil has landed a new job at Edelman where he will be “Senior Counsel, Online Communications”. Heartfelt congratulations to Phil and to Edelman.

  • Phil also has a post on the latest corporation to take the heavy handed (and myopic) approach to effective media relations. More on Google’s misdirected PR efforts here. Here’s a recent post that outlines my views on this practice.

  • Jim Horton takes a shot at critically analyzing the Future of Media Relations. The PDF is available here.

  • On a related subject, Chen PR‘s Randy Wambald has some comments on the evolving nature of media relations today.

  • McClenahan Bruer have an interesting marketing measurement case study from Textronix. You can even request a copy of the slides.

  • Issue #57 of For Immediate Release, the world’s foremost PR podcast :-), is now available for download.

  • PR blogger, Steve Lubetkin is interviewed in the New Jersey Star Ledger providing some sound advice to PR professionals who find themselves unemployed.

  • TM Writes: This post highlights the danger of not paying the correct attention to detail. Andrew Smith kindly pointed out this story is from (ahem) five years ago. My sincere apologies to Firefly [Website]Now this is one of those time-sensitive posts that will in the next few days probably become irrelevant. It seems UK PR firm Firefly has gotten into something of a ruckus with our favorite irreverent IT pub The Register, who questions the validity of findings that Firefly are the UK’s #1 agency with journalists. At the time of writing the Firefly site (as referenced in the story) is down. The Google approach is gathering momentum.
  • BL Ochman compares the blogging policies of IBM and Sun. [IBM’s public policy | Sun’s public policy]

  • Duncan Chapple shares four very accurate myths about Analyst Relations.

  • The Dallas Morning News has a story on how firms are increasingly recognizing the potential of blogs.

  • A little off topic, but an interesting story from CNET on the top ten flops of the bubble. This is certainly of interest for those of us with a morbid fascination in that extraordinary period. The top five are Webvan,, Kozmo, Flooz and eToys.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 10, 2005 at 11:10 am

Posted in General

Expert PR Advice….

In the latest installment of “new PR business development” advice, here’s another little nugget.

If you’re sending out a newsletter promoting your PR expertise to prospects, it’s probably a worthwhile exercise to clean your mailing list before you send it, to show you have a little “mail merge expertise”.

Sending seven unsolicited copies of the same e-mail over a period of two hours, probably isn’t the best showcase of your “expertise” – regardless of how good your content, skills, experience and track record are.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 10, 2005 at 10:45 am

Posted in General

New and Notable….

Well the number of PR blogs continues to (thankfully) grow…

  • Hill and Knowlton has launched Collective Conversations, a centralized portal for employee blogs. Currently there are contributions from Niall Cook (a long-time blogger), Chris Colby and Guy Howard.
  • There’s a new UK Marketing/PR blog from Arlo Guthrie of firm “Consult the Guru”. Thanks to Drew for the link!
  • If there are any I’ve missed (not on the blogroll) let me know.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 10, 2005 at 10:27 am

Posted in General

Great News: Shari Kurzrok receives life saving operation

There’s fantastic news that New York PR Pro Shari Kurzrok who was critically ill and in need of a liver transplant, had a successful operation last weekend, and while she is still in ICU, she is making good progress.

Our thoughts are with her on her road to recovery.

You can keep up to date on Shari’s progress on the blog.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 10, 2005 at 10:21 am

Posted in General

Back and rested

Posting has been slow as I was away for a couple of days boating on the River Shannon in Ireland, which was very relaxing. Normal service should resume tomorrow.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 9, 2005 at 2:53 pm

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – August 3, 2005

  • Interesting PR case study on an award winning book campaign by Carolyn Mandelker.
  • The IABC[link] has released an interesting study on how small companies undertake Public Relations. It found that PR for smaller organizations has more to do with building relationships with communities than delivering publicity. The full report is available from the IABC for $50 – $40 for members.
  • The fall-out from Cisco’s handling of a presentation on some potential product vulnerabilities continues [Free registration required].
  • From a purely professional standpoint you have to feel for the PR pros at Wal-Mart. It must be a long hard, if interesting, slog at the moment.
  • Bob Kelly ponders on the positive effect of a PR Bar Exam…
  • Jim Horton offers an interesting glimpse at a real-world client-agency problem.
  • Meanwhile, Morgan McLintic offers a view from the other perspective!
  • Shel and Neville have released their fifty fifth PR podcast. Always a recommended download.
  • Just to re-iterate PR Opinions link policy. I only link to topics, web sites or stories that I think are relevant to people interested in PR and marketing. I eschew the mind numbing process of cross-linking between blogs just to be in the gang….

Written by Tom Murphy

August 3, 2005 at 11:30 am

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – August 02, 2005

  • Shel Holtz continues in his brave defence of the press release (and here).
  • Hugh Fraser was in touch to let me know about a new UK firm called Blog Relations which provides firms with consulting around blogs. They are launching with a short survey aimed at PR people’s thoughts on blogs.
  • David Rossiter has a very good post on the differences between analysts and the press. It’s a recommended read for anyone not au fait with the world of analyst relations. There’s a significant difference in communicating with the two groups – even though they are often lumped together.
  • More on Analyst Relations, Duncan Chapple is proposing an Analyst Relations Process Model.
  • Jeremy Pepper reviews on two newly released reports from Forrester on RSS.

Written by Tom Murphy

August 2, 2005 at 9:36 am

Posted in General