Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for October 2005

PR Miscellany – October 24, 2005

  • Man I am getting older. When I read Stephen Davies’ question about what PR was like before the Internet arrived I realize I am getting long in the tooth. I was there in the stone ages. Discussing PR before the Internet deserves a post in its own right. All I’ll say right now is that we were still busy, but busy on different things. And don’t get me started on research before the Internet….
  • Here’s one I missed, PR Week have published a celebration of twenty one years of publication (in the UK). It’s a free download. While we’re at it, they also had a recent in-depth feature on RSS. Thanks to Richard Bailey for the directions.
  • Amanda Barry at Behind the Spin examines the three factors you need to succeed in PR: Attitude, Persistence and Enthusiasm.

  • Richard Bailey makes the case for the preservation of the news release – hurrah! Stuart Bruce has more..
  • KD Paine ponders the subject of blog measurement.
  • Duncan Chapple provides some good old fashioned common sense on what to do “When analysts attack”.
  • Amy Gahan has released the audio from a PRSA talk she gave on the subject of The Future of Technology: What PR Pros need to know.
  • The ultimate in vanity posting. My blog is currently worth over $95,000, I’m happy to open the bidding at $80,0000. Thanks to Alice Marshall..

Written by Tom Murphy

October 24, 2005 at 2:52 pm

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – October 14, 2005

  • Mason Cole points to two very interesting articles. One is written by Shel Israel on what PR must do and the second is from Steve Rubel on what PR needs to do online.
  • Matthew Podboy shares some knowledge and tips on the press tour.

  • The Edelman/Technorati blogging survey has generated (as expected) LOADS of comment – too much to track here. As always we can rely on Constantin Basturea to keep us up-to-date. Constantin also has some in-depth and thoughtful analysis on blog surveys…

  • Tim Dyson bemoans the bait-and-switch that often takes place in PR new business pitches. The lesson here is that you should always demand that the proposed account team does the talking greeting and meeting.

  • Fair play to PR Week who have launched a new monthly column by the ever excellent Dan Gillmor. The first missive talks about the growing importance of conversation over control. Amen.

  • Elizabeth Reid over at Voce gives a first person account on her first year in PR.

  • While Blake Barbera shares some tips on coping with your first media pitch.

  • Andy Lark aggregates some useful PR advice.

  • Robb Hecht points to a very interesting post over at ZDNet written by Dana Gardner (ex-Infoworld, Aberdeen and Yankee Group) on how PR people are finally figuring out blogs.

  • Deborah Branscum writes about the recent H&M snafu over paying for journalists to attend a media event in New York.

Written by Tom Murphy

October 14, 2005 at 7:21 am

Posted in General

New and Notable…

A few more PR blogs…

  • David Rossiter has kicked off a second blog dealing with IT PR
  • Anthony Mayfield has started a new blog called Open…

  • Caroline Wilson at UCE Birmingham has started a blog called Public Relations for students on the BA Media and Communications (Public Relaltions) degree.

Written by Tom Murphy

October 14, 2005 at 7:17 am

Posted in General

You sir, are nothing more than a doyen….

There’s been some heated discussion recently among the PR blogging community following Stephen Baker’s description of Steve Rubel in the BusinessWeek blog as the ‘doyen’ of PR bloggers.

It appears the comment has raised the ire of some. I think it’s no more than a storm in a teacup, a nitpick on language, and it’s possibly a good time for a reality check.

Why has the comment caused so much angst? Mr. Rubel is without doubt the most widely read, quoted and heard speaker on the intersection of PR and blogging. He has attained this position through a lot of hard work, networking and spotting a need for a specific focus on PR and blogging. Fair play to him.

That’s not to say from time to time I don’t have issues with the often incestuous relationship between the A-list bloggers, I do, but the idea of dedicating myself to the sole subject of PR blogging fills me with dread, PR is a diverse subject with many facets and I prefer the diversity. Furthermore, I’m not sure I’d match Steve’s passion or commitment!

So let’s not begrudge Steve’s success, he is after all a positive evangelist for the profession.

Now let’s get back to work!

Written by Tom Murphy

October 14, 2005 at 7:09 am

Posted in General

Knowing me, Knowing you and Knowing who…

The job of managing reputations has definitely got more interesting. While there was a lot of fear uncertainty and doubt when the Internet first emerged and people got very worried about rogue web sites ( and a couple of people posting items in newsgroups, the Internet has matured very quickly meaning the threats to an individual’s or organization’s reputation has become far more sophisticated.

With search engines indexing every piece of information they can find on the Internet and millions of people using those tools every day, there’s more transparency now than ever before.

This is particularly true for individuals. We all know (and probably do it ourselves) the practice of checking someone out on a search engine before meeting or talking with them. Do you know what people find out about you before they meet you?

This online reputation ecosystem was brought home to me recently in a personal way. My parents, God bless them, weren’t the most imaginative when deciding on my name. It’s a proud family name, but Tom Murphy isn’t exactly exotic. Indeed a quick search finds a playwright, the mayor of Pittsburgh and thousands of other similarly named individuals. We all have the same problem. There was an analyst at Meta Group (R.I.P.) called Tom Murphy and for years we used to receive each other’s media queries. It’s funny we now both work at Microsoft and the confusion has continued unabated.

But in the past week or so, the media in Ireland and the UK have been focussing in on an unsavoury Tom Murphy or to give him his full title, Tom “Slab” Murphy (no relation). He is the alleged chief of staff of the IRA and has been linked with some dodgy property dealings in the UK amongst other things. The story has been on every TV news bulletin, radio bulletin, broadsheet, tabloid and online news service over here. A friend of mine joked that soon I’d be getting a lot more “respect”. Although there’s little likelihood that we’d be mistaken for each other, and of course he could take major offence at being mistaken for a PR practitioner, it illustrates the vagaries of online reputation.

So here’s the question for this morning. Are you managing yours?

Written by Tom Murphy

October 13, 2005 at 8:30 am

Posted in General

Alive and kicking…

I’ve had a few e-mail and comments wondering if I’m still alive – this message should clear that up 🙂

Thanks for everyone who has been in touch. As you can imagine I’ve been a little busy lately getting my feet under a shiny new desk, hence posting has been slower than I’d like.

I’ll hopefully be back posting more regularly in the coming weeks. Also a big thanks for everyone who took some time to comment on the PR Hype Cycle, I’m planning to make some changes to the diagram based on that feedback and will hopefully re-publish it in the near future.

I’ve also had some correspondence discussing whether I’ll be talking about life at Microsoft and the answer is yes and no. In my previous existence I only wrote about Cape Clear when I thought there was something relevant to discuss for the PR world. I am planning to take a similar line now.

Thanks again to everyone who has been in touch. Hopefully the power of RSS will let you know I’m alive an kicking!

Written by Tom Murphy

October 6, 2005 at 7:43 am

Posted in General