Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for August 2006

The blog fad and the green-eyed PR monster

Richard Bailey writes in defence of the blog following yet another swipe at the genre from CIPR chief Colin Farrington. I’m all for pragmatism.  I don’t buy the hype, but then I don’t buy the opposite argument either. 

Blogs are here to stay but like any good visitor they’ll stay alongside the original residents – in this case traditional media channels. [Aside: I abhor the MSM moniker]

I thought the comments to the post were quite interesting.  It appears there’s a few people around the blogosphere – no doubt rabid blog enthusiasts – who are dying for Edelman to fail in their new media experiment.  I don’t understand that.

Now don’t get me wrong, Richard Edelman’s recent preponderance for slipping into politics, name dropping or self-pontification isn’t something I support, but I think Edelman should be praised for their willingness to commit real resources into these new media opportunities.

They are one of very few firms that is taking the potential of online communication seriously.  Anyone working in PR and interested in online communication should applaud that – IMHO. [By the way it appears that many of Edelman’s greatest detractors are annonymous – my new policy is that there’s no link love for the annonymous]. Phil Gomes has an interesting look back at his first year at Edelman.

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Written by Tom Murphy

August 25, 2006 at 8:20 am

Posted in General

Astroturfing or lazy, cheap marketing?

As you are probably aware Trevor Cook and Paull Young in Australia have done some great work kicking off an anti-astroturfing initiative. [Kami Huyse has a new post on it.]

Watching television the other night, something I do less and less these days, I noticed a television ad for Nestle breakfast cereals that included prominent signage for “Brand Power” which seemed to be some third party endorser.  It set off some alarm bells. Now this may be well known to all of you – in fact there’s a lot of links on Technorati about BrandPower – but I’d never seen it before.

A quick visit to their site and you’re hit with the message “Brand Value – Facts and Value”. 

They describe BrandPower thus:

Brand Power is an advertising vehicle used by leading manufacturers to demonstrate the features and benefits of their products. We’re not an independent body – manufacturers pay to use our service. However, all claims made in a Brand Power commercial must be legally
substantiated to ensure that they are true.

Our objective is to avoid gimmicks and hype in the promotion of products. Instead we accurately articulate key reasons a particular product is worthy
of your attention when choosing at your local store.

Indeed. So it seems Brand Power (part of the Buchanan Group) does cheap infomercial type advertising for consumer brands.  It seems that the USP is that the production is cheap and cheerful and works on the premise that consumers are suitably stupid that the term “Brand Power” will make them think that this product is more reputable than you would otherwise.  “Wow that product is being advertised by Brand Power – I must purchase it.” Yep. That’s it.

So is it astroturfing? Nope.  Just crap marketing.

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Written by Tom Murphy

August 25, 2006 at 7:57 am

Posted in General

PR Opinions closes its door…

[Cross-Posted from PR Opinions] The PR Opinions blog first emerged blinking into the bright lights of the Interweb in March 2002. In the intervening four years (and over 1,400 posts), this blog has witnessed some incredibly interesting developments in the world of Public Relations and it has helped me to meet and connect with like-minded practitioners around the globe.

However, it’s time to make a change.

When I started PR Opinions there were only three other PR blogs [Jim, Phil and Richard] and I started it simply as a way to store links to interesting online PR content – del.icio.us 2002 style if you like. Today there are over 400 PR blogs, generating an amazing amount of content and opinions on the PR arena. PR Opinions’ raison d’etre is no longer valid.

So it’s time for a change. I’m putting PR Opinions in mothballs and moving to a shiny new blog which will continue to discuss the finer elements of Public Relations, still moan at the hype, but will also cover more diverse subjects that take my fancy.

My mother’s already changed her RSS feed subscription so I imagine traffic levels will remain unchanged. I’ve migrated all the archived PR Opinions posts and comments to a WordPress blog at: http://www.tpemurphy.com/propinions/

I’ve already disabled the comments feature at natterjackpr.com due to the volume of spam.

If you’d like to make a comment feel free to leave one here.

Thanks to everyone who made PR Opinions so enjoyable, I hope you’ll stick around.

Tom Murphy

17th August, 2006

 

New PR Opinions Archive: http://www.tpemurphy.com/propinions

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Written by Tom Murphy

August 17, 2006 at 8:30 pm

Posted in General

PR Opinions closes its doors…

[Cross-Posted] The PR Opinions blog first emerged blinking into the bright lights of the Interweb in March 2002. In the intervening four years (and over 1,400 posts), this blog has witnessed some incredibly interesting developments in the world of Public Relations and it has helped me to meet and connect with like-minded practitioners around the globe.

However, it’s time to make a change.

When I started PR Opinions there were only three other PR blogs [Jim, Phil and Richard] and I started it simply as a way to store links to interesting online PR content – del.icio.us 2002 style if you like. Today there are over 400 PR blogs, generating an amazing amount of content and opinions on the PR arena. PR Opinions’ raison d’etre is no longer valid.

So it’s time for a change. I’m putting PR Opinions in mothballs and moving to a shiny new blog which will continue to discuss the finer elements of Public Relations, still moan at the hype, but will also cover more diverse subjects that take my fancy.

My mother’s already changed her RSS feed subscription so I imagine traffic levels will remain unchanged. I’ve migrated all the archived PR Opinions posts and comments to a WordPress blog at: http://www.tpemurphy.com/propinions/

I’ve already disabled the comments feature at natterjackpr.com due to the volume of spam.

If you’d like to make a comment feel free to visit the new blog.

Thanks to everyone who made PR Opinions so enjoyable, I hope you’ll stick around.

Tom Murphy

17th August, 2006

New Blog: http://www.tpemurphy.com/blog

New PR Opinions Archive: http://www.tpemurphy.com/propinions

Written by Tom Murphy

August 17, 2006 at 8:24 pm

Posted in General

About PR Opinions

Welcome to the online archive of the PR Opinions weblog.

I hosted PR Opinions from March 2002 to August 2006.  Here you’ll find over 1,400 PR-related posts and comments.

You can find my latest posts here:

http://www.tpemurphy.com/blog

 

Written by Tom Murphy

August 16, 2006 at 10:31 pm

Posted in General

Archives 2002-2006

From March 2002 to August 2006 I hosted the PR Opinions weblog, which not surprisingly covered the subject of Public Relations.

I’ve migrated all the 1,400 posts, rants, and comments from the original PR Opinions site to WordPress and you can view and search the complete archive here:

http://www.tpemurphy.com/propinions/

Written by Tom Murphy

August 15, 2006 at 5:13 pm

Posted in General

Windows Live Writer

The latest release out of the Windows Live stable is a beta of Windows Live Writer, a new desktop application for publishing blog posts (and in the future potentially other forms of online content).

Setting aside the fact that the product is from my employer, it’s an interesting application.  It supports all the major blog platforms (WordPress, Moveable Type, Spaces etc.) and along with all the usual formatting options you’d expect, it adds a range of other useful features including the spell checker, WYSIWYG editing and the automatic capability to upload photos to your blog and then add effects to them.

For example:

It also allows you to insert Windows Live Maps and with the release of a Software Development Kit it’s likely there’ll be a raft of plug-ins released that will add even more functionality.

If you’re blogging on Windows it’s definitely worth a look.

Update:

Tim Heuer has already released two new plug-ins for Windows Live Writer. Tag4Writer enables you to add Technorati tags to your post and Flickr4Writer enables you to insert pictures from Flickr.

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Written by Tom Murphy

August 15, 2006 at 11:27 am

Posted in General

About

Disclaimer: In an ideal world the opinions I express on this blog and the associated web pages would represent my own personal views and not those of my current, prior or future employers. Of course we know the world is never that simple and I’ll write on this blog with that in mind :).

About this blog

I started this blog back in March 2002.  The original purpose was to try and capture links and content about PR and marketing from around the web.  Unfortunately these days – and 2,400 posts later – I’m not as prolific a blogger as I used to be.

About Tom Murphy

I am originally from Dublin, Ireland but have lived and worked in Washington state in the United States since March 2009.

A big part of my job is digging into how new social technologies and channels intersect with our traditional marketing tools and techniques. So much has changed since I started working in public relations back in 1992, yet the basic fundamentals of great communications have remained constant.

I’ve had the great fortune to work in a range of great in-house and agency roles working with many of the world’s greatest technology brands such as Corel, Gateway, Intel and Microsoft, as well as a range of successful – and of course unsuccessful – independent start-ups. I’ve had fantastic opportunities to work around Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia, North America and Latin America – and along the way worked on the full range of PR and marketing communications functions from strategy to message development, media relations programs, crisis communications, company spokesperson, agency management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), product communications, internal communications, analyst relations, investor relations, stakeholder engagement, and marketing communications.

Thankfully, the one constant through my career has been the opportunity to continuously learn, try new things and drive positive change.

On a personal note, I’m married to the long-suffering Sorcha and we have the world’s best son, Cillian and the world’s best daughter, Anna.

If you want to get in contact:

E-mail: tpemurphy -AT- hotmail.com

Mobile: +1-425-614-614-6

Twitter: @tpemurphy

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tpemurphy

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tpemurphy

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Comment policy: Comments on any of these blogs are moderated. Any comments I deem inappropriate for this blog will be not be posted.  Where those comments are not spam, I will flag that decision with the person who submitted the post. Comments on the PR Opinions blog are closed.

 

Written by Tom Murphy

August 15, 2006 at 8:34 am

Posted in General

Microsoft Word for Blogs

I work for Microsoft – it’s always worthwhile to get these things out in the open.

I’m using the new blog features that have been included in the latest beta of 2007 Word to write this post.

Word is obviously still in beta and according to Joe Friend on the Office team [via Neville Hobson] this was a late addition. 

I think it still needs work to make the set up a little easier – and I have had a problem with the date – it defaults to 1970 but given it’s a beta I’m sure that will be ironed out.

Blogging from Word makes a lot of sense to me. But then I would say that wouldn’t I? 🙂

word.jpg

Written by Tom Murphy

August 15, 2006 at 8:29 am

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – August 1 2006

  • Listen to your audience: John Scalzi offers a critique of two PR pitches he received for his blog. [Thanks to Trevor Cook]
  • For the love of all things holy listen to your audience: Doh!
  • Reading for the… well probably not the beach: Philip Young offers some higher end PR reading suggestions.
  • A chip on both shoulders: I can’t agree more with John Wagner’s post that it’s helpful to understand both sides of the Agency-Client dynamic. I think the empathy, understanding and insight you get on both sides of the fence is important.
  • The New PR: Leaving aside my aversion for the term “PR 2.0” – particularly given the fact that PR 1.2.0.1 isn’t even in beta yet. Fair play to Todd Defren and the folks at Shift Communications who have released a new e-book on the changing PR landscape. It has all the bases covered: blogs, wikis, RSS, social media etc.
  • PR 1.2.0.1 now available for download – but it ain’t pretty: 5W PR have created the first “Video PR pitch”… maybe it is actually time for 2.0. [Thanks to David Parmet]

Written by Tom Murphy

August 1, 2006 at 1:30 pm

Posted in General