Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for October 2006

Drawing from New Media (groan)

So, Messrs. Hobson, Holtz, Jaffe and Chapman have taken the wraps off their new enterprise: crayon.

The company will be formally launched this Thursday (you can guess where).

According to Neville:


“We’re not an agency nor a consulting practice as is traditionally defined. What we are is whatever you want or need us to be… that combines the best in traditional and new thinking about marketing, advertising and PR….. Our methodology pivots around conversation and transformation above communication.”

According to Shel:


“We’re not an agency or a consulting firm, but we do bring the best of what those types of companies have to offer. We’ll approach our assignments with fresh eyes that see the new environment in which traditional marketing and advertising is failing so dismally.”

I wish them all the very best with their new venture.  It’ll be incredibly interesting to see how things develop.


Written by Tom Murphy

October 23, 2006 at 10:28 pm

Posted in General

Irish PR Leads the Way in Second Life

I give up.  Honestly, I’ve tried my best, but this Second Life stuff just won’t go away 🙂  If it’s not pesky podcasters it’s the pesky commenters!

In four years, Ireland has managed to generate three PR-related blogs (and one of those only started in the past month), yet an Irish PR firm is currently building out its presence in Second Life.

Is there no escaping it?

Of course, statistically speaking (lies, damn lies and…) that means that in Ireland for every three PR blogs there’s a PR firm with offices in Second Life.  Finally an online statistic where Ireland looks impressive… well kind of….

I was chatting with Jane McDaid of Thinkhouse PR, a consumer agency here in Dublin, and their new shiny Second Life office is now under construction.  It’s great to see an Irish agency experimenting with new online media. It’s also great to chat with someone incredibly passionate about the potential of new media – but then that’s a common trait I see among all the Second Lifers.

I suppose I’ll eventually have to concede and take a wander one of these days. I hope they’ll go gently on me.


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Written by Tom Murphy

October 23, 2006 at 9:12 pm

Posted in General

Watching the wreckage…

While undoubtedly there’s a lot of excellent discourse taking place around the most recent Edelman snafu, a lot of the commentary is little more than rubbernecking.

I’m always nervous of taking a holier than thou position in these situations as it doesn’t take a lot for it to explode in your ever so smug face – unless you’re anonymous of course, but, then if you are anonymous what value has your opinion?

Let me digress for a moment. If you are posting anonymously, how can you criticize the manner in which other people are getting involved in the conversation? Anyone spot the irony?

Edelman screwed up. It’s a little more surprising because it’s strike two and if memory serves me correctly the first episode also concerned Wal*Mart.

But is it the end of the world? Nope.

I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Two pieces of advice I’d give them (if they were listening) are firstly they took too long to come clean and give a statement – I doubt they’d wait so long for a client – particularly as they had all the facts! Secondly maybe it’s me – and I do NOT want to be picky but I’d highlight this comment from Edelman’s post:

Let me reiterate our support for the WOMMA guidelines on transparency, which we helped to write. Our commitment is to openness and engagement because trust is not negotiable and we are working to be sure that commitment is delivered in all our programs.

The term “which we helped write” jarred with me for a couple of reasons.  Firstly is he trying to promote thought leadership in an apology? It was unnecessary.  Secondly if you helped to write them and you’ve already fouled twice on the same issue… that raises questions n’est pas?

Anyway, no big deal, move on, and for the love of all that’s holy get your act together.

PS: Fair play to Mr. Edelman, he’s posting his socks off in the comments…

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Written by Tom Murphy

October 19, 2006 at 3:30 pm

Posted in General

The problem with unimaginative parents…

This something I wrote about before.  The Interweb is a large connected world.  Mistaken identity occurs all the time, particularly when your parents didn’t appear to spend an awful lot of imagination naming you 🙂

It appears that there is another Tom Murphy online blogging in Ireland, he’s the brains behind Santa Strike Force, and he’s the man that’s been nominated for the Net Visionary Award in the social contribution category.  Much deserved by the looks of things.

There were a couple of Tom Murphy’s in my school, there are three I know of in Microsoft, it’s always fun….

Written by Tom Murphy

October 19, 2006 at 3:10 pm

Posted in General

PR Blog Catch Up… at last…

I’ve finally caught up on a lot of recent RSS reading – I have to be honest coming back to a full RSS reader is often as stressful as a full inbox – so here’s some of the more interesting stuff.  Some is older, some irrelevant.  You be the judge…



I think Edelman deserve a lot of kudos for their committment to the new changing world of online communication.  It could be argued that any agency “pushing the envelope”, so to speak, has a higher probability of hitting some speed bumps – however we could also be moving from careless and silly to stupid if they keep grabbing the headline – albeit the bloglines.

Trevor Cook | Neville Hobson | Shel Holtz | John Wagner | Kevin Dugan |


Irish PR Blogger

Even with a booming technology sector (booming for about 20 years at this point), Ireland remains behind the curve when it comes to new technology.  This includes blogs. I’m delighted to see that there’s no a third Irish PR blogger, long-time technology and finance PR guru Ronnie Simpson. It goes without saying that the ever industrious Piaras Kelly of Drury Communications was the second. 


PR Myths

Mason Cole takes a stab at some PR myths.


Taking relations from the other side of the fence

Mike Manuel provides bloggers with some advice on how to approach corporations.  It’s first time I’ve seen such advice provided and it’s a great idea though obviously will be ignored.


Watch your URL

Probably a little off-topic and definetely straying in adolescent humour, however John Collins’ post on unfortunate corporate URLs made me smile.


I need a third life

OK so I have previously been a little hesitant in supporting the whole Second Life thing.  I certainly don’t (yet!) share the passion it’s generating among certain PR commentators but it continues to crop up all over the place and is worthy of a mention. (Still haven’t registered or visited it).

  • Text 100 have producedvideo on YouTube
  • Gary Goldhammer outlines six ways to know when PR has taken over Second Life.


New media, social media and other terms
  • Kami Huyse has a post on emerging trends in PR, drawing on discussions with Paull Young and Dr. Georg Kolb – a former colleague of mine and someone who speaks a lot of sense – though I’m still not sure on the Second Life stuff 🙂

You can listed to Paull, Kami and Georg’s discussion on the Forward Podcast here.

  • Stuart Bruce on using social media in PR.
  • Neville Hobson outlines how to create a social media communications strategy.
  • Susan Getgood offers some thoughts on viral marketing.


CEO Blogging

Shel Holtz takes on Dave Taylor’s assertion that a CEO should never blog. I have to say I agree with Shel, there are of course CEOs who should never blog, but some CEOs will find it incredibly successful.


The death of the press release (at TechDirt anyway)

Read all about it… [Via Jim Horton]

“However, too many PR folks either think we don’t mean it, or don’t bother spending enough time on the site to realize we don’t want press releases. You think we plan to pay attention to either type of PR spammer? We’ve had our fair share of posts highlighting stupid PR practices in the past, but (of course) the worst offenders don’t actually read this site — they just spam us. It’s not surprising, of course, to find out that we’re not alone in feeling this way.”

  • On a related subject, Mark Jones of the Australian Financial Review gives his view on the relevance of the press release. [Via Trevor Cook]
  • Meanwhile in case you think there is a future in press releases – at least the online forms – Todd Defren has announced a new Social Media Release Builder.


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Written by Tom Murphy

October 15, 2006 at 7:03 pm

Posted in General

When the flack jumps ship the Iceberg is in sight..

England take their football/soccer very seriously indeed. They recently appointed a new manager for the national team, Steve McClaren, who it’s fair to say wasn’t a popular appointment – among the fans or the media – and their 2-0 loss during the week to Croatia has created something of a firestorm among the tabloid media.

No suprise then perhaps that McClaren was the lead story in the sports section of Saturday’s edition of the UK Daily Mail, except the subject of the story was something of a surprise.  The headline read:

McClaren Fired!

Then the sub-head explained he had been fired by his PR advisor (not his employer). You know things are getting bad when the flack jumps ship – and when it’s the lead story.  Of course the fact that the flack in question is one Max Clifford explains a lot…


“In the early stages Steve certainly seemed to understand my advice and I think a lot of the things I talked about, he would like to have done but it just didn’t materialise.

“The relationship now is virtually non-existent. If I can’t take part and I can’t contribute then there is no point in me staying involved. What was made very clear to me in the beginning was that the FA were very unhappy with my appointment.”

PS: It appears Mr. McClaren’s job is fairly safe.  The ruling body of English football are still paying £13,000 per day compensation to their previous manager so it’s felt that they are committed to avoiding having to pay McClaren the £10 million compensation they’d have to if they fired him.  I want one of those jobs.

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Written by Tom Murphy

October 15, 2006 at 5:48 pm

Posted in General

Making a social contribution…

I was having lunch with a friend of mine yesterday, who mentioned in passing about the Irish Internet Association’s Net Visionary awards.She asked how come I had been nominated? Huh? Then followed five minutes where she wouldn’t believe that I knew nothing about it.  It appears I have been nominated in the category of: “Social Contribution”.  Someone forgot to tell me, but then given real bloggers like Bernie Goldbach and Tom Raftery are in the running and I think I’m the only nomination without a biography or link the words ‘hell’ and ‘snowball’ come to mind. 

A PR guy making a ‘social contribution’ – what is the world coming to?

Written by Tom Murphy

October 13, 2006 at 7:29 am

Posted in General

The key, the sink and the heir…

Things have been quiet on the blog recently.  There’s an easy explanation – I was on vacation and have been trying to get back on an even keel since I returned.  Of course what happened the day before I went on vacation was far more stressful than coming back to a full in-box…

Friday before vacation was the usual rush to make sure everything was done, handed off, prepared etc. I had meetings all morning and when I checked my muted mobile phone for the first time at around 1pm I spotted about seven missed calls from Sorcha – not a good sign.

I transpired that my son and heir (aged 2.5 years) decided that it would be a great idea to investigate how keys can lock doors and he managed to lock Sorcha in our bedroom.  That would’ve been OK, except that her mobile and the cordless home phone were downstairs.

A full half hour tutorial on how to unlock a door followed, but the little man was unable (or unwilling) to complete his training, got bored and decided to go into the bathroom, put the plug in the sink and see how long it would take for the water to reach the overflow hole – not long as it transpired.

Meanwhile, Sorcha is hanging out of our bedroom window trying to attract the attention of passers-by. No luck. An hour later he’s back at the bedroom door telling Mum he’s a little wet but is going downstairs.

Then the electricity in the house goes out.

Half an hour later, Sorcha manages to grab the attention of a lovely man driving a truck, who kindly throws his mobile phone up to Sorcha, who is then able to call someone (not the errant husband who has his mobile on silent, but that’s another story) to let her out.

Meanwhile the bathroom is under water, the electricity is blown and the kitchen has become a wet room with a destroyed ceiling and walls. But on the plus side has a fantastic internal waterfall feature – think a rainforest in your kitchen.

Junior is alive and well, so when you consider the potential outcomes I think we got off lightly.  For parents – remember to keep the keys away from the toddlers….  oh and if your mobile is on silent – check it from time to time….

Written by Tom Murphy

October 13, 2006 at 7:05 am

Posted in General

Putting things in perspective

I found out today that David Stewart, an Irish journalist and blogger passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer. He was only 46 years of age.

My thoughts go to his family, he’ll be missed.

May he rest in piece.

Written by Tom Murphy

October 12, 2006 at 4:29 pm

Posted in General