Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for May 2007

Tired? You will be… and.. it works… oh not it doesn't…

Already feeling tired and over worked? 

You’ll probably need some rest after reading Steve’s post.

Elsewhere I’ve you are in PR and you have an RSS Reader you’ve no doubt heard of, or read Guy Kawasaki’s post on the top ten reasons PR doesn’t work and the follow up post on doing your own PR.

There’s reams of commentary on these posts so I’ll skip the detailed analysis.  Couple of thoughts.  I think the posts oversimplify the problem and the solution, in fact the comments probably make for more interesting reading. One last thought: PR stands for PUBLIC Relations.

[Brian Solis has a written a detailed follow up on why PR mightn’t work and how to fix it]. 

Written by Tom Murphy

May 30, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Posted in General

Social Networking ID Stress Disorder

Apologies for the radio blog silence.  Travel, work and parenting has been keeping me pre-occupied recently.

I think I am beginning to suffer from SONIDS, a very new condition I’ve just named.  I am wondering is it just me who has multiple orphaned social networking and application accounts?

At risk of ruining my already flagging web 2.0 credibility, I don’t visit most of these sites and I haven’t invested any time into building my “community”.

[There are exceptions such as my favourite PR social networking site which now has 47 members – ahem]

Some are better than others, I’ve quite a few links at LinkedIn, but at others like Facebook, MySpace etc. I am at the “socially inept/lack of personal hygiene” level of membership. This is fine I’m OK with it.  Until that is I get an e-mail telling me someone has connected with me.

That’s when SONIDS sets in.

Should I try and do a better job at Social Networking?

Should I be building a “community”?

Do I have to use a username or my e-mail?

What’s the password?

Eh… nope that’s not it.


Maybe the password is in the confirmation e-mail.


Nope… I had to change it… damn.


The stress of it all…. no matter what they say everything carries a price 🙂

Written by Tom Murphy

May 30, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Posted in General

Common, I mean popular names…

I’m in Seattle this week and now I’ve remembered why I’ve been avoiding using Heathrow as my US connection.

You see I’ve written before about the pitfalls of parents not spending a little more time choosing kids’ names. 

One of my thousands of namesakes is, how do I put this nicely, not very popular with the UK government.  As a result whenever I am booked on a US flight out of London there’s a red flag on my ticket.  Normally this is dealt with at check-in, when it becomes apparent I am a different Tom Murphy to the one they don’t like. It takes about 15 minutes, a couple of phone calls and then I’m on my way.

I had forgotten this rigmarole this morning as I landed in Heathrow (after a delay), ran back through security – “sir you’ll have to put that plastic bag inside your briefcase you’re only allowed one bag through security” – huh? – ran to the connections desk, got a boarding pass, ran to the bus, on to Terminal 4, just in time for boarding and then as I hand my boarding card in I am asked to sit quietly to the side. After a couple of phone calls I get the all clear and they apologize and tell me that they have to check as there are multiples of the same name on the flight. Now I know this is hogwash, but that’s OK, no big deal.

Also I should point out that all the BA staff were incredibly pleasant. I just wish my parents had called my Ziggy.

There’s nothing like ten hours on a plane in the middle of the middle section.  Mmmm cosy…

Written by Tom Murphy

May 20, 2007 at 4:44 am

Posted in General

Text 100: 25 years old and still going…

I just read Morgan McLintic’s post today on Text 100 turning twenty five.

I spent many happy years at Text 100 learning the ropes the way most people in our industry do (or is that did?). I must say that for all the hard work I absolutely loved it. There was a fantastic group of people around the world during my time there. It’s amazing how many alumni you come across wherever you are.

Anyway.  Congratulations to all! Tim, Aedhmar, Georg and all the ex-Texties who sometimes fall onto this blog by mistake.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 16, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Posted in General

Why most PR bloggers are in the out-house

The World’s Leading posed an interesting question last week:


Why is it that there are so few in-house PR people blogging?


It’s a good question. More than that, it’s an important question.

Balanced opinions are better opinions

The debate among PR bloggers on the shiny new new thing is interesting, but the really valuable discussion is the intersection of online and traditional PR. This is where the value is, because this is where the online world will impact our practice of Public Relations.

There is an equally valid argument to be made that the fact that the overwhelming majority of PR bloggers are on the agency side of the house, means that we are missing a valuable perspective on how the online world actually impacts Public Relations.

Maybe this is why I’m so grumpy all the time…

As someone who has played the poacher and the gamekeeper, there are as many differences between working in-house and in an agency as there are similarities – the same could be said for the benefits and drawbacks.

I don’t have the answer I’m afraid, however as usual I’m not shy to offer some suggestions…

  1. One potential hurdle for in-house practitioners is that they are often the public face of the company and therefore they may feel that there is a risk that anything they blog could be treated as official comment – now of course this could also be beneficial, however a fear that a mistake could be career limiting may be a factor – and it’s one of the reasons I purposely don’t regularly discuss Microsoft on this blog.
  2. Blogs provide a great platform for promoting thought leadership.  From an agency perspective I can see why it makes a lot of sense to have your best and brightest sharing their opinions. However, there isn’t the same motivation for many companies where PR is not a core competency. It might be perceived as either a high risk activity or a waste of time.
  3. Finally, and this one is a stretch, perhaps on the agency side there is a greater need to look at the changing world, new developments etc., and therefore that lends itself more naturally to getting involved in blogging, where in the in-house role the challenge is different.

Maybe (or probably) it’s none of the above.

What I do know is that in-house practitioners have a fantastic perspective to share on traditional and online Public Relations – and the PR blogosphere is poorer without them.

If you’re working in-house and have a blog let me know.


I’ve been a little frazzled of late 🙂

Some immediate in-house bloggers include the irrepressible Kevin Dugan, the ever-present Colin McKay, my colleague Thomas Lutz, Dells’ Bernie Charland…..

Written by Tom Murphy

May 16, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Posted in General

Do you want to SuperSize that PR Campaign?

Jeremiah Owyang spotted a new store on his way to work.  It sits in a row of other shops. 

But this one is a little different.

It’s not selling stationery, sandwiches or coffee.  Nope, it’s selling PR.

The PR Store is a franchise offering small businesses marketing, PR and advertising solutions.

Clever idea. 

I know there will be much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth – but that’s life. 

Although I like the brand, delving into the web site, it’s probably a little simplistic.  The reality is that when you look at their site, it appears that the actual “PR” offered is only one of many menu items from flyers to brochures and logos. It’s Kinkos with a press release!

For example under the category: “Press Releases” (ahem) they detail their PR services:

  • Read-All-About-It! Press Releaseâ„¢
  • Profile Feature Articleâ„¢
  • Informer Press Kitsâ„¢
  • MAXimum Impact Article Reprintsâ„¢
  • OP-ED It! Editorial Articlesâ„¢

The trademarks are all theirs 🙂

Maybe we’ll see a new career ladder emerge where you start out taking orders at the PR Store and migrate to a large agency over time – the equivalent of starting in a fast food restaurant and working your way to an establishment with a Michelin star 🙂

Fair play to them.

A quick request to the PR community, can we keep the wailing and disgust to a minimum?

Hat tip to Mike Manuel.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 10, 2007 at 7:35 am

Posted in General

PR in Ireland Stuff

Couple of items.

Firstly I’ve found a fifth PR person in Ireland blogging:

  • Jenny Kent from Clear Communication in Cork (I think, it doesn’t really say).

Secondly Piaras Kelly has released his first podcast – that would be the first Irish PR podcast 🙂

Written by Tom Murphy

May 10, 2007 at 6:39 am

Posted in General

Delivering the New PR 2.0 – London, June 5th 2007

The latest event in the University of Sunderland’s Delivering the New PR series is taking place at the Marriott Hotel, Regents Park, London from 9.30am on June 5th, 2007.

You can find more information in the online brochure here.


The event will include spots from the series inventor: Philip Young; the podcast legend Neville Hobson; and of course Yorkshire’s finest Stuart Bruce; oh and the PR Leprechaun.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 8, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Posted in General

PR Stuff…


  • While recognizing the folly of relying on statistics, Neville has some compelling evidence on why the integration of the online and offline worlds is the way forward for the vast majority of PR practitioners.


  • Allan Jenkins points to Ragan Communications MyRagan social network site. It looks good though it entails a lot of work compared to the world’s laziest PR social networking site – which now has 44 members… connected snoozing.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 8, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Posted in General

PR: Ying + Yang is the discussion

I was watching Ray Ozzie’s keynote at the Microsoft MIX 07 event in Las Vegas this week and one of his opening comments struck a chord:

I’ve been fortunate enough to have survived five major platform shifts over the course of my career, and in each case at the beginning of an era, somebody took that extreme position.  And in each case, when all was said and done, it just never quite seemed to work out that way.  The pendulum certainly did swing, and disruption certainly did occur for those who had their heads in the sand about the capabilities of a new technology, but in each case, as things ultimately settled out, the best solutions were integrated solutions that would bring together the best of one world with the best of the other.


I think this is equally valid when it comes to Public Relations. 

We are facing change – and the few who ignore it will suffer – but what will emerge is an integration of our traditional Public Relations tools and techniques married to the best that the online world has to offer.

The most interesting discussion for PR today is not how the Interweb is changing PR.  Rather it is about how we build integrated campaigns that bring together the best of both worlds.

It’s not necessarily a discussion about finding time, budget and resources for Web 2.0. Rather it is a discussion on how we can build one campaign with online and offline elements.

Now that’s an interesting discussion.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 1, 2007 at 12:28 pm

Posted in General