Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for December 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year



I am delighted to report I am planning to go completely off-line until January 2nd.  `



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Written by Tom Murphy

December 21, 2007 at 11:57 am

Posted in General

PR for Chicken Fighting Treasure – Profnet

In what’s becoming an annual event, Morris + King have released their top ten Profnet enquiries for 2007.  I think these do a great job of showcasing the wild diversity PR professionals (bravely) face on a daily basis 🙂

Thanks to Justin Kazmark for sending it along…

10.  BEHAVIOR/TODAY: People’s Busy Lives and the Bad Things that May Happen as a Result—The Cincinnati Post

I’m looking for a sociologist/psychologist to talk about people’s busy lives and bad things that may happen as a result, i.e., leaving the car on in the garage, going to bed and dying of carbon monoxide poisoning because they were so busy they forgot.

9.  SPORTS/TODAY: Transitioning from Cheerleader to Coach/Gym Owner—Freelancer

I’m working on an article for Cheer Biz magazine about transitioning from cheerleader to coach. If you’ve ever been a cheerleader who transitioned into coaching either a school squad or an all-star cheer team, please answer these questions: 1. What has been the hardest part about transitioning from cheerleader to coach/gym owner? 2. How long have you been coaching? Also, how long did you cheer? 3. When you were cheering, did you ever anticipate becoming a coach? Did you consciously prepare to do that? 4. What would have helped you make the transition easier? 5. What would you say to young cheerleaders coming up in the cheer system with the goal of becoming a coach/gym owner? 6. Any advice on making rules and running practices and gaining respect of other coaches, cheerleaders, parents, etc.? Many cheer coaches and owners are so young, they have a hard time with the respect part. How do you handle it? (By the way, how old are you?) 7. For coaches who are not married, barely 21, how do you suggest they separate themselves from the cheerleaders? 8. Is the pressure too much sometimes? Is it all worth it in the end? 9. What characteristics do you think a person needs to have in order to be a good coach/gym owner? Please feel free to add any other info you think might be beneficial to this piece.

8.  PARENTING: Purity Balls—WOSU-AM (OH)

I’m looking for someone who can speak about purity balls, either for or against. I need someone who can say why father-daughter purity balls are good, or why they are bad.

7.  BEHAVIOR: Lion/Tiger Tamer—Parenting Magazine

No, this isn’t a joke. I am seeking a circus lion/tiger tamer for a short, humorous piece on how to get small children to behave. I would vastly prefer that the tamer have children of his/her own and speak English. Please forward me your candidate’s credentials and availability, as well as the name of a contact person I can reach for further information or to schedule an interview.

6.  BEHAVIOR: Vampires—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I’m out to prove we still love vampires. I need some folks familiar with creatures of darkness to help me give evidence of this passion and/or tell me why we still love them.

5.  BOOSTER/TODAY: Bible Verses for Daters—

Many daters look for inspiration from the Good Book. So I’m compiling a list of the best Bible verses for daters. Please e-mail your most inspirational verse, a 100-word explanation of what it means to you and why you chose it, and your name, title and location with "Bible Verses" in the subject line.

4.  NON-EXPERT: Taser Parties—Cloaked

A national women’s magazine is looking for women who’ve hosted taser parties. Please respond ASAP with your info, and I’ll provide details about the article.

3. BEHAVIOR/TODAY: Effects of Drugs and Alcohol—Star Magazine

I need someone to explain to me the effects drugs and alcohol can play on a 25-year-old’s mind. How might their behavior change? Will they do irrational things?

2.  FITNESS: Exercising While Drinking—Freelancer

I am writing an article on how barflies can stay in shape. I am looking for experts who can suggest exercises that can be done at a bar. I am open to anything—low-impact aerobics, barstool dips, beer curls, etc. I am looking for detailed descriptions on how to correctly do the exercise. This is for, a social networking site for sports fans.

1.  LIVING/TODAY: Finding Treasure/Thwarting Mosquitoes/Chicken Fights—Freelancer

I’m writing some how-to pieces for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) magazine, and am looking for advice on three rather unique topics: find buried treasure, thwarting mosquitoes, and winning a chicken fight. If you are, or work with, an expert treasure hunter, insect killer, or chicken fighter, please let me know, or simply pass along your top tips. My deadline’s Tuesday, so I’m looking for great info in a hurry.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 18, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Posted in General

New PR – another failed New Year resolution?


“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”

Oscar Wilde


This is typically the time of the year when people start of making predictions or begin to consider some ill fated New Year resolutions.

I thought for a change this year, in the spirit of the season, and to avoid the inevitable resolution failure, I’d try and help others to keep their resolutions.

Whenever I chat with PR students or practitioners on “New PR” or PR 2.0 or whatever, the most common question I get in all these sessions is “how can I get started?”.

It’s a great question.

So I thought that I’d provide some entry-level advice on how to get started.

I’m very confident that I’ll miss something so feel free to add more in the comments.

Here’s my attempt at providing some common sense advice to those PR brethren who wish to get more involved.

The 8 Steps

1) Invest

To paraphrase my late grandmother: “you don’t lick knowledge off a stone”.

If you want to find out and understand “New PR”, you will need to commit some time.

Obviously you’re busy, we are all busy, nevertheless this is the time to invest.

2) Explore

Fire up your web browser.

Use your favourite search engine and search for PR, blogs, blogging, social media etc.

Start with some of the links on the left hand side of this page – sorry that’s my left and your right. 🙂

Browse the PR blog indices, for example Todd Andrlik’s (and Ad Age’s) Power 150 (#237 and still sinking) or Brendan Cooper’s PowerPR index.

3) Learn

image There are some new things to understand and learn, but there is nothing a four year old can’t master so don’t worry.

Learn how to use RSS and see how it can boost your productivity.  Learn how to keep track of the blogosphere or mainstream breaking news without losing your sanity.

Learn what social networking is about.

Understand why people blog and how consumers are using these tools.

Listen to podcasts.

4) Participate

The fastest way to understand this stuff is to get involved.

Set up a page on Facebook, start a blog – if you’re nervous about blogging about your practice or your business, blog about a hobby or something you’re interested or passionate about.

Read RSS feeds

Post a video

Comment on a podcast

5) Research

Good communications is all about the audience.

That doesn’t change from traditional to online Public Relations.

Want to understand how new media will impact your clients?

Talk to their customers.

Find out how they are using social media – you might be surprised and at the very least you’ll be better educated.

6) Experiment

Want to know if these new tools can help you do a better job reaching and communicating with your audience?

Try them.

Try a controlled experiment.

Start small… but start.

7) Measure

The beauty of online communications is the opportunity to measure the impact of your activity. 

Measure visitors, incoming links, subscribers, members….

Measure the impact of your experiment and let those results drive its direction.

8) Breathe

There’s a lot of hype about the changing world of communications.

Don’t panic.

Communications is changing, but not as fast as many of the online digerati will have you believe.

Traditional media and traditional Public Relations will remain the centre of your business for the foreseeable future, but the online element is growing and more importantly might help you communicate more effectively today.

Try it. Jump in.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 13, 2007 at 10:48 pm

Posted in General

300 not out


Congratulations to Neville and Shel who have just reached the 300th episode of the For Immediate Release podcast.  A fantastic achievement.

Now that’s commitment, and still enjoyable.

Well done guys.




Written by Tom Murphy

December 13, 2007 at 9:35 pm

Posted in General

Waking up to find your career is gone…

I’ve been a little busy recently, which has meant that poor FeedDemon is bursting at the seams [and causing me "Unread RSS-feed stress disorder" or UNRED].

However, far more distressing than unread RSS feeds, it appears that in the couple of weeks I have been less than attentive to the blogosphere, my career has disappeared.

Apparently PR is dead or dying.


Hold on… something about that theme is familiar. 

Oh yes, now I know. People have been saying it over and over and over again for years and years and years. [Here’s a post from three years ago.]

You know what though?

To everyone’s disgust, we’re still here.

Hello world. 

I work in Public Relations and myself and my colleagues aren’t dead.  In fact I don’t think we’re even feeling unwell.

I think I will write a press release, print it off, put it in an envelope and send it by post.  Then to round off the day I’ll go and talk to someone in person. I am so old-worlde…

New meme

I’ve tried to avoid the dead word but it simply won’t die, so in the interest of going with the flow, my new meme is:

"Bloggers talking off the top of their heads are Dead"

Unfortunately life is never that simple (or enjoyable) but one must fight fire with fire.

Anyhow hopefully I’ll have a job until Christmas, but if the bloggers are right it’ll be touch and go. [Apologies to my family in advance]

Some links to "PR is Dead" meme:


My favourite:


Now that’s the Christmas spirit….

Technorati Tags: ,,

Written by Tom Murphy

December 11, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Posted in General

Are you a Moofer?

In terms of discussing "Online PR" we often focus on the difference of the delivery mechnism (paper versus bytes) but we’ll also have to build a deeper understanding of how people are using, receiving and sharing those bytes.

We’re all more mobile these days, whether you are tethered to your Blackberry, Windows Mobile device or iPhone, you can read and respond to e-mail, search the web, read RSS and even Instant Message standing in a queue.

How will that impact how people use information?

There was an interesting article in the UK Sunday Times last weekend on the emergence of the Moof’er (Mobile out of office worker).

According to the Sunday Times:

"Welcome to the brave new world of the moofer – or mobile out-of-office worker. Look around: you’ll see them conducting deals, holding meetings or finding inspiration at a coffee shop, hotel lobby, airport lounge or park bench near you. This new generation of young, tech-savvy workers live their business lives in nomadic fashion, wherever they can find a wi-fi connection – and they don’t believe in the traditional nine to five. Many are entrepreneurs running their own internet-based companies, but they could be management types working for big firms and often away from the office, media consultants out and about meeting clients or freelance writers."

It appears that Moofing is the way of the future:


"A recent survey commissioned by the Work Foundation and Microsoft found that 78% of people believed working away from the office was the future, with more than half saying they would be happier if there were a greater element of mobile working in their job. Meanwhile, the Future Laboratory, a trend forecaster, predicts that 5.5m people will be using technology to work away from the office by 2012."




It’s certainly something we should be thinking about.  How many press rooms are mobile ready? Is your blog mobile friendly? Mine isn’t….

Written by Tom Murphy

December 11, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Posted in General