Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for May 2008

links for 2008-05-27

Written by Tom Murphy

May 27, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Posted in General

links for 2008-05-26

Written by Tom Murphy

May 26, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Posted in General

PR & Social Media is not black & white

You know often the best bit of advice we can get is to step back and look at the bigger picture rather than the small blurry dot we sometimes get so tightly focused on.

This piece of advice is often very relevant for the “digerati”.

How many times do these folks focus on destruction? “X is dead/dying”.

Traditional media and PR are two common targets, but I think the digerati often reduce the value of their insight with their binary approach to the online world.

Often the truth isn’t black or white, it’s grey.

My latest example is Loic Lemeur‘s post: “PR secrets? Bullshit

Loic takes an axe to Brian Solis‘ TechCrunch article: “PR secrets for start-ups

Now these kind of posts (Loic’s not Brian’s) typically wind me up.

I feel the blood pressure rising as I scroll.

But in this instance, I have drawn breath.

You see Loic makes some good points with regard to building awareness for your product online such as:

Build strong links with your community, learn from them everyday, enhance your product. If you get coverage from the smallest blogger go and comment to thank him. Do not be obsessed by numbers and results, it is long term relationships that matter.


The most important asset that a startup CEO has or should build is his community. It has nothing to do with marketing. I took me 8 years since I started blogging in 2003 to have a community and it is no marketing. It is about sharing every day thoughts, tips, advise, learnings with the community.

But Loic also makes the same old self-styled digerati mistakes.

No, I’m not talking about the shameless name dropping…

Everybody tries to pitch Scoble and Arrington. They are tired of the same formatted boring pitches that come to them exactly the same. They are my friends and if I had tried to pitch them like hell they would have never have.

Though I must admit part of me gags when I see it.

No it’s the fact that he’s viewing the world through a very narrow lens. His own.

My advice to CEOs is to read his post, he raises some interesting points.  Then step away from your monitor and remember this is only one part of the world you have to deal with.

If you have time to build great relationships and communities, then by all means do.  Do you have the passion, energy and knowledge to be the face of your company? Then do.

PR is about more than getting mentions on blogs or links on Twitter. Contrary to what you may read online, it’s bloody hard work. It takes time, it takes commitment.

Not everyone is Loic Lemeur and not everyone operates a Web 2.0 start-up (even if it sometimes feels like they do!).

My advice for PR people is to read Loic’s post.  There’s great commentary on the growing need for companies to get involved with the community, to converse with customers and partners.  And there’s also a need for professional communicators to ensure that the company is heard.

Your challenge is to ensure you understand the online world, while bringing real-world perspective and understanding to the table (regardless of what Loic says).

As for the tirade against the word “targets”.  For the love of jebus have you nothing more important to be getting upset about?

Get over yourself.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 26, 2008 at 11:58 am

Posted in General

Three PR/Smeedia Shorts…

1) Kami Huyse has posted an analysis of a joint Brodeur-Marketwire survey  on reporters’ view of social media. 


2) Brian Solis has written his second PR feature in as many weeks for TechCrunch this time focusing on "PR secrets for start-ups".

Public Relations is experiencing a long overdue renaissance and its forcing PR stereotypes out from behind the curtain where they operated comfortably for far too many decades. It didn’t begin this transformation because of Web 2.0 or the latest Social Media wave, but instead in the 90’s when the Web gained mass adoption. Yes, it’s taken that long and it will continue to evolve over the next decade as communications professionals struggle with putting the public back in public relations.

3) Steve Rubel points to a post by Erick Dafforn on how Tumblr (an online mini-blogging service I wasn’t aware of) responded via social media such as FriendFeed and Del.icio,us to a customer issue/concern.  Interesting.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 25, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Posted in General

Ireland: Eamon Dunphy interviews former government press secretary

You may have already heard this, but I missed it.  Last week Eamon Dunphy interviewed former government press secretary Mandy Johnston.

The interview includes her thoughts on her times with Charlie McCreevy and of course with Bertie Ahern.


" role wasn’t to make to me popular, I was there to make a politician popular or to help explain a politician’s policy that’s all I was there for, I had no interest in endearing myself to journalists and I’m not afraid of the media, and so I told the truth did what I had to do for my political masters and I couldn’t make any apologies for it, everbody can’t be popular, sometimes yes you have to be the tough person."


You can download the podcast of the show (and Dunphy’s other shows) here.

Written by Tom Murphy

May 25, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Posted in General

Flacks need to lighten up…

Interesting post by Bernard Lunn on ReadWriteWeb regarding how PR people need to adapt to meet a changing world, with different expectations.

…The Internet makes command and control models pretty obsolete. Sure, some data has to be controlled. The financial results for a public company need to be issued in a certain way to comply with SEC regulations. But that’s about it. Whether you use a newswire service or your blog, the key is lighten up on the process and get into the flow. That flow may be a blog, or Twitter, or Facebook or any of the above and more. The general point is simply about availability and transparency.

If you really have a great story to tell, that will get even the most jaded journalist interested.

Public relations needs to evolve from gatekeeper and process manager to coach, helping the front line managers work effectively with media and the market. That assumes that their clients are enlightened enough to give them that mandate.

Worth a read.

By the way the comments have the usual mix of interesting, irrelevant and ignorant comments, though as always, worth a browse!

Written by Tom Murphy

May 23, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Posted in General

links for 2008-05-22

Written by Tom Murphy

May 22, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Posted in General