Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for July 2008

Out of Blog…

Well I am delighted to inform you that I am off for two week’s holiday to the wilds of Ireland with no Interweb, RSS feeds, twitters or e-mail.

See you around the 11th of August…


Written by Tom Murphy

July 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Posted in General

Some PR on a Friday…

Trevor Cook has a very interesting post titled "The revolution may not be blogged" which ponders whether the "new media revolution" has stalled somewhat.

Moreover, when they do blog organisations, like Telstra, often find it extraordinarily difficult to see their social media efforts as anything more than just another way to get out messages and push products. In the hands of a PR pro, the opportunity to bypass the ‘media gateway’ can just mean an open invitation to pump out unfiltered propaganda.

Overtime, more organisations will adopt social media tools and they will have to become just a little more open, transparent and accountable to get the full benefit. Sadly, it will be a slow process.

More on Trevor’s blog.

Heather Yaxley has a great post on "fast" and "slow" Public Relations.

Everyone in PR should know that quick reactions are required when called by media working to deadlines – this Fast PR is even more important in ensuring online media audiences get their fix of Fast News. 

But we also need good old fashioned Slow PR skills in building relationships, identifying possible feature articles, developing individual angles and stories, thinking outside our traditional media relations focus and taking the time to be accurate, informative and effective.

Bill Sledzik continues his recent strong run with a post on what PR is not..


Public Relations is NOT… Advertising… Promotion… Publicity… Media relations… Public affairs… Selling… Marketing…


Read the full post here.

This blog is operated under the "greenhouse code", particularly when dealing with the "outing" of PR people.  Well you just never know do you?  You might be tired one morning, send a sloppy e-mail and next thing you’re RSS-meat of the week.

Mark Rose takes the New York Times’ Joe Nocera to task for Nocera’s outing of a PR person who was pitching on behalf of a manufacturer of "juvenile transportation devices" – I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Fair play for Rose, but the use of the phrase "children have become fashion accessories" is at the very least ill advised.


Finally, it’s Friday… New Media Douchebag  [Hat tip to Lee Hopkins]

Written by Tom Murphy

July 25, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Posted in General

The passing of a great human being…

Back in October I first became aware of Randy Pausch. 

I’m sure there’s few of you who aren’t aware of the man who delivered the famed "Last Lecture".

His talk inspired me.  His talk saddened me.  His talk made me laugh.  But most of all, his talk made me think.

What an incredible gentleman.

Since I first saw the video I have kept an interest in his progress via his web site [it seems to be down] and today I was truly saddened today to hear of his passing.

You know Randy Pausch has done something few can claim, he has made people around the world, to stop, think, take stock and hopefully make decisions on what is really important in their lives.

While Mr. Pausch was interviewed on every major US television channel, for me, his original, unedited Last Lecture is one of the most powerful and thought provoking pieces of video on the Internet.

Do yourself a favour, watch the video, buy the book and invest your time thinking about what really matters to you.

I can only imagine the pain and suffering of the Pausch family at this incredibly painful time.  But I hope that in the weeks, months and years ahead that they are consoled in the knowledge that Randy Pausch was, and is an extraordinary human being who touched people’s lives.

Written by Tom Murphy

July 25, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Posted in General

Smart communications

If you’ll forgive me, this is an old one, (from 1992) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic.

Northwest Airlines and Southwest Airlines were in disagreement over who was number 1 in customer satisfaction.

This was the Southwest response.

It makes me smile anyway.

From the Southwest Advertising Gallery.

Written by Tom Murphy

July 23, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Posted in General

Devices of mass disruption… what is PR?.. Blog rankings… Web 2.0 fatigue…

Device of mass disruption or eh is it a phone?

Guys seriously I have stayed silent on this subject long enough. 

It’s a phone.

It’s not a six inch device of mass disruption.

Apple has done a good design job but I am bored to my back teeth with the ridiculous posts and tweets.

I had a radio on my cell phone in the late 90’s.  If these devices were going to disrupt/kill/change radio it would be more likely to happen with radios on MP3 players.

Why, oh why, is every 1.0 release of every 1.0 piece of hardware or software "game changing"?

Me? I love my HTC, fantastic resolution, full touch screen, proper camera, great keyboard for grown up e-mail and word processing, not to mention loads of software – and the best part?

It’s not threatening to kill any industries, take people’s jobs and the battery lasts more than 35 minutes and HTC don’t advise you to turn off the 3G, you can have all the speed you like baby.


*I debated whether to categorize this under "He would say that", and I did in the end. But regardless this is true.

What’s PR then?

Bill Sledzik takes a run at a unified definition of public relations working through a variety of textbook definitions.

Tom’s Opinion: This is a breath of fresh air, it’s great to get some informed writing on this topic.  Too often when PR is discussed, what’s really being discussed is "media relations", which although a major element of the profession is not the whole story.  This is also the reason why we see so much rubbish about the "death of PR".  The reality is that great communication remains a strong and valuable asset and Web 2.0 doesn’t change that.  Yes it’s about relationships (duh), yes it’s about understanding the tools and channels, but at the core it’s about great communication and and audience insight.

[Bill also tackles the issue of whether PR is part of marketing.]


PR Blog Ranking Mania:

Man it’s PR blog rank weekend an I’m sinking faster than a stone, however while I’m gurgling water, I’ll use one of my last breaths to pass congratulations to Stuart Bruce 🙂

More here, here, here, oh and here.


Web 2.0 Fatigue

Lauren Vargas has an interesting post on Web 2.0 fatigue and how to avoid it, she has a really interesting video (though it’s a little out of date) at the foot of the post -  worth a watch!

Written by Tom Murphy

July 23, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Posted in General


Written by Tom Murphy

July 22, 2008 at 2:53 pm

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Written by Tom Murphy

July 22, 2008 at 2:53 pm

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Written by Tom Murphy

July 22, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Posted in General

Ireland: Blog Digest [vanity post]

Things have been a little quiet here as I was away last week in Atlanta, Georgia on business.  While it was nice, given our current Summer, to get some heat into the bones, I’m not sure I’m made for that much heat!

If you’ll excuse the self-promotion, Marie Boran was kind enough to mention this small piece of the blogosphere in last Thursday’s Irish Independent Blog Digest section.

You can read it here.

Written by Tom Murphy

July 22, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Posted in General

Irish Times: PR Keeping up appearances

Shane Hegarty has a piece in this weekend’s Irish Times on the (potential) impact of the downturn on the PR business in Ireland.

You wouldn’t have thought it this week, however. The Government’s announcement that widespread cutbacks would include a halving of the PR, consultants and advertising budget was a sign that hard times may indeed be ahead. While details are still vague, the Government plans to save €21 million this year through the measure. It will trickle down to the high-profile firms which have specialised in State and semi-State work. Carr Communications is reported to earn €800,000 a year through such contracts, while they constitute about 10 per cent of Edelman’s business. Other companies which specialise in the area include Murray Consultants and Bracken PR.

This week, however, people within the industry were expressing no great panic either publicly or privately. It is clear that they are either determined to hold steady, or that they are talking themselves up in a way that only PR people can.

They argue that much of Government spending in big campaigns, such as the €12.5 million Change campaign dedicated to raising awareness on climate change, goes on advertising, making the media’s focus on PR alone somewhat skewed. The larger companies have diversified enough not to have to rely solely on the public contracts, while recruitment within the industry remains quite buoyant.

You can read the full story here.

Written by Tom Murphy

July 12, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Posted in General