Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for December 2008

Anna Murphy



Anna Murphy, born today, December 20th 2008 at 3.11pm in the Coombe Women’s Hospital, Dublin.


Weighing 7lbs 5oz.



Mother and daughter both doing very well.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Posted in General

Off-topic: the phantom contractions

Saying that the birth of your first child is a stressful event is something of an understatement.  Nothing prepares you for the associated stress but then again nothing prepares you for the pure unadulterated joy either.

I was a mess.

I kept referring to the fantastic midwives as “housewives” and to contractions as “orgasms” (no more comment needed). It’s something my long suffering wife hasn’t let me forget.

Well we’re expecting our second child very soon, and earlier this week we went to the hospital for some pre-launch checks.  We were sitting in a small packed waiting room, filled with mothers-to-be some with partners, some with family, some on their own.

In the corner of the room was a very pregnant women in her forties, quietly reading a magazine. 

Her phone rang and she quickly answered it, walked out of the waiting room into the corridor, and started screaming into the phone (I assume to her absent husband/partner) about the pain of the contractions and how they were now coming in waves.

Everyone in the room was looking at each other with a mixture of surprise and bemusement.

After a few more screams, she quietly returned to the room.  Took her seat and resumed quietly reading her magazine.

A few minutes later her phone rang again.  It was (I presume) her errant partner, and once again, in between reminding him to “put the mince in the freezer” and “pack the trailer”, she screamed about the contractions, the agony, the speed and waves of pain.  This time she didn’t even bother leaving the room. 

She calmly ended the call, and resumed thumbing her magazine and quietly sat for another forty minutes before she was called in for her examination.

The atmosphere in the waiting room was unique.  Loads of couples trying not to look at each other for fear of erupting in laughter.

It takes all sorts.  But don’t worry I’ll be there for the contractions, and the mince is already in the freezer.

It’s a strange world and a strange time, but there’s always humour, no matter where you are.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 19, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Posted in General

Edelman Cartoon

Hugh MacLeod is well known across the blog-o-sphere for his cartoon and wine marketing skills.

Well Edelman’s David Brain commissioned Hugh to create a PR-related cartoon and you can see the result here.


(Unfortunately the limitations of the width of this blog means I can only post a snippet)

He’s also the mind behind the Blue Monster:

Written by Tom Murphy

December 18, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Posted in General

Awards, job searches, twits (not Twitter-related) and disasters…

Heartiest congratulations to Stuart Bruce and the team at Wolfstar who won the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Grand Prix Award for the UK’s Outstanding Small Consultancy!  Fantastic achievement in 18 months!


image Fair play award of the day goes to Thomas Brunkard, who as a communications professional in these challenging times, is documenting his journey to secure a PR job in Ireland through his blog. Good on him.  Take a look.. particularly if you’re looking to fill a position in Ireland.


image In other fantastic news, Jenn was in touch to tell me about the “independent New York fashion trade show and shopping event”…. I wonder has Jenn ever seen a photo of me? If she had she’d know all about my passion for couture. She certainly didn’t stop to look at this site before spamming my in-box.  Well done Jenn, great job. You’re the perfect example of the lazy, unprofessional people who give PR a bad name.


image Gerry “PR Disasters” McCusker is calling for nominations for the biggest PR disasters for 2008.  No shortage of candidates there methinks…

Other Links:

Written by Tom Murphy

December 17, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Posted in General

It’s a question of trust

Forrester’s Josh Bernoff has published some interesting findings from a survey they undertook in the second quarter (April-June) of 2008 to find out the most trustworthy information sources.

Interesting, good old e-mail comes in a #1, traditional media is holding up nicely and the poor blog (particularly the company flavour) limps in last.

image See the original image and post here.

Of course if you’re a PR practitioner you know all about statistics 🙂

The interesting validation for me is that the results point to a crazy mix of online and offline tools.  It’s not just about social media, it’s about understanding your audience, getting an insight into where they are, and then using the appropriate tools to communicate with them.

This doesn’t mean corporate blogs are a bad idea in my humble opinion but that if you want to communicate with people you need to be thinking of a broad set of tools.  Blogs are part of that discussion in my humble opinion.

Hat tip to Neville via (ahem) Twitter.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 10, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Posted in General

Be careful what you wish for

The doom and gloom around the failing global economic climate continues to gather pace and with news that the Tribune Company (home of the L.A. Times and the Chicago Cubs among others) has filed for bankruptcy with a debt of (cough) $12 Billion it appears that the media industry has now moved front and centre with the car makers.

This will all be ‘grist to the mill’ for the social media ‘angels of death’ no doubt, but we should really be very careful what we wish for.

Andrew Sullivan had a thoughtful piece in the UK Sunday Times at the weekend looking at the rise of social media and the issues facing traditional media:

The terrifying problem is that a one-man blog cannot begin to do the necessary labour-intensive, skilled reporting that a good newspaper sponsors and pioneers. A world in which reporting becomes even more minimal and opinion gets even more vacuous and unending is not a healthy one for a democracy.

This is exactly the issue.  Trusting blogs, Twitter and Social networks to drive the news agenda is an appalling vista. (I don’t need any wisecracks on that one folks… no seriously 🙂 )

We need a strong media, because the media serves an incredibly important and useful purpose for society. While these are clearly challenging times, I don’t actually believe that the demise of traditional media is as rapid as the evangelists of doom would have you believe. 

We are seeing many media houses evolving and building new business models.  I’m not sure that consumers want to have to gather their own news.

Of course there are some fabulous writers online and I’d expect more to emerge, but there’s also a lot of myopic twaddle being peddled online by self-styled, self-important “experts”.

I don’t think anyone wants that to replace “traditional” media.

Well I don’t.

Written by Tom Murphy

December 9, 2008 at 8:17 am

Posted in General

More from Manchester…

A couple of other reports from Friday’s Social Media event in Manchester:

2008 December Mobile 080

2008 December Mobile 084

Written by Tom Murphy

December 7, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Posted in General