Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for February 2009

Darwin’s theory: PR pitches are improving

Since my last missive on this subject, I have continued to receive endless brain numbing e-mail press releases for topics that have no interest to me. 

My favourite off-target pitch was for a new sun tanning salon in New York.  Seriously lads, c’mon would you.

I really don’t think this blog is a terribly effective outlet for promoting products and services, however having said that, I think we should reward good blog relations.

Today’s Gold Star goes to Morgan van Ancken from Morton PR, for his pitch on Shutterstock:

Shutterstock is a stock photography and stock footage site that uses crowdsourcing to generate its image library (they have over 6 million stock photos). This means that by outsourcing the task of taking pictures to people around the world, they are able to offer extremely high quality stock imagery and footage at a more affordable price point than traditional agencies

Morgan wrote a great pitch, demonstrated he had wasted valuable time reading this blog 🙂 and weaved that well written pitch artfully with some standard blurb.

Good job Morgan.

I won’t be publishing the URL for the Tanning salon.

Written by Tom Murphy

February 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Posted in General

Darwin’s theory: PR pitches are improving

Since my last missive on this subject, I have continued to receive endless brain numbing e-mail press releases for topics that have no interest to me. 

My favourite off-target pitch was for a new sun tanning salon in New York.  Seriously lads, c’mon would you.

I really don’t think this blog is a terribly effective outlet for promoting products and services, however having said that, I think we should reward good blog relations.

Today’s Gold Star goes to Morgan van Ancken from Morton PR, for his pitch on Shutterstock:

Shutterstock is a stock photography and stock footage site that uses crowdsourcing to generate its image library (they have over 6 million stock photos). This means that by outsourcing the task of taking pictures to people around the world, they are able to offer extremely high quality stock imagery and footage at a more affordable price point than traditional agencies

Morgan wrote a great pitch, demonstrated he had wasted valuable time reading this blog 🙂 and weaved that well written pitch artfully with some standard blurb.

Good job Morgan.

I won’t be publishing the URL for the Tanning salon.

Written by Tom Murphy

February 19, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Posted in General

Call me Naive… Tom Naive..

Now I’m as cynical as the next person but I have to say I have been shocked surprised this week about the volume of shysters on the Internet.

With an imminent move to the US on the cards, we’ve been making preparations such as selling cars etc. After posting an ad on CarZone.ie last week myself and her indoors have been besieged with scammers, not only via e-mail but on the phone as well.

Now granted the efforts were pretty hamfisted, but I imagine if you weren’t quite as cynical as your correspondent, you might have entertained them.

At least I hope they were scammers….

Written by Tom Murphy

February 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Posted in General

Call me Naive… Tom Naive..

Now I’m as cynical as the next person but I have to say I have been shocked surprised this week about the volume of shysters on the Internet.

With an imminent move to the US on the cards, we’ve been making preparations such as selling cars etc. After posting an ad on CarZone.ie last week myself and her indoors have been besieged with scammers, not only via e-mail but on the phone as well.

Now granted the efforts were pretty hamfisted, but I imagine if you weren’t quite as cynical as your correspondent, you might have entertained them.

At least I hope they were scammers….

Written by Tom Murphy

February 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Posted in General

Some light relief…

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, here it’s grey and wet. 

So here’s some light entertainment you might have seen before.

British comedian Eddie Izzard’s take on Darth Vader going to the Death Star cafeteria. Mild swearing… it put a smile on my face  (and 6,000,000 other people to date).… oh all set to motion capture lego.

Written by Tom Murphy

February 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

Posted in General

Some light relief…

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, here it’s grey and wet. 

So here’s some light entertainment you might have seen before.

British comedian Eddie Izzard’s take on Darth Vader going to the Death Star cafeteria. Mild swearing… it put a smile on my face  (and 6,000,000 other people to date).… oh all set to motion capture lego.

Written by Tom Murphy

February 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

Posted in General

Shocking! PR & Journalists giving out, awards, e-books, Olde Media, and explaining to your mother what you do for a living…

image

Just catching up on my lazy RSS reading.  You probably won’t be surprised to hear that there’s a lot of PR blogging about Twitter, from how you can become an expert, to how you can measure it etc. etc. etc.

I plan to skip it for the moment if that’s OK. Well I plan to skip it anyway actually. 🙂

So, here, in no particular order at all, are some of the PR tidbits that I thought were worth sharing… (that don’t talk about Twitter directly)

PRs overcharge journalists shocker

Andrew Smith provides The Guardian’s Charles Arthur with 10 things to consider about the tech PR industry following Charles’ post concerning how PR people treat journalists like car companies treat parts suppliers. 🙂

Every time someone like Charles bemoans the “did you get my press release” tactic, PRs rush to decry the practice: “Oh no, we don’t do that”. Then who the bloody hell is then? It clearly continues at a significant enough rate to remain an issue for journalists across the board.

It made me laugh anyway.

There’s life in the old media yet

There’s some interesting results from a survey conducted by Ketchum and USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center and reported by eMarketer, which found that while online media usage continues to grow, traditional media consumption is stabilizing in the US. [Hat tip to Simon Wakeman]

Media Used by US Internet Users, 2006-2008 (% of respondents)

Read the eMarketer report here.

Trust me I’m a practitioner

Piaras Kelly has published the latest Edelman Trust Barometer for Ireland.  No surprise that trust is falling for the media, government and business (although Technology and Biotech continued to be the most trusted industries).  Trust in traditional media has fallen but it still outstrips online sources on this cold Emerald isle.

David Armano has another take on trust 🙂

Prism

 

Nothing beats face-to-face communication

Jason Falls has an interesting post about how there are limits to how far you can go with social media alone.  I found the link via Bill Sledzik who writes that we shouldn’t forget the most effective form of communication is still face-to-face.

And the winner is…

Here is something that I had missed but found courtesy of Dan York.  It appears that Mr. Neville Hobson has won the 2009 IABC Chairman’s Award.  Congratulations to Neville!

What is it you do again?

Richard Laermer pens a thoughtful post of what PR actually is. I know how he feels, my mother still can’t grasp this “career” and I don’t think the advent of Twitter and Facebook is going to make the challenge any easier.

A(nother) book on social media marketing 🙂

Todd Defren has released a collection of his “best thinking” from the past five years on social media marketing.

Written by Tom Murphy

February 10, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Posted in General

Time for a change

headerA colleague recently asked me would I mind giving their friend’s daughter some career advice.  She’s interested in a career in PR and in the current economic climate she was looking for guidance. 

Although I’m quickly becoming an elder lemon, I still remember what it’s like starting out.  I think we should all be ready and willing to hopefully pass on some useful advice.

Of course I always preface my “career advice” with the caveat that when I left college I didn’t know what I really wanted to do, but I did know that there were two things I wanted to avoid. Public Relations and Computers.

Given I’ve spent the last 16 years doing PR in the IT industry, I might not be the best person to advise anyone…

I think I’ve been incredibly lucky.  I’ve worked with fantastic people whether they were colleagues, clients, journalists or analysts.  I’ve worked hard but have fantastic times and have always had the opportunity to continue to learn and develop.

I took up my current role with Microsoft Ireland back in August 2005 and have thoroughly enjoyed looking after the company’s local PR and CSR programmes. I’ve learned a lot, worked with great colleagues and enjoyed every minute.

Of course working in PR you know that there always comes time for a change. And this is that time.

So in March I am moving with my family to Seattle to take up a new job at Microsoft. 

With a new job, in a new country, with a new baby, I guess it’ll be a busy 2009. But as they say a change is as good as a rest, and I’m sure I’ll soon find out!

I’ll keep you posted.

Written by Tom Murphy

February 5, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Posted in General

Get personal – the good and the bad

Following on from my previous post on e-mail pitches… relax it’s not a rant.

This blog is neither influential nor widely read. That’s a fact mum.

I got two pitches today that show the right and the wrong way to pitch.

The good…

Adam Abu-Nab from Rubber Republic sent me a well written “personal” pitch, with a good common sense subject line that explained about Computertan.com (see the video below).  The one small blip was the usual (untrue) flattery about my influence – I’m sure some people like it, I just cringe a little 🙂

But to reward a well written pitch take a look at why Computertan.com is worth a click and why not visit their site as well.

 

The missed opportunity

So on the other hand, here’s a lesson in how to lose an easy win in a single blog pitch.

I received a pitch for a new book on how you can turn a crisis into an opportunity… that’s the subject line, so far so good, relevant book, relevant subject line, then you open the e-mail:

 

Hi Murphy

 

Do you think this is a personalized pitch or a botched mail merge? I’m willing to bet the latter. Not really a big deal, but a silly mistake.

A good example of turning an easy opportunity into a missed opportunity. Attention to detail was something drummed into me in my first days in a PR agency in the early 1990s.  It’s as relevant today as it was then.

Written by Tom Murphy

February 4, 2009 at 8:33 am

Posted in General

Get personal – the good and the bad

Following on from my previous post on e-mail pitches… relax it’s not a rant.

This blog is neither influential nor widely read. That’s a fact mum.

I got two pitches today that show the right and the wrong way to pitch.

The good…

Adam Abu-Nab from Rubber Republic sent me a well written “personal” pitch, with a good common sense subject line that explained about Computertan.com (see the video below).  The one small blip was the usual (untrue) flattery about my influence – I’m sure some people like it, I just cringe a little 🙂

But to reward a well written pitch take a look at why Computertan.com is worth a click and why not visit their site as well.

 

The missed opportunity

So on the other hand, here’s a lesson in how to lose an easy win in a single blog pitch.

I received a pitch for a new book on how you can turn a crisis into an opportunity… that’s the subject line, so far so good, relevant book, relevant subject line, then you open the e-mail:

 

Hi Murphy

 

Do you think this is a personalized pitch or a botched mail merge? I’m willing to bet the latter. Not really a big deal, but a silly mistake.

A good example of turning an easy opportunity into a missed opportunity. Attention to detail was something drummed into me in my first days in a PR agency in the early 1990s.  It’s as relevant today as it was then.

Written by Tom Murphy

February 4, 2009 at 8:33 am

Posted in General