Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for March 2009

Forewarned is Forearmed…

Fast Company takes a look at how April Fools’ Day can help your brand.

They include a link to the grand daddy of April Fools, the BBC’s 1957 spaghetti documentary.

So, when you get an e-mail tomorrow telling you someone on Twitter or a blogger has posted something with great insight, check the calendar…

Written by Tom Murphy

March 31, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Posted in General

Forewarned is Forearmed…

Fast Company takes a look at how April Fools’ Day can help your brand.

They include a link to the grand daddy of April Fools, the BBC’s 1957 spaghetti documentary.

So, when you get an e-mail tomorrow telling you someone on Twitter or a blogger has posted something with great insight, check the calendar…

Written by Tom Murphy

March 31, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Posted in General

A nice story (for a change)

With all the hot air, and the growing number of mind-numbing self-styled gurus you find on the InterWeb, it’s sometimes nice to celebrate a nice story.

I’m sure many of you (19,000,000 and counting) have seen Matt Harding’s video, Where the Hell is Matt? where he dances all over the world.

He contributed a nice essay to NPR’s This I Believe segment over the weekend, have a listen.

You see, sometimes you can just be nice.

Hat tip to Mark Ragan who pointed to the essay on Twitter yesterday.

BIG hat tip to Stride for their most tasteful (sigh) sponsorship of Matt’s efforts which have the simple aim of putting a smile on your face, and succeed admirably.


Speaking of hot air… big boo to Robert Scoble for more hot air and, in the style of Monty Python, more rash generalizations than you’d find in a rash generalization sale, at the biggest rash generalization store in the town of rash generalization.

Postscript 1:

I have found z on the keyboard over the past four weeks, but I seem to have lost u…

Written by Tom Murphy

March 30, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Posted in General

Traditional media, ghosts, online friends and no comment…

Well a month has passed since I arrived in the United States. Here is a meek attempt at a catch up.  You may find some interesting stuff here.

America’s traditional media challenges continue

In case you missed it, the Pew Research Center has published the 2009 edition of their “State of the News Media” an analysis on American journalism.  The findings present a challenging environment for traditional media.

Perhaps least noticed yet most important, the audience migration to the Internet is now accelerating. The number of Americans who regularly go online for news, by one survey, jumped 19% in the last two years; in 2008 alone traffic to the top 50 news sites rose 27%. Yet it is now all but settled that advertising revenue—the model that financed journalism for the last century—will be inadequate to do so in this one. Growing by a third annually just two years ago, online ad revenue to news websites now appears to be flattening; in newspapers it is declining.

The report is a comprehensive look at newspapers, magazines, television, radio etc.  I plan to review this in some depth…

<Supplemental – TechCrunch reports that the US Newspaper industry lost $7.5 Billion in advertising revenues in 2008 – still $37 billion though!>


The problem with ghost writing

This brought a smile to my face.  Marketing 101 if you’re going to ghost write something whether it’s an op-ed, a blog, or a tweet, let the “author” know about it.  Doh. <Hat tip to Jim Horton>


Grooming your spokespeople – how many online friends do they have?

Andrew Smith reports a journalist using LinkedIn to check the credibility of a spokesperson.  Nothing too surprising there, however how many of us are actively managing our spokespeople’s SEO?  Very few I imagine.


The art (or not) of attribution

This is a great article by Clark Hoyt in the New York Times.

It would be wrong, however, to lay all of the blame with the sources. News organizations are sometimes too eager to pounce on misstatements and missteps, leaving those they cover understandably wary. Credibility runs both ways.

Written by Tom Murphy

March 30, 2009 at 4:17 am

Posted in General

Got to Tweet?

This is kind of funny…


Written by Tom Murphy

March 20, 2009 at 3:46 am

Posted in General


Disclaimer: This is Tom Murphy’s personal weblog.  The opinions I express on this blog and the associated web pages represent my own personal views and not those of my current, prior or future employers.

  • Murphy’s Law is my blog about Public Relations and technology.
  • PR Opinions, is an archive of all my PR posts from March 2002 to August 2006.

Comments on any of these blogs are moderated. Any comments I deem inappropriate for this blog will be not be posted – I will however flag that decision with the person who submitted the post.

Comments on the PR Opinions blog are closed.

My name is Tom Murphy and I live and work in Washington State in the United States where I work in Public Relations for Microsoft. I moved to the US in March 2009 and I’ve been working in PR around Europe and North America for the past seventeen years or so.

You may notice a category on the blog called “He would say that” – anything that falls in that category may cover a Microsoft product or service – that’s my formal disclosure category!

I’m married to the long-suffering Sorcha and we have the world’s best son, Cillian and the world’s best daughter, Anna. 

If you want to get in contact:

E-mail: tpemurphy -AT-

Mobile: +1-425-614-614-6

MSN IM: tpemurphy -AT-

Written by Tom Murphy

March 15, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Posted in General

Settling in Seattle…. and keeping an eye on the Twendz…


It’s been a while.  I hope you haven’t been too sad while I’ve been away.

I guess not.

Well, week two in Seattle is nearly complete. The great thing for an Irish person moving to Seattle is that it’s pretty easy to acclimate… we get lots of “soft days” here as well 🙂

One thing that hasn’t changed while I’ve been away from regular blogging is the continued rise of Twitter.  It still amazes me just how much airplay Twitter gets both in-person and across the media (see below). 

Another thing that hasn’t changed is PR pitches.  I received an e-mail from a PR person last week saying:

“I’ve seen your blog (check out this really funny video)…. I’ve never seen a company introduce a product like this before.  What a fun (and funny) way to spread the word on serious water-saving technology!

So of course being the cynical person I am, the first thing I did was go to their web site and low and behold the company promoting the video was her client – a fact not mentioned in the e-mail.

Transparency people.  Transparency.

Looking through my RSS Reader there were just too many backed up unread posts, but here are some things that caught my eye as I quickly scanned the headlines (if I’ve missed anything let me know).

Psychoanalyze your blog.. or not

Stuart has a link to an interesting web tool (bubble gum psychonanalysis but sure there’s nothing wrong with that) Typealyzer which promises to tell your the personality type behind a blog.  Like Stuart I’m INTJ (I don’t think it’s related to Myers Briggs). Seemingly I’m the long-range thinking, individualist type. The only problem is, so is every other blog I put into it, so maybe best ignored…


Twitter, Twitter Twitter….

Shel Holtz gives another great example of how Twitter’s real-time  broadcasts can be really useful.

Meanwhile, PR firm Waggener Edstrom (disclaimer: one of Microsoft’s PR firms) has released an interesting new data mining application for Twitter called Twendz.

According to Frank Shaw:

twendz is a Twitter mining Web application that utilizes the power of Twitter Search, highlighting conversation themes and sentiment of the tweets that talk about topics you are interested in. As the conversation changes, so does twendz by evaluating up to 70 tweets at a time. When new tweets are posted, they are dynamically updated, minute by minute.

Here’s a PR Twendz


Personally, I think this is very interesting and I like the tag cloud and the positive-negative indicator on the left-hand column.

Last but not least, I forgot to mention the very clever Twitter Mosaic which everyone knows about, but I still think is really smart.

Get your Twitter Mosaic here.

Written by Tom Murphy

March 15, 2009 at 5:44 am

Posted in General