Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Archive for September 2009

Are you lifestreaming or is that your dad dancing?

At the risk of appearing (to the digerati at any rate) as something resembling a father dancing at his teenager’s party, can I ask a question?

The question concerns the current online nom-de-jour: “lifestreaming”.  Now stop me if I’m wrong here – and it wouldn’t be the first time – but a Lifestream is just a blog with more stuff on it. 

Is that correct? 

I mean, seriously, all we’re talking about is a blog (or in 1990s parlance a “web site”) with content aggregated from a host of different sources such as Twitter or Friendfeed or whatever you are having yourself.

So in essence a lifestream is just a blog with more stuff, right? A blog. A blog with more stuff.

Maybe I’m missing something.

Sometimes I really am amazed at our continuing need to re-name things to make them sound like they are far more important than they are… this affliction is often most acute when it comes to social media.

I mean, this piece from Business Week on Gordon Bell (from Microsoft Research) is more how I think of a Lifestream.

In the meantime, I think we’d all be better advised to focus on understanding how social media can positively impact our business.

Maybe I’m getting old, then again I’ve eight or nine years before I mortify my son at his party.

Written by Tom Murphy

September 11, 2009 at 4:51 am

Posted in General

Don’t forget the local impact

When we think about how companies are using social media, we typically look at the big players, but I love to hear how small, local companies are using it.  I find it’s a great way to get my tired brain firing on how I think about the potential of social media.

I was in downtown Seattle for a number of meetings this morning and I found out how a small local coffee shop (it’s not a chain!) is on Twitter, and each time a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies emerges from the oven, they tweet about it. 

The interesting thing is that as soon as that tweet goes out, you can see a stream of people from the surrounding offices heading directly to the shop.  Now that’s a real world commercial and local use of social media!

There’s been a lot of discussion on how the internet has supported globalization.  It’s something that we all know has impacted how we think about communications.  However, keep an eye on the local impact of the internet, it could be something we start spending a lot more time thinking about from a PR perspective.

Written by Tom Murphy

September 10, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Posted in General

links for 2009-09-03

Written by Tom Murphy

September 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Posted in General

PR Miscellany – September 1 2009

A post containing some interesting PR-related content that I’ve stumbled upon…

Do you have your PR skills?

Dave Fleets offers 14 key skills for “new” PR professionals (via Neville Hobson) and thankfully he does point out that just because there are some new skills required doesn’t mean we should neglect the traditional skills.  I’m a firm advocate of the importance of mastering the basics.

Yes, there’s a new game to play (in my opinion), but the old game is still there too. PR pros still need the basic attributes and skills that they’ve always needed.  Try launching something using social media alone and you’ll appreciate the gap that traditional media can leave if it’s lacking.

Stop (PR) thief

Another interesting court case involving a PR person who (may has/allegedly has) exercised poor poor judgement. Like, really poor judgement, in fact I’m not sure we should use the word “judgement”.


Blogging about (business) blogging

Ragan offers ten tips for a better business blog.

Ford Motor Company doesn’t have a blog, but its director of new media, Scott Monty, has one—The Social Media Marketing Blog. It precedes Monty’s tenure at Ford, which means it has an audience and a solid reputation.

On occasion, The Social Media Marketing Blog addresses issues at Ford. It spreads news about the company and the CEO, and provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in Ford’s communications department.

Consider finding a trusted employee at your organization to dedicate posts about your company to his or her personal blog.


Ahhh… the old chestnut… measurement

Katie Delahaye Paine is a guest writer over at Brian Solis’ blog and has penned a post on the need for a new mindset around PR marketing measurement.

While exposure to your brand certainly is a factor in decision making today, the reality is that in today’s environment, most decisions are influenced to a much greater degree by whatever your followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook recommend or what Google search delivers than they are by whatever ads pop up. Trying to decide what flat screen TV to buy, where to go for vacation, what movie to see, or where to make reservations for dinner, chances are you’ll either ask your friends on Facebook or Twitter for advice, or search on Google for reviews.

Thinking about Social Media

Jennifer Van Grove offers five ideas to consider in social marketing. As always “clear PR/marketing objective” discretion is recommended.

Should you find yourself in a social media marketing lull, we think you can take inspiration from these five innovative and fresh ideas currently making their mark on both the online and offline worlds. The important thing to keep in mind is that whether you’re trying to engage a unique audience, tailor deals using location, advertise in new ways, go bold, or tackle your Twitter fear head on, you’re likely to find the most success if you can shake things up a bit.

Written by Tom Murphy

September 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Posted in General

links for 2009-09-01

Written by Tom Murphy

September 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Posted in General