Archive for January, 2010

5 Golden Rules of Communications

January 28, 2010 1 comment

There are essays, books, courses, and countless lengthy powerpoint presentation all dedicated to the art of communications, but here are the basic 5 Golden Rules. Follow these and you should be okay.

Number 5 rule of communications – be honest. This is not necessarily based on any moral compass or conscience it is just a fact that the truth is easier to remember than an lie.
Number 4 rule of communications – don’t nod it you can wink. This one is courtesy of an old Boston politician Martin Lomasney – “Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink.” This could of course be updated with never tweet if you can speak and never email if you can call. The moral of the story is avoid leaving a paper or digital trail if at all possible. Read more…

PR Needs Better PR

January 25, 2010 8 comments
Don’t pay attention to the agency behind the curtain 

For years I’ve wondered why PR people and agencies are not better at *marketing* themselves, so recently I started asking some friends (new and old) about the issue of PR and self promotion. Very quickly a few things became clear. First, just about everyone agrees that PR folks aren’t very good at promoting themselves, but there is little agreement as to why and much to my surprise many folks don’t even think PR needed to get better at it.

Having been in PR – mostly on the agency side – I’ve heard the question asked a lot and in several different forms:

Read more…

The First Day of the Rest of My Blog

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment


How is that for a self-indulgent title? Okay now that I’ve gotten all that explaining out of the way, what now?  Let me take a quick moment to introduce / re-introduce this blog. While this continues to be my personal blog and as such the opinions expressed here are STILL not a reflection of my (past, current or future) employer, my (past, current of future) friends or my family, but what is NEW is that – for the first time in a year – this blog is attached to me.

So, if you have issue with anything I write please feel free to comment or email me directly at paulroberts.par (at)  As a stated previously, this blog was originally launched as a bit of an experiment and an educational process, but now after a lengthy test drive, it is being relaunched and its author is reenergized. I’ve reposted (most) of my older Tony Mackey posts, but full disclosure time, I’ve not transfered all of them. Some just didn’t stand the test of time, so I’m taking advantage of this rebirth to get a (mostly) fresh start.

Moving forward: While this blog will continue to contain my thoughts comments and opinions (and typos) on everything from public relations, to news of the day and even a smattering of commentary on sports and anything else that interests me. The truth is that I’m a man of limited interests, so a great majority of this blog will remain about public relations. Read more…

Tony Mackey – Unmasked

January 16, 2010 2 comments

Please visit new blog at:

This is my first blog post – as Paul Roberts and marks the end of my Tony Mackey blog and twitter account. So, for anyone that had grown accustomed to reading Tony Mackey I know I’ve got some explaining to do. (Kiss Unmasked photo taken from random site on Internet)

What am I saying? Well, I’m saying that for the past (almost) year, I’ve been blogging and tweeting under the name of Tony Mackey.

Why did I do it? Well, when I started blogging it was because I wanted some hands-on experience in order to better advise clients that were asking about starting corporate or personal blogs. I figured I’d blog under the name Tony Mackey for a few months to learn what I had to learn and then delete the blog.

Why come out now? Well, something interesting happened as I stumbled around on my blog, I met some really good people and I really enjoyed the outlet and the conversations I was engaged in. I toyed with the idea of just launching this blog without ever referencing Tony Mackey, but for right or wrong I decided against that. Read more…

What is PR?

January 14, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been in public relations as a student or a professional for almost 20 years, but I still struggle with the simple question, ‘what do you do for a living?’ Let’s face it PR has a bit of a…well, PR problem. Some think of PR as ‘spinsters’ some think of personal ‘handlers’ and the number one answer – ‘oh, you’re in advertising.’

Truth be told, I’m part of the problem because when I meet new people at a social gathering, I usually don’t care enough to educate these people about what I do. My answer is all too often, yeah, advertising exactly – now let’s talk about something less controversial like politics and religion. This approach is of course part of the reason I don’t get invited to too many social events, but that is a discussion for another day.

I was wondering why it is so difficult for people to grasp what PR people do for a living, so I decided to look at the world of PR from an outsiders point of view.

A quick news search for ‘public relations’ reveals articles about how NBC’s PR team mishandled the Jay Leno show moving time slots. The entire point was how badly the situation was communicated and how ill-informed the entire organization seemed to be.
Ok, so public relations is about communications. Got it. Simple. Read more…

Brogan’s Not Necessarily Wrong, BUT…

January 10, 2010 3 comments

As is often the case, I take exception to the general PR advice that is accepted as gospel — because it isn’t always appropriate for the high tech PR industry.

After reading Chris Brogan‘s How to Reach Out to Bloggers – and hearing other PR people discuss the post – I wanted to take a moment and provide some advice specific to high tech B2B PR – specifically the IT security industry. I call out IT security because it is fairly unique.

Now let me say first off that I realize Chris Brogan is smarter than me, he is much more well known and respected than me, hell, he is even better looking than me. My issue isn’t with Brogan – he does a great job – (this concludes the ass-kissing portion of this blog). My issue is with the PR folks (and clients) that accept his blog as the (only) authority on blogger outreach when in my opinion he overlooked the reality of high tech B2B blogger outreach.

Here are a few questions to ask before conducting blogger outreach.
Is that even a blog?: A blog in Network World or Dark Reading that is written by an editor is not a blog – it is for all intent and purposes a column written by someone that should be on the media list already. Some columns in leading IT trade publications are written by publication outsiders, BUT they are often executives at other companies or industry analysts.

Is that a blogger or industry analyst that happens to blog?: There is a difference. For a long time two of the only security bloggers that were worth most security companies pitching were former industry analysts, Mike Rothman and Rich Mogull. Rothman’s Security Incite blog was very influential, and Mogull’s Securosis was immediately considered an up and coming blog of note as soon as he left Gartner. But, both were operating as independent industry analysts so they were usually pitched as part of any industry analyst program. NOTE: Rothman and Mogull have recently merged operations.

Did I almost pitch a competitor?: In the IT security industry many of the most notable bloggers like Chris Hoff, Alan Schimmel (no longer with StillSecure) Martin McKeay, Michael Farnum, and Amrit Williams are associated with vendors. This doesn’t mean they are off limits to outreach, but it does require a different approach. Read more…

Will Work for Tickets

January 2, 2010 2 comments

A tractor blocks home plate as the city of Nashua locked out the team for failure to pay rent. (photo stolen from somewhere on Internet)


Hey buddy, I decided to open my own business and I could use some (free implied) marketing help. Most PR and MTK people have heard this request many times. As PR and marketing professionals we are often asked to work for free. I’ve helped family and friends and I’ve always been very happy to do so, but marketing and PR is a very valuable service and it shouldn’t be devalued by being given away for free.

But that being said, there comes a time in everyone’s life when it is time to give back to a greater cause. That time has come for me. The cause, no not saving lives or ending poverty – it is professional baseball in Nashua NH.

I just read that Nashua NH no longer has a professional baseball team and I’m offering to help out (with marketing services) anyone looking to reestablish a team in Nashua. The last team Pride / American Defenders failed in large part (IMHO) due to lack of marketing to local communities.

Why Nashua baseball? It is true that a baseball team in Nashua NH isn’t going to make a huge difference in the world. In fact, there are minor league teams in neighboring Manchester NH and Lowell Mass., so the community has other options. Make no mistake about it, this is a selfish offer. Read more…