2010 Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit: Martin Murtland, Dow Jones Solutions for Communicators, Interviewed Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

September 14th, 2010
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Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and I’m here at the 2010 Bulldog Media Relations Summit. I’m joined by Martin.

Martin, will you please introduce yourself?

MARTIN MURTLAND: Good afternoon. My name’s Martin Murtland. I’m vice president at Dow Jones Solutions for Communicators. I’m here at Bulldog Reporter News Summit.

BURKE: Martin, can you talk about the qualities that PR practitioners need to have?

MURTLAND: That’s an interesting one. I think there’s probably two key qualities that I see communicators needing in the future, first one being their alignment to the business media, both to truly align themselves with what the business is trying to achieve. And secondly, I would say regards to analytical skills, the ability to question things. I’ve sort of looked at the future and sort of tried to create a–I’m interested in scenario planning, sort of four scenarios what the future may, may not hold. You sort of imagine a two-by-two grid where you have, at one end, people who are very much aligned to the business, and the other end people that have sort of, “vanity publishing.” You’re just going to get a publication where the coverage of the story with their CEO is actually a hometown newspaper. And the other axis we imagine something like highly analytical skills and that augment, you know, very uncomfortable with analytical skills. So what I would say, somebody who’s got high analytical skills and a–and strong alignment in business are going to be the winners in the future. And those are the things we should strive to try to become as communicators.

But some of the other scenarios, what I would say, they’re what I would term the bluffers. They’re people with good–can talk the talk. They’ve got political alignment to the business, but they don’t have the strong analytical skills to back it up. And they’re typically people who’ll move on after shorter period of time, perhaps before they get found out. And the other end of this expert spectrum I would sort of look at people who I call ostriches. They’re people that are very much into vanity publishing, or a world future that’s sort of run by ostriches. They’re very much into vanity publishing, and their idea of measurement would be how large–how loud the clip book makes whenever it hits the desk.

And then there’s the–sort of the final scenario for what the future may hold, is a world that’s sort of controlled by the gamblers. They’re people who do have strong analytical skills, but then they’re basing on flawed content or data. And so they’re doing the sophisticated analysis on not complete information. That’s why I call them gamblers. But what I–what I think, and certainly what I’m getting across in this conference is there’s a lot of winners out there, and how there’s a very good future in store for communicators as we look forward.

BURKE: Martin, thanks so much. And where can people find you in social media?

MURTLAND: I’ll try and do the–without doing the funny dot-com bit. You can find us at the conversationofcorporation.com.

BURKE: Great. Thank you so much.

MURTLAND: Thank you very much.

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