Luke Murphy is well known for creative content production, influencer relations, user experience and design. You’ll find him teaching and speaking about social media, design and digital best practices at conferences around the UK and Europe.
What’s your hottest subject right now?
Currently it’s defining brands’ online personas and how they should talk to audiences online. It’s still one of the things that I see brands and individuals struggle with, even though we’ve been doing it for years now. I think crafting a brand’s online persona is best done through understanding your audience, connecting with their needs and understanding their journeys. It’s a beautiful balance of data and creativity.
What’s the most pressing issue you’re helping people with?
I see communications departments and PR agencies with a tendency to stay blinkered and rely on the same tried and tested methods rather than adopting and adapting their processes.
Some of the most exciting work in the industry today is from people who have diversified in terms of skills and knowledge, and use an agile, iterative approach to trying new things.
If we don’t embrace this approach we are in danger of becoming stale and outdated, and potentially losing our budgets!
Do you practise what you teach?
I spend half of my time consulting for clients and agencies on their digital strategies and campaigns, and the other half designing and building things for the web. A lot of people seem to think that the two are completely different skills, but there are so many elements from each camp that make me a better practitioner in the other.
There’s a big crossover between design/development and digital communications. I’m constantly referencing things like communications strategy, tone of voice and crafting content in my design work, and similarly visual balance, user experience design and a general understanding of technical constraints in communications strategies and tactics.
Does that mean working like designers?
Design thinking is going to be one of the most sought after skills within the PR and communications sector in a few years.
The world of User Experience design has become a big thing in the past few years. Embracing these concepts and principles is going to be an important issue within PR over the coming years. I know a few agencies are already starting to hire user experience professionals in comms positions.
What’s your approach to training?
I like to have a small enough group that you can tailor the training to the participants and make it as valuable as possible. Having done years of one-to-many sessions at conferences and workshops, it’s easy to pitch your training to the lowest common denominator, whereas this method means I get to understand what each individual needs from the session and make sure I address this as thoroughly as possible.