Review – Putting the Public Back in Public Relations
Putting the Public Back In Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge
First, don’t be put off by the “PR” aspect of the book.
Believe me, this is not another Public Relations theory book. Though Solis and Breakenridge do discuss the history and traditional practices of the industry, it’s more of a planning and practical guidebook for using new PR 2.0 strategies to build trust and credibility.
This book doesn’t just put the “public” back in public relations, it puts the human back into community relations and business promotion. Forget about automation and accumulating media hits, and think about creating a plan encourages others to continue to be interested in, and involved with, your company.
“Fusing marketing, PR, community relations, product marketing, and customer service in an entirely new, socially aware role.” -PPBPR
Solis and Breakenridge address the real problems with PR, and how the industry’s reputation has declined over the years. The internet has put a spotlight on PR’s worst-practices and blunders, and the authors identify how conscientious PR practitioners can begin to change the way others see the industry as a whole.
PR 2.0 is not about the taking advantage of services that provide automated tools to cast spam in the broadest directions with the least amount of effort and emotional investment. It’s about finding and establishing person-to-person interactions.
“Social Media requires respect and intelligence.” -PPBPR
As Solis and Breakenridge point out, Social Media and the new PR are about creating better conversations and nurturing mutually-beneficial relationships. Eliminate barriers, identify psychographics and establish connections with the people who could help to build your company’s public profile – the customers, evangelists, partners, journalists, bloggers, or whoever else fits into your business story.
Throughout the book they discuss:
- The History of PR
- PR Ethics & Blogger Relations
- The Language of New PR
- Traditional PR tools vs. New PR tools
- Creating social content, not just for PR, but for all aspects of your business
- How to get the best response when contacting influencers
- Which tools to use for the best results, and which ones leave you looking like an uninformed spammer
By far, my favorite parts are the examples of good PR strategies that went terribly wrong. This information is extremely helpful for planning client events and launches. I haven’t put this book back on the shelf since I purchased it back in March. It’s the most comprehensive book about social media tools and PR planning I’ve read so far.
The book also features an appendix of online tools – listed by their specific uses – so you can understand how they will fit into your overall strategy.
Putting the Public Back in Public Relations has even spawned a Social Media Book Club chat on Twitter. Check out how this book is already affecting the way people think about and practice Public Relations: #smbookclub
Thinking of doing your own PR or hiring a Public Relations or Marketing firm to handle it for you? Read this book first.
Arming yourself with the knowledge of what PR was, where it is right now, how the tools have changed, and what bad PR can do to your company, will really help you to determine if the tools or strategies are right for you.
It’s not an “anyone can do it, get out there, buy a media list and push, push, push” kind of Public Relations book. It’s an “anyone can do it if they’re dedicated, do the proper research, understand the new rules and respect the people they want to reach” kind of business book.
“Humanize your intent and story, learn how, where and why to participate.” -PPBPR
I’m recommending this book to everyone.