Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR

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Overview

Forget the "pitch": Yesterday's PR techniques just don't work anymore. That's the bad news. Here's the great news: Social Media and Web 2.0 offer you an unprecedented opportunity to make PR work better than ever before. This book shows how to reinvent PR around two-way conversations, bring the "public" back into public relations and get results that traditional PR people can only dream about. Drawing on their unparalleled experience making Social Media work for business, PR 2.0.com's Brian Solis and industry leader Deirdre Breakenridge show how to transform the way you think, plan, prioritize, and deliver PR services. You'll learn powerful new ways to build the relationships that matter, and reach a new generation of influencers...leverage platforms ranging from Twitter to Facebook...truly embed yourself in the communities that are shaping the future. Best of all, you won't just learn how to add value in the Web 2.0 world: You'll learn how to prove how new, intelligent, and socially rooted PR will transform your organization into a proactive, participatory communication powerhouse that is in touch and informed with its community of stakeholders.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780137150694
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 3/6/2009
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 601,303
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Solis is Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning PR and New Media agency in Silicon Valley. One of the original thought leaders who paved the way for Social Media and PR 2.0, Solis cofounded the Social Media Club and is a founding member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup. He currently blogs about the evolution and future of PR and marketing at PR 2.0 (www.briansolis.com), which is considered one of the most influential marketing blogs in the world.

Deirdre Breakenridge is an author, entrepreneur and CEO of Pure Performance Communications. A 20 + year veteran in PR and marketing, she is the author of five FT Press books including her latest titles, Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional , Putting the Public Back in Public Relations , and PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences .

Deirdre speaks both nationally and internationally on the topics of PR, social media and marketing. She is a recognized PR blogger at PR 2.0 strategies, and also the co-founder of #PRStudChat, a dynamic twitter chat with PR professionals, educators and students.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction Social Media = The Reinvention of Public Relations

Public Relations as we know it is quickly changing. Many tried-and-true PR strategies that we know and rely on are becoming ineffective and irrelevant. We can no longer trust them to effectively reach and motivate today’s influencers.

The Web has changed everything. And the Social Web is empowering a new class of authoritative voices that we cannot ignore.

This rising group includes (and is being led by) people just like you. User-generated content (UGC) has flipped traditional PR and media on its head, leaving many communications professionals and journalists dazed and confused. They wonder why everything is changing so suddenly, seemingly overnight. However, these changes do not really represent “new” concepts. The “sudden” shift has actually been more than ten years in the making.

Social Media and Web 2.0 are altering the entire media landscape, placing the power of influence in the hands of regular people with expertise, opinions, and the drive and passion to share those opinions. This people-powered content evolution augments instead of replaces traditional media and expert influence. And in the process, entirely new layers of top-down and bottom-up influence have been created. These layers dramatically expand the number of information channels (one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many).

Traditional influence flowed from a news or information gatherer (for example, a journalist) to his or her audience. Blogs, social networks, online forums, and other forms of Social Media have changed the dynamics of influence. New information is now readily shared among peers. This peer-to-peer sharing—in which you, personally, and as a client representative participate—now affords communications professionals the opportunity to reach beyond their “A-list” media when telling their story. We can now also reach the “magic middle,” that group of ideal customers who directly reach their peers through Social Media channels. As you’ll learn throughout this book, the participant’s story replaces the pushed messages of the past, now tailored for specific audiences; Social Media requires that we “share” stories that benefit all those engaged in the process by first learning what they’re specifically looking for.

Monologue has changed to dialogue, bringing a new era of Public Relations. It’s no longer about traditional media and analysts. PR must now also focus on the very people it wants to reach.

  • Everything is changing, and (in our opinion) it’s for the better.
  • People are blogging.
  • Journalists are becoming bloggers.
  • The masses are creating and sharing content via social networks.

Bloggers are gaining recognition as industry authorities, earning the same (and sometimes more) respect and reach as traditional media (and sometimes surpassing it).

PR veterans are suddenly finding themselves searching for guidance and answers as everything they know is changing right before their eyes. A new, hybrid breed of Web-savvy communications professionals is emerging, and companies and agencies are actively seeking these new experts to effectively compete, now and in the future.

These highly sought-after New Media PR practitioners include those who blog, run a podcast or video show, communicate in popular micromedia networks such as Twitter, create profiles across several social networks and actively cultivate their social graph, customize pages with an understanding of “lite” HTML, and participate in the communities that are important to them (whether professionally or personally). Genuine experience is the desired commodity, not just a willingness to venture into new marketing channels just because you have no other choice.

Therefore, it’s time to engage.

Don’t worry, though. It’s not too late to join and help guide the PR renaissance. You’re reading this book, so you already have a head start. The principles driving the New PR movement are not foreign; they’re deeply rooted in customer service, the social sciences, and community participation. When you look at it from the perspective of an ordinary person and not a marketer, you’ll quickly realize that you already have experience as a consumer—one who makes purchases and advises others about their purchases. You have what you need to start the change from within.

We’re writing this book for you.

Social Media will help us put the public back into Public Relations. With that in mind, we encourage you to jump in, but also to understand the dynamics of Social Media, the new world of influence, and the relevant tools necessary for successful participation. Our goal with this book is to make you Social Media literate and to start you down the path of becoming a New Media expert and, more important, a champion for change. We believe that this book will help you excel in your marketing career and give you the capability and confidence to help those around you, including the company you represent.

This book lays out the lessons you need to learn, direct from our experiences over this past decade of continuous evolution. The information (and, we hope, wisdom) included in this book comes from more than just our personal experiences. We have included insight from some of the most visionary, brilliant, and active authorities on the subject of PR and the socialization of media. We believe that these insights will help you understand New PR and encourage you to adapt your own professional practices to our new reality.

We all learn from one another.

Praise Quotes

“There will be two kinds of PR professionals in the future: those who read this book and get with the program, and the unemployed. Your choice.”

Seth Godin, Author of Tribes

“I am thrilled that there is finally a book about the right way to approach PR in today’s world, where hyper-connected conversations trump the old school broadcast mentality. Everyone who wants to build a career in PR or marketing should read this book.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

“Putting the Public Back in Public Relations is a passionate and persuasive case for rewriting the rules of public relations. Authors Solis and Breakenridge expertly combine third-party perspective with case studies and examples to paint a picture of a profession on the brink of reinvention.”

Paul Gillin, Author, The New Influencers and Secrets of Social Media Marketing

“Putting the Public Back in Public Relations is an excellent read. It is the right book at the right time, explaining the reinvention of Public Relations at the hands of Social Media. A must read for those innovative marketers charged with creating differentiation in today’s competitive marketplace.”

Trish Piontek, Director, Retail Marketing, Amerisource Bergen Corporation

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Guy Kawasaki xv

Preface: The Socialization of Media and PR 2.0 xvii

Introduction: Social Media = The Reinvention of Public Relations 1

Part I The True Value of New PR

Chapter 1 What’s Wrong with PR? 7

Chapter 2 PR 2.0 vs. Public Relations 23

Chapter 3 PR 2.0 in a Web 2.0 World 37

Chapter 4 Traditional vs. New Journalism 49

Chapter 5 PR Is about Relationships 67

Part II Facilitating Conversations: New Tools and Techniques

Chapter 6 The Language of New PR 83

Chapter 7 Blogger Relations 93

Chapter 8 Social Media Releases (SMRs) 107

Chapter 9 Video News Release (VNR) 2.0 125

Chapter 10 Corporate Blogging 137

Part III Participating in Social Media

Chapter 11 Technology Does Not Override the Social Sciences 153

Chapter 12 Social Networks: The Online Hub for Your Brand 165

Chapter 13 Micromedia 177

Chapter 14 New “Marketing” Roles 187

Part IV PR 2.0: A Promising Future

Chapter 15 Community Managers and Customer Service 2.0 199

Chapter 16 Socialization of Communication and Service 213

Chapter 17 The Rules for Breaking News 231

Chapter 18 A New Guide to Metrics 247

Part V Convergence

Chapter 19 PR 2.0 + PR 1.0 = Putting the Public Back in Public Relations 271

Appendix A The SEC and the Importance of Recognizing Corporate Blogs as Public Disclosure 283

Appendix B It’s Alive! 291

Index 299

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Preface

Introduction Social Media = The Reinvention of Public Relations

Public Relations as we know it is quickly changing. Many tried-and-true PR strategies that we know and rely on are becoming ineffective and irrelevant. We can no longer trust them to effectively reach and motivate today’s influencers.

The Web has changed everything. And the Social Web is empowering a new class of authoritative voices that we cannot ignore.

This rising group includes (and is being led by) people just like you. User-generated content (UGC) has flipped traditional PR and media on its head, leaving many communications professionals and journalists dazed and confused. They wonder why everything is changing so suddenly, seemingly overnight. However, these changes do not really represent “new” concepts. The “sudden” shift has actually been more than ten years in the making.

Social Media and Web 2.0 are altering the entire media landscape, placing the power of influence in the hands of regular people with expertise, opinions, and the drive and passion to share those opinions. This people-powered content evolution augments instead of replaces traditional media and expert influence. And in the process, entirely new layers of top-down and bottom-up influence have been created. These layers dramatically expand the number of information channels (one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many).

Traditional influence flowed from a news or information gatherer (for example, a journalist) to his or her audience. Blogs, social networks, online forums, and other forms of Social Media have changed the dynamics of influence. New information is now readily shared among peers. This peer-to-peer sharing—in which you, personally, and as a client representative participate—now affords communications professionals the opportunity to reach beyond their “A-list” media when telling their story. We can now also reach the “magic middle,” that group of ideal customers who directly reach their peers through Social Media channels. As you’ll learn throughout this book, the participant’s story replaces the pushed messages of the past, now tailored for specific audiences; Social Media requires that we “share” stories that benefit all those engaged in the process by first learning what they’re specifically looking for.

Monologue has changed to dialogue, bringing a new era of Public Relations. It’s no longer about traditional media and analysts. PR must now also focus on the very people it wants to reach.

  • Everything is changing, and (in our opinion) it’s for the better.
  • People are blogging.
  • Journalists are becoming bloggers.
  • The masses are creating and sharing content via social networks.

Bloggers are gaining recognition as industry authorities, earning the same (and sometimes more) respect and reach as traditional media (and sometimes surpassing it).

PR veterans are suddenly finding themselves searching for guidance and answers as everything they know is changing right before their eyes. A new, hybrid breed of Web-savvy communications professionals is emerging, and companies and agencies are actively seeking these new experts to effectively compete, now and in the future.

These highly sought-after New Media PR practitioners include those who blog, run a podcast or video show, communicate in popular micromedia networks such as Twitter, create profiles across several social networks and actively cultivate their social graph, customize pages with an understanding of “lite” HTML, and participate in the communities that are important to them (whether professionally or personally). Genuine experience is the desired commodity, not just a willingness to venture into new marketing channels just because you have no other choice.

Therefore, it’s time to engage.

Don’t worry, though. It’s not too late to join and help guide the PR renaissance. You’re reading this book, so you already have a head start. The principles driving the New PR movement are not foreign; they’re deeply rooted in customer service, the social sciences, and community participation. When you look at it from the perspective of an ordinary person and not a marketer, you’ll quickly realize that you already have experience as a consumer—one who makes purchases and advises others about their purchases. You have what you need to start the change from within.

We’re writing this book for you.

Social Media will help us put the public back into Public Relations. With that in mind, we encourage you to jump in, but also to understand the dynamics of Social Media, the new world of influence, and the relevant tools necessary for successful participation. Our goal with this book is to make you Social Media literate and to start you down the path of becoming a New Media expert and, more important, a champion for change. We believe that this book will help you excel in your marketing career and give you the capability and confidence to help those around you, including the company you represent.

This book lays out the lessons you need to learn, direct from our experiences over this past decade of continuous evolution. The information (and, we hope, wisdom) included in this book comes from more than just our personal experiences. We have included insight from some of the most visionary, brilliant, and active authorities on the subject of PR and the socialization of media. We believe that these insights will help you understand New PR and encourage you to adapt your own professional practices to our new reality.

We all learn from one another.

Praise Quotes

“There will be two kinds of PR professionals in the future: those who read this book and get with the program, and the unemployed. Your choice.”

Seth Godin, Author of Tribes

“I am thrilled that there is finally a book about the right way to approach PR in today’s world, where hyper-connected conversations trump the old school broadcast mentality. Everyone who wants to build a career in PR or marketing should read this book.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

“Putting the Public Back in Public Relations is a passionate and persuasive case for rewriting the rules of public relations. Authors Solis and Breakenridge expertly combine third-party perspective with case studies and examples to paint a picture of a profession on the brink of reinvention.”

Paul Gillin, Author, The New Influencers and Secrets of Social Media Marketing

“Putting the Public Back in Public Relations is an excellent read. It is the right book at the right time, explaining the reinvention of Public Relations at the hands of Social Media. A must read for those innovative marketers charged with creating differentiation in today’s competitive marketplace.”

Trish Piontek, Director, Retail Marketing, Amerisource Bergen Corporation

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Specialized overview of social networking

    Although changes in the media have always challenged public relations professionals to stay up-to-date, individual PR practitioners' credibility and solid relationships still define their success. This means that tech advocates may be somewhat overstating when they claim that "Social Media" outlets will radically alter public relations, though they certainly add many more tools to the mix. Even if Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge tend to inflate the extent of the digital revolution, their book is helpful and worth reading. You'll have to be comfortable with some Web-jargon to understand their tech-centric thinking, but PR professionals do need to know how to make the most of social media - blogs, social networking sites, "micromedia" and the like - and how to best channel its unquestionable potential and impact. For that purpose, getAbstract recommends this handy overview. In terms of details, its most hands-on, useful section is the appendix of social media links.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Only If You Market To Techies

    There is a lot of "why" but very little "how" in this book that bills itself as being about the transformation of the public relations industry brought about by Web 2.0. Page after page describes how social media are supposedly dictating new priorities and practices for PR professionals and their clients. While there is certainly much validity to the author's claims for the growing influence of social media, there is a distinct shortage of practical advice on how the reader is supposed to use it.

    Unfortunately, the few recommendations the authors do make sound like they were written by PR practitioners (which, of course, they were). "Engage the bloggers" and "have conversations" are about as specific as the advice gets, with few examples of exactly what those bromides mean. Much is made of the need for one-on-one communication rather than scatter-shot distribution of press releases, but there is absolutely no explanation of how this is supposed to be done in a time-efficient manner.

    What's really missing is a hint of how PR campaigns built on social media platforms are supposed to reach the great unwashed--the non-techie consumer (millions and millions of them) who never blog, tweet, or even look at the Facebook page their kids set up for them. Publicizing the latest chipset for tablets via Gizmodo may well be the way to go, but how do you sell Buicks online?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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