Brian owns FutureWorks, a PR and new media agency in Silicon Valley. Deirdre is president and director of communications at PFS Marketwyse and an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The book really answers two questions — What’s wrong with (traditional) PR? and, How can we make PR more effective in these rapidly changing times? It’s a revealing analysis of what has happened in public relations over the last ten years, with practical advice about how to avoid becoming a PR dinosaur.
It’s hard to summarize all the points raised in the book, but here are some highlights I underscored as I read through it. Seriously, if you have an executive/client who is still in the Stone Age, buy the this book as a gift and point them especially to chapter one, which has a section specifically addressed to “Company Executives,” and chapter seven, “Blogger relations.” Maybe they’ll believe a published book if they don’t take your word for it.
- Social media will help us put the public back into public relations.
- It’s a chance to reintroduce sociology, anthropology, psychology and other sciences to inspire a new, more meaningful kind of public relations
- PR 2.0 is the realization that PR now has an opportunity not only to work with traditional journalists, but engage directly with a new set of influencers as well. It’s a chance to improve our craft.
- Yesterday’s techniques – mass, meaningless, one-way communication – no longer works (Yikes! Even my master’s degree, which is in “mass communications,” is outdated now!)
- The writing style has changed to more conversational, contrary to the standard AP style of writing.
- A blog is a conversation with readers, and you don’t have to start a conversation knowing all the facts.
- It’s the difference between pitching an audience versus participating with the people who matter to your story
- Today, people are in control as they drive their own communications
- Why change? Journalists are creating blacklists and publishing the names of PR people who refuse to change their ways (Show them Chris Anderson’s blacklist post from Oct 2007 here).
- The benefit of shifting from pitching to conversations includes cultivating relationships, strengthening customer service, increasing brand resonance and loyalty, which all contributes to the company’s bottom line.
- You need to take the initial steps, even if you don’t get it completely right the first time. We are all still learning.
- The next frontier will be online video, which will help tell your stories to people who enjoy visual media.
- The primary focus for bloggers is not selling, but to create the content that defines their brand. Instead of using the corporate blog as an arm of marketing, identify customer pain points and deliver the painkiller in a direct, personable and believable fashion.
- it’s a challenge to keep up, but you must. Identify the online communities where your constituents are congregating, and remember you’re not reaching individuals, not audiences.
- Hope is not lost for the older generations (Glad to see we’re not written off completely!). These groups just have extra work to do to catch up, perhaps even a complete overhaul about how they currently do things. The fittest and most willing and able to adapt will be the survivors, and not every current PR professional will survive the transition.
- Social networks and the people within them are unforgiving in their tolerance of sales or marketing pitches. You need to humanize your story in the process of storytelling.
- With every new channel that gains momentum, you have an opportunity to build a connection between you, your peers and your customers.
- The old communications model was: Who says what, in which channel, to whom, to what effect. The new model is: Who says what, in which channel, to whom, to what effect, then who hears what, who shares what, with what intent, to what effect.
- The new influencers are people just like you and me. Social media is not a spectator sport.
- Social media helps you gather real-world intelligence that you can feed back into your organization to improve the existing service, product, and management infrastructure. This in turn helps companies be more competitive.
- Change is never easy, but you must engage or die. We don’t have the luxury of time, as the people in Web communities don’t stop sharing information. Customers are seeking solutions, insight and answers right now.
- Finding the right influencers takes time. However, most executives are much too impatient to sit and wait for an organic campaign to gain traction. These executives will have to learn that when people choose to make a campaign viral, it’s worth the wait.
- The whole process starts with you and the new mindset.
- If your client hasn’t listened to your counsel so far, this book just might be the leverage to help them finally see it. Brian and Deirdre build a strong case about why the traditional PR strategies and techniques have to change and adapt.
the rumors are true (@ Neighbor from the 90′s)...
Sorry to see you go. avic-x920bt
First the Space Shuttle program and now this???? OH NO!...
I think it’s really funny that Jason donates money...
Sad to see you go Mr Len… been a great ride
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