Friday, April 15, 2011

Where's The Public In Public Relations?

Putting The Public Back In Public Relations

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?

Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

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