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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have book for people doing - or buying - PR services
David Henderson is, like so many of us in the public relations business, a former journalist. You can tell that by looking at the blurbs from former CBS newsman Dan Rather and ABC's Greg Dobbs on the back of his book Making News in the Digital Era, which was published in 2009 by iUniverse.

This points to the fact that Henderson first thought of his job as a PR...
Published on November 21, 2010 by Bob Ledrew

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 28 Chapters of redundant rhetoric
I waited with great expectation to read a book about how to rise above the noise, making news in the digital era, driven by Facebook, Twitter and other social media vehicles. The book was a quick read and a great overview of today's media environment. The main problem is that Henderson used 28 chapters to communicate what he could have done in two...but then it would...
Published on November 5, 2009 by JT


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have book for people doing - or buying - PR services, November 21, 2010
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
David Henderson is, like so many of us in the public relations business, a former journalist. You can tell that by looking at the blurbs from former CBS newsman Dan Rather and ABC's Greg Dobbs on the back of his book Making News in the Digital Era, which was published in 2009 by iUniverse.

This points to the fact that Henderson first thought of his job as a PR guy to be about media. Once upon a time, that would have made perfect good sense. When the main way to reach an audience was through the media, journalists were naturals to move to PR, since they had newsroom contacts and an understanding of newsroom culture.

But Henderson has seen that the changes social media has brought to light allow organizations to talk to audiences far more directly than ever before. A corollary to that fact is this: what allows organizations to speak to audiences directly also allows audiences to talk back, and to talk among themselves.

This 170-page book is one that ANYone interested in the practice of media relations or public relations today and into the future ought to have, for a number of reasons.

Henderson is an excellent writer. His sentences are well-constructed and his arguments are made logically and thoroughly. That makes the book useful.

The content is excellent too. He quotes from a number of top-shelf people from the world of business, not-for-profits, and from the public relations industry too (including Ottawa's own Kathryn Schwab, I was pleasantly surprised to see!)

The book is divided into three parts: "Torrents of Change"; "Get in the Game. Make a Difference"; and "Reaching. Engaging. Influencing." Some of the chapter titles are a wee bit cliché ("The camera never blinks" or "Crisis never takes a day off"), but they are appropriate for the content.

One of the great things about this book is that Henderson finds lots of examples that haven't been beaten into the ground yet. My buddy Mark Blevis has been writing about the fact that some case studies in social media are getting tired. Not that Ford's social media initiatives aren't a great story, but how many times do you need to hear it?

This is NOT a gee-ain't-social-media-cool book. This is a book that gives concrete examples of how organizations can USE social media to communicate with audiences -- including the mainstream media -- and do good media relations in the "digital age."

One of the best case studies in the book is one that Henderson was personally involved with. In 2002, Henderson became involved in the plight of 12 Kuwaiti citizens who had been taken into custody by American forces and taken to Guantanamo Bay. In the chapter, he discusses how he worked to get media attention to this controversial topic, and how he helped shape the key messages that were important to get out. He follows that chapter with one on a lawyer named Layli Miller-Muro and how her Tahirih Justice Center works with the media. Those chapters alone are worth the cost of the book, in my opinion.

The other thing that I greatly appreciated in the book is Henderson's willingness to point out that there are many PR firms that are either choosing to ignore social media or to merely put a gloss of social media on top of their proposals. He's not shy about discussing what he considers unethical or less-than-competent practices in the industry, and he gives the reader some useful advice on how to choose wisely and what to look for in a PR counsel.

Overall, this is one of the best PR books that I've ever read. The biggest weakness I can point out in it is that its design is simple to the point of utilitarianism. It looks like a self-published book, which it is. If its cover design sends people away, that's a shame -- for Henderson and for the reader, who's missed an opportunity to get a LOT of great advice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The social media ARE the message if you understand how to use them., March 14, 2010
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
David Henderson is that increasingly rare independent PR guru who hasn't forgotten his newsperson roots. He totally understands how to tame the new media technology and without compromising those roots, will helps you understand it too. This slim, easy-to-read book contains everything you need to know about communicating successfully in our 24/7, social media-driven age. Forget the blast PR release, Henderson says. To connect with younger people especially, companies have to be a lot more honest and transparent - and much less self serving in their messages. And lest you forget --- he reiterates all the communication basics that are still at the heart of any class-act public relations campaign. So thorough is this book that Henderson risks putting himself out of a job, although he does point out early and often that most of the huge, corporate-owned PR agencies of the day remain clueless about how to strategize a media campaign in the age of Twitter followers and Facebook fans
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give your organization a voice in today's information ecosphere, October 25, 2011
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
Professionals and students, read this book to figure out how to give your organization a voice in the crowded, changing information ecosphere.

"Making News in the Digital Era" acts as a reference manual but reads like a collection of short stories. It's a manifesto about the growing importance of certain principles - transparency, openness, credibility, and building relationships - and a warning of the perils of not practicing them.

Communication professionals have heard it before. We think we know this stuff. So then why do we struggle to implement it?

Henderson explains some of the psychology behind the factors that create the wide gap between what works and what we're doing.

Read ONLY if you are ready to look in the mirror...

Part 1, "Torrents of Change," is about discovering innovations and authenticity. The chapters guide readers through the organic changes taking place and make the case that emerging technologies offer an organization new opportunities to become a more genuine version of itself. On the other hand, the chapters warn, if an organization does not innovate or heed advice to more toward transparency and openness it gets left behind in the movement toward credibility and relationship building.

Part 2, "Get in the Game. Make a Difference," is about surveying and fitting into the new media landscape. It encourages taking both value-driven and values-driven approaches in determining where to invest an organization's time and resources, with prime examples of do's and don'ts. How have communication strategists, both in-house and outside consultants, achieved success in strong messaging? Henderson gives several compelling examples.

Part 3, "Reaching. Engaging. Influencing," walks readers first through corporate storytelling. What does it achieve? How does it work? Why? The answer is about getting people to care. To illustrate, Henderson draws on the example of Steve Jobs at Apple. One needs only to think back to the days and weeks following Jobs' untimely death to know how much he got people to care about his company. The chapters address the elements of good storytelling: reading reality, speaking plainly, finding ears to listen, answering questions, etc. Then, in the final nine chapters, Henderson tackles strategic planning directly. No, not tactics to get cheap results, but strategies and clear vision for achieving enduring, trusting and meaningful relationships. He also gives tips on how to prevent distractions like slogans, mission statements and poor interview performance from getting in the way. Again, Jobs' leadership at Apple provides a perfect model, as well as Zappos CEO Tony Hseieh.

As a journalism professional who has worked in print, TV and online, I found I already did much of what Henderson suggests based on my reporter instincts. But one thing I've learned working in media relations for the past year is that most people in organizations do not share those instincts, and this book gave me the language to reason with them. I admit, it also taught me more than just a thing or two... When you put on the other hat, the lure to fall into the same traps can be overpowering.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't lend this one to your friends!, October 27, 2009
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
David Henderson gets it. So many folks out there in the media business are still cracking their skulls trying to figure out a way to make the 'old media ways' new again. Time and change have already proven it's not going to happen, and Henderson tells you why, begs his audience to give up, and to surrender to a brave new media world, where 'spin' is suspect and 'transparency' is the rule of the day. This book is not long, but it's packed with great advice for journalists, public relations professionals, and even folks in the advertising and marketing biz. In the new world of information technology, 'citizen journalists' are everywhere. There are those who see this as a bad thing, an affront to true journalism, to the 'controlled' message. Not Henderson. He is completely up to speed in the brave new world; he embraces it, and tells you why you should, too. In his introduction, Henderson sums his book up in three, short sentences. "Who is the media today? Just look in the mirror. It is all of us." The book is not without detail, or references, or facts to back up Henderson's assertions. The evidence is everywhere. Things are changing, according to Henderson, and like it or not, you're foolhardy to look the other way and dig your sensible shoes in, refusing to believe in the power of new media and citizen journalism and the new and improved way of message delivery. This is a must-have for any media professional's bookshelf - it's a reference book, it's an idea book, and it's just plain fun to read. And for those of you who are business owners and managers, it's definitely something you should invest time in reading. Otherwise, you're left behind in the old cobweb-ridden dust. Change is good and it's damned exciting. This book tells you both how, and why.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PR teachers: Here's your new and RELEVANT text, November 1, 2009
By 
Shari Weiss (Novato, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
As both a PR teacher and professional journalist for many years, I was blown away when I found the perfect new text: "Making News in the Digital Era" by David E. Henderson

If elections were held today for Social Media Expert, David gets my vote. His 2009 narrative/guidebook is perfect for helping learners on all levels understand -- and properly apply -- Best Communication Practices in this whole new social media world of ours.
Technology is changing our lifestyles on a daily basis . . .

so many would agree that claiming "Expert" status has to be "qualified," i.e., conditional based on the newest data.

But let's consider "qualified" in its other sense as well.

If anyone has built the chops to thoroughly discuss the news business, journalism, public relations, and social media marketing, then David Henderson qualifies:

* Emmy Award-winning CBS News correspondent and public relations executive for dozens of years, David has been online with his blog [...] since 2003.

Some of David's best advice:

1. Let go of Old Ways and embrace Change.
2. Present ideas for developing a company's reputation with communication approaches that underscore transparency, openness, and credibility.
3. Messages need to focus on audience benefits, not talking about the greatness of an organization.
4. Avoid jargon and "gobbledygook" and use clear, direct, easy-to-understand language.
5. Key communication practices: Listening, engaging, story-telling, and always speaking the truth.
6. Today's executives must be involved in online strategies that require inspiration, passion, purpose, and focus.
7. Forego Mission Statements and carefully create a concise and appropriate Positioning Statement.

"Strategic communications in today's fiercely competitive world mandates clever positioning, understanding audience needs and knowing how to craft timely and meaningful messages that excite people and create results" [p. 23]
My opinion: This is a book that ought to be used in both in university public relations/communications courses as well as in the offices of every public relations organization and department.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for creating an effective traditional and online media strategy, January 19, 2010
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
Having had extensive experience working as a journalist and in the PR industry, and not to mention being a prolific blogger, David Henderson certainly has his finger on the communications pulse. David's writing style is very straight-forward and practical, providing illustrative examples relevant to the points he makes. I have to admit that my highlighter pen did some serious overtime while reading this book. I recommend this book to any organization wishing to develop an effective traditional media and online media strategy.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 28 Chapters of redundant rhetoric, November 5, 2009
By 
JT (California) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
I waited with great expectation to read a book about how to rise above the noise, making news in the digital era, driven by Facebook, Twitter and other social media vehicles. The book was a quick read and a great overview of today's media environment. The main problem is that Henderson used 28 chapters to communicate what he could have done in two...but then it would have been a newsletter, not a book. As a communications professional, I take great exception to the author's constant dig and generalization that the communications industry doesn't "get" it. And his disdain of PR agencies is off the map. Too bad that Henderson, purportedly a thought leader in communications, didn't spend more time teaching and less time criticizing. Read the book and form your own opinions.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David Henderson is the real deal, October 28, 2009
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
I'm a David Henderson fan because he is a rare individual who has worked both sides of the news business. As a television correspondent for many years, David knows what it takes to report the news. And as a corporate communications executive, he knows what it takes to work with journalists on a story.

Added to this rare combination is the fact that David can write. A natural storyteller, he makes the ideas in "Making News in the Digital Era" come alive through interesting examples. A must read for anyone trying to figure out the new news game.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for 2010 to Save Thousands and Work the Media Effectively, October 5, 2009
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
For every media relations manager, marketing expert, consultant and senior executive in any organization, this book is the best $10 you can spend this season.
Once again, David Henderson has blown away the happy fog of P.R. agency hocum and delivered a spare, practical guide to getting effective results in this shifting media environment. Henderson, a former CBS journalist, is now spreading the truth about how PR agencies haven't kept up with the times -- but are still willing to bill you handsomely anyway. Take the chapter "Die, Press Releases" in which he deconstructs the myth that journalists today still rely on press releases for their story ideas (they don't), and that a plainly worded, appropriately targeted email will work much better (it does). Beyond the caveats, Henderson provides a wealth of solid, actionable advice for dealing with both traditional news media, but the whole emerging online scene with its possible traps and pitfalls. Yes, there's a plethora of helpful advice about how to connect with journalists and handle challenging interviews that you'd expect from any solid book on media relations. But this book provides guidance on how to work with social media and other niche audiences. This is material you won't get from the PR agencies rife with ex-journalists who are enmeshed in the traditions of yesterday. And it will give you more useful wisdom than a roomful of 20-something communications majors. Before your next staff meeting, read this book to get up to speed on the entire digital revolution. You'll be the brightest one in the room.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Death of the Press Release, Rise of the Online Newsroom, October 9, 2009
This review is from: Making News in the Digital Era (Paperback)
How can you make any sense of today's dizzying ways to communicate ... the media, the online world and things like social media? What has real value, what's merely a passing trend?

David Henderson's new book, "Making News in the Digital Era", makes sense of all the modern digital tools of communication.

To me this book is worth twice the price, but I am a little biased. David Henderson, and our team at THE NEWS GROUP NET ([...]), are setting new standards in the digital communication era. In his book, David takes you through the various digital tools now available to PR professionals; how to properly use, and not use, each one of them.

Especially significant to me is the open and transparent online newsroom that THE NEWS GROUP NET created for Imperial Sugar ([...]). There are a number of companies that can create physical website they call an online newsroom. The Imperial Sugar Newsroom is different because it is vibrant, open and does not contains static press releases, but instead stories of the company written and photographed by professional journalists.

As traditional media sources continue to shrink, getting a company's story told will be more of a challenge; unless you have a David Henderson around to help you know the tricks of "Making News in the Digital Era."
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Making News in the Digital Era
Making News in the Digital Era by David Henderson (Paperback - September 11, 2009)
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