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Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional Paperback – April 17, 2012
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From the Back Cover
Foreword by David Armano, EVP of Global Innovation & Integration for Edelman Digital, and author of the Logic + Emotion blog
“The desire to be strategic about social media and PR is no longer enough--these days you must first master the eight new PR practices laid out by Breakenridge. If you want to sit at the social media strategy table, then read this book. Better yet, make sure you share it!”
--Charlene Li, author of Open Leadership and Groundswell, Founder of Altimeter Group
“Never before has a book explained how PR is evolving like Deirdre Breakenridge’s Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional. The industry is in turmoil, as the digital era begins to settle and PR is looking for a home among marketing, content, and social media. Breakenridge breaks down eight areas to focus on for both career and business growth, including research, reputation, collaboration, and most importantly, measurement. It’s a must-read for any PR practitioner, no matter level or expertise.”
--Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc., founder of Spin Sucks Pro, author of Spin Sucks, and coauthor of Marketing in the Round
“I believe that any organization with strong values can succeed in social, and the book Social Media and Public Relations explains how in thoughtful (and necessary) detail. Anyone who tells you social is easy has not done their homework, and understanding the wealth of information in this book will keep them from failing the final exam.”
--George Faulkner, Social Brand Engagement Program, IBM
In Social Media and Public Relations , PR veteran Deirdre K. Breakenridge presents focused, actionable best practices for every PR pro, marketer, and strategist: the eight social media skills and mindsets most tightly linked to success right now. Drawing on her unsurpassed experience counseling Fortune 500 companies and other top organizations, Breakenridge shows exactly how to engage today’s sophisticated, socialized customers. This concise, fast-paced book reveals how to integrate social media and PR with other key business functions. Breakenridge helps you:
• Expand your strategic role: Become the go-to social expert
• Develop, coordinate, and curate content from all your sources
• Demolish silos and generate deep internal collaboration
• Systematically map your audiences’ connections
• Listen and respond to customers accurately, transparently, and immediately
• Practice “reputation management on steroids”
• Don’t just “tolerate” metrics: Drive them
• Avoid disaster: Build proactive crisis prevention plans that work
About the Author
Deirdre K. Breakenridge is Chief Executive Officer of Pure Performance Communications, a strategic communications and technology consulting firm in the New York Metro area. A 20+ year veteran in PR and marketing, Breakenridge has counseled senior-level executives at Fortune 500 companies.
As a five-time published author and entrepreneur, Breakenridge travels worldwide, speaking to corporations and associations on the changing media landscape and the integration of public relations, marketing, and social media. She is an avid blogger at PR 2.0 Strategies and the cofounder of #PRStudChat, a dynamic Twitter community dedicated to educating PR practitioners, students, and educators. Her other books include Putting the Public Back in Public Relations; PR 2.0 New Media, New Tools, New Audiences ; and The New PR Toolkit .
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Top customer reviews
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Well, after reading Deirdre K. Breakenridge's "Social Media and Public Relations", not only is this book well-written, it's a book that I can see myself utilizing often, especially when incorporating it to my business and also for drafting a PR plan for companies.
There is a lot of information in this book and I enjoyed ow Breakenridge was able to breakdown the essential PR Practices:
1 - The PR Policymaker - Development of social media policies, training and governance.
2 - The Internal Collaboration Generator - Social media collaboration starting in the inside of the organization and working with specific departments.
3 - The PR Technology Tester - Testing the latest technology for better interactions with the public.
4 - The Communications (COMMS) Organizer - Educating and redirecting an organization to implement a new communications process.
5 - The Pre-Crisis Doctor - Building crisis prevention plans with comment response charts and helpful tools to illustrate levels of crisis escalation through all media, including new media.
6 - The Relationship Analyzer - The PR professional who turns into the communications sociologist with the help of technology. Visualizing and mapping connections for better strategic engagement.
7 - The Reputation Task Force Member - PR Professional who must teach about core values and brand voice.
8 - The Master of Metrics - Learning to differentiate between social media business outcomes versus the outtakes and outputs.
What I enjoyed about this book is its presentation.
Breakenridge provides a considerable amount of data through various sources, provides the responsibilities of the PR professional utilizing social media and gets into detail of what the professional should do. Also, included is an interview with a professional of how social media during that essential practice and followed by a checklist of what will be needed.
Later chapters also include new PR practices to become an influencer and change agent and I felt the addition of the Twitter Q&A with Chris Brogan was fantastic!
Also, included is a chapter on the future of PR and Social Media. And concluding with Breakenridge's Social Media Strategy Wheel which she created back in 2009.
Explanations are also well done and among my favorite chapters was featuring the interview with Shelly Burke, founder of Shonali Burke Consulting in regards of Masters of the Metrics and the importance of Google Analytics URL builder. Although, I have worked with companies that have used Google Analytics, I know others who have also used Quantcast for tracking.
I also do enjoy the chapters that go into bringing in other departments and not to do things on your own. This is a problem I know I have faced before. Where upper administration staff or heads of departments feel they are too busy and want one department to handle everything, when everyone should be involved. But Breakenridge emphasizes that it must be team effort in order to make these practices succeed.
There are a lot of social media books out there but Deirdre K. Breakenridge's "Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional" is one book that makes sense, wonderful information that I can see others incorporating the practices into their own social media strategy.
The fact is that there are many people claiming to be social media experts, even some writing books for the sake of cashing in on those wanting to become a social media expert. And I have read so much fluff that I've been disappointed by quite a few of the social media e-books and books out there.
But when I started reading this book, immediately I was inspired. And chapter after chapter, I was amazed by how much information and how detailed Breakenridge was in her book. Easy to read, logical explanations.
This is a concise book that will easily help one integrate social media and PR with other key business functions and a book that I have no doubt that social media professionals will come back to often.
It's that good!
Deirdre K. Breakenridge's "Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional" is highly recommended!
The book is broken out into eight sections, one for each job category, and describes what traits and skills are necessary for that type of job. For example, one category is crisis management. The chapter discusses how social media can be used to handle a crisis and techniques that work or don't work.
As you might guess, most of the information is most applicable to a fairly large company. A small one-owner website probably doesn't have to worry about developing a social media policy and having a dedicated person handle that. Still, there are tips in here that anybody can use. PR is no longer about top-down one-way communication. It's a communication between a company and its stakeholders. Change is the new constant. You have to repeat any message 6-7 times before it sinks in with listeners.
Much of my issue with this book has to do with its layout, and with some of its content. Let's start with the layout, since that should have been fixed by the publishers and it's hard to fault the author for that.
The author includes a "Social Media Strategy Wheel" graphic early in the book with no explanation at all. The wheel has multiple layers on it. The innermost core is Research. The first layer around that is Objectives, Goals, Budget, and Audience Profile. Then the next layer out, with certain components overlapping certain components of the first layer, is Tracking & Monitoring Strategy, Distribution Strategy, Content / Communications Strategy, Measurement Strategy, and Engagement Strategy. The finally is an outer layer which exactly matches this middle ring, just with the items changing purpose slightly. So the outer ring that goes with "Tracking & Monitoring Strategy" is then "Tracking & Monitoring Software". I'll try to load an image to help this make more sense, since it is so key to the book and its issues.
So you see this wheel, and are confused by it, and you're told to look it up in the Appendix. The book really should have described this key wheel right then, so it's in the reading path, vs making you flip back and forth when you're just getting started. But even worse, you go to the Appendix and they barely describe the wheel. And they start giving the few descriptions they have before they show you the wheel. So even in the Appendix you're flipping back and forth to try to figure out what they mean.
Then you get to Chapter 1 and they show you the exact same wheel again, now with a #1 (for the first type of job area) in the center - and that's it! Is the #1 supposed to be meaningful? Are they saying this wheel applies to the first job type? There's no context for the graphic. When you get on to the second chapter, on Internal Collaborators, now the exact same graphic is shown with a #2 in the Budget area as well as the center. Aha!! Maybe that means something. Maybe it means that Internal Collaborators have to worry about budgets. But why wouldn't other job areas also have budgets? There's no description, no help. For a graphic that is so central to the book, they do a poor job of making it have meaning.
And also, the ring setup seems to be arbitrary. The budget wedge is attached to measurement strategy and content / communications strategy - but is NOT connected to tracking and monitoring strategy or software. Surely software is a key area that budgets are important?
In general the use of this wheel seems confusingly laid out and poorly described.
The same issue with "here's a graphic - now go to the appendix to find the details" mis-layout also applies to the elevator speeches for each job. The elevator speeches - the 30 second summary of what each job is about - are GREAT. But they're buried at the back of the book! We could have used those summaries in the actual chapter they apply to - probably right at the start of each one - to get the summary of what that job was about. Then we could delve into the details.
So those are the layout / design issues. Now, here are the content issues.
First, I have issues with any author who quotes Wikipedia, which this author does several times. Wikipedia is a third party source. Go to the direct source! Tell us what Wikipedia is quoting instead.
The author holds up Kodak as a shining example of success, when they are used in most of my courses as an example of a business unable to cope with change.
She says, "most executives are aware of the excitement and potential of Google+ brand pages" - huh? Most tech writers I follow are wondering if Google+ is even relevant any more a social network. I'm not sure that excitement and potential are words I'd be using with them.
She indicates one has to pay for WordPress templates. Not true at all. Most people I know code their own, and it's quite easy to do. I've done it for all the sites I run.
She states, "you can never overcommunicate". Again, not true. Every communications class I've taken has warned about crossing that line to where people tune you out as being noise. You absolutely CAN overcommunicate. You need to maintain that fine balance of sending out enough message to be heard, and not so much that you get blocked.
The book could easily become a five star book with some proper polishing and editing. I don't feel it is at that stage yet. Yes, some information in here is helpful, such as the repeat-messaging statement. But other messages could be quite harmful if followed, such as bombarding a message out. This book is supposed to instruct people new to social networking on their options. It needs to make sure that everything it states is clear, easy to understand, and accurate.