- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Pearson FT Press; 1 edition (April 27, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0132983214
- ISBN-13: 978-0132983211
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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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.
It is a very well organized volume with lots of bullet lists, logical subheadings within chapters, questions and answers, and comprehensive checklists. This makes the book handy for flipping back to key points of information when implementing the practices in your own organization while also allowing the reader who already has a handle on many aspects of the book to browse through looking for relevant information or alternative practices.
I would not say that this book is NOT for the small business or a beginner in social media as I believe everyone who utilizes these tools in the hopes of promoting an earning business needs to have a large scale sensibility about the way social media activities are conducted - even if you are the one conducting them and not an entire department. Tackling this type of information soon also ensures that a growing business begins to travel these paths on the right track instead of having to stop and reevaluate later. It all depends on where you want to go. I would say that this is not a "For Dummies" book that will hold your hand through the basics of social media, so shop accordingly.