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Strategic Public Relations: 10 Principles to Harness the Power of PR Paperback – April 7, 2010
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"This quick read is definitely one to add to your bookcase. With its anecdotes and examples throughout, it provides not only an entertaining, but also an educated look at strategic PR." Excerpt from PRWeek - Guest review by Jeffrey Ory, Vice President, Deveney Communication (September 2009) --PRWeek
"The book is full of compelling examples and practical advice for any company looking to improve its standing with its community and customer base." - The Costco Connection (August 2009) --The Costco Connection
About the Author
Jennifer Gehrt and Colleen Moffitt, successful PR professionals in the Pacific Northwest's vibrant high-tech sector, have developed a deeply insightful, effective and cost-efficient methodology to help everyone from buddy PR practitioners to seasoned business leaders. Combining their own tested and perfected best practices with savvy expertise from some of the most seasoned PR pros in the profession, Gehrt and Moffitt offer new insight into public relations and how to use this growing medium to your company's best advantage.
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The chapter on building and nurturing relationships with reporters, for example, contains a great many useful nuggets and goes well beyond the cliché. The authors suggest that PR people read what reporters have written on various topics unrelated to their own clients' work and might occasionally drop the reporter a line to show they are interested in his or her work. They give very good advice on when and how to seek a correction of an inaccurate story. They correctly point out that while some corporate leaders do extraordinarily well in a media interview, others are not good spokespeople, and they give advice for dealing with both types.
Gehrt and Moffitt's chapter on measuring the return on investment from PR is the clearest such discussion that I have ever read. They don't just enumerate the various ways of measuring ROI; they also provide candid discussions of the strengths and weaknesses of each one. That's important because in my experience, each of the well-known methods has significant drawbacks, and the authors don't hesitate to explain what they are.
The authors also give a cool-headed assessment of the old question of when to bring PR in-house and when to rely on outside consultants. Again, this is one of the best and most straightforward discussions of this issue that I have read. They note that in-house PR people are far less expensive - a point that I think has not been emphasized enough by other writers - and that they can forge close working relationships with company executives. On the other hand, an outside agency can deploy a team with varied experience, as well as having available "tens or even hundreds of colleagues at the agency ...for advice when a difficult issue arises."
The chapters on blogging and social networking sites seem a bit perfunctory and lack the pizzazz of many of the other discussions. But that may simply reflect the fact that we are all suffering media overload when it comes to talk about Twitter, Facebook, and the like.
Gehrt and Moffitt have written a book that I would place on the recommended reading list for anyone who wants to understand PR in a sophisticated manner.
Strategic Public Relations opens with an analogy. What if you built a windmill, but didn't connect it to a generator, never capturing the energy you were trying to harness and amplify in the first place? An effective way to waste your efforts, right? Similarly, this book convincingly asserts that if you don't address the root business needs before you implement PR strategies, you're really not doing you or the company you're working for/with any service. In other words, when you scatter-shoot PR for the sake of doing PR ("hey, we just want people to know about our products"), you aren't tied into the real needs of the business.
Ultimately, this book would make a fantastic textbook for any undergraduate or graduate level course in public relations or communications. But it's SO MUCH MORE. That's because Gehrt and Moffit did 3 things really well. First, they wrote with economy of words. The book is short at a mere 160 pages -- never easy when you're addressing a subject as meaty as PR. Second, all the fundamentals of PR are there, codified in 10 simple but nuanced, rich "principles." Third, you get to hear from dozens of PR pros, journalists, academics, broadcast media experts and others. In other words, what would otherwise have been a "dry read" is exactly the opposite. It's engaging and insightful. It's fun and quick.
One reason I like this book so much is that it gets into the tough issues that often can prevent PR from being successful (and strategic). Just look at what the book calls "Principle #1" (of 10 key principles). Principle #1 is all about "selling pr to stakeholders within your company." I would venture to bet that anyone who's been involved in PR at an agency or on the corporate side has realized that most business people have a very passing and cursory, often stilted and misinformed, view of PR. There are those who think of PR as "all those press releases we send out there." Then there are those who think of PR as a "nice way to get attention...any pr is good pr, right?" The bottom line in my own 15 year career is that you need to find ways to educate people internally about what GOOD PR can do, while really uncovering the true needs of the business you're trying to serve. It takes a lot of gumption and abilty to "push back" (nicely!) when things don't seem like they're going to be strategic. Gehrt and Moffit "get it," but they don't just tell you -- they SHOW you by bringing in voices and experiences from such a wide array of experts.
This is a must-read for anyone involved in the PR and Communication professions.
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i was looking for a PR book that really gave some creative real-world examples of how a company used PR.Read more