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Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR [Hardcover]

Brian Solis , Deirdre K. Breakenridge
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 Feb 2009

Forget the "pitch": Yesterday's PR techniques just don't work anymore. That's the bad news. Here's the great news: Social Media and Web 2.0 offer you an unprecedented opportunity to make PR work better than ever before. This book shows how to reinvent PR around two-way conversations, bring the "public" back into public relations and get results that traditional PR people can only dream about. Drawing on their unparalleled experience making Social Media work for business, PR 2.0.com's Brian Solis and industry leader Deirdre Breakenridge show how to transform the way you think, plan, prioritize, and deliver PR services. You'll learn powerful new ways to build the relationships that matter, and reach a new generation of influencers...leverage platforms ranging from Twitter to Facebook...truly embed yourself in the communities that are shaping the future. Best of all, you won't just learn how to add value in the Web 2.0 world: You'll learn how to prove how new, intelligent, and socially rooted PR will transform your organization into a proactive, participatory communication powerhouse that is in touch and informed with its community of stakeholders.

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Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR + Share This Too: More Social Media Solutions for PR Professionals + Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 1 edition (19 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137150695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137150694
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.9 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

“There will be two kinds of PR professionals in the future: those who read this book and get with the program, and the unemployed. Your choice.”

Seth Godin, Author of Tribes


“I am thrilled that there is finally a book about the right way to approach PR in today’s world, where hyper-connected conversations trump the old school broadcast mentality. Everyone who wants to build a career in PR or marketing should read this book.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com


“Putting the Public Back in Public Relations is a passionate and persuasive case for rewriting the rules of public relations. Authors Solis and Breakenridge expertly combine third-party perspective with case studies and examples to paint a picture of a profession on the brink of reinvention.”

Paul Gillin, Author, The New Influencers and Secrets of Social Media Marketing


“Putting the Public Back in Public Relations is an excellent read. It is the right book at the right time, explaining the reinvention of Public Relations at the hands of Social Media. A must read for those innovative marketers charged with creating differentiation in today’s competitive marketplace.”

Trish Piontek, Director, Retail Marketing, Amerisource Bergen Corporation


Breakthrough Web PR 2.0 Strategies and Tactics That Work


Forget the pitch: Yesterday’s PR techniques just don’t work anymore. That’s the bad news. Here’s the great news: Social Media and Web 2.0 offer you an unprecedented opportunity to make PR succeed more powerfully than ever before. This book shows how to reinvent PR around two-way conversations with traditional and new influencers, bring the “public” back into public relations—and earn a new level of results that just wasn’t possible before now.


Drawing on their unparalleled experience making Social Media work for business, PR 2.0 blogger Brian Solis and industry leader Deirdre Breakenridge show how to transform the way you think, plan, prioritize, and deliver PR services. You’ll learn new ways to build the relationships that matter, and reach a new generation of influencers…leverage platforms ranging from Twitter to Facebook…truly embed yourself in the communities that are shaping the future.


Along the way, you’ll learn how to stop being a “publicist” or mere “communicator” and become what your clients or company really need: a genuine enthusiast for whom and what you represent.


What’s wrong with PR—and how to fix it

Leverage Social Media and Web 2.0 to reinvent PR, build meaningful and valuable relationships, and supercharge its effectiveness


Social Media PR—a complete primer

Build blogger relationships, reinvent the press release, and make social networks the hub of your online brands


Why it’s about sociology and anthropology—not technology

Master the art of listening and leverage today’s powerful, emerging micromedia


Real PR metrics for the Web 2.0 world

Measure the results that really matter--and demonstrate your value as never before


About the Author

Brian Solis is Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning PR and New Media agency in Silicon Valley. One of the original thought leaders who paved the way for Social Media and PR 2.0, Solis cofounded the Social Media Club and is a founding member of the Media 2.0 Workgroup. He currently blogs about the evolution and future of PR and marketing at PR 2.0 (www.briansolis.com), which is considered one of the most influential marketing blogs in the world.


Deirdre Breakenridge is an author, entrepreneur and CEO of Pure Performance Communications. A 20 + year veteran in PR and marketing, she is the author of five FT Press books including her latest titles, Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, and PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences.

Deirdre speaks both nationally and internationally on the topics of PR, social media and marketing. She is a recognized PR blogger at PR 2.0 strategies, and also the co-founder of #PRStudChat, a dynamic twitter chat with PR professionals, educators and students.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A truly awful book - don't believe the hype 20 Oct 2009
The authors of this book claim to have discovered a new form of PR. A kind of lovable, huggable, cuddly PR, that turns its back on "hype" and embraces "communities."

Well I'm calling foul.

They have used hype (Hype 2.0 anyone?) by getting various luminaries of the blogosphere to write hyperbolic reviews of this quite frankly disappointing tome. The endorsements of this book reads like a who's who of social media, but to be honest I will find it hard to take any of them seriously again.

My experience with this book started badly and got steadily worse. There's a glaring typo on the back inlay - always a sure sign of a rushed publication - and foreword author Guy Kawasaki, instead of taking the time to write a proper, thoughtful foreword, has instead decided to tweet it in 140 characters or less "in the spirit of the times," he helpfully adds.

So with my expectations lowered, I grimly set about reading the book.

I wish I hadn't bothered.

The information in this book - such as it is - seems to have been laid out by a hyperactive ten year old. The authors jump erratically from place to place, confusing the reader. The writing style is truly dreadful. The authors have decided to capitalise "social media" throughout, which is just a little bit presumptuous but highly annoying. There is a shocking amount of repetition, and there is so much guff, it's hard to know where the chaff ends and the wheat begins.

While claiming to hold the secrets to the future of media and PR, the authors have inadvertently focused the spotlight on the two things that are wrong with the blogoshpere: blatant and unwarranted self-promotion and the cult of the amateur.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Specialized overview of social networking 20 July 2009
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Although changes in the media have always challenged public relations professionals to stay up-to-date, individual PR practitioners' credibility and solid relationships still define their success. This means that tech advocates may be somewhat overstating when they claim that "Social Media" outlets will radically alter public relations, though they certainly add many more tools to the mix. Even if Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge tend to inflate the extent of the digital revolution, their book is helpful and worth reading. You'll have to be comfortable with some Web-jargon to understand their tech-centric thinking, but PR professionals do need to know how to make the most of social media - blogs, social networking sites, "micromedia" and the like - and how to best channel its unquestionable potential and impact. For that purpose, getAbstract recommends this handy overview. In terms of details, its most hands-on, useful section is the appendix of social media links.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting PR back in Public Relations 14 July 2009
Brian Solis has succeeded in writing a both entertaining and educational book about how PR are evolving, for me there's been a lot of smiles and nodding in recognition due to the fact I have so much of the same opinions. An excellent book to read and have as an faq book as well. It's a keeper!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My favorite part of the book was Appendix B where the authors include a grid of URLs and short explanations for each. 6 May 2009
By Jeff Lippincott - Published on Amazon.com
Not a bad book. I thought it read pretty well. It's full length, has some good content, and is current as far as I could see when it comes to the topic of social media MARKETING (SMM). And it presents SMM from the slant of a competent up-to-date public relations professional. If you are a public relations professional and have not yet crawled out of the Dark Ages and become computer literate, then I highly recommend you give this book a read. But for the rest of us who have been following SMM (whether we are public relations specialists or not), then I didn't really see much new covered or included in this tome. As a result I am going to drop my star rating for it down a notch. The book is broken into the following 5 parts and 19 chapters:

Part I. The true value of new PR (1-5)
Part II. Facilitating conversations: New tools & techniques (6-10)
Part III. Participating in social media (11-14)
Part IV. PR 2.0: A promising future (15-18)
Part V. Convergence (19)

0.1 -The socialization of media & PR 2.0
0.2 -Introduction: Social media is the reinvention of public relations
1. What's wrong with PR?
2. PR 2.0 versus public relations
3. PR 2.0 in a Web 2.0 world
4. Traditional versus new journalism
5. PR is about relationships
6. The language of new PR
7. Blogger relations
8. Social media releases (SMRs)
9. Video news releases (VNR) 2.0
10. Corporate blogging
11. Technology does not override the social sciences
12. Social networks: The online hub for your brand
13. Micromedia
14. New "marketing" roles
15. Community managers & customer service 2.0
16. Socialization of communication & service
17. The rules for breaking news
18. A new guide to metrics
19. PR 2.0 & PR 1.0 equals putting the public back in PR
A. The SEC & the importance of recognizing corporate blogs as public disclosure
B. It's alive! A roadmap to the social media dynamic landscape

I did not see a chapter on Investor Relations (IR). And since we all know that is ALL about public relations in large companies I viewed that as a gap, hole or deficiency in the book. I don't consider it to be something that can easily be merged into the topic of "corporate blogging." This is especially true after the authors included Appendix A regarding SEC regulations.

My favorite part of the book was Appendix B where the authors include a grid of URLs and short explanations for each. I found it to be a wonderful crib sheet or toolkit for an SMM professional to use when building his or her marketing and PR game plans. 4 stars!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting the Public Back in Public Relations 13 July 2009
By Kensington - Published on Amazon.com
Finally a PR book that doesn't suck! In fact, it's jam-packed with actual, tactical things you can do for your client TODAY, to start mattering in social universe. Too many PR books get bogged down by all theory (fluff) and no substance (meat). While this book does perhaps repeat one too many times the whole "we're no longer talking at people, but rather engaging in a conversation" mantra, it is by far the most useful PR book I've ever read. I won't read any PR book that is more than a year old and w/ a publishing date of March 2009, everything still seems relevant (today, anyway). Great read Brian.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you wanted to know about Public Relations but were NOT afraid to ask 31 July 2009
By K. Freberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In the course of taking public relations classes for about seven years now - from my first Introduction to Public Relations course at the University of Florida to going on for my Masters in Strategic Public Relations at USC, to now taking PR Strategies, Crisis Communications, and PR Management (Theory) at the University of Tennessee. In every class, we would of course be using a classic PR textbook, or we would have to buy the course packet of readings that the professor felt was more appropriate for the class.

However, I came across a public relations book a few days ago that is both refreshing and enlightening that offers strategic insights into the field, discusses real world cases and issues that public relations professionals are dealing with in this changing business economy, and where PR as a profession is going to the future. The book that I am talking about is "Putting the Public Back in Public Relations" by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge.

The book has a lot to offer to not only established public relations professionals who have been working in the field for years, but for the younger generation of public relations professionals that are just about to enter the workplace in their first job. Future practitioners and professionals need to understand what is the current status of the field and where it will be heading (here is a great post by Brian Solis from his web site PR 2.0 on this very issue). There were several points that I liked about the book - first, it was very thorough in the realm of discussing the impact of social media on the public relations field. If you want to have a book that details you all of the elements of social media and how to use them effectively - this book then is a must-have!

Second, what I do like in the book is that it is very upfront and direct on what public relations professionals need to do. Unlike some PR textbooks where the author may go on and on for pages about something that they could have said in two sentences, both Solis and Breakenridge provide a nice structured frame in their writing with a lot of content for the reader to process and reflect upon. Plus, there are so many topics that are covered in this book that are very hip and relevant to the public relations professional today. From understanding the new language of the new PR to understanding how a social media press release works to looking at where PR will be in the future (PR 2.0 +PR 1.o = Putting the Public back in Public Relations) - it is all very insightful and what a great resource for PR professionals. I do agree with the authors that we as Public Relations professionals need to make sure that we are establishing long-term and effective relationships with our audiences, and we need to be online and use social media to understand it fully.

The only thing that I wished that the authors would have done in this book is to address an issue that is indeed present in regards to social media and public relations - and that is there seems to be a struggle between what the practitioners in public relations feel about social media and how they use it for their daily PR practices, and how the PR academicians and researchers perceive this new form of technology and how they are using this in the classroom. I have definitely seen a huge gap in this area - and for professors, we want to give our students to tools and resources that they will need to be successful in the workplace and at the first job - besides, these are going to be the leaders of the PR field, and it is our obligation to make sure that they know where the field stands in terms of social media and public relations - and what they need to know.

On another note, as a student and future PR professor / researcher - this would be something that I would be interested in looking at specifically. For example, what would be some of the skills that the authors would suggest that are essential for students to have at their first position? What types of class activities / assignments would they recommend professors give their students? Also, what is their perception of the gap between the practitioners in PR and the academic community in regards to social media - is there even a gap, and if there is one - how do we bridge together to become a more integrated field?

So, in summary - I would highly recommend the new book "Putting the Public back in Public Relations" to not only PR practitioners and professors, but also to students (undergraduate and graduate) in Public Relations and Marketing to get a great resource on the latest in social media and PR from two established professionals in the field.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,
School of Advertising and Public Relations
Karen Freberg
Doctoral Student


University of Tennessee
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Used as textbook: Great ideas and examples, but repetitive 15 Dec 2010
By K. M. Abrams - Published on Amazon.com
If you don't read this book word-for-word, cover-to-cover, you can probably still walk away with full absorption of the main points. I used this as a supplemental textbook in a PR Campaign Planning course at a major university, and I and the students found it quite repetitive. This resulted in them being bored with the book. The ideas and proposed new language of PR are inspiring, as other reviewers have commented, but are they realistic? We should definitely keep ideals at the forefront of our thoughts if we intend to stay relevant to clients and audiences (I mean, ..."people").

While inspiring to my students, they did not try any of the identified strategies in the book. I'm not sure if it was over their heads or if they prefer using "intuition" above book-prescribed examples. I personally found the examples and recommendations easy to put to use, which is why I thought my students would.

The book did guide an in-depth philosophical discussion that got them thinking how to use social media as a professional versus personally. A lot of students have difficulty making the leap from person to professional use, so I think the book helped there.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth reading 28 Nov 2009
By Dr. Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Apart from the title of this book, which caught my attention and made me buy it, the book is not worth reading. Instead of thoughtful analysis, it is unstructured, unfocused, superficial, and filled with hype, platitudes and significant amounts of self-promotion.
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