There are some real gems and lots of good, solid, practical insights in this book. And I have to admit after some initial scepticism, this book is the first to provide me with real insight into how the Web, and blogging more specifically, can be used to aid PR and marketing strategies.
This said, I found Scott less good with the underpinning theory; he has a tendency to make a few too many assumptions and is a bit too loose with the generalisations. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in itself, as it can make the writing `pacy' and accessible. However, I would certainly take issue with the way he defines marketing. It's a pretty one-eyed view, and to make matters worse its advertising he focuses on in the list he draws up detailing its shortcomings. At the best of times resorting to `man of straw' arguments is dubious rhetoric, and initially this made me doubt the book's `authenticity' or thought leadership, as Scott would perhaps call it.
I would also argue that `interruption advertising' still has its place both of itself and when integrated into Web-based strategies. The creative variations of Cadbury's `Gorilla' advertisement on YouTube offer an intriguing insight to what can be achieved.
The issue I have with Scott's book is, that to begin, he is so concerned to argue the old marketing and PR rules are dead, that he dilutes the message about how the old and the new might be better integrated to deliver more effective communications, at whatever level of access. But by the end of the book, his more measured, thoughtful and practical approach had turned me around.
For me, Scott sums up his book in the following statement. The new publishing model on the Web is about. . . delivering content when and where it is needed and, in the process, branding you or your organization as a leader. When you understand your audience, those people who will become your buyers, you can craft an editorial and content strategy just for them. . . . In order to implement a successful strategy, think like a publisher.
Two final comments: understanding your audience is classic, `old marketing'. Secondly, thinking like a publisher is not exactly easy, but it's what conventional PR attempts to achieve when crafting messages for its audiences. So, let's be careful not throw out the baby with the bath water.