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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly readable introduction to social media for PR practitioners, 8 Jun. 2009
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This review is from: Public Relations and the Social Web: How to Use Social Media and Web 2.0 in Communications (Hardcover)
I bought Rob Brown's book almost as soon as it was published and immediately started reading it. With 20-plus years of B2B PR experience behind me and having been an enthusiast for social media for some years, I hoped the book would confirm much of what I already knew and maybe give me some pointers towards areas that I might need to brush up on. And that, broadly, is what the book has done.

For those practitioners relatively new to social media, the first half of Rob's book talks about the changing nature of communications, media fragmentation, relinquishing control, the emergence of new channels (blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasts, bookmarking, social networks), search engine optimisation, new ethics and the "the battle for influence at the digital frontier".

The second half looks at what that "battle" means for the PR industry. Rob suggests ways in which PR practitioners will need to reconsider their communications 'mix', describes some tools of the trade - from social media releases to evaluation and measurement - before reminding us about some potential "bear traps" and wondering about "the next big thing".

As the social media world is constantly evolving, occasionally some of Rob's descriptions of the new channels and the major players are slightly dated - a lot can change in the months between submitting a manuscript and the book finally hitting the bookshelves (as I know from my own experience in writing a book). For example, I found myself thinking "you could have mentioned ..." only to realise that the company or application I had in mind was only recently launched.

Some omissions are probably more a matter of personal choice (as you would expect with something so essentially focused on individual interaction). For example, when discussing evaluation and measurement and Twitter, Rob doesn't mention my favourite desktop Twitter client Tweetdeck; I really like its built-in search and group tools, giving me an at-a-glance view of Twitter "buzz" on a selection of keywords or groups of keywords - some of which relate to my clients.

But that's a small issue. For me, Rob's social media experience particularly shines through in the section on podcasts and in the chapter on evaluation and measurement. His outline of some of the free and commercial services to monitor reputation online is wide-ranging - if space allowed, I would have added discussion forum monitoring tools (eg: BoardTracker) - and he stresses that PR professionals' instincts and judgement remain as important as the analytics, especially as social media monitoring is an "incredibly new sector ... [with] a certain amount of smoke and mirrors and few if any [providers] will have a significant bank of experience."

Overall, Rob's book is a very readable introduction for PR professionals to the whole field of social media. If work hadn't intervened, I would probably have read it from cover to cover in a weekend, then gone back - as I have today - to re-read certain sections. It now sits on my bookshelf as a useful reference.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and intelligent read, 13 July 2009
By 
Karen Taylor (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Public Relations and the Social Web: How to Use Social Media and Web 2.0 in Communications (Hardcover)
Rob combines years of valuable experience together with an impressive knowledge of the latest communication techniques in this evaluation. It's essential for any PR practitioner who feels a bit out of the electronic media loop. I was surprised by how readable the book was, as being a little bit of a technophobe, assumed it might be difficult to access. Not a bit of it. Rob's flair for language makes his book a truly enjoyable read and simplifies things in to perfectly understandable chunks. It's really well written and as other reviewers have said, is a must-have reference book for PR practitioners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 10 April 2009
By 
Mr. M. S. Blewitt (Lancaster) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Public Relations and the Social Web: How to Use Social Media and Web 2.0 in Communications (Hardcover)
At last this topic is addressed in a skillful way which creates real understanding. It is essential reading in this increasingly competitive environment where so many, make so many mistakes. A brilliant read for the PR specialist and general marketer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 5 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Public Relations and the Social Web: How to Use Social Media and Web 2.0 in Communications (Hardcover)
I am a PR student and I bought this book last year due to my interest in social and digital media and their relation to PR today. We all know the inportance of social web for business this days and this book is spot on! I read it from cover to cover in just a day - it's incredibly interesting and clever in its writting.

A must have for any student in the area. Totally recommend it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well-argued book about the future of public relations, 15 July 2012
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This review is from: Public Relations and the Social Web: How to Use Social Media and Web 2.0 in Communications (Hardcover)
Public Relations and the Social Web is a good introduction to how the internet is destroying the media and its impact on the public relations industry.

It's a practical book that explores how public relations practitioners need to move beyond the traditional media and build relationships directly with audiences using digital and social forms of media. It's not just a well-written text but is a near comprehensive catalogue of what practitioners need to consider when planning a public relations campaign.

I recently returned to the book after collaborating with author Rob Brown on Share This, the crowdsourced social media handbook from the CIPR. Inevitably new technologies and social networks have emerged but the shake out of the traditional media remains a work in progress, and the book is as relevant as when it was first published.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to new fundamentals in PR, 4 Feb. 2013
By 
Andy Green "Andy Green creativity maven" (beautiful Barry Island) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Public Relations and the Social Web: How to Use Social Media and Web 2.0 in Communications (Hardcover)
PR and the social web is an intelligent, well-written, and authoritative introduction to how a technological revolution is leading to profound changes in public relations practice.Rob Brown is an insightful and skilled story-teller.
This is a must-read for any PR practitioner.
Hope future editions will include graphics and pictures and further explore the concept of 'Brand'and its importance to current day PR practice.
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