As a part of the PRSA New Pros Blog Summer Book Club, our first book was “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” by Deirdre Breakenridge and Brian Solis. The book had good insight on the future of public relations, where we are now and how public relations and social media work together for the PR 2.0 era. Both have since released updated books on public relations and business since this 2009 release.
Here are a few highlights of the book and things to note.
- The book is really about how social media is putting the public back in public relations and has “reinvented” public relations and how the industry has to change and evolve.
- We have a lot of issues facing the public relations field, and some even say our industry needs a PR makeover. Traditional PR tactics aren’t always as effective anymore.
- We have to a part of the story and the actual conversation now more than ever. It’s not about us, it’s about the consumer and the consistent messaging and dialogue.
- There are so many social tools out there, but the tools will change and the people using social media will not.
- Rather than focusing on the need to get brand information out there, the focus should be on the social factor of social media. Facilitate conversation and relationships; do not just broadcast, and change from spin to influence.
- Social media is not just public relations, it affects the entire organization/company.
- The future of public relations is about community and community building (they also throw in a lot of tips and guidelines for community managers here).
- New titles in the PR industry include: chief social officer, community advocate, community builder, community relations manager, social media evangelist.
- The past of PR meets the future of PR by embracing changes brought on by social media and incorporating strategy for marketing, analytics, customer service, crowdsourcing and more.
Things to note:
- A lot of this book is based on opinion and does not necessarily have data, polls, research, case studies, etc. to back up what is proposed.
- Social media is not new anymore, and the content of this book is beyond basics at this point in 2013; it could be more for late adapters of social media.
- Public relations changed with social media, but a lot of the basics still remain the same, and social media is just a tool in the entire box.
Did you read the book? What are your thoughts?
- What do you think is the future of public relations? If social media was PR 2.0, what will PR 3.0 look like?
- Is social media really a new thing anymore? What brands are using it best?
- How do you get the community involved more in your brand conversation?
- Do you think social media has put a focus back on ethics in PR with its need for transparency?
- How do you win leadership support for your social media tactics, or do you face little push-back?
Lauren Gray is a junior associate in digital at Finn Partners in New York City and also serves as the PRSSA immediate past president for the current National Committee. Connect with her on Twitter: @laurenkgray.