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Most PR Books Are Useless

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Most PR and marketing books are useless – to me. There I said it. I’m a 15+ year PR professional that has worked on both the agency and the corporate side yet most of these books don’t understand what I do for a living.

Now let me make this post much less interesting by explaining what I mean.

I’ve read a bunch of good marketing and public relations’ books. Some of my recent favorites are The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, Guerrilla PR and The Origins of Brands. Now these (and many others that I’ve never read) are fine books written by smart talented people, BUT for me as a high technology B2B PR pro, most of these books are too consumer oriented.

Social media is a good example. For the past few years PR and MKT books have all been about social media. There is no doubt that social media has become too important and powerful to ignore, but in MY job it is a cute little activity, but doesn’t help most of my clients.

Pitching bloggers is another example. Yes, PR folks should pitch relevant bloggers, BUT, 99% of relevant bloggers in many high tech industries are journalist and industry analysts. Also known as folks already being targeted by old-school PR.

The truth of the matter is that some (very valuable) PR campaigns are about regular press releases, proactive pitches, and old school media relations. Companies trying to sell routers, switches, servers or network security products don’t need to be on Facebook. Oh the horror.

All that being said, the next book on my reading list is Putting the Public Back in Public Relations. Truth be told, I bought the book over six months ago, but lost it while traveling, so I just purchased a new copy. It is one that I’m very much looking forward to reading. Even if the book isn’t about me or my job. I won’t hold that against the authors.

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