Put public in public relationsInteresting new book out from PR professionals, Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge, ‘Putting the Public Back in Public Relations.’

Most helpful to me was the review and summary of the book done by Lee Odden, a Minneapolis based Social Media and SEO professional. I culled seven points from Lee’s review that I thought would be helpful to law firms and their PR agencies.

  • Instead of information conduits, PR practitioners need to be part of the story and conversation. It’s about dialogue, not monologue.
  • Approach marketing more as a consumer and less like a ‘PR person’ to show your investment in knowledge, your empathy for customer needs and understanding of what’s important.
  • Social Media is not about the technology, it’s about the people.
  • Social tools can be overwhelming, so it’s important to remember that tools will change, but the importance of engaging with people will always be important.
  • Using standard marketing tactics and messages with social tools does not lead to engagement.
  • PR professionals would be keen to focus on the sociology of internet communities more than their need to disseminate information.
  • Participation with social networks (Facebook), micromedia (Twitter) and facilitating those channels to reach PR objectives is more about communicating with people, not at them.
  • As PR professionals participate in communities and tell brand and product stories, they’re also in a position to listen to customers and gain valuable insight into the effect of their efforts as well as new communications opportunities.

Public relations work and PR agencies are by no means going away. Traditional PR strategy and PR tactics simply aren’t as effective. Adapting to and utilizing social media is the key to success.