03 Dec Great books for learning (and doing) your own PR
There are so many books out there for business owners on how to do your own marketing and/or public relations. Frankly most of them say the same thing – know the reporter, don’t be too salesy, etc. Here are my top five picks – not only are these books current, they go into real tactics that you can use right away. I think if you read these books, whether you’re a small business owner, author, entrepreneur…. you can start promoting or upgrade what you’re already doing and get some results fast.
- Obviously social media is one of the best (and cost-effective) ways to promote your business, service, book, whatever. The definitive manual (and New York Times bestseller) on the subject is Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Smith and Brogan describe not only HOW to use social media, but WHY you want to use it and most importantly, how to measure your success. The book covers the basics of social media so a newbie can learn but also dives into the more sophisticated aspects of the medium
- If you just want some tactics to try, free or not, pick up Guerilla Marketing Weapons: 100 Affordable Marketing Methods for Maximizing Profits from Your Small Business by the guru Jay Conrad Levinson. Levinson has tons of ideas for guerilla, or street marketing – inexpensive ways to get noticed and advertise/promote your brand or business. It’s a great book when you need some ideas to promote an event, go up against big competition or just need to get noticed. You can go to Levinson’s website as well and check out his materials. I can’t say how good they are but I love watching the guy’s videos for some reason. (Maybe it’s just a silver fox thing)
- For an overall reference guide, choose Complete Publicity Plans: How to Create Publicity That Will Spark Media Exposure and Excitement (Adams Streetwise Series) by Sandra Beckwith. This has templates and instructions for everything from building your press kit to measuring results. Also, Sandra really reinforces that you have to PLAN your public relations which I like. If a friend of mine were starting a business and wanted a basic book on how to do it, this is what I’d tell them to read.
- If you’ve got some experience already in promotion and public relations but want to step up your game Brian Solis’ book Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR (written with Deirdre Breakinridge) will be helpful. If I ran a traditional PR agency, I would make this required reading for the staff as well. It really defines how Web2.0 and engagement/conversation are changing the way we flacks do our stuff. I would also recommend following Brian’s blog not only are his own insights relevant, he does a nice job of aggregating information as well.
- I loved Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort, Second Edition by Steven Van Yoder. Sometimes service providers and consultants need a bit of personal branding to help accelerate inbound interest and this is a great book to use. If you’re uncomfortable being labeled an “expert” then don’t buy it. But if you want to figure out how to promote yourself in order to grow your business then buy Yoder’s book.
If you’re starting to think about your marketing and PR strategy for 2010 these books might help. Those are my picks. What are yours?
Note: I’ve read all these books but if you purchase them through the links, it will commission my amazon affiliate account.