The Art & Craft of PR: Creating the Mindset and Skills to Succeed in Public Relations Today
Social media has been a game changer, not only in how we communicate with each other, how we consume media, and how advertising works but also in how we build relationships with businesses. The field of Public Relations has similarly evolved in response to this incredible, wide-reaching, and still-not-wholly-understood tool for reaching the masses.
Unfortunately, some companies have conflated PR and their social media efforts, with suitably chaotic, ineffectual results. How do we begin to define the role of PR in the 21st century? How must agencies adapt in order to not just survive but thrive amid the ongoing evolution of social media?
Sandra Stahl understands this dilemma better than most, and in The Art & Craft of PR, she outlines her vision for how PR can continue to be a driving force in consumer relations. And as someone who is a PR amateur (and that’s already being fairly generous), I was thoroughly impressed by both her methods and ideas.
Plenty of books on social media expend thousands of words while saying very little. Stahl delivers the opposite here; every sentence is brimming with solid advice, hard-won experience, and sincere communication. Her word choices are crisp, informative, and engaging. The page practically crackles with energy and potential.
Even the book’s layout and design reinforce the lessons within. Key quotes get larger fonts and full-page treatment to highlight their importance. Even as she works to redefine the reader’s impression of what PR means and what it can do, she overtly outlines and visualizes her ideas. It’s simple and definitely effective.
Whether she’s explaining the difference between promotion and communication or lamenting the detrimental concept of “spin” and how long-term investments in being a trusted brand can be squandered by short-term thinking, a particular example in a particular field allows the reader to extrapolate and apply that example’s lesson to any field.
The book closes with a litany of advice from fellow professionals from numerous industries, highlighting some of Stahl’s previous lessons and building upon them with unique viewpoints and perspectives. Not only does this illustrate how universal Stahl’s techniques are, but it offers specific jumping-off points for further development.
Redefining PR for the social-media era is no small task, but Stahl makes it seem infinitely easier and more accessible in The Art & Craft of PR. I’d recommend this not only to PR personnel but to anyone who hopes to use social media to build their brand.
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