I enter part two of the review of Putting the Public Back in Public Relations reminding you that I think the book is valuable.
Putting the Public neatly summarizes the demise of the traditional media and the rise of the social media and PR 2.0.
It’s ironic that the authors understand and capture well the new media and the need to communicate ideas in a quick, concise, clear way that’s tailored to our particular audience, and it takes them 300 pages to do it.
-A 300-page novel is not outmoded.
-A 300 page book on social media is. With more thought and a good editor it could have been at least 50 fewer pages.
-As soon as it’s published, any references to Robert Scoble’s posts, or Chris Anderson’s blacklist is not news. In the PR 2.0 world, this stuff is ancient history.
Granted, the book is both a guidebook and history. But 300 pages is still too long.
The authors repeat things over and over. I’m sure they’re doing it to drive home their points. But I, like others, am reading this book because I already read the leading blogs, listen to podcasts (which is where I heard an interview with them, leading me to buy the book), engage in Twitter, read AdAge and Wired and and follow Scoble.
In the larger picture, these are niggling complaints. The authors have done a service to a profession in profound evolution, providing a pioneering work that’s a textbook for the future of PR.
As the authors point out, we’re in the time of a huge transition. PR is in an era of telling stories and being a part of a community that we understand and contribute to.
With each chapter I found myself grabbing a pencil to mark passages where Brian and Deirdre offer up insight, truth and a clearer way into PR’s future.
Just as importantly, I’ve subscribed to their blogs and sites to keep up with the conversation that they initiated.