PR 2.0 Book PR
I’ve been writing books on how public relations has evolved with the advent of the Internet since the late 90’s and as a PR professional, I have launched my fair share of books written by others since the late 80’s. When I compare launch strategies and tactics from 1989 and 1999, to what I’m doing today, it’s enough to make me stop and reflect. Both technology and marketing have become so savvy and one-to-one marketing/PR is the only way to launch a book in The Long Tail.
Because I love to look back at the past and compare, here’s the difference between book PR in the 1990s and Social Media PR used today. I think if you asked most authors or their publishers, what’s the toughest part about launching a book? They would say, “The actual manuscript writing and production process.” That’s usually the toughest part. The launch and supporting communications, especially years ago was cut and dry. The steps were simple:
- Galley letter to editors (for praise/endorsement prior to published manuscript)
- Book endorsements for praise page/back cover and marketing materials
- Develop hard copy press materials (fact sheet, Q&A, author’s bio) and digital media kit
- Traditional news release distributed over the wire with publisher and PR agency contact information
- Book launch media event
- Book signings
- Speaking engagements at colleges, seminars/conferences and businesses
- Book reviews
- Media tours in various cities (including print and broadcast)
Times have changed. Here’s how traditional PR meets Social Media PR:
- Galley letter to editors and bloggers (for praise/endorsement prior to published manuscript), but now we can send a PDF version (Saves money on purchasing books and it’s Eco-Friendly to use less paper)
- Book endorsements from high profile endorsers
- Online media kit/interactive newsroom with video, podcasts, RSS feeds
- Author’s blog site to discuss book topics and related trends
- Traditional news release (distributed by publisher via a wire service) and a social media release housed on a blog platform.
- Ning site with a readership community to discuss topics
- Facebook group to inform fans about events, interviews and interesting related book topics
- Launch party/media/blogger event (people can tweet about the event and upload photos to Facebook or to their blogs).
- Blogger relations/media relations outreach program
- Book reviews by traditional media and new influencers
- Media tours in various cities (including print, broadcast, and online)
- Cross promotions of events and tours through social networking communities including, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, SecondLife, LinkedIn, etc.
- YouTube video channel for author speaking on a variety of book topics
- iTunes for author podcasts
This is just a top of mind list and every book launch is different. But, you get the gist of how the times have changed and the potential to market a book in The Long Tail provides tremendous opportunities (even for the small, self-published author). Whether you are writing a book on managing people or one that puts the public back in public relations, you can use PR 2.0 to engage directly with your readers and their communities. Today’s PR feeds the conversations and the passion, which leads to dynamic engagement; a type of PR and customer connection that I’ve never experienced prior to PR 2.0 and social media.
When I think of this as a consumer and an avid reader, I realize that social media allows me to connect with my favorite authors. Have you tried to connect with yours?
March 18, 2009 @ 3:57 pm
Hi Deirdre, yes the changes to now books are launched today are fascinating. Available to the author/s are a wide variety of tools, both in the traditional and new media setting in order to reach audiences who fall from the early adopter category into the more conservative belt. What’s more, in the long tail, even newbies like us have a potential to be a voice in the community. To think that even I could begin a semi writing career by first getting an eBook off and hearing what people have to say, and then shaping and reshaping the materials…
Maybe if fishing were to be used as an example, then traditionally, the net cast out would have wide gaps in between, but with the augmentation of social media channels, the gaps in between the net are now much narrower with every segment of the community we can identify with and create dialogue.
Even as I am contemplating writing an post about PR, PR2.0 and just communication in general, I got to consciously pull myself back and ask if I really got it. And this is what I think sums up the whole thing: PR is plainly about relationships, and awareness through these relationships. Whether or not PR contributes directly to the company’s bottom line, it serves as the safety net underneath because it builds networks of relationships for the company.
And as what Brian Solis says, there’ll come a day when the ‘2.0’ will be dropped and people will just call it plainly as it is – PR. In fact, as I am toying with my post about PR and public affairs, and how some choose to see it as a matter of semantics, and others as two distinct functions, I am thinking that the two functions are still about communication and relationship management, plain and simple. You may want to ‘sell’ your message all you want, or influence who you want to influence, but without relationships and networks, that’s not going to happen.
Yes, PR is the sociology of human communication.
March 18, 2009 @ 5:50 pm
Hey Daniel, thanks for a very insightful comment. You mentioned how you can begin with an ebook and that’s actually a strategy that David Meerman Scott wrote about in his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Meerman’s book, actually started as an ebook and got a lot of attention in the blogosphere. There was so much buzz about his ebook that it led to a publisher contacting him to expand the book in print. It’s such a great PR 2.0 case study!!
As for your question, you definitely get it!! It’s all PR (doesn’t matter which number 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 comes after it). PR is about good communication and relationships. It molds perceptions, opinions and manages reputations. None of this would be possible without solid relationships with various stakeholders (the public). I believe Brain and I talked a great deal about this in our new book 🙂