Another Book Rec

Following up on my last post, here is another book recommendation, courtesy of the Counselors Academy 2008 Book Club.  Enjoy!

Reviewed by Lisa Simon
President, Simon Public Relations Group

Book name, title, author, publisher
Full Frontal PR; Building Buzz About Your Business, Your Product, or You, Richard Laermer, Bloomberg Press, 2003

What is the book about?
Full Frontal PR is a practical primer on media relations.  It’s a tactical “how to” on placing stories in traditional mass media print and broadcast outlets with some surface treatment of the online arena.

Why did you pick this book?
Our primary deliverable as an agency is media placements.  We spend a lot of time training our staff on the art and science of media relations.  The pressure is on!  The idea of an agency “book club” was something I picked up at last year’s Counselors Academy in Cabo. (Thank you Tracy Weise from Denver.)  Full Frontal PR was a title emailed to me by based on other purchases I’ve made.  We ordered each staffer his own book and built a lunch bunch book club program beginning with this title.

What the key take-aways?
Richard Laermer focuses on tried and trued media relations approaches that are second nature to old salts but unchartered waters to junior pros who don’t have a lot of time to ease in to delivering big.  Included are fully reviewing and knowing the work of journalists you’re pitching, preparing the necessary tools to pitch and becoming a reliable media resource.

One radical or unexpected idea you really liked.
Full Frontal PR opens with a chapter on creating “word of mouth buzz.”  Laermer recaps a tactic Vespa scooters used in LA.  They dispatched beautiful models to zip around town and pull up to outdoor cafes.  The models hung outside near the scooters creating buzz.  It’s not radical but it’s a stunt you can truly appreciate, especially for its buzz factor.

One thing you disagreed with.
My disagreements with the book content were only minor and always in regard to tactics. For instance, Richard Laermer recommends never leaving a reporter a voicemail message.  We believe a short, enthusiastic voicemail message is a good way to set the stage for a future conversation or email correspondence.

Thumbs up/thumbs down:  Do you recommend it?
Thumbs up.  We definitely recommend Full Frontal PR; Building Buzz About Your Business, Your Product, or You to supplement an Agency’s staff media relations training program.  It’s one thing if they hear it from you and your managers and another to read it in a book.  We believe the discussions inspired by this book have led to stronger media placements for our clients.