As any PR pro can tell you, it’s all in the timing.
Whether it’s when you reach a reporter just as he’s in the thick of a story for which your brand can provide some much-needed insight or launch a PR campaign that attaches itself to the zeitgeist, timing is everything.
This applies to both business and life, for better or for worse. My timing to spend a few days on the beach last week, for example, didn’t work out too well. A valiant effort to simply embed myself in the sand and watch the sky roll by was thwarted by swirling gray clouds and a constant threat of showers.
What are you going to do?
Fortunately, there’s still a good chunk of summer left to get in some quality beach time and hit the waves (I’m an avid swimmer). But even if the weather doesn’t cooperate it doesn’t hurt to crack open a cold drink and settle down with a good beach read.
Indeed, with communicators more pressed for time than ever, we recommend several beach books that can help inform you about the ever-morphing world of media, marketing and communications, but also entertain and enlighten.
> Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype, by Jay Baer
Baer, who has worked with top brands ranging from Nike to Walmart, explores how an age-old expression—Can I help you?—has taken on new meaning in a social marketing age.
> Edelman and the Rise of Public Relations, by Franz Wisner
This e-book offers a comprehensive history of the first family of public relations and the accompanying rise of the PR field. In 1952 Dan Edelman, who died in January, founded what is now the largest independent PR agency in the world, with 67 offices and more than 4,800 employees.
> Rethinking Reputation: How PR Trumps Marketing and Advertising in the New Media World, by Fraser P. Seitel and John Doorley
PR expert Fraser Seitel and John Doorley, founder of the Academy for Communication Excellence and Leadership at Johnson & Johnson, provide some crucial guidelines on how PR pros can navigate their brands through the new (and tricky) media landscape.
> The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
We’re all start-up companies now. Even if you work in an office ladled with the traditional accoutrements of corporate America, getting ahead in today’s world requires individuals to invest in themselves and their skill sets.
> Audience Evolution: New Technologies and the Transformation of Media Audiences, by Philip Napoli
Ever get the feeling that we’re just a few codes away from transcending the space-time continuum? This book takes a look at the tremendous influence modern technology has on the media and the radical changes in how people consume media.
> The Fall of Advertising and The Rise of PR, by Al Ries, Laura Ries.
Advertising used to be the lord of the manor but in the new media world PR has become king of the castle. The Ries’ make convincing argument that in order to boost their credibility with consumers, companies need to drive the overall message with PR and have advertising, er, paid media, play a subordinate role.
Any titles you think we should add to the list?
Matthew Schwartz: @mpsjourno1