[MAPR Book Review] New Rules of Marketing and Public Relations for Filmmakers and Content Creators

I recently finished reading the sixth edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile, Applications, Blogs, News Releases / News Jacking & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott.  In my MAPR blog posts, I detailed various sections of this book (and others) while extracting useful information for filmmakers and content creators.  Here I am now with the full book review *drum-roll please*.  The New Rules of Marketing and PR is amazing for informational purposes and historical context.  There are many examples, real stories, case-studies and accounts from the author and his colleagues.  This book has no shortage of details on Meerman Scott’s experiences and business dealings.  On the flip-side, this book is only lukewarm with providing practical applications for readers. 


Graphic for social media, online video, mobile and going viral

New Rules is a notoriously successful guide and continues to evolve since it was first published in 2007.  The book is overly long and contains a lot of filler and fluff, but is otherwise well-written.  The title of the book is: The New Rules of Marketing and PR.  The sub-title of the book is: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile, Applications, Blogs, News Releases / News Jacking & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly.  This says a mouthful, and as I read the book, it became increasingly apparent that the main title and sub-title warranted the creation of two separate books.  I understand having all items in one title can make buyers feel like there is increased value, however, it created organizational challenges and made the book feel like a maze.  It isn’t discombobulated, but it didn’t feel concise.  I can appreciate Meerman Scott’s attempt to compartmentalize the content, but I feel like this should be TWO SEPARATE BOOKS.  Part I contains the overview and how the web has changed the rules of marketing and PR.  Part II introduces and provides details about various media.  Part III contains how-to information and an action plan for usage of the rules.  After finishing the book, Part I is the strongest and where the author shines the most.  Part III is the weakest (based on what is available in the market for how-to guides).  Part II is unnecessary since the content is already scattered throughout Part I and III making the section more redundant than enlightening. 

Book Cover for David Meerman Scott’s New Rules

I am very happy about having the digital, Kindle version of the book because it contains hyperlinks where you can jump from one area of the book to another.  I felt like I had to do that an awful lot.  For example, buyer personas is introduced and discussed at length in chapter 3, but implementation, usage and associated links for buyer personas were placed in chapter 10.  Chapter 3 references (and links) chapter 10, and vice versa … when you get to chapter 10 you are pointed back to vital associated information in chapter 3.  There was a lot of back and forth, and the content was somewhat repetitious.  In short, I am not a fan of the zig-zagging.  I read this book for my graduate-level Online Public Relations class and initially didn’t understand our jumping around in the text for our lectures (chapter 6 paired with chapter 16, chapter 7 paired with chapter 17) etc.   As I read the book, it became increasingly apparent why this was necessary.

Key Takeaways:

  • The web has made public relations PUBLIC again.  Before, emphasis was almost exclusively placed on the media, but now, organizations communicate directly with their audience.
  • The web is about INTERACTION, INFORMATION EDUCATION and CHOICE

In conclusion, I WOULD recommend this book to businesses and non-profit organizations with a dedicated budget who seek to increase online presence, communicate directly with customers, and enhance sales conversions.  I WOULD NOT recommend this book to individuals and freelancers since it isn’t really geared toward DIYers.  I also wouldn’t recommend it to people who are already experienced in online marketing since they don’t stand to benefit from all of the primer; much of the content would appear to be common sense.  For future editions of this book, I would love to see some content reorganization or a breakout title dedicated to “how-to” and applications.

[MAPR Book Review] Social PR Secrets for Filmmakers and Content Creators

CONTENT IS KING! I enjoy reading titles with actionable, real-world tactics and extracting elements for creatives occupying digital space, particularly filmmakers. I’d like to share my review on the fourth edition of Lisa Buyers’ Social PR Secrets: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize Your Brand. I recently devoured the Kindle edition of this field guide on public relations, social media and digital marketing. I recommend checking out, it’s an easy read with strategies for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

Public Relations Impact Graphic – Social Media and Digital Marketing.

Social PR Secrets packs 32 chapters, yet remains a relatively simple and quick read with short, easily-digestible chapters.  Buyers personalizes each chapter and often details her experience while offering examples and leaning on associated subject matter experts.  She provides historical context, the current state and best practices.  She also outlines tools such as Xtensio.com and Hubspot to create free persona profiles, tools like Paper.Li and Scoop.It for content curation tailored to your audience and ScribeContent.com for content optimization, search engine visibility and social sharing.

From the standpoint of a creative filmmaker who blends art with digital media, below are several excerpts from Social PR Secrets that are poised to assist with the development of an online strategy:

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Awesome content lasts forever
  • Stay fresh, find inspiration
  • Create materials and content that addresses the needs of your audience
  • Think like your audience, create a persona profile for your audience

Another key takeaway that I felt was important to point out for creatives is to “Skip self-promotion and find your passion points.”  For instance, Red Bull rarely talks about their drink, rather, it details the passion that connects the brand to their audience and living life to the extreme.  For another example, I recall a recent ad slot by Bumble app starring Serena Williams.  The commercial never referenced what the product is, rather, it details an ideology – one that supports women taking the first move in work, love and life.  The message resonated with me, and prompted me to research the company.  It is important not to get so caught up in the act of promoting your services and accomplishments that you overshadow what the brand represents.

CONTENT CREATION CHECKLIST

  • Make sure your message is REAL and AUTHENTIC
  • Use VISUALS to illustrate your message
  • Ensure the content has a CLEAR VALUE PROPOSITION
  • Offer a clear next step or CALL TO ACTION

TYPES OF CONTENT TO DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC (50 different types listed in Ch. 4)
Video, How-To, Email Campaigns, Events, Promotions, Live Chats, Guides, Infographics, Blog Posts, Interactive Content, Interviews, Tweets, Photo Galleries

Personally, I love that Social PR Secrets offers a comprehensive list of free graphic and image sources.  I also like that Buyers’ chapters are broken down by subject and platform.  The book has a list of bullets in almost every chapter making the material visually scannable, which makes for great reference document.  I finished reading the book, but will definitely revisit.  In short, I recommend this book (especially the digital version for search-ability and hyperlinks) and encourage you to check it out.