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.
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.
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.
- 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.