For all the buzz about social media, I haven’t found many books that “put it all together” from a business point of view. I’m currently in the middle of reading The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott, and can recommend it highly. The book’s subtitle is How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, and Scott delivers. What’s more, it provides not only a how-to, but also a why-to and engaging case histories of businesses that have done so successfully.
Scott’s premise in a nutshell is that, before the Web, “there were only three ways to get noticed: buy expensive advertising, beg the mainstream media to tell your story for you, or hire a huge sales staff to bug people one at a time about your products.”
There’s plenty of proof that this paradigm doesn’t work well any more. Magazines and newspapers are losing subscribers and advertisers are record rates. Radio is being marginalized by iPods. Catalogs are struggling in the face of skyrocketing postage costs.
At the same time, consumers are turning to the Web in droves, looking for relevant content and trusted authorities to help them with their problems. Delivering helpful, trustworthy content online is easier now than ever before. It is, as Scott points out, a marketer’s dream. Yet far too many companies are stuck on trying to make the old rules work better, rather than mastering the new.
If you’d like someone to hold your hand and guide you through the new rule step-by-step, from a businessperson’s point of view, you can do no better than to pick up a copy of The New Rules of Marketing & PR (2nd edition, 2010).