I’ve just finished reading my Kindle copy of Moffitt & Gehrt’s Strategic Public Relations: 10 Principles to Harness the Power of PR. What a great read!
Moffitt and Gehrt co-own Communiqué PR, a strategic PR firm based out of Seattle. They’ve been working on these 10 “principles” for ten years, developing and testing and refining them throughout. In 2009, the paper version of the book was released, and in July of 2011 the ebook was released. I finally bought my copy two days ago – and am glad I did.
The book is short. The authors get to the point quite easily and succinctly in every chapter. Each chapter is constructed upon one of their 10 principles, which are as follows: (1) Sell PR to Key Stakeholders within Your Company; (2) Select Your PR Team Wisely; (3) Know Your Target Audiences and How to Reach Them; (4) Leverage Emerging Trends and Technologies; (5) Develop a Strategic PR Plan; (6) Craft a Compelling Story; (7) Build Media Relationships for Strategic Advantage; (8) Maintain an Open Information Flow; (9) Measure and Merchandize Your Results; and (10) Keep Your PR Program Relevant Over Time.
I’m going to base my discussion of the authors’ style, relevancy, techniques and examples by using my favorite chapter as an example: (6) Craft a Compelling Story.
To develop this principle, the authors assert that you need to discover what the “story” is that you client needs to tell his target audience. Gone are the days of sending out mass mailings of press releases to every journalist you have pre-programmed into your fax machine. Instead, the day is here when you must craft a compelling story that is aimed at your specific target audience, and get it placed in a publication that they would read.
Their primary example is that of Sweat365.com
The company is owned by two guys, one of whom lived a previous life; Brad Hefta-Gaub was a self-described couch potato, overweight, improperly nourished, lazy and growing increasingly unhealthy with each passing day. And then he woke up, realized what was happening, and started to hang out at the gym.
Now he runs marathons and is an Ironman triathlete.
Within time, he was fit, healthy and living a completely different lifestyle. Which got him thinking: How many other Americans are out there living the life he used to live?
Alarming statistics: 2/3 of Americans are overweight, with 1/3 landing into the category of grossly obese. Fast foods. High fat diets. No exercise. A health crisis on a national scale. And keeping many of them from achieving their dreams of a healthy lifestyle? Well, the lack of social supports for them that would offer encouragement and advice.
And so Sweat365.com was born. An online community that brings together a target clientele with the common goal in mind of getting healthy.
And the story? Well, there’s a Protagonist (Sweat365.com which proposes solutions for healthy lifestyles), and Antagonist (their competitors), Compelling Characters (Brad Hefta-Gaub himself, with his story of healthy redemption), and Conflict (the fast food industry, the lifestyles American families live, the challenge to lose weight, etc.). These are all the elements, combined in a compelling narrative voice, that make up the story that Sweat365.com needs to tell.
And every PR and Marketing message delivered after that MUST be in service of telling that story – in the right places (the magazines that overweight American’s who are searching for a way to change their lives are most likely to read), and at the right time.
The writing is easy to read. The case studies are interesting and compelling. The 10 Principles – though based on practical, sound, already accepted practices – are new in this way: We are living in a world of fractured communication delivery methodologies. No longer are there only 3 networks to choose from to watch TV on a Friday evening. Instead, stories are being told upon a multiplicity of platforms, within a democracy of voices, in an increasingly frantic messaging system. Instantaneous downloads. G4 networks while on the city bus. Ideas are traveling faster than ever before. And so timing your story – and everything you do to proliferate that story over your targeted channels – is of primary importance.
That’s how the 10 Principles are new – and relevant to today’s challenged PR world.
The authors have clearly worked with classic marketing techniques, developing and adapting and benchmarking them over time. And in the process, they’ve created a timely, easily digested, relevant book about practicing PR in the world of today.
Well worth the read! I’m only sorry I didn’t discover it sooner…
And the best part about it? The eBook is only $4.99!
Here’s the link for the Kindle eBook edition – sorry ’bout the long link… The links should work:
Communiqué PR Website: http://www.communiquepr.com/pages/index.php
Communiqué PR Blog: http://www.communiquepr.com/blog/
- PR: How are you persuading your audience? (marsdd.com)
- Does Public Relations Drive Marketing? (soulati.com)