Sunday, 13 October 2013

PR for Writers in the Social Media World

Share This Too by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Today's blog is a bit different. Firstly it is a book review of a book on social media, a real gem of a find. Secondly it is some of the insights I have gained from just a couple of chapters of the book which we, as writers, can all use. 

When I first saw this book I wasn't sure whether to get it as I do not work in the field of PR. However, it looked good so I thought I would give it a go. This is one of the best decisions I have made. It says at the beginning of the book that it could be used by anyone, not just those working in PR, and they are right. What it does is give us a fascinating insight into the world of social media and how we can use to it enhance our online reputation. From start to finish it is packed full of so much advice that I barely know where to start reviewing it. Each chapter is concise and to the point and written by a different expert in the field. Each chapter gives a number of case studies, which are skilfully used to explain and enhance the discussion in the text. These are, on the whole, from large brands, but could easily be applied to any business large or small

Although this would appear to be an academic text it does not come across as such. It is easy to read and the points are expertly made in a style, which makes them easy to understand and apply. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to use social media in business. This is one of those few books which, If I could give it more than five stars I would. This is high praise indeed from someone who reads and reviews a lot of books.

One of the first facts which I picked up on is that the average age of people using Facebook is now over 40. I found this interesting. Often as authors we can be so focussed on using social media to promote our books we forget about the demographics of the people reading our posts. Although I write books for adults, the books themselves can be read by anyone, teen or adult, who is old enough to read and understand the book. Therefore I am missing a large chunk of potential readers if I focus on Facebook alone. THis supported a programme I was listening to on Radio 4 the other day. The speaker was saying that to the younger generation are no longer using Social Media. It is not considered cool now that their parents are on there. What does this mean for those of us who write for the teen or young adult market?

Lines between traditional and digital publishing are being blurred. For example, if we are interviewed by a local paper it is likely to be published in both paper and digital copies. This will then be shared on Facebook, Google and Twitter by the newspapers. However, this can then be shared by anyone reading the posts. Our reach is no longer local but national or international. 

Engaging, and interacting, with customers is one of the most important things which can be done by companies. We, as authors, are running a company. Sharing engaging content is crucial. As authors we carry out every role in our company, including PR. This is our chance to positively influence our readers, or potential readers. Dom Birch, advises a three pronged approach. Firstly listen. Secondly Engage. Last is seeking to influence or persuade. 

Content creation is covered widely. One particular area I picked up on is, what is your audience behaviour? This includes, what they read and what they watch. How do they share and interact? What is of interest to them and how do they share? We, as writers, need to be finding the water coolers around which our readers, and potential, readers gather. We then need to interact with them in ways in which they will find meaningful. 

This is just a tiny fraction of what is in the book and how it can be applied to our life as writers. I have read the whole book and it is jam packed with ideas and ways in which we can improve our use of social media to drive our PR strategy. So much so, that I am going to analyse the whole book in this way. Not for the blog of course, but because I want to get as much out of it as possible. 

The links to the ebooks are on the side of the page. There is some odd pricing going on. If you click on the links you will see what I mean. At the time of writing the hardback is only £1 dearer, and is actually $6 cheaper than the ebook. Amazon may have sorted this out by the time you read this blog. However, whichever way you buy the book I am sure you wont regret it.

I was given a copy of this book by Amazon for review purposes. I was not influenced in any way to provide a positive review. I have done so based on my reading of and enjoyment of the book.

Rather a long one toady, but hopefully helpful. I will see you all soon back here on bookaholics. 

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