Review: Little Red Book of PR wisdom

Book Reviews, Marketing

How to build relationships with journalists? How to behave during interviews? How to write a press release and deal with information requests once it’s out in the world? How to use social media vs. traditional media to your advantage? The Little Red Book of PR Wisdom by Brian Johnson is an entertaining guide into the world of public relations. Rich in detail, highly informative and yet concise, it is a near-perfect introduction to the broad range of topics that current and future PR professionals are expected to deal with in their daily lives.

As a journalist and a former communications student, however, I felt that educational value of the Little Red Book decreased with each and every anonymous mention of a PR case study.A politician making a disastrous typo, a dog food company, an airline, a soft-drink company, a chocolate company, a sponsor of a football club… A this, a that. The author omits the names of well-known companies that happened to have had PR disasters numerous journalists and social media users know about. “Oh, this seem like an interesting case with a lot of PR impact. I could use/research for my article/paper/college presentation… No. Wait. I don’t even know what I may be looking for!” Unfortunately, the logic behind not not mentioning the names of these companies plainly devalues the book content, making it far less useful for a reader with moderate PR experience and knowledge.  Little Red Book of PR wisdom promises feedback from seasoned media operators, classic case studies, real world examples… and because of anonymity I fear it just doesn’t quite deliver.

Overall note: 3,5 *

Little Red Book of PR wisdom has been graciously provided by Deep Line Books through NetGalley.

4 thoughts on “Review: Little Red Book of PR wisdom

    1. It’s more of an industry read, to be honest. I’ve studied communications, but we never really touched PR as thoroughly as I would have liked. This could have made a great introductory manual, if it would have had a single important example that’d actually list a company name. Without it, it’s quite bizarre… Kind of like: “There’s this very big company that screwed up. We just ain’t gonna tell you the name”

      1. I do understand the reasoning behind anonymity of journalists that have contributed to the feedback and are quoted in the book. The companies are, however, a bit different. He quotes a few successes, he quotes a few PR mishaps, which apparently were part of public knowledge, appeared on social media and etc. It’s the first book on a communications topic that doesn’t have a single company name when it comes to case studies.

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