Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on December 16th, 2013

Book Review: Social PR Secrets by Lisa Buyer

How to Optimize, Socialize, and Publicize Your Brand's News

I read marketing books with a highlighter handy, just in case I find some tidbit or turn of phrase that I could use or put into practice with Volacci clients. I count myself lucky if I get 1 or 2 good tips per chapter of the average book.

While reading Social PR Secrets I highlighted 2-3 good, actionable tips per page.

Time to Adapt

Although I've been an Internet marketing professional since 1996, I have focused mainly on the ecommerce, Drupal, SEO and conversions side of things. (I am the author of Drupal 6 SEO which you can find on Amazon.) Social PR is a closely-related type of digital marketing and after reading Social PR Secrets I'm more convinced that ever that SEO and PR are converging fields.

A few highlights from the book:
The vast majority of today's journalists use search engines such as Google and social media networks as a story research tool to either begin, confirm, or fact-check stories. With that in mind it's advantageous to optimize your news stories with keywords, tags, and links so the media can find you when researching on search and social.
Getting Social with the Media
* Identify the social networks for your target media: where are they hanging out and what are they talking about or interested in?
* Follow them spark up an online conversation.
* Interact and even collaborate with the media.
* Share their stories.
* Leave comments on stories and blogs.
* Update all your media lists with the social networks IDs.
Social PR Secret: Create a social media list dashboard using a platform such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite that enables you to see at a glance the social news stream of what is happening with the media you follow. (Ben here. My thought on this: this could be done in Drupal with some combination of aggregation module and a filter.)
Social PR and Media Relation Sources
* Newsle: Newsle tracks friends and alerts you when they're mentioned in news articles and blog posts.
* PitchEngine: combines the best of social, visual, video and mobile worlds to make it easier to get the word out in a social pitch, not just to the media, but also your customers.
* HARO (Help a Reporter Out): Reverse it! Brands can use HARO not just to be in the daily know of journalists looking for story sources, but also to research case studies, produce white papers, and create infographics for them to easily use.
* MuckRack: Find, follow, and send spam-free pitches to journalists you need to know.
* Inkybee
* Buzzstream: Social, PR, and SEO management. Helps build authentic relationships with word-of-mouth influencers across the social web.
* The best social PR and marketing tools curated for you.
Twitter Chats are interactive conversations that happen on Twitter with a group of people all using the same hashtag and a certain topic. To take a deeper dive into the Social PR industry, follow some of these Twitter chats, discover your own, or start one for your industry or brand. (This is Ben again. How cool would it be to do this but then aggregate all the tweets onto your Drupal site as a long-lasting resource for your target audience?) 
   * Sundays: #BlogChat 9pm ET
   * Mondays: #Journchat 8pm ET; #SocialChat 9pm ET 
   * Tuesdays: #PPCchat 12pm ET; #SocialCafe 9pm ET; #GetRealChat 9pm ET
   * Wednesdays: #BrandChat 11am ET; #WJChat 8pm ET; PinChat 9pm ET
   * Thursdays: #MyBlogGuest 11am ET; #SEOchat 1pm ET
   * Fridays: #BusinessFuel 1pm ET
#Hashtag and Media Relations
* Social Mention
* Rite Tag
Journalists need immediate responses from sources or they have no choice but to move on to the next source or idea.
Social PR Secret: Add social PR live chat to your company newsroom or home page so that a journalist - or anyone for that matter - can get an immediate response while working on a story deadline. (Ben again. Sorry, I can't help myself. I'm sure this is doable with a Drupal module. I'm just not sure which one. My problem is that I'm not always in front of my computer - how could I monitor this in real time with an iPhone alert if anyone uses the live chat? It might be more trouble than it's worth...)
Social PR Secret: Email pitches. If you don't hear back from me, I'm probably not interested. from: @crampell
Those are my highlights (and thoughts about integrating ideas into Drupal) from one chapter.
I have just as many more from almost every chapter. Obviously, as a digital marketer, I already knew some of that stuff but never expressed in quite the way or seen those ideas put together in quite that way that Ms. Buyer does. Each chapter discusses a major part of the PR world, like media, press releases, content strategy, editorial calendars, social publishing, or community management.
The book is engaging and filled with many actionable tips, tricks and techniques that every serious digital marketer should know. It doesn't take much thought to apply them to an existing Drupal website or marketing project so they end up being incredibly helpful for the typical Drupal Marketer.
In short, it's a "Must Buy".
Pro tip: How to approach a book like this one that is so chock full of actionable ideas.
If you "just do it" as you read, you'll get a great result for the website you're working on today. But what about the next time? Better to capture actionable items in to-do lists.
Step 1: First, I highlight action items right into the book as I read. I can do this both with the Kindle or the "dead trees" version.
Step 2: In Evernote, I write the title of a group of action items as the title of the note with the words "Todo list: " in front. For example: "Todo list: Social PR and Media Relation Sources". I tag the note with the appropriate tags like "todo list", "media", and "social pr".
Step 3: In the body of the note, I type up the todo items with "* " in front of each one along with appropriate directive like "Set up". Like this:
* Set up Newsle: Newsle tracks friends and alerts you when they're mentioned in news articles and blog posts.
* Check for the next item here..
Step 4: When I have a client project where we need to execute one of those lists, I go into Evernote and forward the list via email to a project in Basecamp. Basecamp accepts emails with the formatting above and will turn the email into a todo list on an existing project. 
Step 5: Assign the tasks with deadlines to the appropriate staff person.
Step 6: Use the time saved to write long reviews of books on our blog.
Thank you, Lisa Buyer!
What's your favorite marketing/sales/seo book? Let me know in the comments below and/or send me a copy.

Have a comment? Sign in: