2010 is upon us and now is the time to assess your PR and marketing goals from the past year. Did you reach them? Is your marketing getting results?
If you’re looking to get a jump start in the new year with some fresh PR and social media marketing ideas, here are my top five business book recommendations:
1) Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
This one was just released in the late autumn of 2009. I believe theory is important, but this book cuts right to the chase. It tells you, step by step, how to optimize your Web site for Google searchability and which social media sites you should be using to maximize your reach.
2) Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge
A bit more intellectual and written for strategists, this book discusses the evolution of PR from the good old days of pitching stories to journalists to how to begin engaging with online communities. Here the authors talk about the new “Social Media Release” and its applications.
3) The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott
This is the book that helped change my thinking back in 2007 when “social media” was starting to becoming part of the marketing discussion. I saw Mr. Scott speak at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Expo and began integrating his ideas into my business and my clients’ businesses almost immediately. He is an advocate of companies learning to create rich, sharable content which people will want to spread over the Internet, thus creating an inbound marketing effect. Mr. Scott is releasing a newly revised and updated version in January 2010.
4) Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
Another one of the “classics” that every CEO or CMO should read (technology moves so quickly your book becomes a classic on my list once it’s two years old ) This book is chock full of real world case studies of how companies are using new social technologies to drive their success. Whereas many authors place an emphasis on getting out there and experimenting with social media tools, these authors define specific objectives for social media use: listening, talking, energizing, supporting, embracing.
5) The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product of Service into a World-Class Brand by Al Ries and Laura Ries
If Groundswell is a classic, then this one is an ancient text. So why is it on the list? Because even though the technologies and many marketing strategies have changed, there are still many fundamental elements of branding which will always remain the same. This book demystifies the laws of branding; how to choose a name, design, message and how to avoid catastrophic mistakes which will hurt you in the long run.
Extra Credit: Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini
For those of you who are a sponge of business knowledge like me, then be sure to pick up this little book. It’s organized into 50 short chapters which show you how little tweaks in your marketing can make a significant difference in your results. For example, did you know putting a handwritten sticky note on a mailed survey increases the return rate by up to 75 percent? This book is full of these little tips.
If you can recommend other books, please put them into the comment section. I would love to read them and I’m sure that other people reading this blog would like to hear about them too.