I had a chance to finish a book this month by my favorite business author, David Meerman Scott. The book is entitled Real-Time Marketing & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now. You might remember him from the “New Rules” book series which has become so popular in recent years.
In his latest book, Scott proposes a new way of thinking for many business owners – equipping your company to respond to the public in real-time.
Although this concept is not exactly new since crisis communication counselors have been stressing the importance of creating a crisis response plan for decades. However, Scott updates this idea by demonstrating how companies must factor in the Social Web response as well.
I especially liked how he has dropped the term “Social Media Marketing” and switched to “Real-Time Marketing & PR” which is technically more accurate. I think sometimes business leaders push back on “social media marketing” (as they should) because it was never about making companies “social.” It’s about eliminating the unnecessary and outdated communication barriers between companies and their stakeholders (customers, members, donors, partners, etc.).
Don’t make the mistake of thinking this concept is only useful for crisis communication. There are many practical applications such as new product development, customer service, sales and research, including marketing and public relations.
However, one complaint I have about the book is that, while it paints the real-time response concept in broad strokes, it leaves the reader with only a few of the particulars needed to enact such a plan. This is not a “how-to” book, but rather an argument for the “why” companies should engage in real-time.
Every chief marketing officer and PR director should put this title on their reading list. Scott’s conversational writing style makes it a fast and fun read and his interesting case studies show his concepts in action. And if you haven’t seen his previous book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR, you should definitely pick that up as well.