PR 2.0 by Deirdre Breakenridge

PR 2.0: Putting the Public Back in Public Relations

Whether you are plugged into every social network out there or you don’t know what tweeting is, the growing importance of social media in our personal and professional lives is undeniable. This explosion of Web 2.0 tools has had a significant impact on how organizations connect with their audiences and stakeholders.

PR. 20 by Deirdre Breakenridge, while directed primarily at public relations practitioners, is a useful beginner’s guide to integrating Web 2.0 tools such as social networkswikisblogs and RSS into your communications efforts. Breakenridge provides tips and resources to be used throughout the communications process, from research (the first step in any PR plan) to evaluation. Whether you are a small enterprise or a large organization, Breakenridge tries to provide links to resources that fit your needs (and technical skills), as well as suggestions on what to look for in the different tools available. The interviews and case studies throughout the book give interesting insight into how experts, journalists, audiences and other organizations perceive and use Web 2.0 tools.

The age of the book (published in 2008) shows, though, as little mention is made of tools like Twitter that have become widely adopted in the past two years. However, Breakenridge provides such solid advice about the practice of PR, whatever .0 it is, that it is still applicable. She is unwavering in her attention to the fundamentals of PR, to the building of credibility and relationships with audiences and the media. For Breakenridge, the evolution of PR from version 1.0 to 2.0 is not about the shiny social media tools. As she explains on her website, it is about “using a combination of social media tools that are available to communications professionals to reach and better communicate with influencers and consumer audiences directly”.  Essentially, PR 2.0 is about “putting the ‘public’ back in public relations.”