Naked Review David Meerman Scott New Rules of PR & Marketing

by | Jun 28, 2018 | Naked Review | 2 comments

David the Self Help for PRs

I got introduced to David Meerman Scott’s excellent book through a friend of mine, Helen who I worked with at Mamas & Papas, for she was doing a snazzy digital marketing course, and Dave (as we like to call him) is the holy grail of online with his book the New Rules of PR & Marketing. I’ve been lucky enough in my professional life that I was taught a great deal about online marketing from a very good entrepreneur who has his own agency, Xav at Netleadz. I ain’t joking when I say that only four years ago I didn’t have a scooby doo what SEO was. Alas not everyone can have their own personal coach, so if you’re a super start up or just too embarrassed to say ‘I don’t get it, what’s an algorithm?!’ Then is an easy and straight forward way to learn all their is to know about online marketing.

David Meerman Scott New Rules of PR & Marketing

It’s a Big Book
For a time I was so engrossed I took the book everywhere with me, even to Hyde Park one day where a stranger struck up a conversation based on its serious looking nature. Helen, who beforehand used to frown at me everytime I said the word website and actively avoided social media, suddenly started asking me curious questions about Google + which delighted me more than I’d like to admit! It covers everything off but gently and feels like a revelation. As you read you’ll realise you’ve been approaching online all wrong and you will want to start again immediately.

What to expect
For PRs will start to realise the value of digital, marketeers will understand the impact of reviews, brands will look to bloggers and influencers with fresh eyes, and start ups will see the power of content and social media. I call this book Self Help for PR’s because by reading it you can self medicate and plug those gaps of knowledge. Here are my top tips from David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of PR & Marketing:

PR’s Are Public Now
In the good old days, PR and Marketing people would just stand in the background and literally holding the whole operation up behind the scenes {for example – picture me at a photo shoot getting a model a skinny cappuccino at the same time as steaming and sourcing tit tape at the same time as finding where the hair and makeup artist has disappeared to}. However now, we are front and centre. We have to get used to the camera and the spotlight in order to become even better communicators. Even just small things like embracing video can make all the difference in dealing with other PRs, bloggers, journalists and even customers.

“The Internet has made public relations public again, after years of almost exclusive focus on media. Blogs, online video, news releases, and other forms of web content let organisations communicate with buyers. ” – David Meerman Scott

The Cocktail Party
Using an analogy of a glamorous cocktail party, David looks at how easy it is for people to misunderstand the role of social media, in that is supposed to be SOCIAL. It always seems to surprise businesses that they are required to work within social media, rather than purely sell, sell, sell, so this analogy is a simple way to describe the correct way to behave.

“Guess what? The popular people on the cocktail circuit make friends. People like to do business with people they like. And they are eager to introduce their friends to each other. That trend holds true in social media . So go ahead and join the party. But just think of it as that – a fun place where you give more than you get.” – David Meerman Scott

You Are What You Publish
David would ALMOST argue that you don’t reallyyyy need press releases anymore when you can publish your latest news straight to your blog. Now, I’m not about to completely do myself out of a job, but what he means is, that just like celebrities these days, you can speak directly to the public/your customer without a third party in the way. So your announcements can go straight onto your website and social media and ta da – the news is out. Now, I am a big fan of starting off with the press release and then the content coming from that – it just makes sense to me to work from the point of view of long lead magazines (especially in fashion) first before the immediate release nature of a piece of content online, but I am willing to concede in certain businesses, a straight to published can work better. Either way, you should have a blooming good press and content strategy to cover both these points off.

As the dozens of successful marketers profiled in this book say, the old rules are old news. Millions of people are online right now looking for answers to their problems. Will they find your organisation? And if so what will they find? Remember, on the web you are what you publish.” – David Meerman Scott

Changing Your Pitch Process
In the olden days, it was customary to send out blanket press releases on huge systems like Gorkana and basically that is was a key part of how we communicated (along with one to one relationships etc etc. But NOW we have a much better opportunity – we can research journalists and find out what topics they’re writing on, what their social media profiles are like and how they like to work. This is GOLD DUST! Tailoring your approach can ensure you are properly targeting your message, and you’ll have a more meaningful relationship which should return in even better ROI.

In more than 10 years, only a tiny number of PR people have commented on my blog or reached out to me as a result of a blog post or a story I’ve written in a magazine. How difficult is it be to read the blogs and Twitter feeds of the reporters you’re trying to pitch? It teaches you precisely what interests them. Then you can email them with something interesting that they are likely to write about rather than spamming them with unsolicited press releases When I don’t want to be bothered, I get hundreds of press releases a week. But then I do want feedback and conversation, I get silence. Something’s very wrong in PR land.” – David Meerman Scott

Keep Your Customer in Mind
One of the trickiest thing to do is to identify your customer profiles so you can market to them effectively. This does take time to do but it is essential to spend time on your strategy building your customer profiles. You can even give them names – for example – you might have a ‘customer’ group which you might encapsulate Millennials and you might call the Love Island generation who like to communicate through social media – specifically newer channels such as SnapChat and Instagram. They might use their own language – cracking on, grafting and pieing each other off. How different to the Baby Boomer generation which might be getting their information largely from newspapers and TV channels.

“For each buyer profile, we want to know as much as we can about this group of people. What are their goals and aspirations? What are their problems? What media do they rely on for answers to problems? How can we reach them?” David Meerman Scott

If you’re British, you might find the tone slightly American self-helpy, but at the same time, you need to get enthusiastic about online. Note – I read the 5th Edition but things are soooo rapid, David has now published the 6th Edition which you can buy from Amazon below –

Note – this post contains some affiliate links so if you purchase the book below I receive a small percentage of the sale. My reviews are always open & honest.


  1. Wow – thank you so much for writing up your thoughts on my book! I’m honored. I’m particularly pleased to see your reaction to the cocktail party metaphor. I really loved that bit when I was writing it. I thought I was oh so clever. But not very many people mention it.

    I hope that you make use of the ideas. Cheers, David

    • Yes I totally loved that idea! Especially because so many people get obsessed with numbers on social media – but it’s so much more than that and great to have an easy way to explain it that people can understand! X


Subscribe to my newsletter

Sign up to receive monthly PR tips, interviews and modern marketing updates.

You have Successfully Subscribed!