While the rating tells you how good a book is according to our two core criteria, it says nothing about its particular defining features. Therefore, we use a set of 20 qualities to characterize each book by its strengths:
Applicable – You’ll get advice that can be directly applied in the workplace or in everyday situations.
Analytical – You’ll understand the inner workings of the subject matter.
Background – You’ll get contextual knowledge as a frame for informed action or analysis.
Bold – You’ll find arguments that may break with predominant views.
Comprehensive – You’ll find every aspect of the subject matter covered.
Concrete Examples – You’ll get practical advice illustrated with examples of real-world applications or anecdotes.
Controversial – You’ll be confronted with strongly debated opinions.
Eloquent – You’ll enjoy a masterfully written or presented text.
Engaging – You’ll read or watch this all the way through the end.
Eye opening – You’ll be offered highly surprising insights.
For beginners – You’ll find this to be a good primer if you’re a learner with little or no prior experience/knowledge.
For experts – You’ll get the higher-level knowledge/instructions you need as an expert.
Hot Topic – You’ll find yourself in the middle of a highly debated issue.
Innovative – You can expect some truly fresh ideas and insights on brand-new products or trends.
Insider’s take – You’ll have the privilege of learning from someone who knows her or his topic inside-out.
Inspiring – You’ll want to put into practice what you’ve read immediately.
Overview – You’ll get a broad treatment of the subject matter, mentioning all its major aspects.
Scientific – You’ll get facts and figures grounded in scientific research.
Visionary – You’ll get a glimpse of the future and what it might mean for you.
Well structured – You’ll find this to be particularly well organized to support its reception or application.
Although changes in the media have always challenged public relations professionals to stay up-to-date, individual PR practitioners’ credibility and solid relationships still define their success. This means that tech advocates may be somewhat overstating when they claim that “Social Media” outlets will radically alter public relations, though they certainly add many more tools to the mix. Even if Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge tend to inflate the extent of the digital revolution, their book is helpful and worth reading. You’ll have to be comfortable with some Web-jargon to understand their tech-centric thinking, but PR professionals do need to know how to make the most of social media – blogs, social networking sites, “micromedia” and the like – and how to best channel its unquestionable potential and impact. For that purpose, getAbstract recommends this handy overview. In terms of details, its most hands-on, useful section is the appendix of social media links.
About the Authors
Brian Solis, a principal in the FutureWorks PR and new media agency, co-founded the Social Media Club and the Media 2.0 Workgroup. He blogs about the future of PR and marketing. Deirdre Breakenridge, president of PFS Marketwyse, leads brand awareness campaigns. She wrote PR 2.0, The New PR Tooklkit and Cyberbranding.