'Strategic Public Relations' by Jennifer Gehrt and Colleen Moffitt (Xlibris Corporation, 2009)

PR books often provide tactical advice, but it is not often you come across a book that showcases how PR can be used strategically.

PR books often provide tactical advice, but it is not often you come across a book that showcases how PR can be used strategically.

Writing from personal experience and providing examples from PR leaders representing some of the world's most recognized brands, Gehrt and Moffitt provide a high-level road map on how you can use PR strategically and effectively to fulfill goals and objectives.

The authors detail 10 guiding principles designed to take any PR/communication plan from tactical to strategic. Anecdotes and quotes are sprinkled throughout to drive home the importance of each guiding principle.

Each principle presented is based on real-life lessons and behind-the-scene stories from experts at leading global brands such as Nike, Starbucks Coffee Company, Apple, Home Depot, Blockbuster, Google, and Coca-Cola. It is through the eyes of these global brands that we learn the importance of each principle.

One of my favorite principles that the authors provide is to “leverage emerging trends and technologies.” Immensely important at this time in PR history, the authors not only provide the how to of these new trends and technologies, but also the why to. Their guide to managing your online reputation is a needed guide to those who need strategic tips to manage their reputation in the new world of consumer-generated media.

But know there are nine more principals that are just as well developed, including principles to help you sell public relations, build your PR team, know your target audience, craft a compelling story, and measure your results.

Each of the guiding principles is presented in a straightforward way. Strategic Public Relations is a simple, but important, read for anyone in PR at any level of their career. Gehrt and Moffitt have written a book that is important for those entering the field all the way through to those who have been in the industry for a number of years.

This quick read is definitely one to add to your bookcase. With its anecdotes and examples throughout, it provides not only an entertaining, but also an educated look at strategic PR.

Jeffrey Ory is a VP at Deveney Communication.

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