Friday Five, post-Thanksgiving edition, a day late: reading for tech-savvy PR and a request for input

The Thanksgiving holiday and an over-indulgence of turkey, football and college basketball has thrown off my circadian rhythms. So I’m a day late with this week’s Friday Five. Technically, I should’ve taken the week off, but this particular topic is timely, as it relates to the Advanced PR Institute I’ll be helping out with on Dec. 3-4. (“Developing a Technology-Savvy Communications Approach” is the theme for this institute, and if you would like to attend, there’s still time to register if you hurry.) Anyway, my co-faculty and I discussed some pre-reading for the conference participants to help bring them up to speed on the impact of new technology on PR, and we came up with this list of materials:

1. Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word of Mouth Marketing, by Lois Kelly. (Executive summary available online. So is my review of the book.)

2. The Cluetrain Manifesto, by Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls and David Weinberger. The whole book is now available online.

3. Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers, by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. (I also reviewed this book.)

4. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, by Don Tapscott. The introduction and chapter 1 are available online (PDF).

5. Now it’s your turn. What other book about technology, social networking, the web 2.0 world, etc., would be on your list of recommended reading for higher ed PR folks? Leave your recommendations in the comments below and I’ll be sure to share these recommendations with the folks in Austin on Dec. 3-4.

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

13 thoughts on “Friday Five, post-Thanksgiving edition, a day late: reading for tech-savvy PR and a request for input”

  1. I’d be very tempted to add James Suriowiecki’s “The Wisdom of Crowds” to that list. Not having read “Wikinomics,” I don’t know how well the two books complement or overlap with one another. But I enjoyed Surowiecki’s book much more than I expected; I typically hate pop culture or poorly-researched books (including nearly all marketing and business books) but this book was not one of those.

    I would also look at perhaps including sections from Yachai Benkler’s “The Wealth of Networks.” It’s a hefty tome but it’s a tour de force of the impact of the Internet on…everything. It’s available online for free.

    I do like your inclusion of “The Cluetrain Manifesto.” It’s a bit old but still very good and very applicable.

  2. Two suggestions:

    1. The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott. Picked it up recently based on positive reviews from many of the 2.0 folks I follow. Still reading, but I’ve already picked up a few useful bits of advice. It’s very tactical, which might provide some balance to the more theoretical books on the list.

    2. Citizen Marketers by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. This is a great introduction to the world of social media. Would probably be better as part of a remedial reading list for those who haven’t already been playing in this space.

  3. At my association’s conference earlier this month, we had Sean Wise as one of our keynote speakers. Sean spent much of his time detailing what type of start-up company (including a lot of online companies) would get a head in the world (he likened them to animals…gazelles are the best). Anyhow, Sean indicated the three books that he thinks are the most groundbreaking in the last year. In addition to Wikinomics (written, of course, by Toronto’s own Don Tapscott), he recommended Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail, plus one I hadn’t heard of (or read), “We are smarter than me” (the first book on crowdsourcing, actually written by the crowd). In double-checking on his website, I see Sean has done a podcast about it:

    The following week I was at a symposium/conference held by the Learning Resources Network (and international association for organizations that provide lifelong education programs). Lo and behold, these same three books kept getting cited as well, again and again.

    Note that I have a copy of The Long Tail and keep plugging away at reading it (interesting concept, millions of markets of dozens of people, rather than dozens of markets of millions of people), and that I’ve seen Don Tapscott speak on three separate occasions (most recently May 2006, when he detailed his then-upcoming book, Wikinomics)…but I haven’t read the Tapscott book yet.

    I hope this helps. Good luck with your institute, Andrew. It sounds quite interesting.

  4. Judy pointed me to you post. I have few suggestions for books: SMART MOBS by Howard Rheingold (about “transforming culture and communities in the age of instant access”, two older books — CONNECTED INTELLIGENCE: The Arrival of the Web Society by Derrick De Kerckhove (he runs the McLuhan Centre in Toronto)and INTERFACE CULTURE: How New Technology Transforms the Way we Create and Communicate, alo anything by Lawrence Lessig (THE FUTURE OF IDEAS and FREE CULTURE in particular, which deal with intellectual property and the Web) and David Weinberg’s new book EVERYTHING IS MISCELLANEOUS (although the first few chapters are really heavy going.) Hope that helps.

    Hope that helps.

  5. I think LongTail is interesting, but once you’ve graspect the fairly basic concept, I’m not sure it warrants reading the entire book.

    I would still be inclined to recommend Gladwell’s Tipping Point as there is merit in a lot of his discussions (which were pre-online networking etc).

    Otherwise – why just recommend books, why not have a “speed-dating” style list of blog posts to visit and ideally, engage with.

  6. David Meerman Scott’s book is especially pragmatic, lots of good “how to” tips. Another is Paul Gillin’s “The New Influencers.” “Naked Conversations,” as you note, is one of the really good ones.

    Not a marketing tech book, but a must-read for anyone in non-profit marketing, is Katya Andresen’s “Robin Hood Marketing.” Fresh insights, well written, good stories.


  7. I’m using Anderson, The Long Tail, and Scott, The New Rules, in my WOM class next semester. But I’m also including a couple of chapters from Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur, to provoke some discussion.

  8. Let me add my weight to David Merrrman Scott’s book. Heavy on marketing, lighter on PR, but certainly focused on some of the essential shifts. A practical book.

    I agree with Heather that The Long Tail would have made a compelling magazine article, but not a book.

  9. Funny that I’ve read most of the books listed above. “Long Tail” and “New Rules” are faves, as is “Wikinomics”. But does anyone think it strange that in this day of incredible technology, we are still reading BOOKS written on PAPER? Are we not ignoring the technology we are trying to exploit? The greatest info I have received, BY FAR, on promoting my online ventures has come to me online. It’s the most up-to-date, and the ability to contact the author (and get a reply!) is far greater. I came across James Brausch ( which gave me more info than any of the above books – simply because it’s always up-to-the-minute and focused on what I’m trying to do.

    Stop killing trees! Get your info online! :-)

  10. Well, speaking of books. My theory is that any book on the internet that is actually in a bookstore, is too old to be useful at this time. E-books might seem a little rinky-dink, but I think they are the most useful and up-to-date resource we have for marketing ideas. I write a lot of articles and e-books, primarily on internet marketing, and they are often full of new information that didn’t even exist 6 months ago. I used to have the problem of actually getting the articles out to the masses, but that has changed. I used to submit my works individually, from publisher to publisher, blog to blog, site to site, but I’ve started automating the whole process (thanks Artemis Pro!).
    Like someone said above, Save the Trees!

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