The New Rules of Marketing & PR: A Review

David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to use Social Media, Blogs, New Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyer Directly is now in its fifth edition, and it’s better than ever.

The international bestseller has sold more than 350,000 copies and is available in more than 25 languages. Talk about high demand. In slightly over 400 pages, Scott:

  • Differentiates between the new and old rules of public relations based on a Web 2.0 world.
  • Offers techniques on how to use marketing and public relations to drive sales and reach buyers directly.
  • Captures the significance of strong (and mobile friendly!) content to increase engagement, with an emphasis on rich media including photos, videos and podcasts.
  • Emphasizes the roles websites and social media play in building on- and offline relationships.
  • Shows how to increase online visibility with journalists, customers and other constituents using blogs and search engine optimization.
  • Harnesses the powerful insights behind data and analytics.

What I like most about Scott’s book is that he doesn’t simply provide theory – he provides actionable strategies and tactics to bring communication professionals to the next level. What’s more, Scott supports all of his points with valuable case studies and examples. Not to mention, he practices what he preaches because the book was originally published on his blog.


Students and professionals of all kinds will find value in this book, however in my opinion, it is perhaps most useful for more traditional marketers who need to refresh their perspective of the communication industry as a whole. As a young professional and social media marketer, I found myself nodding in agreement, thinking about all the ways I already put his recommendations to use in my daily career. As such, some of my favorite chapters included:

  • Chapter 8: The Content-Rich Website. Scott claims that “the vast majority of sites are built with the wrong focus,” and that’s because coding is only one piece of the puzzle. Websites must also be developed with a strong understanding of user experience (cough, mobile, cough). Too many marketers have an “if you build it, they will come” mentality, when it’s quite the contrary. Strong marketers have a comprehensive understanding of careful keywords/phrases, appealing designs and branding, and content organization that keeps site visitors funneling through the site to take a desired action. Sites should also be accessible on a global scale.
  • Chapter 15: Social Networking as Marketing. Chapters like these are my holy grail, especially when I’m training those who aren’t well-versed in social media. I largely agree with his thoughts on ‘The Sharing More Than Selling Rule.’ It’s essential for social media to have a healthy balance of promotional vs. engagement content because it’s primarily about building online relationships that move people from being passive message recipients to active brand advocates. Social media is social – so talk with consumers, not at them. Scott says, “I’d suggest you should be doing 85 percent sharing and engaging, 10 percent publishing original content, and only 5 percent or less about what you are trying to promote.” What’s more, I like that Scott emphasizes the audience-centric nature of social networks and the role social media plays in crisis communication.
  • Chapter 17: An Image Is Worth a Thousand Words. This one’s so important, I attributed an entire blog article to it.

The industry has changed, and we must change with it. 10/10 would recommend.

David_Meerman_Scott_3David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed strategist, whose books and blog are must-reads for professionals seeking to generate attention in ways that grow their business. Scott’s advice and insights help people, products and organizations stand out, get noticed and capture hearts and minds. He is author or co-author of ten books – three are international bestsellers.

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