As I’ve mentioned before, studying a PR degree is ‘one of those degrees’. It’s one of those degrees in which you set yourself up for four years of people asking you what exactly it is you study. If a minor miracle happens and people do know what PR is, the unfortunate likelihood is, most of them will have the wrong idea. So you can imagine why, after this, I was incredibly happy to be able to get a copy of the incredible new book, Myths of PR by none other than Rich Leigh. This is a post on my new found love for this book and why I personally think that every single PR student should read and learn from it.
Myths of PR does what it says on the tin. Unfortunately, PR is an industry which holds many myths and misconceptions to it. Things that people presume it to be which are in turn, ruining PR’s reputation. Effectively, PR’s PR problem. Rich looks and tackles these myths head on. Myths including ‘PR is all spin, smokescreens and lies’ and ‘PR is glamorous’ to issues such as ‘Gender wage gap figures’.
This book starts with one hell of an introduction. If anybody ever wants to know what it is you study, direct them to this introduction first and then get them to read on. When I first started my degree, I struggled to explain what PR was. I had it sorted in my head but just couldn’t quite explain it in the same brilliant way that Rich does. But not just your family should read this, so should you. It’s an introduction which sets things straight. What PR actually is. The basics. Media relations, conversations with brands and more.
These basics set up a brilliant book which in my opinion, should be read by anyone interested in PR. Yes, you can spend three years studying PR, but it is hard to know exactly what day to day PR life is like. This book gives you that insight. It has opened my eyes to parts of PR that I had never thought about in detail before. From how PR is expected to deliver things instantly, to topics like the press release is dead which I have been interested in but didn’t fully understand.
It’s an insight into the true heart of Public Relations.
The personal touch
I normally don’t ‘get into’ a book. It takes me a while. But this book kept me interested and I think it was due to the personal touch that Rich adopted. It is written from his perspective, filled with real scenarios, situations and case studies told by PR professionals. Myths surrounding the perception that PR is glamorous and that PR is entirely spin. You see and hear what actually happened. What it is like working in PR and what is happening in the industry. All of this written with a good mix of funny stories about pitching to journalists to more serious ones like a PR crisis. Real life issues affecting the industry that are written in a way that someone entering the industry can understand whether you know lots about the industry or not.
Touching upon issues
Again, as a student, you are only looking in on the industry. We think we know and understand the issues but it’s hard to unless we are truly there experiencing them. I read about them, but I hadn’t thought of them in the detail that Rich had in this book. He talks about them and challenges them. Current issues facing the industry such as the gender wage gap. I had seen so much about this on social media but didn’t quite understand where the gap came. But what Rich does really well is back up his thoughts with other statements from professionals. You see a bigger picture being created. In truth, this whole book really made me think about the way that PR works. Each chapter takes you on a journey through the issues faced by the industry with statements and quotes from a range of professionals from Stephen Waddington of Ketchum to Sarah Stimson of PRCareers.co.uk.
This book is a journey into the heart of the Public Relations industry.
So if you haven’t already guessed, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of Myths of PR. It’s written in a way that is insightful whilst being easy to understand and enjoy. It’s a brilliant read for anybody interested in PR but also those on the outside too. Anybody wanting to see the heart of the Public Relations industry through a professional’s eye. A vital book which can begin to educate you on the industry. Taking the Myths and misconceptions away, Rich unearths the true Public Relations industry.
You’ll have to wait a week until you can get hold of this book – Myths of PR is released on the 3rd April. If you want to see into the heart of the PR industry then you can order your copy here. Or see the man himself on Twitter, Linkedin or on last week’s #ThursdayThought.