Book review: Share This Too

Edited by Stephen Waddington and Rob Brown, Share This Too has over 30 contributors from professional PR backgrounds. It is deemed a practical handbook created by the CIPR in 2013, published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The book is 303 pages long.

Share This Too isn’t just a book about a specialist area of public relations; it is about how the entire practice of PR is evolving and the immediate future of the profession.

Following on from Share This, Share This Too is the sequel to the original guide and described as a practical handbook to digital media. Only it questions the fine line between digital and traditional PR. In the first chapter alone, Rob Brown discusses the difficulty of identifying a traditional PR campaign that has no element of digital in today’s business. Contributed to by industry professionals, all of which are members of the CIPR, it is unsurprising that this book is referred to as the handbook of digital PR.

With writers such as the president of the CIPR, Stephen Waddington, my own lecturer, Richard Bailey and a number of names that I was yet to hear of – the knowledge that the book contains is not only incredibly interesting to a fledgling student like myself but also highly intuitive for anyone hoping to develop within the PR industry. Unlike some of the books I have read in my time at university, I found myself glued to Share This Too in an eye opening, fascinated manner.

“Digital PR is dead because all PR is digital” – Rob Brown, in Chapter 1; Digital PR is dead: Social goes mainstream

Written in the first chapter and The Future of Public Relations section of the book, Brown explores the idea that there is no longer a distinct line, traditional has now integrated with digital; an element that I have noticed throughout my time studying PR. He goes onto discuss the rarity of a print publication not having it’s own online site. Absolute convergence between the two once separate ideas. It is interesting to explore the idea that an area of public relations that was once its own professionalism has now progressed into every aspect of the trade. Press relations is no longer simply with print press, the opportunity behind viral campaigns is bigger than ever and news on Twitter is often received quicker than the papers (as explored in Mark Pack’s chapter: The Unsocial Web); the trade has truly evolved.

Another chapter that particularly stood out to me was Gamification; Engaging Audiences Through Play, written by Sharon O’Dea, featured in the Conversations section of the book. She explores the idea of incorporating gaming into communications and the benefits that it brings. Having emphasised the fact that it is not a new idea, with the first loyalty scheme being established for prizes back in the 1930s, she’s goes onto discuss the three factors that ensure it’s success including autonomy, mastery and purpose. Touching upon the fact that people do not like to be coerced, enjoy learning and strive off a sense of achievement. Highlighting the huge success of Nike’s running app – gamifying fitness. It’s users can continuously see their progression and set their own goals in the form of an online app.

Covering what this evolution of PR means for both the present and future industry, each chapter in each of the seven sections of the book is filled with insightful knowledge into the ever changing digital landscape. From press relations to internal communication, the book discusses how digital can influence every aspect of PR. Highlighting the importance of social media within employee engagement, it’s affect on our own personal brand identity and how it can be utilized in times of crisis management.  A must-read for anyone hoping to enter the PR industry and evolve with the digital change.

Word Count: 633

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