Book Review: “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”

During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I finished reading “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” by David Meerman Scott. I found it one of the most profound books I’ve read on marketing and social media to date. Although, like any book, “New Rules” certainly has its flaws, I found it overall a wonderful read and sincerely encourage anyone interested in or involved with marketing at any level to read it.

To start the review, I’ve listed a few of the book’s pros and cons.


  1. Basic information about some specific tools and uses of social media, such as social networking sites like Squidoo.
  2. Forward-thinking ideas presented.
  3. Personally, being a marketing person converted from journalism, I love the idea of marketers acting as thought leaders and journalists. I also liked that he did not completely cast aside news media and journalists like other books do/have done.


  1. Too repetitive.
  2. Too basic. He could have cut half the book’s content down by getting rid of so much repetitiveness and then added some more detailed information about specific social media sites and tools.

And finally, a few points I found extremely beneficial on professional and personal levels:

Point 1

Marketing/advertising/PR have changed for good and, whether you like it or not, there’s no going back. Today, marketing is not about interrupting the consumer through TV commercials or magazine ads. Today’s successful companies understand the value and importance of being authentic and building relationships with customers. This quote explains the modern mindset:

“Nobody cares about your products (except you). People care about themselves and ways to solve their problems.”

Therefore, to get customers and others interested in something, you must solve a customer’s problem, whether that be something basic, like helping them keep updated on current events, or something more vital, like solving a customer’s safety concerns regarding a car.

Point 2

Find your niche! Every person, organization, company, etc. has specific attributes or characteristics or skills that differentiate them from others or from the competition. Find what that is for you. Then, observe how others in this niche interact online and prove yourself to be a thought leader in that category. Understand others interested in this topic and reach out to them, seeking to build a relationship online and/or offline. Being a journalism undergraduate, I loved when Scott wrote:

“Online success comes from thinking like a journalist and a thought leader.”

Point 3

Today, all marketing is search engine marketing. Successful people and organizations create quality content that comes up when someone searches for the topic the person or organization leads. Distinguish yourself by avoiding “goobledygook,” a word Scott uses frequently throughout the book and a word I have come to love to hate. Avoid hollow “marketing speak” and instead find words and keywords that truly distinguish you from your competitors.

Even if you haven’t read the book, what do you think about these ideas, either as an individual, a marketer, or both??

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