Book Reviews

 
Public Relations

Streetwise Complete Publicity Plans

Author: Sandra Beckwith
Publisher Adams Media Corporation
Publication Date: April 2003

Reviewer:Andy Marken
In his nearly 25 years in the advertising/public relations field, Andy has been involved with a broad range of corporate and marketing activities. Prior to forming Marken Communications in mid-1977, Andy was vice president of Bozell & Jacobs and its predecessor agencies. During his 12 years with these agencies, he developed and coordinated a wide variety of highly visible and successful promotional campaigns and activities for clients. A graduate of Iowa State University, Andy received his Bachelor's Degree with majors in Radio & Television and Journalism. Widely published in the industry and trade press, he is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

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Looking for a gift for a friend who has just started his or her own business? Want to give recent PR graduates something they can use to avoid the mistakes of innocence during their first year in the real world?

Streetwise is a gift they can actually use.

Ms Bechwith covers the majority of the bases in a sound program without over promising how easy it is going to be do it right. The book is certainly crammed with examples the reader can use as guidelines in his or her own efforts. As the reader moves down the path of success or failure they can modify their efforts without looking totally naÔve or too overbearing.

Streetwise does a good job of explaining how to put together a publicity program for companies and their products. The author minimizes the discussion of publicity strategy and focuses on the specific tactics that can lead to coverage, interest and hopefully sales on a modest budget. She quickly goes through the basics press releases, pitch letters, press kits and op-ed pieces to help the reader understand how to use the press coverage tools.

Perhaps the best parts of the entire book arenít the pages of detailed explanation but rather the sidebars (set out in blue) that give concrete examples of specific points. These short, to-the-point discussions include: getting radio publicity, an uncanny event idea, successful stunt, avoid this pitch letter mistake and hundreds of other opportunities and pitfalls do an excellent job of stimulating the readersí own thinking.

Fortunately she doesnít oversell the speed and power of your publicity efforts and how a single set of activities can reach all of your audiences.

If youíre just starting out your public relations career or as we said you want to give a friend a gift they can really use in their new business, Streetwise is a welcome addition to their library. But if youíre looking for the next ďah haĒ guide to personal success in the industry the book probably wonít be of much assistance.