The Myths of PR – Book Review

The Myths of PR – Book ReviewMyths of PR: All Publicity Is Good Publicity and Other Popular Misconceptions by Rich Leigh
Published by Kogan Page on April 28th 2017
Pages: 240
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Reading the Myths of PR by Rich Leigh took my back to the first semester of my public relations degree. My initial lecturers were former News Ltd journalists turned jaded PR pros. They taught me how my years in marketing was wasted now I was in public relations. And they taught me how journalists and PR pros are such opposites and could never work together. There’s even a chapter in the Myths of PR on the relationship between public relations and news media.

What’s the Myths of PR is about?

Its purpose is to shatter widespread misconceptions about PR, and grant readers insights into why these myths have endured in spite of clearly demonstrable evidence to the contrary.

I suppose the book meets the promise. Rich covers spin, all publicity is good, the perceived glamor of public relations. Really all the standard complaints about PR. None of the allegations were new to me. But I struggle with his answers. While being technically correct and supported by case studies and personal anecdotes, they read like a weary justification of life choices. Thus why I was reminded of my early PR lecturers. To be fair, Rich is in the UK. I studied PR and started my career in Australia before moving to the US. Things may be different for Rich.

Who Should Read the Myths of PR?

I wrote this before re-reading the book’s synopsis again which states the book is designed “as a vehicle for helping startup owners, brand marketers, communications practitioners, and students”. I wrote that I suspected Rich intended this book to be for PR students and the general public interested in PR. I wasn’t far off. However, the Myths of PR assumes a little too much public relations knowledge. This may confuse some. The defensive attitude is also a turn-off. Who wants a career where you’re constantly having to justify your industry choice?

So if you’re feeling done in by your public relations career choice, this book will provide you with confirmation bias. If you’re looking to be reminded how public relations has changed the world, I recommend reading the results of the Ice Bucket Challenge and Dumb Ways to Die.

Bianca Smith

Bianca is a freelance digital marketer in Seattle. She works with clients big and small, in the US and Australia, on digital marketing, branding, event communications, social media and website content.

6 comments to “The Myths of PR – Book Review”

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  1. Ben - August 15, 2017 Reply

    Haha, there’s an unbiased review alright! I guess for the general public it might have some useful info amongst the technical language and jaded tones? 😛

  2. Ben - August 15, 2017 Reply

    That’s cool you get asked to review them though! 🙂 Hoping you’ll find a few more gems amongst them all at some point ^~^

  3. Ben - August 15, 2017 Reply

    Just read your Goodreads review, lol!! Seems a fair few others thought the same. It’s always disappointing when you have hopes of getting something out of a book that never evenuate.

  4. Ben - August 15, 2017 Reply

    Eventuate** grr typos

    • Bianca Smith - August 15, 2017 Reply

      Hehe for the typos.

      I have an upcoming book on language trends by a BuzzFeed editor that looks promising. It’s not published until November though.

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