Book Review: The PR Masterclass by Alex Singleton

The PR Masterclass: A great handbook for professionals and amateurs like me
The PR Masterclass: A great handbook for professionals and amateurs like me

The PR Masterclass “How to develop a Public Relations strategy that works!” does what is says on the tin. It covers all aspects of PR. It is full of practical tips and Dos and Don’ts, based on Singleton’s experience on both sides of the fence – as a journalist and a PR professional.

I don’t work in PR, I’m not a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and I don’t click on email ads. However I received an email from the Chartered Institute of Marketing announcing a new book “The PR Masterclass” and bought it.

The traffic on this blog has grown significantly over the last 18 months, and continues to grow at about 30% every six months. I am more interested in improving the quality and really pushing the thought leadership angle than increasing traffic for the sake of higher numbers. I’ve read the usual blog promotion articles (three-quarters of blogs seem to discuss “how to blog”) but they are all targeted towards revenue generation and quantity over quality. So the PR Handbook arrived at just the right time.

The book regularly switches between a strategic approach to PR and a tactical implementation. It covers everything from what makes a story idea newsworthy, to building a relationship with journalists, to TV and radio appearances.

This is not a book of how to spin a story. When it comes to bad news (people think PR is about how to spin bad news), Singleton says “The correct thing is to be honest and open, rather than hide the bad news.” He cites examples where large corporations have tried burying bad news, and it’s turned into a big negative publicity storm. Bad news is dealt with in a page and a half – Singleton keeps most subjects concise throughout the book.

There’s an efficient index at the back of the book. I’m sure this will become a PR classic handbook that professionals and amateurs like me will use as a reference for several years.

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