When I first started writing The New Rules of Marketing & PR there was significant debate about "new." Is this stuff really new or is the title just a hook? Yes, I admit that the book title was partly chosen to help position the book and generate interest.
Brian Clark over at Copyblogger was one of the first to jump in. Many people such as Brian asked: "Does marketing and PR on the Web really require 'new' thinking?"
Some recent discussion with my friend and colleague Steve Johnson helped to solidify ideas around 'new." Steve reminded me of this quote: "You must unlearn what you have learned." – Yoda in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back.
It can be really, really difficult to unlearn what you have learned. Which is way so many people have trouble implementing great online marketing & PR.
Don't believe me? How many spaces do you type after a period? It took me nearly a year to unlearn typing two spaces after a period. A year! Just to stop typing a space! Twenty-something years ago I learned the "old rule" - that you always type two spaces after a period. So I always typed two spaces until I started to write books and magazine articles. I was required to obey a new rule: One space only or manuscripts were rejected. Wow -- that habit was ingrained! Try making that little change yourself.
Old rule: Buy your way in with advertising
As marketing people, we've all learned rules that worked in the offline world. But to succeed on the Web using the new rules, old habits must be unlearned.
As Steve Johnson says, "Stop shouting BUY MY PRODUCT!" (people turn off overt advertising, especially online). You need to unlearn the marketing habit of constantly pitching your product. Instead create content to help people answer their problems.
Old rule: Beg your way in with PR
Your buyers are not nameless faceless metrics. They are people like you and me who want to consume valuable content.
You must unlearn the idea that media and analysts are the only ones who can tell your story. Instead, the web has made PR public again.
New Rule: Publish your way in with great content that your buyers want to consume.
> You must unlearn the use of gobbledygook about your products and services. Instead start from the problems and needs of your buyer personas.