I’m super excited! Fifteen years after the first edition of The New Rules of Marketing & PR released, the most comprehensive update yet is now available. The 8th edition is out today in print and ebook editions the USA and Canada and will soon be available in other countries. An audiobook version is coming by mid-Summer.
With more than 425,000 copies sold in English and available in 29 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese, New Rules is now a modern business classic. It’s used as a marketing and PR guide in thousands of companies and a text in hundreds in marketing, journalism, and business courses at universities around the world.
If you’ve read previous editions, thank you! I especially want to thank all of you who have shared the ideas in the New Rules to your colleagues, followers, and students over the years. I’m honored.
The tools of marketing and public relations are constantly evolving. Consider this: When wrote the first edition of the book, Twitter didn’t even exist, and Facebook was available only to students. In this 8th edition, I’ve added a new section about the rise in popularity of social audio apps such as Clubhouse. And given the increased importance of online video as part of a marketing and PR strategy, I’ve expanded the relevant sections of the book as well.
This edition includes an expanded chapter on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The use of AI in marketing and public relations has become an important way to automate routine tasks to save time and money as well as to increase the success of marketing initiatives.
The AI chapter explores ways that math-based applications can help marketers, such as analyzing which blog or email newsletter topics have the greatest chance of getting seen and shared, the best ways to write headlines for maximum exposure, the best time and day to post it, which channels are the best to share it on, and what hashtags are appropriate to use. I share examples of success using AI as well as some of the tools you might consider using in your own work.
Since I wrote the previous seventh edition, we’ve experienced the global COVID-19 pandemic, affecting organizations around the world in profound ways. Many schools canceled their in-person classroom teaching. Businesses that relied on in-person sales meetings with potential customers suddenly had to pivot. Live music and theater, as well as corporate events and the conferences organized by business associations, were postponed, or canceled.
What did all these organizations do instead? In a world where we could not meet one another face-to-face, the kind of online marketing that I talk about in this book has become even more essential. Individuals and organizations got a crash course in the need to engage with their existing and potential customers online. I share some of their stories.
Many of those who already understood the ideas in this book did very well in the new online-only environment, pivoting quickly or doubling down on what was already working for them online. When you can’t market and sell face-to-face, creating valuable content and publishing it online works especially well. Many organizations also shifted from in-person to virtual events, and in this new edition I provide ideas for how you can host your own.
I’ve also used my scalpel to cut stories and concepts that I felt were no longer appropriate, including an entire chapter on viral marketing that was in previous editions. With the tremendous rise of social media, newsjacking, and real-time connections between people around the world, the fact that information travels quickly and grows in reach is an aspect of many ideas in various chapters in the book. The idea no longer needs its own chapter.
The most exciting aspect of the book is that I have the honor of showcasing some of the best examples of building successful marketing on the web. There are more than 50 profiles throughout the book, many of them featuring the marketers’ own words from interviews with me.
In the past several years, I’ve met (mostly virtually) with hundreds of people who have shared their stories with me. I have drawn from those experiences and included in these pages many new examples of success. For those of you who have read earlier editions, you’ll still find many fresh ideas in these pages.
You’ll learn from people at Fortune 500 companies and at businesses with just a handful of employees. These companies make products ranging from racing bicycles to jet helicopters and from computer software to men’s hair accessories. Some of the organizations are well known to the public, while others are famous only in their own market niches.
I profile nonprofit organizations, political advocacy groups, and an inner-city school district. I tell the stories of independent consultants, churches, rock bands, and lawyers, all of whom successfully use the web to reach their target audiences.
What has stayed the same
There used to be only three ways to get noticed: Buy expensive advertising, beg the mainstream media to tell your story for you, or hire a huge sales staff to bug people individually about your products. In the first edition, I pioneered the idea of a better option: publishing interesting content on the web, content that your buyers want to consume.
The skills that worked offline to help you buy or beg or bug your way into opportunity are the skills of interruption and coercion. Online success comes from thinking like a journalist and publishing amazing content that will brand you as an organization or person it would be a pleasure to do business with.
You are in charge of your own success and that hasn’t changed in fifteen years.