Move over Gary Vaynerchuk, you may have had a lot of success with #AskGaryVee, but there is a new book that answers all of the questions modern day communication professionals have today.
I am talking about Deirdre Breakenridge’s new book “Answers for Modern Communicators: Guide to effective business communication.” Deirdre is not only an innovative professional and educator, but truly one of the best people I have met in the industry. She also is one of the hardest working professionals I know and has multiple roles in the field as a practitioner, educator, podcast host, Nasdaq live show host, author, consultant, and many more roles. Deirdre is truly an inspiration for all of us, and one I sing my praises about in all of my classes.
I have known Deidre now for a few years, and each year – she raises the bar with her work and generosity for the future generation of professionals and fellow educators. We first connected online through my research into social media influencers (my first published article!) and we then connected on Twitter. A few years later, we had a chance to do a Skype session, which lead to several phone calls, guest talks, and meet ups in person. Deirdre is the REAL deal – I have been so impressed not only with her expertise and innovativeness in the field, but she truly walks the walk and talks the talk. I have all of her books and when this one came out, I immediately made sure to pre-order it and get it once it was available off of Amazon.
There are so many great things that I love about this book, and let me share with you some of the main takeaways I was able to get from reading Deirdre’s new book.
Overall tone of the book is extremely positive and focuses on mentorship. The overall tone of the book truly reflects who Deirdre is – a forward thinking, innovative, kind, and true mentor for the profession. I loved how the book flowed and I felt as I was reading, I was hearing Deirdre’s voice coming through. This is a book that is relatable not only for students, but professors and professionals alike.
All of the chapters have a theme to them with associated questions. I absolutely loved reading Chapter 3 (Socializing your brand). In a day where we are seeing tons of articles, courses, and reports emphasizing the importance of being social and having a personal brand, this chapter was so good and a must read for students interested in looking at social media as an opportunity to network, grow, and be engaged with the community. Some of the questions ranged from “Do you know where to hang out on social media” to “What does increasing your digital footprint really mean?” These are the exact questions I get from students in my social media class.
Not only does Deidre answers these questions in detail, but provides action steps for how you accomplish these successfully. I felt I was clapping and saying yes the entire time I was reading these chapters and answers! I also loved what Michael Ehlrich did for his feature in this chapter – amazing answers, Michael! I also felt Chapter 7 (Giving back as a mentor) was also one of my favorites as well. I try to stress all the time with my students about paying it forward and being a mentor for others.
Deirdre walks the walk and illustrates how she practices what she preaches in her book. One of the favorite things I saw Deirdre integrate as part of her book were screen shots of conversations she was having with professionals, students, and brands in her book. This provides a clear view of how Deirdre is following her own practices on her own as well. I really appreciated seeing this and seeing how transparent Deirdre was with this. A great feature to add here for this book!
Questions we have ALL asked ourselves about the field, and we finally have the answers to them with actionable steps. As I was reading this book, I wish this was assigned and available to me when I was starting off in the public relations major at the University of Florida. I had several of these questions as I was entering the field as well (ex. How do you maintain your networking?). There are other questions that are focused on specific areas like personal branding (ex. Should you position yourself as an expert source?)
Featuring professionals. I love how Deidre has integrated so many professional insights and interviews for her new book. The foreword was also by Stephen Waddington, who is one of my favorite PR professionals and friends in the industry.
I was thrilled to be able to not only participate in this (thank you again for the opportunity, Deirdre!) but also be able to have it as a required book for my PR and Crisis Communication class at the University of Louisville.
What are my thoughts and recommendations for this book? Buy it NOW – don’t wait, go to Amazon and order it on Amazon Prime immediately. This needs to be part of your bookshelf and library!
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I have all of Deirdre’s books, but this one has become my all-time favorite. I read it all in one sitting and made a ton of notes and I think the book is now covered with post it notes with all of the answers and pages I bookmarked. This is a must have book not only for classes, but it needs to be a required reading for new majors in communications, PR, and social media programs. I also think it would be necessary to have as part of an internship program as well so students and young professionals are able to see what the field holds, and what actions they can take.
Congratulations on this great book, Deirdre!!