At midday yesterday, after aaages of holding onto it, I sent the (PR) world a link to pre-order my first ever book, Myths of PR (you can pre-order the paperback or Kindle version on Amazon here). It’s released on April 3rd.
I also sent a link to a book launch event in London a couple of weeks after its release to celebrate – there are only a dozen or so free tickets left now – if you fancy coming along, getting yourself a drink at the door and enjoying the Alice in Wonderland-themed bar and card/sleight of hand entertainment from Magic Circle member Richard Parsons, head here: mythsofPR.eventbrite.com
By the time I left the office, it had got to #3 in the PR best-seller list. I know this sounds incredibly corny, but I was so very, very happy with this – whenever you create anything, you never know how it’ll go down.
— Mr PR -né Rich Leigh (@RichLeighPR) 6 March 2017
A couple of hours later though, the book had jumped up further and was at number 2, where it still sits:
The paperback and Kindle versions occupy spots 1 and 3 in the ‘hot new releases’ section:
Just… wow. Thank you all for buying, sharing and being kind.
Writing the book was a much harder process than I thought it would be, especially alongside my young family and the building of this very agency (we’re growing nicely – couple of great recent client wins here and another big one to announce shortly!), so I’m chuffed it’s got off to such a good start.
Book Endorsements from Lovely People
While I have you, I was very, very fortunate to have a number of awesome people both in and around the industry read and give their thoughts on the book (including the one and only Nick Hewer off of The Apprentice and Countdown, whose background in PR is incredibly impressive – thanks to Andrew Bloch for the intro!).
I’m incredibly grateful to each – your feedback has been important in the shaping of the book, and I hope to buy as many of you a drink as possible come the event!
Here they are, in alphabetical order:
“I interview scores of applicants to university and most accept the myths Rich tackles uncritically. They would all benefit from reading this book (and especially Chapter 7, about the supposed glamour of the industry) before committing to a long and expensive degree course in the discipline.
“Rich doesn’t shy away from difficult questions such as what consultancies and practitioners get paid and just how much women in PR earn less than men.
“Written in an engaging conversational style, this is a brave, broad and entertaining snapshot of a misunderstood and much maligned – but still highly attractive – industry. Rich Leigh is a cheerful guide to the public relations landscape, and though I shouldn’t like this book, I do.”
Richard Bailey, Senior Lecturer in Public Relations at University of West of England
Founder of Behind the Spin
“In an industry famed for talking a lot of crap, Rich’s book stands out as a really good insight for those wanting to understand modern day public relations. In fact I would go as far as to say it’s the most helpful book on PR that you will ever read.”
“At a time when ‘fake news’ is a common term it’s no wonder there’s a lack of trust in PR. Rich Leigh is restoring the faith at a crucial time with his book ‘Myths in PR’. It’s an essential guide for practitioners, an inspiring read for PR hopefuls and an open door for anyone interested in 21st century PR. Let’s bury the myths and enjoy the most exciting time in history for communications.”
“Rich Leigh successfully analyses and dispels many of the myths and misconceptions that exist both in the public understanding of PR and within the industry itself. He helps make sense of the shifting world of influence in a clear, concise and easy to understand manner, and paints an optimistic future for the PR industry by highlighting areas of misunderstanding, and acknowledging the need to learn and continually adapt to stay relevant. It provides a very modern depiction of the PR industry and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable, thought-provoking and entertaining read.”
“Rich does a great job debunking much of the nonsense attributed to the art of public relations, from making things go viral, to the death of the news release.
“As a young practitioner of the profession he belies his tender age with words of wisdom and common sense beyond his years. Myths of PR is written in plain English with helpful anecdotes, case studies and links to further reading.
“If your reputation is what people say about you when you leave the room, Rich can walk out head held high safe in the knowledge we’ll all be waxing lyrical about this book.”
Former head of PR, head of social and senior director of marketing innovation at Asda
“If I could marry a book, this would be the one! There is almost nothing worse than someone saying that all publicity is good publicity and Rich Leigh hits that myth head on. What’s more, I have dedicated the better part of the past 10 years working toward changing the perception that people have of the PR industry (though Spin Sucks) and everything Leigh writes in this book speaks to that vision. I love it so much, I wish I’d written it. If you think PR is just getting your name in the paper so the phone will ring, this book is for you. Buy it, read it, highlight it, read it again, and share it. Your business depends on it.”
“Rich successfully manages to lift up the bonnet of how PR works and lets you poke around the engine with him to provide a great insight into the PR world. Although I think he has missed out on one final myth. Let’s call it Myth #19: book endorsements from other PR agency bosses make any difference…OK, maybe from me they do!”
“Rich is a consummate PR professional and it shows in this book, which both sets the record straight on a much-maligned industry and provides a series of practical takeaways for business owners.”
“Myths of PR is one of the first books to realistically capture what public relations is today and educate the business community about its value and role in achieving commercial success. Not only does it quote many of the great and the good in PR today and showcase the worst, it’s basically an ethics manual every practitioner in PR should be forced to read. Massive thumbs up from me.”
Founder and Editor of #FuturePRoof, CIPR President-Elect 2017
“Rich busts many myths both within and about the PR business in spectacular style. Essential reading!”
“At a time when telling the truth is a revolutionary act, Rich Leigh tackles misconceptions and strategy head on with facts, tact and wit. This book is required reading for current and aspiring communications professionals and, frankly, anybody affected by or contributing to the daily onslaught of misinformation; a practise exercised at present, most damagingly and disconcertingly, by even the highest offices in the world.”
Nick Hewer, PR impresario, ‘Countdown’ host and Lord Sugar’s aide on ‘The Apprentice’, having spent decades as his personal PR advisor
“Rich’s energy and creativity have helped him become one of the central figures of the modern PR industry. He seizes on new ideas and has the foresight to see what will and won’t work, which is exactly what you’re looking for in a PR guy. If you want to get good – no, brilliant – at PR without wasting your time, then listen to what Rich has to say.”
“I tend to hate everyone who works in PR, myself included, but this book makes me grudgingly concede Rich really is quite good. This is essential reading for anyone wanting to learn and understand the discipline”.
Matt Muir, Generic Media Wanker
“Rich Leigh is one of the good guys of PR, and his book proves that our industry is a realm not as easily understood as it is underestimated. He cuts through the mirage of Ab Fab lunches and spin doctors to cast new light on what makes the contemporary world of communications tick.”
“Rich has put together an invaluable overview of PR in the twenty first century, and all the facets which sit under it, and how to become a talented, strategic operator in the industry, (and thus stand out from all the tactical, archaic practitioners still spray-and-praying for coverage). This is a must read for anyone starting out in the industry and essential for those who need reminding of the core values they must hold dear. It’s a refreshing mix of counsel, insight, and real-life examples, pulling from a rich vein of material to showcase the theories being discussed.”
“When I heard Rich Leigh was writing a book that attempted to explain, demystify and define public relations I thought ‘Good luck with that’. Rich has delivered a punchy, thoughtful and necessary analysis of both the evolving art and science of PR. The book will be of invaluable use both to students of the profession and those who work within it – especially many of those at senior levels – and no money changed hands for this quote, either. Yet.”
“Rich has written an interesting book with many lessons for PRs. He is right to draw attention to the importance of the gender pay gap. Gender is the third reason to affect pay in the PR Industry, after seniority and length of service. I completely agree with Rich that every percentage point counts. I will not cease to draw attention to the facts of the embarrassing, illegal situation in my profession until gender drops off any list of reasons affecting pay and the gap is closed for my own sake, for my daughter and for Rich’s.”
CIPR President, 2015
“Rich Leigh’s passion, experience and creativity sets him aside as one of the top PR professionals in the country with a breadth of knowledge that belies his years. In Myths of PR he blows the bollocksology that surrounds the industry out of the water and backs up each of his assertions with cold hard facts and solid evidence. The book is an easy read with its entertaining anecdotes and nuggets from industry leaders and is a must read for any aspiring PR guru.”
“What a refreshing, no BS, practical guide into the topics that should be on the minds of aspiring and current public relations professionals. Told as it is from one of wisest and most positive people I’ve come across in PR. What’s not to like?! I’m committed to saving time for PR teams using technology so they can spend more on reading and applying gold dust like this in their day to day.”
(This next one is unique in that Joe actually gave me a few, telling me he’d do a ‘serious’ endorsement if I preferred. These made me smile, so they’ll more than do…!)
“PR Myth: Getting a bunch of your industry mates to supply endorsement quotes is going to help shift your book.”
“Rich Leigh invented the Press Release.”
“Float this book down the Thames.”
“Rich Leigh’s punchy approach to dispelling PR myths makes for an entertaining and informative read. Is PR really glamorous? Do you have to be an extrovert to succeed in the industry? Can you make something go viral? Rich gives his experienced insights into all these questions and more.”
“If PR is in the dock, I’d choose Rich to represent us over any large agency MD. He demonstrates how PR thinking can thrive on what’s possible today, instead of ‘the way things are done’ or ‘who you know’. He helps illuminate our industry from a dark art to a beacon in the modern marketing mix.”
“This is a candid, punchy and practical book. Buy one for your mum or your children when they ask what you do. Buy one for your employer to underline the value of public relations. And buy one for yourself if you want to advance your practice. Rich also quotes me throughout – what’s not to love?”
Visiting Professor, Newcastle University, CIPR President 2014