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Effective Press Relations for the Built Environment: A practical guide By Helen Elias Taylor & Francis, 2006, £26

If you are concerned about how to market your practice and get your work published, this is the book you've been waiting for: a hands-on manual that provides a step-by-step approach to dealing with the press. Starting with an intelligent strategic chapter entitled The Organised Reputation, Elias covers many nuts and bolts issues such as: target audiences, making information into news, how to write a press release, press interviews and events, and crisis management. Gareth Garner contributes a useful chapter on photography. Three case studies and numerous appendices provide a wealth of detailed information about the UK construction press, though this may date the book quickly.

Woven throughout the text are many quotations from journalists who give tips about what to do and what not to do.

They give a good avour of what it means to be on the receiving end of the press relationship. The one weak point of this book is poor visuals. Washed-out black and white photographs and diagrams do not do justice to the informative content.

Elias' book fills a vacuum which is likely to make it a very useful title indeed. It can certainly help confront that fraught decision about whether to hire a PR firm or do it in-house. With the wealth of information it provides, it may inspire you to hire a bright recent grad and go it alone.

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