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“There is no strategy without a story. There is no story without the main character. The main character is you.”
PR for Humans is for pure-of-heart storytellers who want to cut through the noise and the nonsense. It brings together the essential and timeless principles of effective leadership communication.
Belief. Clarity. Opinion. Energy. Context. Time. Humility. Imagery.
Why are these things so important? Why do most people in PR and ‘communications’ not even talk about them? Why is PR for Humans even more important in the age of A.I.?
In this fresh and energetic guide, former BBC correspondent Mike Sergeant draws on twenty years of frontline experience to reveal the secrets that every CEO, partner, board member, PR director and business leader needs to know.
The principles and techniques he sets out in this book will help you deliver more powerful speeches, presentations, media interviews, videos, podcasts and blogs.
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“Mike Sergeant is a PR guru. Brilliant advice on getting your message to the people who need to hear it.”
JEREMY BOWEN, MIDDLE EAST EDITOR, BBC NEWS
“The curse of too many organisations – be it in business, government or the law, to name but three – is that they retreat into a private language that acts both as comfort zone and conscious barrier to the access of outsiders. In this stimulating book Mike Sergeant illuminates the self-defeating folly of jargon and preaches eloquently the gospel of plain English.”
SIR CHRISTOPHER MEYER, FORMER UK AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES
“A book that should make the wider PR sector sit up, think, and reassess some of its approaches. Written with real passion, insight and the authenticity of someone who has lived careers on both sides of the camera.”
NICK WILLIAMS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BURSON COHN & WOLFE, LONDON
“Sergeant has got it absolutely right: if you want to influence humans, treat them as humans. Use the words they use and grab their interest through stories.”
LORD RICHARD LAYARD, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
“Mike masterfully cuts through corporate smoke and mirrors to provide a wonderfully scripted and hugely credible common-sense guide to public relations, drawing on his wealth of journalistic and PR experience. It nails what is so often overlooked – the power of compelling storytelling and that people are always at the heart of a good story. I’d recommend it to anyone joining the industry.”
NICOLA PEARSON, HEAD OF CORPORATE PR, BRITISH AIRWAYS
“PR for Humans is much more than PR for humans. It is an essential insight that can help transform leaders into great leaders. It is a simple masterclass that can help average communicators become great communicators. It shows how to influence reputation through story-telling. This book is a must-read for leaders who want to get to the top, and CEOs or politicians who want to stay at the top.”
EDMUND KING OBE, AA PRESIDENT
“A blast of fresh air. Mike cuts through the nonsense and delivers powerful storytelling lessons in a calm and fluent style. Essential reading.”
VAHE VARTANIAN, FOUNDER AND CEO, GLOBAL FAMILY OFFICE COMMUNITY
"Mike Sergeant's brilliant manifesto for PR will help you find the human beings in your world and connect with them through stories they can relate to."
TIM DUNFORD, SENIOR PR MANAGER, USWITCH.COM
“In this age of fake news and failing trust, honest, open PR with the customer at the heart of every message is the only way to progress. Mike’s observations and guidance throughout his book are sensitive and thought provoking.”
LUCINDA BRUCE-GARDYNE, FOUNDER, GENIUS
“Mike Sergeant has written the ultimate guide on how to effectively communicate. His approach is both genuine and conversational. Guided by his principles and techniques, you will be amazed by how straightforwardly one can transform the way in which they tell their story to the world.”
SHK NADIA ALDOSERI, CEO, NDA GLOBAL
“The Mike Sergeant book is a must-read for business leaders in this most challenging time. With a powerful mixture of stories as a journalist to interviewing and working for corporate leaders, Mike underlines the much forgotten ‘human’ message. PR is about people, it is all it will ever be, if you want to be listened to then tell a compelling story. This book brilliantly tells you how.”
NEIL SHERLOCK CBE, FORMER SPECIAL ADVISER TO DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER NICK CLEGG
"Sergeant is brilliant. A masterclass on ditching the cluttered PowerPoints and alphabet soup of ‘PR by jargon’, and the importance of authenticity."
GREG ROSEN, PUBLIC POLICY PROFESSIONAL
“For those enlightened leaders who appreciate the importance of building trust, transparency and long-term societal value, PR for Humans is a vital read. It reawakens the need for human stories that engage our emotions and connect us to the underlying ethos of people and organisations. Drawing on his considerable communications experience, Mike shows us how any leader has it within them to use the power of storytelling to lift their organisation towards long-term survival and success."
ALISON SHARPE, ALISON SHARPE CONSULTING
“A small fortune’s worth of PR guidance, media and presentation training for the price of a book. And a good read as well.”
CHRIS ROBERTS, CEO, INVISION COMMS
“Mike Sergeant brings a welcome fresh perspective and pragmatism to this topic. His advice is engagingly delivered and brought to life with illuminating real-world experiences drawn from his varied careers as a journalist and PR practitioner.”
GEORGE EYKYN, CORPORATE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, SMART DATA COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY
“Applying filters has become all too easy. Mike’s book – drawing on 20 years of frontline experience – is a timely reminder that reality resonates.”
LAURA BROOKS, VICE PRESIDENT PUBLIC RELATIONS, MUFG
“Fascinating, fun and full of useful advice.”
SIMON LANCASTER, SPEECHWRITER
“A must-read for everyone in business who wants to get their messages across.”
SIMON BUCKS, FORMER EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, SKY BUSINESS NEWS
“Mike is 100% right that getting your story straight is at the heart of effective communication, and his book will help you do that.”
GUTO HARRI, COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONAL AND PRESENTER
“A really useful book. In the world of high-speed internet, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, finding the emotional connection with people is more important than ever.”
DENYS C. SHORTT OBE, CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE, DCS GROUP (UK) LTD
“Mike has taken the essence of communication from his years as a journalist and now as a consultant and condensed it down to a single message. The power of good story. His book is thus enlightening, practical and informative as well as entertaining. Interestingly enough I observed myself slowing down to read the personal stories as these were the most fascinating aspects of the book. I shall certainly be incorporating these ideas into our future communications strategy as our business is all about human and personal interaction. The numbers are meaningless without the emotional and human connection with our families.”
MARK ESTCOURT, FOUNDER AND CEO, CAVENDISH FAMILY OFFICE
“This book is a great introduction to the art of storytelling and includes many ideas that will help both the professional and those new to the public relations world ensure their story gets the best hearing. Easy and enjoyable to read, Mike draws upon his time as a journalist and a public relations practitioner to give the reader a real insight into how things actually work and how best to get results in the modern-day media.”
MARK GLOVER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, NEWINGTON COMMUNICATIONS
“A reminder for every PR person to keep it human if you want to keep it successful.”
JONATHAN CHARLES, MANAGING DIRECTOR COMMUNICATIONS, EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT (EBRD)
“Every company wants good PR. It’s (almost) free and, done well, outperforms advertising every time. The difficulty is that it’s harder than ever to get your message heard. PR for Humans is a road-map for success, and Mike navigates its reader through the pitfalls using the most powerful, and simple, tool available – the story.”
RICHARD SCOTT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS, VIRGIN TRAINS
“Sergeant cuts seamlessly through the chaotic, noisy and sometimes confusing messages widely available to budding storytellers. Clear, logical and beautifully simple, PR for Humans is the book that other writers wish they wrote.”
PAUL GRIFFIN, DIRECTOR, REPUTATION-INC
“Mike Sergeant is able to talk about PR from the perspective of a practitioner rather than a theoretician. His experience as a senior BBC correspondent enables him to talk about the nuances of PR on the basis of what he has done and seen. His advice comes gilt-edged and is a necessity for those who take PR seriously.”
RICHARD MIRON, FOUNDER, EARSHOT STRATEGIES
“Any CEO who wants to master the road to understanding the power behind storytelling, setting clear goals, engaging with staff, connecting with the culture and core values of the company he/she is directing must read this book!”
NEGIN BEMANZADEH, GROUP CHAIRMAN AND CEO, EEE CORPORATE GROUP
“Whatever your business, if you wish to connect with your audience then I recommend you read this book.”
DANNY VASSILIADES, PRINCIPAL, XPS PENSIONS GROUP