I know it is tough to find time to pick up a book, or more likely download an eBook to your tablet, but it is important to take the time to expand what you know about the practice of PR. Your professional development is important, so don’t let it take a back seat to everything else you’ve got on your plate. Even if you have to do it a chapter at a time, in between meetings or on the train, we highly recommend that you take the effort to explore these titles. You’ll be glad you did.
#5 - The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly (October 2015 Edition) by David Meerman Scott
If the last time you read a PR book was before Twitter was a thing, then The New Rules of Marketing & PR is an essential read. It’s an international bestseller with more than 350,000 copies sold in over twenty-five languages. David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist, bestselling author of ten books, advisor to emerging companies such as HubSpot, and a professional speaker on marketing, leadership, and social media. The book offers a practical guide to leveraging today’s communication channels to get relevant information to potential buyers for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. Detailed case studies and examples bring the material to life.
#4 - Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company's Most Valuable Asset by Daniel Diermeier
In Reputation Rules, Daniel Diermeier explores how culture and reputation are related and addresses the critical importance of reputation in today’s hyper-transparent world. Diermeier is the IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice and director of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He has served as an advisor to leading companies, including Accenture, Cargill, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, McDonald’s, and Shell. He is also a senior advisor to the FBI. The book is full of detailed stories of how a number of organizations were able to overcome potentially devastating scandals and leverage reputation as a strategic asset.
#3 - The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
We understand if you are skeptical that a book written in 2002 could have relevance today, but we think you’ll get a lot out of The Tipping Point if you haven’t read it already. Publisher’s Weekly said of the book, “Gladwell's thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors "spread just like viruses do" remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of "word-of-mouth epidemics" triggered with the help of three pivotal types. These are Connectors, sociable personalities who bring people together; Mavens, who like to pass along knowledge; and Salesmen, adept at persuading the unenlightened.” This wildly acclaimed work is as entertaining as it is informative.
#2 - Lipstick on a Pig: Winning In the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game by Torie Clarke
Lipstick on a Pig is all about dealing with the fact that little is secret in our connected, 24 x7, always on world. Her first piece of advice, "Deliver bad news yourself, and when you screw up, say so—fast!" is worth the cost of admission alone. Clarke knows what she’s talking about. She was the Pentagon's communications chief during the early years of George W. Bush's presidency and, prior to that, a high-ranking adviser to the first President Bush and to Senator John McCain. She was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. She was at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and she recounts her experience that day as Rumsfeld's office strove to inform, instruct, and reassure the public.
#1 - How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
We close with a classic. How to Win Friends & Influence People is such an important work that it’s become somewhat of a cliché, but that doesn’t mean you should pass it over. While technology has changed many of the fundamentals of how PR is practiced today, the skills necessary to develop deeper relationships and bring others over to your cause have not changed. In How to Win Friends you’ll learn, three fundamental techniques in handling people, six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to bring people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
There are many great classic and brand new PR books on the market, but you’ve got to start somewhere and we know you won’t go wrong with these.