Top PR agencies look for an edge everywhere they can. Absorbing the latest business, industry or pop culture book is a surefire way to keep up. Of course, in the 24/7 world of agency PR, people often ask, “When would I even find time to read a book?” We would argue, “How can you afford not to?” – and it’s simpler than you think. Downloading just one book onto your phone (and thereby all of your devices if properly synced) means every second of time spent obsessively checking emails or playing Plants vs. Zombies can be converted to reading time. Okay, maybe games are useful, but if you agree that we can all incorporate more reading into our days, start here. Then take a look at some recommended reading for PR pros below.
Bridge the PR-content gap with Content Machine. Today’s PR teams and other specialists must be masters of fabulous content creation. It’s a constant process to come up with strong ideas that will translate brand or product messages while being readable and, most of all, shareable. This is a nuts and bolts how-to book that has something to teach us about content. And it may just get your creative juices flowing.
Rogue Elephants is a benign PR expose. Whether you have twelve months in PR or twelve years, you already have battle stories and “only in PR” anecdotes for friends and colleagues. This is why memoirs of PR life are always so fascinating and relatable. Subtitled “One Girl’s Fight Through the Human Jungle,” Rogue Elephants captures a slice of the industry in UK PR practitioner Jane Hunt’s career from the mid-80s to 2012. Laugh, cry and commiserate with Hunt and see if it doesn’t make you want to keep more careful notes about your own experiences.
Spinglish points out what PRs should avoid. Spinglish: The Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language by Henry Beard and the wonderful Chris Cerf is a dictionary full of fun euphemisms and deceptive language familiar to anyone, whether you work in PR or not. It’s particularly timely as election season heats up but will also help anyone struggling to craft authentic communication to stay on the right side of that fine line between informing and selling.
Phishing for Phools is a cautionary tale. For a more serious look at the way financial markets can manipulate us, pick up this book. Though it dissects the aggressive marketing typical of today’s digital-age financial markets, it will resonate with anyone growing a client or customer-based business and working with media.
Big Magic celebrates creativity. Touted as the big book of the season for any audience, it asks: Can the wildly successful memoirist (Eat, Pray, Love) translate her formidable writing skills into a great self-help book on the creative process? Early reviews seem to think so. The book demystifies the tricky business of creativity and inspiration with anecdotes and practical advice sure to unlock some magic in all of us.