Get Your Summer Reading On! 5 Best Books for PR and Marketing Pros
It’s the season of book publishing, which means we have a new crop of books to consider for our summer reading. But there are also some classics not everyone has read that keep topping the list of the best-of for communications professionals.
While fiction, in the number five spot, is cheating a little bit, it’s included because all work makes for a very boring person.
So, as you’re heading out for your vacations before the kids go back to school, consider taking (or downloading) the following books to read while you sip your Mai Tais:
1. What Would Google Do? This is not a new book, but it should be required for anyone in a field that works with external audiences. Written by Jeff Jarvis three years ago, he set out to help business leaders question how to approach the web. For communications professionals, it will create new thinking around the things we’ve always done. As we all look to use the web to build the brands of the companies we work with/for, it’s a must to think about how Google has quickly become one of the biggest companies in the world…and learn how to apply those philosophies to traditional organizations.
2. Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional. Never before has the PR industry been turned on its head like it has in the past five years. Because of that, Deirdre Breakenridge takes a strong look at the types of things PR pros should be doing today and it’s not media relations and reputation management. It’s testing technology, it’s staying ahead of the trends, it’s creating policy, it’s organizing all company communications, it’s mastering metrics, and more. There is a role for you, no matter your number of years of experience.
3. Groundswell. I spoke at a social media event a couple of weeks ago and asked the audience who had read Groundswell. Less than one percent of the audience raised their hands. That was shocking. If you’re doing any work with the social tools (or want to figure them out), this is a must-read. It’s also not a new book, but it’s timeless enough to help you understand how to use the groundswell of customers and prospects to tell your story.
4. Six Pixels of Separation. Even though Mitch Joel is working on his next book (CTRL ALT DEL), his first book was so far ahead of its time (2010) that it’s still pertinent today. While it’s written with the business leader in mind, communications professionals can learn how to reframe the conversation so our efforts are about strategy, business goals, and measuring results and not about the latest and greatest tool that promises to be a silver bullet for success.
5. Fiction. The best thing for a communications professional to read is fiction. After all, no matter how much the industry has been turned on its head, the fact remains that we are storytellers. And, in order to become better storytellers, we have to let our minds wander into creative abysses that are beyond corporate jargon and day-to-day technical information. I’m not talking about junk fiction (cough, Fifty Shades of Grey, cough); rather some classics such as The Great Gatsby or Toni Morrison’s new book, Home. Reading fiction that is well-written helps both your storytelling and writing skills.
What would you add? And don’t say Marketing in the Round. That’s brown-nosing.
Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communication firm. She is the author of the PR and marketing blog Spin Sucks and co-author (with Geoff Livingston) of the book, Marketing In the Round.
Published: July 18, 2012 By: