Best books for PR professionals

If reading more is one of your resolutions for 2021, why not mix business and pleasure by picking up a top tome or two to fire-up your passion for public relations?

Here is a rundown of best books for PR professionals featuring instructional, educational and biographical books you may have always meant to check out, need a refresher on or are just worth a re-read during your down time…

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
Understand the science of why certain behaviours, products and services get popular and make your own stuff more successful – that’s the focus of Jonah Berger’s New York Times and Wallstreet Journal chart-topping book, originally published in 2013. Whether you work in B2B, product or policy, introduce yourself to, or brush up on, these techniques for creating the most sharable of sharables.

Hype Yourself: A no-nonsense PR toolkit for small businesses by Lucy Werner
PR for the smaller business requires a specific approach, and Lucy Werner’s 2020 book of straight-forward tips and tools is a must-read for those looking to hype themselves, their products or their clients. For more on the book, check out our interview with Lucy on her inspiration, switching things up during a pandemic, and the advantages of taking charge of your own publicity.

The Business of Persuasion by Harold Burson
Persuasion expert Harold Burson – ‘the 20th century’s most influential PR figure’, according to PR Week – pours experience from his 70-year career in public relations into this 2017 memoir. Learn from his highlights and take in some history lessons while you’re at it (the more things change, the more they stay the same – one of the stories from the book features the problem of confederate flags in Ole Miss from years gone by).

YouTubers: How YouTube shook up TV and created a new generation of stars by Chris Stokel-Walker
If you’re confused/intrigued by the fast rise of bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers when it comes to influence, Chris Stokel-Walker goes through the emergence of YouTube as a platform and how it created a new form of celebrity/trusted voice/parasocial friend for the general public. For more on the book, read our interview with Chris on what’s next for YouTube and influencer culture.

The Indispensable Community – Why Some Brand Communities Thrive When Others Perish by Richard Millington
In the words of the author himself, here’s a book for ‘if you’ve ever struggled to explain the value of your community, if you’re not sure how to get the best results from your community, or your members aren’t doing what you need’. Published in 2018, Richard Millington shares how to build communities for true engagement.

PR School: Your Time to Shine: A Masterclass in Publicity for You and Your Business by Natalie Trice
Shining a light on the art of gaining coverage in the mainstream media, Natalie Trice shares 23 years of PR wisdom in her 2019 book, PR School. ‘We all have an ego but if you want PR to work for you, you need to be seen in the media closest to your tribe on an ongoing basis – that’s when the magic happens,’ says Natalie. No need to enrol for refresher lessons on the principles of PR – read more about it in our interview with Natalie here.

If you still haven’t decided on a New Year’s resolution, check out what your PR and comms peers are vowing to do in 2021 in our New Year’s resolutions round-up.

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