Every year, we sit down to make our New Year’s Resolutions and find that one particular resolution always seems to make the cut: read more books. With that goal in mind, we set out for the nearest bookstore (or Amazon, for all you Kindle enthusiasts) only to be overwhelmed with all of the choices. We want a book that will entertain us, expand our thinking and stimulate our minds. Oh, and can it help us in our careers, too? Trying to find a book that meets all of these criteria can be a never-ending search, so we decided to share our top five favorite books for PR professionals. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you’re just starting out in your career or are a seasoned PR pro looking to expand your communications repertoire.
This is How You Pitch: How to Kick Ass in Your First Years of PR by Ed Zitron
This book has served as a general how-to guide for millions of PR pros and will teach beginners and seasoned veterans alike the nitty-gritty of how to write a good pitch and actually see results. Written by a well-established publicist – who went on to start his own public relations firm, EZPR – this book is a must-read for anyone beginning their career in public relations.
Perfect for: The PR newbie.
Favorite quote: “Truthfully, there’s nothing mysterious about Public Relations. It’s all about how your client — whether it’s a company, an individual, a foundation, a music group — relates to the public. Central to this is their reputation.”
Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media. By Aliza Light
Many of you may know Aliza Licht as the social media rockstar who created the @DKNYPRGIRL Twitter persona that we love and adore. She has finally graced us with a book that details her journey to becoming a badass fashion communications executive, while also dishing out general career advice that all aspiring girl bosses have been thirsting for.
Perfect for: The career gal that’s looking to craft her personal brand or hone in on her social media skills.
Favorite quote: “Handle yourself with professionalism and remember that in business, your personal brand is your greatest asset. Mind your reputation and the rest will come.”
Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
The truth is, the day-to-day routine of a career in Public Relations requires so. much. writing. Whether we’re crafting a creative pitch to editors, an informative press release or a follow-up email, we spend the majority of our days figuring out how to get our points across in the most effective way. No matter how good of a writer you think you are, Everybody Writes has taught us that there is always room for improvement.
Perfect for: Both the novice and experienced writer in any industry.
Favorite quote: “Assume the reader knows nothing. But don’t assume the reader is stupid.”
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
We know editors are inundated with hundreds of pitches a day, which is why we’re always researching new and unexpected ways to get our messaging across. Educators and brothers Chip and Dan Heath explain attributes that make your ideas “stick” from simplification to credibility to emotional connection.
Perfect for: The experienced practitioner who is looking for a way to spice up his/her communication skills.
Favorite quote: “The most basic way to get someone’s attention is this: Break a pattern.”
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
A great boss will not only make decisions that will help turn a profit, but will likewise create conditions in the workplace that make his/her employees happy as well. Delivering Happiness tells Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s story on how he created a thriving business with a strong corporate culture that ultimately helped Zappos secure a spot on Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list.
Perfect for: The boss that’s looking to create a unique and positive company culture in his/her company.
Favorite quote: “Your personal core values define who you are, and a company’s core values ultimately define the company’s character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny.”
What other books do you recommend PR professionals put on their reading list?