5 must-read books for every PR Professional

Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar you spent. “What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life”, said the great Stephen King.

We at Wishbox Studio second Stephen King’s thought of books not just being a source of entertainment but also being abundant with knowledge. PR as a profession is very dynamic and in order to stay updated with the current trends and to understand the history, we can read what the experts have to say.

Hence, we tell you not just ‘a great book’ to refer but 5!

1. Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday.

Trust Me, I’m Lying was the first book to blow the lid off the speed and force at which rumors travel online—and get “traded up” the media ecosystem until they become real headlines and generate real responses in the real world. As Ryan Holiday describes in the book, the culprits are marketers and professional media manipulators, encouraged by the toxic economics of the news business. Split into two parts, the first half of the book explores the current media landscape and how it can be influenced, while the second half delves into the consequences. This book is a must-read for anyone that works with, for or consumes the media.


2. 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 by David Meerman Scott.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR is an international bestseller with more than 350,000 copies sold in over twenty-five languages. It offers a step-by-step action plan for harnessing the power of modern marketing and PR to directly communicate with buyers, raise visibility, and increase sales. Now in its fifth edition, the book is broken into three parts: how the web has changed the rules of marketing and PR; an introduction to new media channels; and an action plan to put these tools to work. A 400-page book, it is a great thing to have at your disposal.


3. Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age by Gini Dietrich.


Spin Sucks teaches you how to communicate honestly, responsibly, openly, and authentically and how to truly earn the trust of your customers, stakeholders, investors, and communities. Gini Dietrich is one of the top PR thought leader and blogger and is the curator of the world’s number one PR blog ““. In her book, she one master the seven steps for handling online criticism, and transforming critics into fans, keeping others from stealing your great content, etc. It is filled with practical and tactical marketing communications advice delivered with wit and wisdom. Dietrich covers paid, earned, shared, and owned media communications, as well as an important chapter on crisis communications.


4. Masters of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control by Christopher Lehane, Mark Fabiani, and Bill Guttentag.

Crisis management is one of the essential and integral part of any PR professional’s job. Masters of Disaster is just the right book to opt for to deal with damage control and help the companies gain back their reputation in the industry. The authors went into great detail on numerous scandals—ranging from those affecting Toyota, British Petroleum, Penn State University, Tiger Woods, baseball’s steroid users, and a few politicians. With real-life experiences, this book becomes a must-have for not just the PR professionals but also for marketing professionals, students and news-junkies.


5. Lipstick on a Pig: Winning In the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game by Torie Clarke.

“You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” says Torie Clarke. Lipstick on a Pig is all about telling the truth and acts as a complete guide to the new age of transparency. Distilling her twenty-five years of experience and wisdom into eight concise rules, Clarke’s first piece of advice, “Deliver bad news yourself, and when you screw up, say so—fast!” is worth the read alone. Her lessons for getting your message out include: “Tell your own story — especially if it’s bad news — on your own terms before someone else tells it on theirs. It will allow you to survive controversy and will also enhance your reputation. It’s about one thing. Be ready and able to explain yourself to the proverbial man on the street in a clear, simple sentence or two. Admit your mistakes, because the truth will out.” Lipstick on a Pig is entertaining, approachable, and full of crucial insight and practical guidance.


A bibliophile or not, you should definitely give these a read. Paperback or ebooks, most of the ones mentioned above are available in both the formats.


Happy Reading 🙂


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