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The Strategy Room

5 Books to Give Your Public Relations Friend this Holiday Season

By: Emily Wenstrom

What's On Your PR Wish List?

The communications industry is evolving rapidly right now, and is continually becoming more multifaceted, integrated and complex. Public relations professionals are always hungry to find new ways to support our clients, develop our strategic thinking, be more creative and keep up with the latest tech trends.

We’re really just a bunch of geeks.

But it can be hard to keep up with all of these needs, all the time. After all, we have clients to tend to, reporters to chase down, fires to put out and performance metrics to analyze, among other things.

Thank goodness for the holidays. While life dials it right up to a 10 with parties and gifting this time of year, for the public relations industry, it’s typically a little quieter. Which gives us PR pros a little more time to invest into leveling up our skills.

So, when it comes to gift-giving this holiday season, I’d bet the PR pro in your life would go nuts for a gift of discovery and personal development. I’m talking about books.

Here are the top five industry books on my wish list this year:

The Messenger is The Message: How to Mobilize Customers and Unleash the Power of Advocate Marketing

When planning a campaign, it’s easy to fall back on the typical tactics like celebrity endorsements or paid ad placements. But think about it – what factors into your purchase decisions? For most of us, the trusted advice of someone we know holds a lot more weight.

So how can communications teams harness this sense of authenticity? In this book, Mark Organ and Deena Zenyk offer a blueprint for developing relationships with authentic advocates for awareness and growth.

The Art of Client Service: The Classic Guide, Updated for Today’s Marketers and Advertisers

At Stanton, authentic and attentive client service is what we hang our hat on. It’s our top priority, and the relationships we have with the clients mean the world to us. Actually looking forward to client meetings? Priceless.

Like everything else in the industry, client service is constantly evolving, and there is always room to grow. For many, it’s easy to write of top-notch service as some kind of indefinable magic that takes place when the chemistry is just right (takes the pressure off, doesn’t it?), but in The Art of Client Service, Robert Solomon lays out clear, actionable methods to knock it out of the park consistently.

Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time

If there is one basic tactic that hasn’t changed in public relations, it’s the crucial role of the pitch. In fact, if anything, the pitch is even more important than ever, as reporter’s attention has become more divided, and email has made it even harder to break through the clutter. Stay ahead of the curve with this book from Bill McGowan, which explores how to say the right thing, the right way.

TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks

Excellent storytelling is more important than ever to connect with and motivate audiences. And no one does it quite like TED. No matter who is speaking, TED Talks hold a signature knack for captivating storytelling that resonates and inspires, packed with big ideas and contagious enthusiasm. Want to capture that for your own work? This book holds the secrets.

Through a series of TED Talk case studies including renowned thought leaders like Sir Ken Robinson, Susain Cain and Malcolm Gladwell, Akash Karia offers 23 takeaways to make your presentations more compelling in a lean but powerful package.

Top of Mind: Use Content to Unleash Your Influence and Engage Those Who Matter To You

Consumers’ needs and expectations are changing, and with that, the best ways to reach them. Top of Mind, from John Hall, explores these shifts and how your campaign needs to adapt to keep up with authentic messaging to build trust that will resonate with the right audience and keep your brand on consumers’ minds.

What’s on Your Wish List?

With the industry in flux as we respond to the ever-changing scene of emerging technologies, social media dynamics and surge of white noise, there is a lot to be said about the communications industry right now, and plenty of authors stepping up to say it. These books are only a few of the many great reads out there. What’s on your list?




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