Top five books to help you master your PR skills

Paula Munteanu – Intern at Spreckley

According to the latest statistics by the UK-based PR membership body PRCA, the UK PR industry is worth £12.9bn. Its value is estimated to have grown by an incredible 34 per cent and an increase of 21,000 employees, in the short span of three years. It thus comes as no surprise that PR has become a popular industry for many, but no one has promised an easy ride.

Online, you stumble upon gigabytes of tips and tricks on propelling your PR career, from how to avoid becoming a timewaster to adopting PR strategies that prevent social media mishaps. However, with today’s amalgam of unfiltered information, getting lost in data has never been easier.

Nevertheless, there are many beaten paths one can choose from on his or her way to become PR-savvy: university degrees, work experience, such as our internship programme, or the good old-fashioned book.

If reading is your activity of choice, below are five PR books to broaden your views.

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

A bestseller written by the PR director, media strategist and marketer, Ryan Holiday, this book introduces the reader to the ins-and-outs of the relationship between journalists and marketers. Holiday, who calls himself a “media manipulator”, illustrates how blogs make the most out of today’s new media, discusses the accountability of online journalism and ultimately how PR is in line with this all.

  1. “Crystallizing Public Opinion” by Edward L. Bernays

Bernays is considered by many to be the father of PR. Combining the ideas of Sigmund Freud, his uncle, with the crowd psychology developed by Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter, he is the first one to put together a comprehensive rationale on PR. This 1923 classic unfolds the essence of PR and how it is constructed, from shaping to managing public opinion.

  1. “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

This is not your traditional bedside book. “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”, now in its fifth edition, puts forward, one step at a time, everything a communications professional needs to know, from how to reach out to consumers in a meaningful way to using the most innovative tools available. A 400-page read, it unfolds the notions of new media channels, action plans, PR and marketing in the digital age.

  1. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

Also called the PR bible, this book was first published in 1937 and has since sold 15 million copies. Relevant and classic, it takes the reader through techniques and strategies that are easily applied to the present-day PR climate.

  1. “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcom Gladwell

Gladwell explains how “ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread like viruses do”, which from a PR perspective, is a rather good starting point. Packed with PR and marketing essentials, the book explores three rules: the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context.