Five Non-Obvious Books for PR People

PR professionals can draw inspiration not only from the industry literature but from any kind of writings. Below you can find 5 books that had an effect on my way of thinking and my every day work. I hope that they are interesting to you too.

1. ‘True Professionalism’ by David Maister

This book is probably the reason why decided to came to the PR industry. Its author (who is a lawyer) helped me to realize what kind of provider I am (definitely not the Pharmacist nor the Brain Surgeon) and what kind of a boss I would like to become. This book defends the power of “principles” – the most effective tool in the hands of a manager is a tool that can inspire people to achieve the highest levels of quality. Luckily, I was recommended this book 15 years ago by my professor Grzegorz Szczepański (he is now head of Hill + Knowlton Strategies Poland) and it has been my ethical and professional guide since.

2. ‘Talk, Talk, Squawk’ by Nicola Davies

Books for children can also be inspiring for their parents! A brilliantly funny look at how and why animals communicate. The author, Davis, is a zoologist and a writer has a lot of experience in communication business. She is a woman who strives for customer’s attention and satisfaction every day and making the most of those interactions. Her recipe for success? Humor, accuracy and ellipsis. As well as a vast knowledge!

‘Talk, Talk, Squawk’ is an excellent communication guide – just as important for people as for animals. The author echos Jack Trout’s motto, “speak out or die.” It turns out that communication strategies of animals do not differ that much from ours, and some techniques may well inspire us, even in B2B communication!

3. ‘Antifragile’ by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Although the author of this book does not appreciate PR and marketing industry, his way of analysis is actually very close to me. He explains how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. The book covers so many topics that aligns with the PR industry: innovation, politics, urban planning, finances, entrepreneurship and economic systems.

Taleb is an independent thinker who is almost impossible to categorize. He revels in question the most basic assumptions of modern life. The book is erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read, and also highly persuasive. I agree with his observation that meticulous reciting all of our achievements can give the impression opposite to the desired. It’s better to be known for one good idea than for hundreds of them.

4. ‘How To Make Sense Of Any Mess’ by Abby Covert

This is one of my latest discoveries, and I am already a fan of this methodology. The author, specialist in information architecture, has chosen to write an accessible and useful book, in opposite of academic and expert. When we make things for others to use, the architecture of information that we choose greatly affects our ability to deliver our intended message to our users.

A crucial element of the book? That the information is not objective. ” That it is not a thing – explains Abby – It’s subjective, not objective. It’s whatever a user interprets from the arrangement or sequence of things they encounter. ” According to this definition, every information is open to different points of view, depending on where they’re coming from. This fact (as we know well), is exactly what complicates communication!

5. ‘The Sense of Styleby Steven Pinker

A psycholinguist by profession, Steven Pinker, is the ideal of the modern scientist. Talented and brilliant, he does not avoid the media and controversial topics. From the rules of linguists he prefers Dr. Google! To cheer the hearts of those who believe that the art of writing is falling down ( he argues that nothing could be further from the truth!) Pinker wrote a remarkable book that reading enlightens and delights. Do you think that grammar is not a thrilling topic? Unless we treat it as the world’s first application that turns a network of ideas in a string of words, using trees phrases.

His prose is a model of clarity, lightly-worn erudition, and keen insight. Under his influence I started to use more verbs and deleted from the entries buoyancy phrases, such as: in my opinion. This book will change for the better your writing habits. In writing lots of things can go wrong, but if you take care of consistency, apply a classic style and you try to overcome the curse of knowledge then your readers will feel a huge difference! Thanks to Pinker I realized what we really do in PR: we are choosing a unique perspective to éclair un issue and show it to the audience!