A few weeks ago on Inside PR 2.58, the summer movie releases gave us the idea to talk about films on PR. And thanks to a suggestion from Jody Koehler, we’re opening the page to PR (and business) books we’re currently reading and a few ‘classics’ we’d like to recommend.

Here’s our list:

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman – a smart and insightful primer on curating or creating content.

Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff – the bible for any PR person moving into the digital world.

What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis – while it’s not PR/communications focused, it helps you think about your spheres of influence and how to connect with them.

Welcome to the Fifth Estate by Geoff Livingstone – a new book that offers a perspective on understanding and working with citizen journalists.

Outcome-Based Marketing by John D. Leavy – a book on measuring results and new rules for marketing online.

Funny Business by Jeff Silverman – the president of Yuk Yuk’s, Canada’s comedy club chain, looks at the business of showbiz and how all his ventures were successful because he built communities.

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky – about the world we’re living in and the technological revolution we’re living through.

Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management by James E. Grunig – for anyone preparing for their APR. Check out how relevant his two-way symmetrical communication model is to social media.

The Trusted Advisor and True Professionalism by David Maister – how to gain an understanding of business problems that need to be solved and become a trusted counsellor.

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman – well worth reading for anyone who is creating content to get a sense of the trivial and the consequential.

Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirky – takes off on the ideas he presented in Here Comes Everybody and examines the productivity capacity we all have – if we get off the couch.

Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger – opens your eyes to what happens to information when it’s digitized and freed from physical constraints.

Army of Entrepreneurs by Jennifer Prosek – a great primer in how to set up a successful PR consulting business.

Hope that gives you a few ideas to read on the beach (or anywhere) this summer. Do you have any other suggestions? We’d love to hear from you. And we’ll be expecting your book reports in the fall – no extensions :).

Do you have an idea for a topic you would like us to discuss? Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.


  1. Courtney Wohrman

    Solid recommendations. Here Comes Everybody, Content Rules, and Groundswell are the three I can attest to the quality of. They are intriguing, informative and spirited reads. Welcome to the Fifth Estate is the next on my list! I’d also like to recommend two more: Made to Stick (more marketing-driven, but still relevant) and On Writing Well (because it’s always a good thing to brush up on our writing skills).

  2. Liza Butcher

    Great recommendations! I have just placed three of them on hold at the library and excited to get reading as soon as they arrive.

  3. Hi Guys,

    Great show. Thanks for adding to my reading list.

    Here’s one more book to throw on the pile, Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Lois Kelly. This is one my favorite PR/Communication books.

    The book stands out for 2 reasons. First, Kelly does a very good job articulating why a company needs to develop a clear point of view, and provides direction on how to find it. Second, she offers a fabulous tool called the 9-Box Converation Planner. She defines 9 story lines a company can use in its communications. The 9-Box provides a great way to focus your thinking, and define how you’re going to frame your content.

    Guy Kawasaki wrote about the 9-Box on his blog a few years ago. Here’s the link: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/07/what-people-tal.html#axzz1TQNpIbTh

    Always enjoy your show!



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