Discover the Top 27 PR Books of All Time

Public relations plays a crucial role in an organization's success. Communicating effectively with an audience is vital. Lucky for us, then, many experts have put pen to paper and shared their wisdom with these PR books. There is no shortage of resources, from the more familiar works of Edward Bernays and William Zinsser to books that draw on modern concepts, here is a rundown of the top PR books.
published: March 2, 2023
updated: March 11, 2024
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Introduction

To help you navigate this, we've made a list of what we consider to be the top 27 PR books. They cover all you need to know, from public relations fundamentals to more specialized topics like crisis management and social media.

Whether a PR professional or a newbie, you can always learn something new or gain a fresh perspective, these books will surely offer valuable and usable insights and practical advice to help you get started on your goals. Here is a list of the best 27 PR books of all time:

1. The PR paradox - Matias Rodsevich

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Summary

Often, entrepreneurs and publicists feel overwhelmed by the breadth of their audience.

"The PR Paradox" by Matias Rodsevich helps the reader navigate through the landscape of media and communication. 

“Don’t try to boil the ocean, be selective, start with a few key relationships, treat them well, and build from there. Do things well, consistently”.

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What makes it special

Having been described as “Easy to read and straight to the point”, the piece is special because of its focus on innovation and creativity in public relations. The book encourages readers to think outside the box and experiment with new approaches to communication rather than relying on outdated strategies. Additionally, the book uses real-world examples to illustrate its points, making it a relatable resource for professionals in the field.

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About Matias Rodsevich

Matias Rodsevich is a leading expert in the field of PR and communications, with over 15 years of experience working with top-tier brands and organizations around the world. As the CEO of our digital PR agency, Matias has helped shape the direction of the PR industry with a focus on innovation, creativity, and strategic thinking. "The PR Paradox" is a reflection of his extensive knowledge and experience in the field, and offers valuable insights for anyone looking to build effective PR campaigns in the digital age.

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2. Trust me, I’m lying - Ryan Holiday

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Summary

What we think are slips in public relations, a rumor, a “nobody” going viral, or a wardrobe malfunction, always have a “somebody” behind them. "Trust Me, I'm Lying" is a book written by Ryan Holiday whose contradictory title divulges the inner workings of the media industry. How do media operate in today’s digital world? Holiday worked as a media strategist for several companies, mastering the art of persuading bloggers to make a place for his clients in popular culture. He teaches that “Bloggers are slaves to money, technology, and deadlines…” among other “secrets.”

Holiday describes the phenomenon of “clickbait”, how influencers seduce their readers for clicks and increased revenue. He argues that the current media landscape is broken.

It requires readers to negotiate with texts instead of taking mass media for face value.

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What makes it special

Imagine being a fly on the wall in a media manipulator’s confessional. One thing that makes "Trust Me, I'm Lying" stand out is Ryan Holiday’s insider perspective on the media industry. He breaks the fourth wall of seamless public relations to reveal how media companies operate. The strategies that generate clicks. Holiday's writing style is engaging and often humorous, making the book an entertaining read.

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About the author

Ryan Holiday is an author and media strategist who has worked with several well-known companies, including American Apparel and Tucker Max. He has written several books on topics such as stoicism, marketing, and media manipulation. In addition to his work as an author, Holiday runs a marketing agency called Brass Check and writes a popular blog on his website. He has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.

Book - Trust me, I’m Lying - Ryan HolidayBook - Spin Sucks - Gini Dietrich

3. Spin sucks - Gini Dietrich

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Summary

Dietrich is sick of PR professionals sensationalizing stories, putting a “spin” on them to appeal to an audience. Hence, "Spin Sucks”, explores authentic and responsible ways to communicate a story and manage a reputation. 

Dietrich highlights the importance of winning your customers’ trust responsibly, “without sex, extortion, or ‘truth-stretching’”. Traditional public relations and marketing tactics are no longer effective in a world that values transparency.

Running one of the highest-ranked PR blogs, the author brings honesty back into fashion, encouraging the humanization of organizations.

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What makes it special

It's the emphasis on ethics and transparency that makes "Spin Sucks" stand out. Dietrich believes that businesses and organizations must be honest with their audiences in order to build trust and credibility. She also emphasizes the importance of listening to customers and engaging in authentic conversations. The book provides practical, actionable advice that can be applied to a variety of interpersonal situations.

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About the author

Gini Dietrich is a communication and marketing professional who has worked with a wide range of clients, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. She is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a communications firm that specializes in digital marketing and reputation management. In addition to her work with clients, Dietrich is a popular speaker and writer, and she hosts a podcast called "Spin Sucks." She has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, and Entrepreneur.

4. Public relations - Edward L. Bernays

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Summary

"Public Relations" from Edward L. Bernays was originally distributed in 1945. Bernays is seen by many as the godfather of public relations. He sees it as striking a balance of the interests between both public and private.

Self-interest can dictate your actions and have negative consequences for others.

He muses over this in detail in the book, even discussing the topics of advertising and propaganda as a means to influence people.

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What makes it special

"Public Relations" is most notable for its continued relevance and application to modern day. Bernays's contribution to PR has shaped the industry greatly. The book shows why. It provides an overview of the guiding principles of PR, including psychology, relations with the media, and, naturally, crisis management. He strongly sells ethical responsibilities in PR, stating they must act in relation to the public interest as much as that of clients.

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About the author

An Austrian-American public relations pioneer known as the "father of public relations," Edward L. Bernays developed many of the foundational theories and techniques of public relations in the early 20th century and was a highly influential figure, working with an array of clients, including governments, business, and non-profits. He wrote or contributed to several books on the subject and spoke widely about it. He died in 1995 at the grand age of 103.

Book - Public Relations - Edward L. BernaysBook - The New Rules of Marketing and PR - Edward L. Bernays

5. The new rules of marketing and PR - David Meerman Scott

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Summary

Until a few decades ago, companies could only reach an audience through expensive advertising. Now, thanks to the internet, everything is different. This is where "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" by David Meerman Scott comes in. In the age of the internet, it is hard to refute his central argument that traditional marketing and PR tactics are now redundant.

The book delves into ways to target your audience and build a strong brand through digital means.

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What makes it special

Content takes center stage in today's world of marketing and PR. In "The New Rules of Marketing and PR," Scott shows us how vital creating valuable content that resonates with people is and tries to encourage action based on this. The power of mobile devices as a portal into the globalized world is touched on, as is the use of digital tools to achieve PR goals.

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About the author

In addition to working with startups and Fortune 500 companies, David Meerman Scott is an experienced marketing and PR strategist. A famous marketing and public relations author, he is the author of several books, including "The New Rules of Marketing and PR." The book has been translated into 29 languages, and it is used as a textbook in universities around the globe. He is also well known and sought after in the speaking conferences arena, delivering keynotes at conferences and events in over 40 countries. He is a well-known blogger and has featured in many big media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and even CNN.

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6. The PR masterclass - Alex Singleton

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Summary

Public relations basics are covered in "The PR Masterclass," written by Alex Singleton. The book debunks PR myths.

Check this excerpt “...it costs the PR nothing to send the email; the annoyed journalists’ waster time simply doesn’t show up on the balance sheet.”

Singleton’s opinions on subjects like crisis management make for a useful (and enjoyable) read. Practicality and accessibility for professionals and businesses were at the fore of his mind.

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What makes it special

With the aid of real-life examples and relevant statistics to support his viewpoints, he also stresses the significance of storytelling (as you might expect). In fact, he argues that PR is most effective when accompanied by compelling narratives that the audience can relate to. The book goes over a range of techniques and strategies, including that of media relations, content marketing, and social media.

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About the author

Alex Singleton has had experience with small businesses to global corporations. He founded “Your Favourite Story," a consultancy, and has worked on numerous campaigns. He is a prolific writer and speaks on various topics related to PR and marketing. He has written for The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, and Marketing Week, and has also been featured in numerous other outlets, such as BBC and Sky News.

Book - The PR Masterclass - Alex SingletonBook - the little book of big pr - jennefer witter

7. The little book of big PR - Jennefer Witter

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Summary

"The little book of big PR" is a book written by Jennefer Witter that provides over 100 quick tips and strategies for getting your business noticed.

Ranging from self-branding, networking, and social media, to speaking engagements, the book is a useful tool for all businesspeople. Witter imagines public relations as an irreplaceable opportunity without which businesses would never grow.

“The little book of big PR” is an accessible resource for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and other professionals who want to improve their PR skills and build their brand.

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What makes it special

It is a handbook. Witter provides clear, concise advice on a wide range of PR topics. From crafting a compelling elevator pitch to creating a social media strategy. The book is organized into short, easy-to-read sections, making it a great resource for busy professionals. Additionally, Witter emphasizes the importance of building relationships and connecting with people, both online and offline.

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About Jennefer Witter

Jennefer Witter is a PR expert and the founder of the boutique agency The Boreland Group. She has worked with a wide range of clients, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Witter is also a frequent speaker on topics related to PR and entrepreneurship and has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, and CNBC. In addition to "The Little Book of Big PR," she is the author of "The PR Council's Diversity & Inclusion Handbook" and "The Essentials of Corporate Communications and Public Relations."

8. The fall of advertising and the rise of PR - Laura Ries

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Summary

As an audience, we have lived in this world long enough to know not to trust advertising. "The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR" by Laura Ries thus argues that public relations supplies the credibility that advertising lacks.

Ries elaborates on how the dominant force in marketing communications is PR: “advertising should only be used to maintain brands once they have been established through publicity”.

She provides detailed case-histories to help us understand how businesses can adapt to a changing landscape.

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What makes it special

"The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR" stands out because of its provocative thesis. Ries challenges the conventional wisdom that advertising is the most important marketing channel and makes a compelling case for the rise of PR. She argues that consumers are becoming more skeptical of advertising and are turning to PR to find unbiased information about products and services. Additionally, Ries provides a clear and actionable roadmap for how businesses can leverage PR to build their brand and engage with their audience.

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About Laura Ries

Laura Ries is a branding expert and the co-founder of the consulting firm Ries & Ries. She has worked with a wide range of clients, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and CNN. Ries is also the author of several other books on branding and marketing, including "Visual Hammer" and "The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding." She is a popular speaker and has delivered keynotes at conferences and events around the world.

Book - The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR - Laura RiesBook - Contagious: Why Things Catch On

9. Beautiful PR - Sophie Attwood

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Summary

PR should be about integrity and connecting with people at an emotional level. In a world filled with filtered and mixed messages, honesty and being totally and utterly authentic should guide a brand. In fact, without it, brands are doomed.

At least, that's how Sophie Attwood sees it. And Sophie knows what she's talking about. Having founded her own agency and worked with numerous world-renowned brands, Sophie observes how the communications world has changed. Consumers are more savvy now to when they're being marketed to and are seeking something that's harder to fake—a genuine emotional connection. Attwood preaches that brands must identify and amplify the core of who they really are.

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What makes it special

Attwood shares her valuable insight into how to connect with people to attain success. Hot on the heels of, and in the same vain as, 'Spin sucks,' she describes how PR and marketing are often viewed as slightly deceitful, much to everyone's detriment. She provides the manifesto for changing this, taking the reader on a surprising journey where their perceptions of what is good PR are bound to be altered.

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About the author

Sophie Attwood is an accomplished communications leader specializing in the beauty and health aesthetics industry. A keen advocate of ethical PR, she founded and built up her own global communications agency, whose portfolio includes St.Tropez and Marc Jacobs. She was listed in Management Today's 35 Women under 35 List and has made television appearances.

10. Contagious: why things catch on - Jonah Berger

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Summary

In the modern social media landscape, the most arbitrary pieces, a Texan boy yodeling or Pepsi’s failed ad campaign, go viral. But in all this arbitrariness, what if there might be a trend?

"Contagious: Why Things Catch On" is a book written by Jonah Berger that explores why some ideas, products, and behaviors become popular while others fail to catch on. Berger identifies six principles of contagiousness that can help explain why certain things become viral sensations.

These principles include factors like social currency, triggers, and emotion.

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What makes it special

Interdisciplinary approaches are one of the things that make "Contagious" unique. Berger draws on insights from psychology, sociology, and marketing to offer a comprehensive perspective on the factors that drive social influence. Additionally, the book is filled with examples drawing from the success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to the popularity of the iPhone. Berger uses these examples to illustrate his principles and provide actionable advice for businesses and marketers.

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About Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published numerous academic papers on topics related to social influence and decision-making and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events around the world. In addition to "Contagious," he is the author of "Invisible Influence" and "The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind." Berger has also worked with a wide range of clients, including Google, Coca-Cola, and the United Nations, to help them leverage social influence to drive positive change.

11. Influence: powerful communications, positive change - Adam Stones

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Summary

You have a vision to change the world, but how do you get others to agree? Intended for leaders, changemakers, and entrepreneurs, "Influence: Powerful Communications, Positive Change" explores the art of influence and how to use it to create positive change.

Stones draws on his experience as a communications consultant and delineates key skills for influence, including behavior change, body language, persuasive conversations, impactful content, storytelling, public speaking, and more.

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What makes it special

We are heading into “influencer culture”, where we trust bloggers to tell us how to better our lives. Stones’ emphasis on their social responsibility is a refreshing outlook. He argues that influence can be a powerful force for good but that it can also be misused. He provides guidance on how to use influence responsibly and with intention, emphasizing the importance of empathy, authenticity, and transparency. Additionally, Stones offers practical tips on how to build credibility and communicate effectively in different settings, from one-on-one conversations to large presentations.

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About Adam Stones

Adam Stones is a communications consultant and the founder of Rethink Communications, a UK-based agency that specializes in social impact campaigns. He has worked with a wide range of clients, including the United Nations, Oxfam, and the European Commission. Stones is also a frequent speaker and has delivered keynotes at conferences and events around the world. In addition to "Influence," he is the author of "The Business of Change: How to Create Lasting Impact for Your Organization, Customers and Society."

Book - Influence: Powerful Communications, Positive Change - Adam StonesBook - How to Win Friends & Influence People

12. How to win friends & influence people - Dale Carnegie

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Summary

This timeless, ever-relevant piece can be used by anyone, from CEO to students. It was written in 1936 by Dale Carnegie.

It offers advice on how best to improve your social skills, to building productive relationships, and becoming more influential.

He speaks about his experience as a salesman and public speaker to show the best strategies for connecting with others and persuading them to your viewpoint.

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What makes it special

Its relevance today means that "How to Win Friends & Influence People" has secured a place on our list. Despite being almost 25 years old, the insights shared regarding human behavior and communication style are still applicable now. Also, the book is written in a straightforward yet engaging manner, offering a great deal of real-world examples and personal anecdotes to sell its principles. Carnegie's strength of feeling the roles of empathy, gratitude, and giving sets it apart from other business books written about persuading people.

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About Dale Carnegie

Mr Carnegie is generally revered as a pioneer in the personal development movement. He has several other books under his name, all in the field of communication. These include "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" and also "The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking." His teachings have so far influenced millions, and this legacy looks set to continue as he inspires generations more of self-help authors.

13. The art of crisis leadership: save time, money, customers and ultimately, your career - Rob Weinhold

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Summary

In the fragile world of business, the question isn’t “if” a crisis would occur, but “when.”

"The Art of Crisis Leadership” is a book written by Rob Weinhold that offers guidance on “saving time, money, customers and ultimately, your career".

Weinhold narrates the stories of real people behind companies that underwent financial upheaval, sex scandals, active shooter situations and provides a range of strategies for preparing for and responding to these unexpected challenges.

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What makes it special

One thing that makes "The Art of Crisis Leadership" stand out is its authenticity. Weinhold's advice is grounded in real-world examples and offers step-by-step guidance on how to address different types of crises. Additionally, Weinhold emphasizes the importance of communication and transparency, providing practical tips on how to keep stakeholders informed and engaged. The book also includes a range of case studies and interviews with leaders who have successfully navigated crises in their organizations.

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About Rob Weinhold

Rob Weinhold is the CEO of The Fallston Group, a crisis management and communications firm based in Maryland, USA. He has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement, public relations, and crisis management and has worked with a wide range of clients in various industries. Weinhold is also a frequent speaker and has delivered keynotes at conferences and events around the world. In addition to "The Art of Crisis Leadership," he is the author of "The Art of Crisis Leadership for Law Enforcement."

Book - The Art of Crisis Leadership: Save Time, Money, Customers and Ultimately, Your Career - Rob WeinholdBook - Multimedia Storytelling for Digital Communicators in a Multiplatform World

14. Multimedia storytelling for digital communicators in a multiplatform world - by Seth Gitner

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Summary

There is the radio. Television. Magazine. Newspaper. Film. Tabloids. Instagram. Twitter. LinkedIn. In a time when the medium is the message, there sure are a lot of mediums to learn how to navigate.

"Multimedia Storytelling for Digital Communicators in a Multiplatform World" is a book written by Seth Gitner that helps journalists, marketers, and other digital communicators see multimedia storytelling as an opportunity and not a challenge.

The book covers a range of topics, from basic video and audio production to advanced techniques in interactive storytelling and social media.

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What makes it special

The focus on real-world applications and practical skills sets "Multimedia Storytelling" apart. The book includes a range of examples from a variety of industries and provides step-by-step guidance on how to create compelling multimedia content. Additionally, the book covers a range of platforms and technologies, from traditional broadcast and print media to social media and virtual reality. This makes it a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their digital storytelling skills.

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About Seth Gitner

Seth Gitner is an associate professor at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, where he teaches multimedia storytelling, photojournalism, and digital media entrepreneurship. Gitner has also worked as a photojournalist and multimedia producer for publications such as The Washington Post and The Roanoke Times. In addition to "Multimedia Storytelling," he is the author of "Mastering the Nikon D500" and co-author of "Multimedia Journalism: A Practical Guide."

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15. Public relations: strategies and tactics - Dennis L.Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron

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Summary

Now in its eighth edition, "Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics," covers the fundamental principles of public relations with updated, recent, and relevant examples.

It teaches practical tactics for managing communication and building relationships with stakeholders.

The textbook is accessible and covers a wide range of topics, such as media relations, crisis management, community relations, and employee communication.

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What makes it special

A unique aspect of this textbook is its emphasis on practical application. It includes numerous case studies and real-world examples to help students understand how to apply PR strategies and tactics in different contexts. Additionally, the book is written in an accessible, engaging style that makes it easy to understand and use as a reference.

Learn more about PR strategies
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About Dennis L.Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron

Dennis L. Wilcox is a professor emeritus at San Jose State University and the former director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Oklahoma. Glen T. Cameron is the Maxine Wilson Gregory Chair in Journalism Research and Education at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Together, they bring decades of experience in public relations education and research to this textbook.

Book - Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics - Dennis L.Wilcox and Glen T. CameronBook - Communicating In A Crisis - Rene A.Henry

16. Communicating in a crisis - Rene A.Henry

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Summary

"Communicating in a Crisis" is a concise playbook for communicators to be equipped and aloof at a time when everything seems to be falling apart.

Written by Rene A. Henry, the author segregates the five most likely crises along with a step-by-step communication plan for dealing with each.

The crises include terrorism, natural disaster, violence in the workplace, sexual harassment, discrimination, and environmental pollution.

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What makes it special

There is something unique about this book: it emphasizes the human element in crisis communication. The author emphasizes the importance of empathy and compassion in crisis communication, as well as the need for communicators to be authentic and transparent. The book also includes numerous case studies and real-world examples to help readers understand how to apply the strategies and tactics in different contexts.

Learn more about crisis communication
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About Rene A.Henry

Rene A. Henry is a crisis communication expert with more than 30 years of experience in public relations and journalism. He has worked with a wide range of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to his work as a consultant and speaker, he has authored several books on crisis communication and media relations.

17. You Need PR - Jenna Guarneri

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Summary

Not so fun fact: About 90 percent of startups fail within the first five years. Author Jenna Guarneri puts this down, in no small part, to a low level of brand awareness, which, as you’ve guessed, can be aided by a PR strategy. However, she knows the difficulty many startups and smaller businesses face. Because she was one.

“You Need PR was written by a founder for founders. We are our clients. We as a PR firm are a startup. We understand what it takes to get noticed, and we know how to use what you have to secure press.”

Guarneri’s tips for successful branding, including on building press materials and media interviews, provide an excellent overview to startups on how to begin navigating PR.

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What makes it special

The book really provides a 'how-to do PR' for those totally new to the subject. Unlike many other business books which focus heavily on the obstacles, the book’s advice is practical and based on fact (she cites numerous examples), and she gives vivid and detailed solutions to the kind of problems startups face. The book delves into an array of strategies, such as media interviews, how to formulate PR initiatives, and building press materials.

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About the author

Jenna Guarneri is chief executive officer at JMG Public Relations, an award-winning PR firm in New York. Here, she has worked with various B2B and B2C startups. Under her guise, it has won such awards as the Best of New York award in the PR category for 2018 and 2019 and 'Best PR Agency' in 2018 by the Best of Small Business Awards. Jenna was recognized as a 'Woman to Watch in 2018' by the New York Real Estate Journal.

18. Crystallizing public opinion - Edward Bernays

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Summary

“Crystallizing Public Opinion” is a public relations classic written by Edward Bernays in 1923. Picture the roaring 20s. Amid Gatsby’s Cadillacs, Heinz’s iconic flyers, and the era of Joan Crawford, Bernays, quite ahead of his time, writes about the use of propaganda in shaping public opinion.

He looks at the way media reaches a mass audience and how PR professionals use psychology to influence behavior.

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What makes it special

One thing that sets this book apart is its historical significance. Bernays was a pioneer in the field of public relations, and this book provides a fascinating look at the early days of the profession. The book is also notable for its insights into human behavior and psychology and for its exploration of the power of media to shape public opinion.

Book - Crystallizing Public Opinion - Edward BernaysBook - Public Opinion - Walter Lippmann

19. Public opinion - Walter Lippmann

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Summary

In his work from 1922, “Public Opinion,” Walter Lippmann argues that a narrowed and biased view of reality forms the public's understanding of the world.

According to the author, individuals’ cognitive limitations, media influence, and political manipulation restrict them from perceiving the complexity of the surrounding world.

In addition to this understanding, Lippmann argues that few elites should share the responsibility of handling the complexities of the world since the majority’s perception of it does not result in effective decisions.

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What makes it special

The description of the essence of public opinion and the ways in which it is formed and modified builds the book’s outstanding character. Together with an exceptional writing style and an in-depth analysis of complex societal issues, the book has conquered the audience’s preferences. As an author and scholar, Lippmann was one of the first to explore the ways in which media shapes public opinion and its influence on it. The author’s observations and concepts continue to be relevant up to this day.

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About Walter Lippmann

As a highly competent journalist, commentator, and political thinker, Lippman’s interests reached beyond public opinion as a topic, and he contributed with his work to fields such as politics and media as well. Considered one of the most contributing thinkers of the 20th century, Lippmann also won a Pulitzer Prize and was frequently a discusser on public affairs. Among his works are "The Phantom Public," "The Good Society," and "Public Philosophy."

20. The practice of public relations - Fraser P. Seitel

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Summary

In its thirteenth edition, "The Practice of Public Relations," is a textbook by Fraser P. Seitel. Written in an engaging, anecdotal tone, Seitel prepares students for 21st-century public relations.

He uses case studies from across the world, covering aspects ranging from the basic principles of the profession to advanced techniques for managing crises and building effective campaigns.

Learn how to run a successful PR campaign
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What makes it special

One of the things that sets this book apart is its focus on practical, real-world examples and case studies. Seitel draws on his extensive experience in the field to provide insights into the challenges and opportunities of public relations in today's fast-paced, media-driven world. The book also includes helpful tips and strategies for working with clients and managing relationships with the media.

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About Fraser P. Seitel

Fraser P. Seitel is a renowned public relations expert with more than four decades of experience in the field. He has worked with a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Seitel is a frequent commentator on public relations issues and has written several other books on the subject, including "Rethinking Reputation" and "The Communicator's Handbook." He is also a professor of public relations at New York University.

Book - The Practice of Public Relations - Fraser P. SeitelBook - Toxic Sludge is Good for You

21. Toxic sludge is good for you

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Summary

When looking at the contributions of writers to PR, it is imperative to examine from the outside. As we know, PR is a multi-billion dollar industry. What its scope is and how it impacts the world is critical to look at.

This book explores the role of PR in shaping public opinion and policy.

Memorable title aside, this book, written by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, is reflective of the industry. The authors put the actions of PR participants under the microscope, seeing how they interact with governments and corporations to further client interests.

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What makes it special

The book offers sharp criticism of the PR industry as a whole. For them, irreversible damage has been caused to the foundations of society. It studies how large corporate interests have manipulated public opinion and sections of the media for their own selfish ends.

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About John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton

Founders of the Center for Media and Democracy, one of their main aims is to promote transparency within the government and media. They also wrote "Weapons of Mass Deception" and "Banana Republicans." Stauber and Rampton are widely respected for their unflinching honesty.

22. The tipping point - Malcolm Gladwell

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Summary

A pot of water begins to boil when the temperature is exactly a hundred-degree celsius or more. What is the equivalent of this crucial point when it comes to social epidemics? "The Tipping Point" explores how and why ideas spread. What is the moment when a niche interest becomes a widespread phenomenon?

Written by Malcolm Gladwell, the book identifies key factors such as “The Law of the Few”, “Power of Context”, and “The Stickiness Factors” that contribute to the tipping point.

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What makes it special

Gladwell's writing style and ability to break down complex social phenomena into understandable concepts make "The Tipping Point" a highly accessible and engaging read. The book is also highly influential, having inspired countless marketers and communicators to think differently about how they approach their work and the messages they create.

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About Malcolm Gladwell

He is a journalist, author, and speaker best known for his ability to make complex topics accessible to a broad audience. He has written several other books on a variety of topics, including "Outliers," "Blink," and "David and Goliath." Gladwell's work has been widely praised for its unique insights, storytelling ability, and engaging style.

Book - The Tipping Point - Malcolm GladwellBook - Propaganda - Edward Bernays

23. Propaganda - Edward Bernays

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Summary

"Propaganda" is a seminal book on the subject of public relations by Edward Bernays, a pioneer in the field. For a democracy to function, a consistent public opinion must be molded. The piece unearths the history of propaganda use in advancing political and social agendas.

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What makes it special

Aside from being derived from political realities, “Propaganda” is unique because of its historical significance. Bernays mastered the art of seeing through propaganda, and his ideas and techniques have had a profound impact on the world of public relations and marketing. The book also offers a fascinating look into the psychology of persuasion and the ways in which human behavior can be influenced through carefully crafted messages and images.

24. Unleashing the power of PR - Mark Weiner

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Summary

In "Unleashing the Power of PR," you are invited to learn about the industry from the angle of a contrarian. Written by author Mark Weiner, the piece draws on the public relations of famous organizations, like General Electric, FedEx, Intel, and others. A PR expert, he provides a research-based model for implementing PR goals.

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What makes it special

Well, he stresses the importance and relevance of evaluating and measuring as you go, stating the most effective campaigns require an approach driven by data. He even gives readers the tools and means they need to ensure impact in their work. The book is also notable for its number of case studies to illustrate its point.

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About Mark Weiner

With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, he is certainly too important to be ignored. He became the CEO of the firm PRIME Research Americas. This is now a leading provider of media analysis tools. He was also the chairman of the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication. Also, he speaks rather a lot on the topic.

Book - Unleashing the Power of PR - Mark WeinerBook - On Writing Well - William Zinsser

25. On writing well - William Zinsser

1

Summary

Believe it or not, your high school physics textbook could have been interesting.

“On Writing Well” by William Zinsser is a classic guide to writing nonfiction that has been helping writers improve their craft for over four decades.

The book explains the A, B, and Cs of grammar, style, structure, and voice. Zinsser draws on his own experience as a writer and editor to provide readers with clearly expressed examples.

2

What makes it special

Zinsser walks the walk. He makes a non-fiction book about non-fiction writing engaging and conversational. Zinsser’s writing style is accessible and easy to follow, making it a great resource for writers of all skill levels. The book is also highly adaptable, with sections on writing for various audiences and mediums, including journalism, business, and memoir.

3

About the author

William Zinsser was a writer, editor, and teacher known for his work on nonfiction writing. In addition to "On Writing Well," Zinsser authored several other books on writing, including "Writing to Learn" and "Writing About Your Life." He also served as a writing instructor at Yale University and the New School. Zinsser's approach to writing emphasized simplicity, clarity, and the importance of connecting with readers. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 92.

26. Building a storybrand - Donald Miller

1

Summary

"Building a Storybrand" by Donald Miller outlines seven story points that humans respond to. Miller believes that effective marketing relies on a good narrative that consumers resonate with.

He talks about why customers make purchases, how brands can make their message appealing, how brochures and websites may tell a story, and more.

The book offers a step-by-step framework that simplifies brand building.

2

What makes it special

A good marketer could sell an ivory tusk to an elephant. "Building a Storybrand" emphasizes the power of storytelling in marketing. Miller draws on insights from psychology and neuroscience to explain why storytelling is such an effective way to communicate with audiences. The book comes with clear instructions that help readers apply what they learn to their own business.

3

About Donald Miller

Donald Miller is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur known for his work on personal development and marketing. He is the founder of StoryBrand, a marketing consultancy that helps businesses clarify their message and connect with customers. In addition to "Building a Storybrand," Miller has authored several other books, including "Blue Like Jazz" and "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years." He is also a sought-after speaker and has given talks at conferences and events around the world.

Book - Building a Storybrand - Donald MillerBook - Inbound PR - Iliyana Stareva

27. Inbound PR - Iliyana Stareva

1

Summary

Over the years, our choices as consumers have become tenfold.

"Inbound PR" by Iliyana Stareva is a guide to transforming your PR strategy to be more adjusted to an ocean of options by being customer-centric.

Stareva explains how everyone desires to exercise their own freedom of choice based on research and experience without feeling like they are being targeted by marketing tactics. “Inbound PR” reshapes traditional PR practices for the modern consumer.

2

What makes it special

The book is pragmatic and realistic. "Inbound PR" is unique in its approach to modernizing traditional PR practices. At a time when individuals can raise their concerns with a company in front of a global audience, Stareva draws on her experience as a PR practitioner and inbound marketer to offer a fresh perspective on “good” PR.

3

About Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is a marketing and PR professional with more than 10 years of experience in the field. She is currently the Global Partner Program Manager at HubSpot, a leading inbound marketing and sales platform. Stareva is also a speaker, trainer, and author, and has been recognized as one of the top 100 PR professionals to follow on Twitter. In addition to "Inbound PR," she has authored several other books, including "Social Media and Public Relations" and "The Human Factor."

There is a lot to think about

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Conclusion

The world of public relations may be understood by Platon’s allegory of the cave. As a mass audience, we believe the shadows on the wall are the truth, a reality. In the cave of consumption, PR firms and professionals are those casting the shadows.

On one hand, these books shatter this illusion by revealing the various strategies that companies employ to generate clicks. On the other, with the rise of social media, we are heading into an era of transparency and awareness, relying on the very same books to redefine public relations.

With the help of these 27 books, you can gain a deeper understanding of the industry, hone your skills, and take your career to the next level. Whether you're interested in traditional PR tactics or want to acquaint yourself with digital strategies, there is a book on this list that will meet your needs.

Build your PR bookshelf today.

March 2, 2023
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