In the final episode of Smoke Signal for 2019 I share a summer reading list for PR practitioners, speaking to a number of practitioners who have recently – or will soon – become published authors.
Author: Tony Langham
One other book you’d recommend a practitioner read: John Doorley and Helio Fred Garcia – Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication (the 4th edition due in 2020)
Published as part of the PRCA Practice Guide Series, the book makes the central case that is in the title – that reputation management is the future of Corporate Communications and Public Relations.
According to Tony, what organisations need to succeed is a great reputation and while that comes from making good products – Rolex making great watches and Lego making great toys – they can’t have that great reputation unless their behaviour and communication matches.
Tony cites a range of reasons why communication advisers have to start talking about reputation management:
- Reputation is a topic that is discussed in the boardroom whereas in most cases PR is not
- You can clearly measure your reputation.
- You can actively manage it – and this is what the book details.
Author: Trevor Young
One other book you’d recommend a practitioner read: Mark Schaefer – Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins AND Ron Tite – Think. Do. Say: How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy, Busy World.
This book looks at content marketing through a PR lens and is aimed at anyone struggling to cut through the noise and get a message to market – whether organisations, not for profit, government or thought leaders.
Inspiration for the book came from Trevor’s belief that the content marketing conversation had been hijacked by inbound marketers, and while he accepts that is right for some businesses, it is not right for everyone.
For Trevor, PR should be focused on deepening the level of connection to the people that matter the most to the success of our business, cause or issue – and we now have a myriad of tools to do that more effectively allowing PR and comms professionals to do what they always should have been doing.
In a crowded market, where consumers are not just hyper connected but also hyper empowered, this book aims to give a how to guide to help cut through the noise.
Published: Early 2020
Author: Mark Jones
One other book you’d recommend a practitioner read: Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow
Beliefonomics offers what Mark calls the first brand storytelling framework to help organisations unlock the true power of their stories.
Mark explains how we each see all our decision making through “belief coloured glasses”. At the heart of story is not just a great framework or something that captures you emotionally; but the degree it connects with something deeply fundamentally important to you.
The book features a range of tools to help practitioners to create really compelling stories, each based on three journey’s that underpin strong brand stories:
- Brand journey: unpacking the story of your organisation
- Belief journey: a customer’s journey from unbelief to belief in your product, service or sector
- Channel journey: earned, owned, paid and shared – what is the most effective channel to tell your story
Book: Shot by Both Sides: What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate
Published: February 2020
Author: Eaon Pritchard
One other book you’d recommend a practitioner read: Edward O. Wilson – The Origins of Creativity
The genesis of his first book – Where Did It All Go Wrong: Adventures At the Dunning-Kruger Peak of Advertising – was an article written in 2015 that resonated and morphed into a book. The basic premise was that the chaotic, conflicting and jargon happy world of advertising had lost its way. Taking a reader’s on a humorous journey of the current state of advertising.
The idea of his second book – Shot By Both Sides – is being stuck in the middle. On one side you have the anti-digital brigade and on the other side are the pure programmatic, adtech people. The reality is the truth is somewhere in the middle but, like current state of politics, it seems very few want to take the middle ground.