Practitioners: ‘what do you read?’ meme

27 Oct

I’m keen to start a regular ‘bookshelf’ column in Behind the Spin magazine. This will give PR practitioners a chance to say which books they most often consult. In previous issues, Lord Chadlington has mentioned his admiration of the novels of Anthony Trollope. Currently, Karl Milner praises Drew Westen’s The Political Brain (a timely read about the pyschology of US presidential campaigns).

They could be books on politics, business or society; textbooks, style guides, self-help manuals or novels. They could be standards or surprises. Either way, I think it will help today’s students and young practitioners.

Here are the groundrules. Choose up to ten books, and write up to 100 words explaining each choice. Send these to me with your portrait photo in JPG format (email address on right). You’re also welcome to cross-post to your own blog.

To get you thinking, here are the top ten books I most often refer to (space does not allow descriptions):

  1. The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
  2. Strategic Communication Management, by Jon White and Laura Mazur
  3. The Empty Raincoat, Charles Handy
  4. The Economist Style Guide
  5. Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky
  6. Journalism: Truth or Dare?, Ian Hargreaves
  7. Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel
  8. Permission Marketing, Seth Godin
  9. Evaluating Public Relations, Tom Watson and Paul Noble
  10. The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, Al Ries and Laura Ries

Toby Young’s How to Lose Friends and Alienate People came surprisingly close to being picked and this morning I found myself recommending Richard Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene whilst admitting I’ve never read it myself…

5 Responses to “Practitioners: ‘what do you read?’ meme”

  1. Richard Millington 27/10/2008 at 12:40 pm #

    Two books I wouldn’t hesitate to add:
    Chip and Dan Heath – Made To Stick (a must read for PR).
    Dan Ariely – Predictably Irrational
    Andy Sernovitz – Word of Mouth Marketing
    Guy Kawasaki – Selling The Dream
    Jackie Huba & Ben McConnel – Creating Customer Evangelists.

  2. Richard Millington 27/10/2008 at 12:56 pm #

    That turned out to be more than two books!

  3. Penny Neu 27/10/2008 at 7:36 pm #

    How to Lose Friends … should certainly make the cut. It brilliantly explains the workings of the glossies.
    I was once told to read anything by Hemingway as a guide to crisp, powerful, writing. I prefer PG Wodehouse – no better stylist exists in English, and the jokes are better!
    Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss for obvious reasons.
    What The Media Are Doing to Our Politics by John Lloyd

  4. Joel 30/10/2008 at 1:38 pm #

    If I may, I would recommend “The New Marketing Manifesto”. Prescient.

  5. Philip 07/11/2008 at 7:52 pm #

    I keep thinking about answering this, but am finding it hard. As I looked along my bookshelf, a mischievous thought occurred – which books *don’t* I refer to..? A couple of quite high profile titles leapt out

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