On the last day of 2008, here’s my pick of the most interesting and provocative books about – or of relevance to – public relations published this year (first posted at PROpenMic).
1. Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky. Well-written, thought-provoking and
optimistic account of human ingenuity and community-mindedness. (My full review).
Crowd Surfing, Martin Thomas and David Brain. Two PR consultants
describe how to survive in a world that seems out of control. Important and
prescient (and consistent with some of Clay Shirky’s themes); this book was
written just as the world was about to tip into a recession. (My full review).
Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. There’s definitely a theme
emerging in my selection; Groundswell deserves its place because it’s less
optimistic, more realistic and better-researched than other books about social
media. (My full review).
4. PR: A Persuasive Industry? Trevor Morris and Simon
Goldsworthy. In some ways it’s an odd book: more of a guidebook than a textbook;
though written by two British PR lecturers, it’s anti-academic in approach and
written in US-English. But it’s written for students and practitioners, and even where I disagreed with it I found it
thought-provoking. (My full review).
5. Flat Earth News, Nick Davies. A British
journalist’s account of the declining power of national newspapers and the
unstoppable rise of public relations. It’s a bleak assessment on both counts,
but too important a book to ignore. (My full review).
UPDATE: I’m aware of three more books coming out in 2009 on a similar theme (surprisingly, two are from the same publisher):
- Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge: Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR;
- Rob Brown: Public Relations and the Social Web: How to Use Social Media and Web 2.0 in Communications;
- David Phillips and Philip Young: Online Public Relations: A Practical Guide to Developing an Online Strategy in the World of Social Media.