5 PR and Communications books to read

Soft skills are essential for any job, particularly your ability to communicate. But if it’s not your strong suit, how can you improve? With 2018 presenting a new opportunity each week, we feel that there’s no better time than the now to improve upon your skills and knowledge.

As a Communications company, we believe it’s important to always stay ahead in the industry and develop our skills continuously. A great way to achieve this is through reading.

Whether you’re an expert feeling a little rusty and needing to refresh and refine your skills, or simply looking to understand the widespread practice of PR and communications to help market yourself, we’ve curated this list to help you start your development journey.

If you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, here are five books to get you started, in no particular order:

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

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Arguably one of the most-read communications book. Written by Dale Carnegie, an American author and lecturer who famously created popular courses on self-improvement, corporate training and public speaking.

Since its first publication in 1937, it has since been referred to as the ‘PR Bible’, with readers such as Warren Buffet who studied the book when he was 15.

Carnegie’s ideas span from the concept that success is 15% professional knowledge, and 85% in the enthusiasm created through great ideas and leadership. If you’re looking for the basics then this is the book for you. The main goal in PR and Comms is connecting with people, and to be successful with that you will definitely require an understanding of how to deal with them. The book’s main principles focus on persuading people through charm and understanding rather than aggressive tactics.

Growth Hacker Marketing, by Ryan Holiday

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This book explains how traditional marketing isn't as effective anymore and why growth hacking is a cheaper and more effective way of getting your products visibility and customers.

Major brands like Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, and Twitter have shifted away from traditional marketing and instead, are relying on growth hacking to reach many more people despite having modest marketing budgets.

Written by bestselling author Ryan Holiday, the acclaimed marketing guru for American Apparel and many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians, the book explains the new rules for aspiring growth hackers. Whether you work for a tiny startup or a Fortune 500 giant, if you’re responsible for building awareness and buzz for a product or service, this is the book for you.

The Social Brand: Transforming Your Brand to Win in the Social Era, by Huib van Bockel

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Contrary to its title, this book is not about social media marketing, it's about purposeful innovation. The book tackles root issues and challenges, and guides you to become what you need to be to succeed in this social era.

Within a single decade, the media landscape and industry has fundamentally changed, as well as the way people interact with each other and with brands. The use of social media has grown, but businesses are still struggling to adapt. This is the perfect read for founders who want some insights into the current times we are living in when it comes to branding.

Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, by Ann Handley

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Ann Handley’s go-to guide is a guide to attracting and retaining customers through effective online communication. We believe this book is extremely useful because in this content-driven world, every one of us is, in fact, a writer.

If you have a blog or a website, you are a publisher. If you are on social media, you are essentially in marketing. This means that we all rely on our words to carry out a marketing message as our writing affects the way we’re perceived. It can make us look smart or flat–out stupid!

This means you′ve got to choose words carefully, and write with both style and honest empathy for your customers.

This book gives value to an often overlooked skill in content marketing: ‘How to write and tell a true story well’. It provides the readers with lessons and rules that can be applied across all online assets ― such as web pages, email, marketing offers and social media.

The PR Masterclass: How to Develop a Public Relations Strategy That Works! by Alex Singleton

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‘The PR Masterclass’ is written by a former newspaper, magazine and digital journalist Alex Singleton, who is now a distinguished PR trainer and consultant. It reveals the secrets of effective PR and shows how to put in place a practical, reliable and successful media strategy for your product, business or activity – one that delivers the greatest results.

Through the book, you get to discover how to develop and pitch effective newsworthy material, regardless of your budget. The PR Masterclass is aimed at PR professionals as well as small business owners and entrepreneurs implementing a PR strategy.


We hope you enjoyed this list. If you have any recommendations of other books that you think are helpful when it comes to PR and Comms, hit us up on our Twitter!

BY TOTO OBI, JUNIOR AT CEW COMMUNICATIONS.