5 great PR books to keep on your shelf

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A truly educational book is one you can pop open to any page at any time and, even though you’ve pored over the book many times, still find something to learn.

There aren’t that many books out there like that. However, here are five that should have a permanent space on your bookshelf—or desk, or nightstand, or the bathroom counter.

1. “Effective Public Relations

Affectionately known as the “PR bible,” “Effective Public Relations” is an industry standard. Keeping a copy around to flip through is a good idea, as the wide variety of subjects covered is unlike any other.

You may think of it as just a textbook, but ignoring the basics could lead to disaster when you tackle the advanced. Buy a copy (or update to the latest edition), and brush up on your theory, your concepts, and the history of PR.

2. “The Art of Money Getting

When you think of a person persuading others to give him their money, you probably think of somebody like P.T. Barnum. Barnum’s “The Art of Money Getting” not only shows you how to be very successful in business, but also gives advice on how to keep money once you’ve gotten it.

Barnum was a master of providing a spectacle and drumming up business to build his wealth, but he also valued people and the art of entrepreneurship. The book, though short, will give you insight into the man’s mind and way of life.

3. “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business

Erik Qualman’s book examines the impact of social media on not just our business but our entire lives. Businesses enjoy the closest relationships they’ve ever had with consumers, and often a social media campaign can make or break a business. Socialnomics is the study of what this trend will yield in the future and how you can take full advantage of it for your own company.

[RELATED: Whip your social media strategy into shape at this one-day Los Angeles workshop.]

4. “Trust Agents

To be a real PR pro, you have to understand what being a “trust agent” means. Consumers want to trust the businesses they deal with daily; if a business isn’t trustworthy or is trying to manipulate them, that business will fail. To be a trust agent, you have to represent a company and put its best face forward. Understand the world, and you understand the business. This book, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, will show you how.

5. “Bulletproof News Releases

Even though social media is taking over the PR world, there’s still something to be said about a good, old-fashioned press release. If you send them out at all, you need “Bulletproof Press Releases,” which rightfully bills itself as “help at last for the publicity deficient.” The art of the press release is quickly being lost, and in this day and age, that can be a disaster.

Editors receive hundreds upon hundreds of releases every single day, so if yours isn’t 100 percent solid, you’re toast. For lessons on how to make your press release bulletproof and increase your chance of getting noticed, look no further than this book.

What’s your “PR bible”?

Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel. Download your free copy of The Big Press Release Book, a must-read for the up-and-coming PR professional. Follow eReleases on Google+, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.  

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