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Best Books: 15 Books Every Publicist Should Read

Being a publicist is a hugely time-consuming job. On top of brutal working hours, you need to stay on top of an ever-evolving industry. To make your job slightly easier we reached out to leading publicists and marketing experts to suggest the best books for publicists.

#1 Made To Stick

This is a fantastic book outlining how to create stories that are compelling enough to move virally and organically through the population. It includes illustrative examples as well as fascinating theory. When applied, the principles outlined in this book greatly increase the chances that a story will be picked up by the media and, more importantly, be shared and retold by the general public.

Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Jackson Carpenter from jacksonwcarpenter.com

    #2 Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

    In this troubling book, Ryan Holiday outlines how he exploited weaknesses in the modern media ecosystem to get publicity for controversial clients including American Apparel founder Dov Charney. While drawing attention to some serious ethical concerns, the book also outlines a number of practical PR tactics used by black hat flacks that can be adapted for use by more scrupulous publicists.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Jackson Carpenter from jacksonwcarpenter.com

    #3 The New Rules of Marketing and PR

    David Neerman Scott does an excellent job of really simplifying the connection between business and consumer, and how marketing/PR fits in between. PR professionals are expected to wear many different hats nowadays, and this book helps provide insight on the changing digital climate that businesses face and how to use modern communications to maneuver through the noise.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Jessica Rafaeil from morethanpress.com

    #4 Social PR Secrets

    Lisa Buyer makes learning how social media and PR blend together both fun and simple! She breaks down each social platform and how to leverage them to reach your audience and help your brand (and your client's brand) stand out and benefit from social engagement. Plus, there is a forward from marketing guru Guy Kawasaki.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Jessica Rafaeil from morethanpress.com

    #6 Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction

    Hit Makers is the ultimate tool for publicists to understand all the minutiae that goes into making a sensation. Between movies, songs, celebrities, or apps, Thompson examines the past 2 centuries in order to appreciate what factors determine whether something is going to be a blockbuster and what is doomed to be a one-hit wonder.

    As a senior editor for the Atlantic, Derek Thompson relied on his experience with countless examples of hot topics and Yesterday’s news to create was has become a national bestseller and a must-read for any marketer or publicist. Similarly, he captivatingly takes a look back throughout history and illustrates how certain influences have shaped culture even to this day.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Nate Masterson from mapleholistics.com

    #7 Newsjacking 101

    This book is one of those industry secrets that is rarely talked about or discussed, yet known. It is also a reminder of a simple easy way publicists can help get and keep their clients in the news, garnering the media's attention regardless of what's happening in their careers or their last big gig.

    Newsjacking is not about the client but attaching yourself to a current news story that puts a person in the public eye. It will cause the media to remember you and take note.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Chantay Bridges from losangelesrealestatenow.com

    #8 So You Want To Be On A Reality Show?

    Publicists have their work cut out for them. Their job is not the easiest and in order to stand out from the crowd, they need a 'little extra' to provide to their clients that everyone else doesn't have.

    This book is an example of one of those insider tips that can not only help the publicist but their clients too. Coming from a Hollywood Insider, [this author] really provides the thought processes that goes into casting, which is the overall objective for many in this field.

    The book takes you step by step, until the final interview and you receive the call back. It helps publicists and clients to stop guessing the in's and outs, do and do-nots and provides a roadmap to success.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Chantay Bridges from losangelesrealestatenow.com

    #9 Start with Why by Simon Sinek

    Whether you own your own PR agency, or work at an agency or in house at a brand, this book brings you fundamental skills that can change the way you think in business. As a business owner, I am always looking for ways to improve my management skills, my client relations skill and overall business skills.

    I strive to improve in my career every day and Simon has a way of really breaking down the importance of relationships and how to treat the people around you. As publicists, life skills are just as important as press-release writing, or pitching and his books teach you imperative skills to become a strong leader. That is priceless to me!

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Cristina Gordon from cbeepr.com

    #11 This Is How You Pitch

    I suggest this book because it is the go-to for pitching. It's an honest guidebook that can help you avoid pitching the same ole canned pitches to help you reach reporters and gain media coverage. It also helps with PR overall as a whole and is an enjoyable read.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Niesha from kennedyrobinsonpr.com

    #12 Contagious: Why Things Catch On

    In Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah Berger explains how positioning a story or client in a certain way impacts how people perceive the subject being talked about. As a publicist, your job is to shape the public's perception of your client. This book helps to narrow down the types of angles that you could be pitching to improve your chances of getting picked up by the media.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Cassie Gonzalez from onepitch.co

    #13 Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win

    Extreme Ownership focuses not so much on the technical aspects of public relations, but on how to lead effective teams. Anyone in PR should read this book because regardless of your official job title, everyone will be in charge of leading something at some point. Whether it's a meeting with your client or a full team of PR professionals, the book has many key takeaways for simplifying communications and making sure that everyone is on the same page.

    Want to read more reviews of this series or buy it? Check out the links below:

    Contributor: Cassie Gonzalez from onepitch.co

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    Written by Nathaniel Fried

    Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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