So, fresh off our reading list, a colleague asked me “what is the one book a PR should read”, what’s the best “guide to PR”.

I said – and please correct me if you disagree – that to my mind no such one book exists. The textbooks I’ve looked at have always seemed either too basic or too theoretical. So much of what we do is based on a combination of intelligence and experience.

So of course reading is key to this; but not – I feel – reading about PR. Rather reading widely around the business we operate in. So here is my list of the books that I’ve read and have found most helpful from my own self-development perspective. Some are theoretical, some are psychological focused and others are practical – but I can safely say I’ve taken a little from each that has now impacted the way I work.

  1. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

This is my must read book and something I often recommend to people I line manage. Yes it’s about social media and its power, but it is as much about career development and the notion of Personal Brand. It reminds you to think about what it is you WANT to be famous for. Want a taster? Watch this presentation.

  1. Herd by Mark Earls

This is a book that reminds you that communications is about psychology – that understanding human behavior and how it can be affected is the very essence of what we do. Should help you to question whether the press release is always the answer.

  1. iLeadership by Jay Elliot

Yes I am a bit of a geek, and like most geeks have a soft spot for Steve Jobs. His autobiography is also a compelling read, but I found this book – which focused more on his decision making and management style – a compelling read that will help any manager think about their own style and how they’re perceived.

  1. Your Brain at Work by David Rock

For those of you that know, I’m really a qualified scientist – I therefore understand how the body operates and that what we feel is tied to how we think. I found this book extremely accessible but really powerful – it gives you advice on what time of day to do certain things, how you can reappraise situations for a completely different outcome and ultimately how you can trick your brain for your own advantage.

  1. 7 Habits of successful people by Stephen R. Covey

I think this book is almost as wellread as the bible, it is probably in its millionth edition. Whilst written in the 70’s (I think) most of what the author sets out remains true today. As the title suggests, it sets rules (7 habits) that are shared by people who’ve been successful.

  1. Getting things done by David Allen

A large part of what we do, in a services based industry like PR, is manage time. Our time, our teams time and our clients time. This, I believe, is the best time management book I’ve read and outlines a clear system that is used by millions of people around the world. The notion of Getting Things Done or GTD has lead to many supporting applications or tools. This is the system I now use (along with Inbox Zero – suggest you google that one).

  1. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is one of the most influential thinkers on business and marketing alive today. He has many books, all of them worth a read, but this book for me should be the first port of call. Also do follow his blog and twitter feeds, when it comes to simplifying marketing and understanding the world we operate in today you’d be hard pushed to find a better thinker.

  1. The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

This book details a succinct and clear theory that explains the power of the web when it comes to business and enterprise. It highlights the power of connecting everyone, and how small businesses can become big businesses over night.

What books would you add to this list? Let Arabian Bytes know.