Recommended reading for tech-savvy PR

Thanks again to all who responded to my call for books that might benefit PR folks interested in learning more about how public relations might function in the emerging social web. I’m going to share your recommendations with participants in Academic Impressions’ Advanced PR Institute, which begins tomorrow, in addition to the four books suggested by my co-presenters and me.

Here are your contributions to the list:

Kevin Guidry suggests we consider portions of Yochai Benkler‘s book, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (wiki | PDF version of the book). “It’s a hefty tome,” Kevin writes, “but it’s a tour de force of the impact of the Internet on…everything.” Kevin also mentions James Suriowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds as a possibility.

Colin Fast offers two recommendations:

1. The New Rules of Marketing & PR, by David Meerman Scott. “Picked it up recently based on positive reviews from many of the 2.0 folks I follow. Still reading, but I’ve already picked up a few useful bits of advice. It’s very tactical, which might provide some balance to the more theoretical books on the list.”

2. Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message, by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba (better known, perhaps, for their Church of the Customer blog). “This is a great introduction to the world of social media. Would probably be better as part of a remedial reading list for those who haven’t already been playing in this space.”

Judy Gombita seconds our recommendation of Wikinomics, mentions Chris Anderson‘s The Long Tail and We Are Smarter Than Me, another book on crowdsourcing/peering.

Boyd Neil suggests a couple of older books: Connected Intelligence, by Derrick De Kerckhove, and Steven Johnson’s Interface Culture. He also recommends any of Lawrence Lessig‘s books, and I would have to agree.

Heather Yaxley suggests that, rather than talk about books, we “have a ‘speed-dating’ style list of blog posts to visit and ideally, engage with.” Interesting.

Lois Kelly also endorses the David Meerman Scott book as “especially pragmatic” and suggests Paul Gillin’s The New Influencers.

Karen Miller Russell, who teaches PR at the University of Georgia, notes that she’s using The Long Tail and The New Rules of Marketing and PR in her class next semester. But I’m also including a couple of chapters from Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur, to provoke some discussion.

Gary Schlee
adds his support for The New Rules…

Abigail Hunter gets the last word: “But does anyone think it strange that in this day of incredible technology, we are still reading BOOKS written on PAPER? Are we not ignoring the technology we are trying to exploit? The greatest info I have received, BY FAR, on promoting my online ventures has come to me online. It’s the most up-to-date, and the ability to contact the author (and get a reply!) is far greater. I came across James Brausch ( which gave me more info than any of the above books – simply because it’s always up-to-the-minute and focused on what I’m trying to do.”

* * *

OK. I’m off to Austin for the conference. I’ll blog or tweet from Austin when I can. Until then, be safe.

Now playing: Various Artists – Shoulda Oughta – Tim Barry
via FoxyTunes


Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

7 thoughts on “Recommended reading for tech-savvy PR”

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog. As a communications professor at Northwood University, I have used David Meerman Scott’s book, New Rules of Marketing and PR, wioth great success. Next semester I am incorporating Geoff Livingston’s book, Now Is Gone.

    Each student has their own blog and is responsible for posting two industry-related posts each week. The majority of learning comes from thought leadership in the blogosphere…not the dry texts.

  2. Lauren – Sounds like a great approach for your class. Is this a PR course you’re teaching?

    I see you have a review of “Now Is Gone” on your blog. Sounds interesting. Thanks for stopping by.

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