top books about pr

As a PR professional, be it an expert or a beginner; you mustn’t miss reading these books


Reading books is a great source to learn and grow your knowledge and skills as an expert communicator. Someone has famously said that “Readers are Leaders” and most of the Public Relations professionals are known to be avid readers.

Keeping the same in mind, we have curated a list of top 10 books which we feel could be relevant and make interesting reading for a communications professional. In case you have more names up your sleeves, do share them with us in the comments section for the benefit of our fellow readers 🙂

For your convenience, we have linked the titles with the book links on Amazon.

1. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

New York Times bestseller and named Best Marketing Book of 2014 by the American Marketing Association, Contagious combines groundbreaking research with powerful stories.

This book provides a set of specific, actionable techniques for helping information spread – for designing messages, advertisements, and information that people will share. Whether you’re at managerial level in the PR industry or a beginner trying to boost awareness and skills, Contagious is a good source to show you the right way.

2. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

Again, New York Times bestselling author Donald Miller gave solutions to the struggle of the business owners when they talk about business or brand. Building a StoryBrand describes the seven universal story points all humans respond to; the real reason customers make purchases; a way to simplify a brand message so people understand it; and a way to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media.

This book may be very helpful in building a perspective to build stories for your clients.

3. A Modern Guide to Public Relations: Unveiling the Mystery of PR by Amy Rosenberg

This modern guide is Amy Rosenberg’s no-frills path to public relations is everything you need to know about launching a PR career or adding new skills to a flourishing marketing position. 

The Modern Guide to Public Relations acts as a tough-loving mentor for anyone starting their PR career or trying to get ahead in marketing by picking up new skills, methodology and a fresh perspective. The book discussed the best way to pitch ideas to/communicate with different types of media.

The book not only covers the modern PR revolutions but also includes Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media & PR Best Practices.

4. Myths of PR: All Publicity Is Good Publicity and Other Popular Misconceptions by Rich Leigh

‘Myths of PR’ uncovers the myths and realistically captures the essence of public relations in today’s era and educates the business community about its value and role in achieving commercial success. 

The book talks about both the good and the bad in PR today, it is basically an ethics manual every practitioner in PR should read.

5. Harold Burson on Public Relations: The Business of Persuasion

Harold Burson, was described by PR Week as the 20th century’s most influential PR figure, and is perhaps the most recognized name in the industry today.

The book is a comprehensive chronicling of Harold Burson’s phenomenal experiences on his journey from solo practitioner to the world’s most accomplished communications executive. 

Burson shows readers what public relations really entails–its challenges, methodologies, and impacts.

6. Feeding the Media Beast: An Easy Recipe for Great Publicity by Mark E.Mathis

Mark E. Mathis presents unique ideas on conveying information and shows you how to use this highly potent marketing machine to promote your product or idea.

Former news anchor and reporter Mark Mathis gives publicity seekers a simple and highly practical formula to follow through Feeding the Media Beast. 

Unlike other books, it’s an easy recipe for great publicity which  explains how to deal with journalists in a systematic way. This book establishes 12 rules that cover everything any PR person ever needs to know.

7.  Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age by Gini Dietrich

Drafting a compelling message which can convince readers to make a positive mindset about any brand, is the challenging task for every PR pro.

Most PR books tell you how to ‘spin’ your message. ‘Spin sucks’ will teach you how to communicate honestly, responsibly, openly, and authentically and to earn the trust of your customers, stakeholders, investors, and communities based on that honesty.

Writing is an art and writing something which influences the decision of readers is a writing skill which every PR person should know.

8. The Global PR Revolution: How Thought Leaders Succeed in the Transformed World of PR by Maxim Behar

PR is everything and everywhere. Now more than ever, managing social media is a nuanced and dynamic field that requires the sophisticated touch of a trained professional. What was effective ten or even five years ago is no longer relevant. In The Global PR Revolution, public relations expert Maxim Behar shows readers how to master current approaches, create content that meets a client’s needs, and evolve with ever-changing trends.

Maxim Behar has the advantage of being familiar with the current challenges of the profession, as well the pre-2.0 environment. The book is an interesting overview of what does it mean PR nowadays in the digital era.

9. Agile PR: Expert Messaging in a Hyper-connected, Always-on World by Marian Salzman, The Team at Havas Pr (With), Aaron Sherinian (Foreword)

Bloggers, influencers, citizen journalists…today’s news landscape is crowded and constantly changing. As a PR professional, how do you match your message to the medium and ensure that it gets heard above the noise?

Mariam Salzman is making us realize that the rules of marketing and PR keep changing and we have to adapt our messages accordingly to get noticed. Since the lines between journalists and amateurs sharing the news are blurry, we have to make our promotional techniques more agile. 

By weaving in real-life experiences from running her company Havas PR, she shows us one of the best promotional tools – writing a book that offers a lot of useful info. Agile PR unlocks industry secrets sure to help anyone broaden their reach and increase their impact.

10. Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday

A riveting book; Trust Me, I’m Lying: is Ryan Holiday’s confessions as a Media Manipulator. A former public-relations strategist, talks about the harsh reality giving examples of his own experiences. He wrote in depth about how fast rumors travel online and get traded up the media ecosystem until they become real headlines and generate real responses in the real world. 

The culprit of this, based on his own experiences? 

Marketers and professional media manipulators, encouraged by the toxic economics of the news business.

There are a ton of great books out there that can help you upskill your PR skills. We’ve put together our list of the top 10, but if you have something to add, please let us know in the comments below!

For regular updates and tips on public relations, content distribution, digital marketing and media management; let’s connect with each other on social media.

Note: The above list is researched and curated on the basis of  reviews by the top publications and readers’ ratings on platforms like Goodreads and

1 thought on “10 Books about PR that every PR practitioner must read”

  1. Much thanks for giving me a smart blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *