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28 Plus Public Relations Resources to Brush up and Stay Sharp in Comms

A carefully curated list of public relations resources like newsletters, blogs, podcasts, trades and books for staying up to speed in comms

The other day Google alerted me to the fact someone had mentioned this blog in response to this Reddit post (r/PublicRelations/):

“I had an interview for a communications officer role and during this interview, I realized that I need to brush up on my PR/communication theories/skills. What books do you recommend? Which organizations, blogs, anything communications/PR, do you recommend subscribing?”

I’m grateful to whoever mentioned my work; this blog has been publishing for more than 10 years. It also made me realize I can easily list out other public relations resources that I review on at least a monthly basis. This list isn’t intended to be exhaustive, but rather the resources below are some that I find helpful and think you might too. I may add or remove resources over time.

PR newsletters

* I know how much work goes into a good newsletter. If you have one and would like me to look, please drop a link to a sample in the comments.

PR blogs

You have to keep an eye on blogs because blogs come and go – countless PR blogs used to be great that no longer publish.

PR and comms podcasts

PR trade publications

Recommended books for PR Pros

Here are some books that will instill ideas for your entire career. Keep in mind many of these are also available on audio today

  • The Art of Rhetoric by Aristotle
  • New Rules for Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
  • Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout
  • The Fall of Advertising and Rise of PR by Al Ries and Laura Ries
  • Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore (a must-read for B2B professionals)
  • Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy (must read for agency professionals; here’s a bit about Mr. Ogilvy’s last public interview)
  • The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioral Biases that Influence Why We Buy by Richard Shotton
  • Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi (see my book review)
  • Kotler on Marketing by Philip Kotler

Communications theory (academic)

Primary PR research

Sources for public relations salary benchmarks:

Free Online PR courses:

Additional public relations resources

Beyond PR: SEO and content

Research shows PR pros tend to be weak in technical skills, like analytics and SEO. Don’t let this be you! Learn about adjacent disciplines and tools and you’ll be in a better position to understand how PR best fits into the overall picture. Some offer certifications that you can add to your LinkedIn profile. Here are some I recommend.

Google (free)

Note: Google certifications are comprised of multiple courses. Certifications will take ~40 hours of course work and a test. I’ve used the analytics product for ~10 years but I took two courses and it filled in some gaps in my knowledge for me.

Hubspot Academy (free)

Moz (paid)

Moz also offers a free guide (online book) called the Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

Two tips for managing the information deluge

Let me offer two ways to manage a high volume of information. First, find a good old-fashioned RSS reader (I use Netvibes on a laptop and the Feedly app on a phone) and use that to create a dashboard for those pubs that still offer RSS. It’s an older technology but I still find it useful.

The second option is to set up an email address just for subscriptions. I use a Gmail address for this purpose, and I use the filters Gmail offers to surface and direct my attention to topics in those newsletters that are of special interest. This keeps my work inbox from getting cluttered and I schedule time each day to methodically go through the news and content.

* * *

Have a public relations resource you’d like me to check out and consider listing? All considerate inquires will be reviewed carefully. Please drop a link to the resource in the comments below.

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Image credit: Photo by bady abbas on Unsplash

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