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.
- Public Relations Today – aggregates a daily selection of PR content
- Daily PR Brief – curates a daily selection of PR content by ITK Information Services
- Brad Marley’s Newsletter – a weekly missive with an expert interview by Brad Marley
- Garrett Public Relations – a monthly note with links around a theme by Michelle Garrett
- Monthly Scripts – a monthly round-up of links across PR and marketing (yours truly)
* 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.
You have to keep an eye on blogs because blogs come and go – countless PR blogs used to be great that no longer publish.
- ACH Communications – by solo PR consultant Arik Hanson
- Flack’s Revenge – by Bob Geller who heads Fusion PR
- Bulldog Reporter – a trade publication acquire by PR tech vendor Agility PR
- Muck Rack Blog – a PR tech vendor
- Business Wire Blog – a PR tech vendor
- Institute for PR – tends to be heavy on the academic side
PR and comms podcasts
- The Talking Points Podcast Hanson & Hunt – by Arik Hanson and Kevin Hunt
- For Immediate Release – by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson
PR trade publications
- O’Dwyer’s PR News
- PR News (Access Intelligence)
- Ragan Communications
- PR Daily (owned by Ragan)
- PR Week (Haymarket)
- PRovoke Media (formerly The Holmes Report)
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)
- Barriers to Communication: 5 Reasons PR Campaigns Fail
- Intensify or Downplay: The Hugh Rank Schema for Propaganda
- The Principles Behind Social Media Aren’t New, They are 30 Years Old
Primary PR research
- The Top PR Challenges and Tips for Overcoming Them
- Are Embargoes and Exclusives Still Useful in Media Relations?
- Should the Public Relations Report to the CEO or CMO?
- PR Measurement: How is Communications Proving Value?
- What is PR? 141 PR and Comms Pros Explain What They Do for a Living
Sources for public relations salary benchmarks:
- 2020 Public Relations Salary Survey: How Much Money do PRs Pros Make?
- Marketing Salary Survey Shows the Pandemic is Changing Hiring Trends
- 45-plus places to find communications and PR jobs
Free Online PR courses:
- Fundamentals of Media Relations (certification) by Muck Rack (Free)
Additional public relations resources
- The Meaning of Staying “On Message”
- 10 PR Tips for Making Your Company Easier to Cover
- 12 Things You Should do to Amplify a Media Mention Once You’ve Earned It
- 9 Timeless PR Positioning Strategies
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 Analytics Academy (certification available)
- Google Ads (certification available)
- Fundamentals of digital marketing (certification available)
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)
- SEO Lesson: The Fundamentals of an Effective SEO Content Strategy (10 min.)
- SEO Training Course: Learn How to Achieve Sustainable Organic Traffic Growth (1 hour)
- Learn What Website Optimization Is And How To Do It (1.5 hours)
- Content Marketing Certification (6.5 hours)
- SEO Fundamentals – 1 hour and $49 USD
- Page optimization – 1+ hour and $78 USD
- SEO Essentials Certification ($595 USD and ~6 hours – ask your employer to pay for this professional development)
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.
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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