Monday December 10, 2012
I was really pleased to see books by two authors known to us here at PR Academy on the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Book of the Year shortlist. Kevin Murray's book "The Language of Leaders" is there. Kevin was a guest at one of our alumni events this year. Also there are two by Max McKeown who was the guest speaker at the recent CIPR Inside conference that Kevin Ruck from PR Academy chaired - "Adaptability" and "The Strategy Book". Each is a really good read and we wish them both luck in the contest.
It got me thinking about PR books and how much harder it is for PR practitioners to identify the latest good PR read. Surely if we want to develop constantly as a profession and as individual practitioners, we need to keep up to date with the latest thinking?
Members of professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and CMI have publications that review latest books and thinking - PR doesn't.
It is a call that was made by Richard Bailey in "Share This" the social media handbook for PR people published by the CIPR. Richard edits Behind the Spin and is a lecturer with us at PR Academy and with Leeds Met. He calls for PR Week to copy from other professional journals in featuring reviews of new books and research of relevance to practitioners. For Richard, its part of developing a culture of life long learning for PR.
If you are a practitioner - when was the last time you read a book about PR? If you have studied for a qualification you would have done, but have you since? It is the same question that Heather Yaxley asked on the PR Conversations blog back in August.
So why doesnt PR put the same focus on books and research that other professions do? How do we move practice on if we arent absorbing latest thinking? Are there really still practitioners out there who think is is all 'seat of the pants' and there is nothing for them to learn? We all have something to learn don't we?
Is this lack of interest in books for PR a reflection of the business that we are in? Does it show that we still dont really see it as a profession underpinned by a body of knowledge?