Books of the year (to date)

About the author

Richard Bailey FCIPR MPRCA is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

It’s been a productive first half of the year with several noteworthy books published in our field. Here’s a summary of what our reviewers have said about these new books, followed by some reviews of previously published sources.

We’re always keen to hear from authors, publishers and publicists promoting books relevant to public relations, public affairs and iternal communicaiton – and would also welcome offers to review new books.

Influential Internal Communication by Jenni Field

Influential Internal Communication Jenni Field‘Internal communication that is reduced simplistically to copy writing, messaging, video production or event management without a good understanding of how organisations work is unlikely to have the desired impact. This book is therefore a publication that builds from a knowledge of basic capabilities, challenging practitioners to think more broadly and to incorporate research and analysis into effective practice.’

Reviewed by Kevin Ruck

Truth Be Told by John O’Brien and David Gallagher

Truth Be Told‘This book is an intelligent and powerfully-argued manifesto for change, backed up by a succession of useful consultants’ models that can be applied to different clients and circumstances. So it’s intellectual and practical: what more could you want?’

Reviewed by Richard Bailey

PR Technology Data and Insights by Mark Weiner

‘This is a confident, practical, and skilful no-frills guidebook – confidence and skill grounded in and honed over many years of successful practice in a field that has shaped the author as much as he has shaped it. It is also a humble book, approaching hyperbole-prone themes such as big data and artificial intelligence with a healthy dose of experience-based realism.’

Reviewed by Thomas Stoeckle

Public Relations Ethics by Trevor Morris and Simon Goldsworthy

Their summary of public relations academic debates around the ‘two-way symmetric model’ is well judged. Then comes the sting: their objection to fashionable critical perspectives that focus on ‘perceived power imbalances, inequality, feminism and issues around diversity, identity and inclusion’ is that these academics are ‘simply talking to themselves and losing touch with the realities of the industry they are supposed to study’.’ 

Reviewed by Richard Bailey

Exploring Public Relations and Management Communication edited by Ralph Tench and Stephen Waddington

Exploring Public Relations‘There can’t be a single self-respecting PR student in the country who hasn’t spent at least one late night holed up with Tench and Yeomans and an assorted pack of post it notes. It is a tome which has seen me through each of my Master’s modules, from Corporate Communications within an Intercultural Context to PR Skills, and Strategic Communication in between.’

Reviewed by Teela Clayton

Influencer Marketing edited by Sevil Yesiloglu and Joyce Costello 

Influencer Marketing‘There are useful insights into why young people are open to being sold to on social media: many are motivated by a fear of missing out (FOMO) while ‘parasocial relationship theory’ explains why ‘consumers, particularly adolescents, typically admire social media influences and consider them like their friends’.’

Reviewed by Richard Bailey

Strategic Internal Communication by Susanne Dahlman and Mats Heide

‘This book by Dahlman and Heide is not an academic text book. As the authors make clear from the start, their aim is to bridge the gap between theoretically advanced books and ‘cookbooks’ with overly simple recipes for complex problems. The book is, therefore, (as they hoped) an easy read. It is not heavily referenced in the text, although there are plenty of academic sources to underpin the thinking. But it is a challenging read for practitioners locked in a channel management mindset, as it requires such readers to think about whether they are doing the right things.’

Reviewed by Kevin Ruck

Other reviews and round-ups published this year to date

Propaganda Blitz by David Edwards and David Cromwell

‘The authors of this 2018 publication, David Edwards and David Cromwell, founded the critical news site, Media Lens in 2001 and their thought-provoking book draws on many years of monitoring and analysis of what they describe as the “corporate media”.’

Reviewed by Gareth Thompson

The Seven Best Books on Writing selected by Anne Nicholls

‘Many of the world’s finest writers – whether novelists, journalists, poets or playwrights – have spent years mastering their craft, yet still agonise over finding the exact words to convey meaning. Some admit to producing garbage in the early years of their career before they mastered their craft. A few have a natural gift for writing, but most have had a long apprenticeship.