Our books of the year (2021)

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.

Our reviewers have enjoyed reading several new and recent books this year, and here’s our pick of those we feel are important reads and of interest to the widest range of readers. These are our three books of the year along with some comments from the reviewers.

Congratulations to the authors of these three books – and also to Kogan Page, the publisher of all three.

Influential Internal Communication by Jenni Field

Influential Internal Communication Jenni Field‘The underlying theme here is that understanding organisations, people, and culture is the starting point for good internal communication – rather than focusing on channels and content without taking account of the broader context.

‘The book is written in a very engaging tone and style with a summary of key points and quick tips at the end of each chapter. There are two parts, one on understanding organisations and people and one on diagnosing and addressing issues that can be discovered through research and data analysis.’

Reviewed by Kevin Ruck

Truth Be Told by John O’Brien and David Gallagher

Truth Be Told‘It’s a book about purpose. Yet the authors warn early on about ‘the misunderstanding that purpose is purely a means of marketing or communicating a message about a business, rather than being the core of why and how a business exists.

‘Purpose and values [shouldn’t] fall into purely becoming a communication exercise,’ they write.

‘The authors provide a breadth of perspective when discussing how purpose has emerged from philanthropy, through corporate community involvement to corporate social responsibility and sustainability.’

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.

‘When the author states that “PR’s future will be a function of our ability to marry the best of technology with uniquely human attributes” and that “technology may enable ‘real time’, but only human analysis and insights empower ‘right time’ decision-making”, then those are conclusions drawn from hands-on experience over more than thirty years in the media intelligence world.’

Reviewed by Thomas Stoeckle