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Franco is launching a professional development book club in 2017 to promote lifelong learning and to launch conversations about relevant industry topics. We’ll select books on topics such as public relations, leadership, creativity, social media and marketing. Some you’ll be familiar with from our 2016 and 2015 reading lists and the following 2017 list. We would also love to get your recommendations on industry books that have inspired you. Franco will select a new book each quarter and you’re welcome to follow along. To get us started, here are twelve new books for you to add to your 2017 reading list.


1. Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott

One of the podcasts that I listen to recommended Kim Scott and Russ Laraway’s podcast of the same name. They’ve started the Radical Candor movement to teach you to be a better boss with practical tips and tricks from their time in Silicon Valley. I fully adopt to their philosophy of providing ongoing feedback versus never providing any. Here is a little peak of what you will learn in the book:


2. Marketing: A Love Story by Bernadette Jiwa

Bernadette’s book gets to the point of marketing – helping your customers solve a problem. Forget about promotion tactics and focus on what people need. This inspiring read will make you remember why you got into this business in the first place.



3. Newsjacking by David Meerman Scott

This is a short read, but the concept is exciting. The 24-hour news cycle has completely changed the way we do business. It’s smart to think about things differently and come up with new ways to raise awareness for your clients. Here Scott explains a little more:


4. Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media by Dan Gingiss

Engagement is key for any social media marketer, but I have found that many public relations practitioners have a hard time transitioning corporate writing to social media. This is a great guide on how to have authentic interactions with your customers without the corporate speak.


5. The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

So many times in this industry, we are asked to be creative on demand. What happens when you have an off day? Or your heart isn’t really in a particular project? How do you still pull out the big ideas in those situations? This book is a guide to help you do your best work every day.


6. Killing Marketing: How Innovative Businesses Are Turning Marketing Cost Into Profit by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose

Marketing is SO much more than ads. If that’s the mentality you or your company have, then this is the book for you. Coming out later this year this touches on one of my favorite topics of the moment – disruption.


7. Real Fast Writing: How to Write Faster, 25 of the Hottest, Easy-to-Implement, Under the Radar Strategies You Can Use NOW to Write More, Write Better and Write with Panache! by Daniel Hall

Any book that promises to increase my writing 3x is immediately going on my approved list. Between work and blogging I could use a pep in my proverbial writing step. I especially like the added writing with panache goal. So many times, we get complacent in just getting content out there we forget to make it compelling and engaging.


8. SEO 2017 Learn Search Engine Optimization With Smart Internet Marketing Strategies by Adam Clarke

As PR people, we may not be SEO masters, but so many of the tools that we use are searchable. From news releases to blogs to social media posts this is a great reference guide to help you take advantage of search engine optimization and stay up-to-date with Google’s algorithm.


9. How to Get a Meeting with Anyone: The Untapped Selling Power of Contact Marketing by Stu Heinecke

I LOVE this approach to selling and pitching new clients and opportunities. The idea of designing a plan and attacking it is something that I have done repeatedly in my career. You could even apply this to networking and professional development. As we know in public relations – relationships are everything.


10. Pitch Perfect by Bill McGowan

Emmy Award-winning correspondent, Bill McGowan has coached big names including Eli Manning, Kelly Clarkson, Jack Welch, Thomas Keller and Kenneth Cole. As a public relations professional, media aren’t the only people I have to pitch on a daily basis. Pitching a client on an idea happens on the daily. This book shows you how to craft the perfect pitch.


11. The Art of Crisis Leadership: Save Time, Money, Customers and Ultimately, Your Career by Rob Weinhold and Kevin Cowherd

I like reading industry books that share real-life situations and Rob Weinhold has had his share on executive teams of the Baltimore Police Department, U.S. Department of Justice and working with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. If you want to hear tales from a real-life fixer, this is the book for you.


12. Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi

Another one by Joe Pulizzi but I couldn’t resist. My team has heard me ask about the audience many times – it goes back to the old PR adage – why would anyone care about this? Or WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) Read this before a client meeting or brainstorm and you will definitely deliver a new approach.


Elizabeth Robbins-Sabourin is an account director at Franco. You can reach her at (313) 567-5029 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @DetroitDuchess.

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