Gini Dietrich

12 Days of Christmas: Ten Books for Communicators

By: Gini Dietrich | December 18, 2018 | 
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books for communicatorsOn the tenth day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to me…10 books for communicators, nine PR pros to follow, eight podcasts to subscribe to, seven blogs to read, six online courses, five effective storytelling rules, four productivity tools, three books on writing, two marketing trends, and a professional goal for 2019.

At the very beginning of this series, we did three books on writing.

Today, I want to give you books that will make you a more well-rounded communicator—not just PR-type stuff, but business, leadership, communications, marketing, search, and more.

Without further ado…

Books for Communicators: Brand Now

Capture their attention-and keep it, says the description of Brand Now, the book on how to build a brand in the digital age.

(And with a foreword written by someone you might recognize.)

With the rise of digital media, you’d think it would be easier than ever to be heard. Yet, we all know most messages fail to cut through the clutter.

Consumers are overwhelmed.

Ads alone aren’t effective.

And you can’t just churn out content and connect on every social network.

To stand out today, you need to start with your brand.

Brand Now uncovers the new rules of branding in our complex and chaotic world.

Nick Westergaard has written a fun book about how to:

  • Reinforce it with the right touchpoints
  • Hone your brand’s unique story
  • Share it through engaging content
  • Cultivate a sense of community
  • Craft a coherent experience
  • Stand out with simplicity and transparency

The world may be growing louder, but with you can break through with these tips, ideas, and toolbox.

Books for Communicators: Break the Wheel

Our world is flooded by advice, ideas, and experts, but we shouldn’t make decisions based on “best practices.”

Instead, we should do what works best for us, building careers and companies with the sort of clarity that leads to exceptional work.

Only, first, we need to escape the endless cycle of stale approaches and trendy tactics that holds us back.

We need to Break the Wheel.

In this quick-hitting, powerful book, our good friend, Jay Acunzo, hands us a sledgehammer.

With a diverse range of real-world stories, Break the Wheel offers a simple but powerful way to think for yourself when surrounded by conventional thinking.

Along the way, he offers six fundamental questions to ask in any situation to start making the best possible decisions, regardless of the best practice.

Stop relying on generic advice.

With this book, say goodbye to average work and hello to doing your best.

Books for Communicators: Conversion Code

The Conversion Code provides a step-by-step blueprint for increasing sales in the modern, internet-driven era.

It’s becoming increasingly important to stand out—ignore best practices, stop doing what everyone else is doing, build your own brand—and, along with the two aforementioned books, this book helps you do just that.

It provides clear guidance toward conquering the new paradigm shift towards online lead generation and inside sales.

You’ll learn how to capture those invaluable internet leads, convert them into appointments, and close more deals.

This book shows you where to find those leads, how to engage them, and how to position your company as the ideal solution to their needs.

Books for Communicators: Crisis Ready

No matter your level of security, due diligence, or control, the reality is that we live in uncertain times.

Organizations are prone to a multitude of risks that can attack from every angle.

And, yet, the greatest exposure does not lie within these risks.

Rather, it lies in having a team that is not prepared to anticipate, foresee, or respond to a rising threat and how it will affect your reputation, revenue, and relationships in real-time.

When your team is crisis ready, your organization is prepared for anything and everything that the modern world can throw at it.

Crisis Ready is not about crisis management—management is what happens after the negative event has occurred.

Readiness is what is done to build an invincible brand, where negative situations don’t occur and even if they do, they’re instantly overcome in a way that leads to increased organizational trust, credibility, and goodwill.

This book is your roadmap to business invincibility.

Books for Communicators: Inbound PR

Inbound PR is the handbook that can transform your agency’s business because it provides a new way to build brands, evaluate performance, and track return-on-investment.

The ability to reach consumers, build relationships, and quantify PR services allows you to develop an inbound business and the internal capabilities to meet and exceed the needs of the most demanding client.

In this digital age of constant contact and worldwide platforms, it’s the only way to sustainably grow your business and expand your reach while bolstering your effectiveness on any platform.

This book shows you what you need to know, and gives you a clear framework for putting numbers to reputation.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build brand awareness without “marketing to” the audience
  • Generate more, higher-quality customer or media leads
  • Close the deal and nurture the customer or media relationship
  • Track the ROI of each stage in the process

Inbound PR provides critical guidance for PR growth in the digital era, complete with a practical framework for stimulating that growth.

Books for Communicators: Radical Candor

From the time we learn to speak, we’re told that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

When you become a manager, it’s your job to say it—and your obligation.

Author Kim Scott was an executive at Google and then at Apple, where she worked with a team to develop a class on how to be a good boss.

Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to care personally at the same time that you challenge directly.

When you challenge without caring, it’s obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging, it’s ruinous empathy. It becomes manipulative insincerity when you do neither.

This simple framework can help you build better relationships at work, and fulfill your three key responsibilities as a leader: creating a culture of feedback (praise and criticism), building a cohesive team, and achieving results you’re all proud of.

In a world where the nice guy finishes last, it’s good to have a book that shows managers how to be successful while retaining their humanity.

Books for Communicators: Rocket Fuel

One of my favorite all-time business books is Traction, which is written for business owners.

So I was really excited when the authors published Rocket Fuel because it’s written for the teams of people who surround a business owner to help him or her reach their vision.

As the book’s cover says:

Visionaries have groundbreaking ideas. Integrators make those ideas a reality. This explosive combination is the key to getting everything you want out of your business. It worked for Disney. And for McDonald’s. And for Ford. It can work for you.

The book details the integral roles of the visionary and of the integrator and explains how an effective relationship between the two can help an organization thrive.

When these two people come together to share their natural talents and innate skill sets, it’s like rocket fuel—they have the power to reach new heights for virtually any company or organization.

Books for Communicators: Building a StoryBrand

The process in Building a StoryBrand is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses.

It provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services.

Building a StoryBrand does this by teaching the seven universal story points all humans respond to; the real reason customers make purchases; how to simplify a brand message so people understand it; and how to create the most effective messaging.

It will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.

Books for Communicators: Talk Triggers

According to Talk Triggers:

Word-of mouth is directly responsible for 19 percent of all purchases, and influences as much as 90 percent. Every human on earth relies on word-of-mouth to make buying decisions. Yet even today, fewer than one percent of companies have an actual strategy for generating these crucial customer conversations. 

The key to activating customer chatter is the realization that same is lame (and best practices are for the birds—bringing it all full circle).

Nobody says, “Let me tell you about this perfectly adequate experience I had last night.”

The strategic, operational differentiator is what gives customers something to tell a story about.

This book has a case study for every situation—so you’ll find lots of ideas to fit your 2019 word-of-mouth plans.

Books for Communicators: Virtual Freedom

Entrepreneurs often suffer from ”superhero syndrome”—the misconception that to be successful, they must do everything themselves.

Not only are they the boss, but also the salesperson, HR manager, copywriter, operations manager, online marketing guru, and so much more.

Chip Griffin and I have a forthcoming episode (right after the first of the year) about this very topic on the Agency Leadership podcast.

But you can outsource some things and I really love how Chris Ducker simplifies it for you—and gives you permission to not only delegate, but to find the right people to help.

Virtual Freedom is the step-by-step guide every entrepreneur needs to build his or her business with the asset of working with virtual employees.

Focusing on business growth, Ducker explains every detail you need to grasp, from figuring out which jobs you should outsource to finding, hiring, training, motivating, and managing a virtual team.

Books for Communicators: Your Turn

As I put together this article, I asked the Spin Sucks Community for the best business books they’ve read this year.

Here is what they included:

There were also several people who suggested Break the WheelInbound PR, Talk Triggers, and Radical Candor.

So, if you have to prioritize, I would start with those four.

And now it’s your turn…what would you add to the list?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, the lead blogger at Spin Sucks, and the host of Spin Sucks the podcast. She also is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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