Five Good Reads for Communications Professionals

June 14, 2019

Photo credit: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Nothing in life is better at simultaneously sharpening the mind and nurturing the soul than a good book. I’m sure I was born with this knowledge, because books have called to me for as long as I can remember. The feeling of losing oneself in a story, of being transported to another world, is a magic beyond compare. I constantly crave the motivation and inspiration that sparks within me in response to reading an excellent work of nonfiction. It’s an experience to which I’m sure many can relate.

Page by page, chapter by chapter, books transform us, teach us, mold us, improve us, entertain us, humble us and guide us. Yes, we can live without them, but what would be the point? Unfortunately, in the busyness of life, reading books often falls to the bottom of the to-do list for many. After a long day of work, fulfilling duties at home and maintaining friendships, it’s often much easier to zone out in front of the television than to crack open that book on your nightstand.

As communications professionals though, it’s critical that we make reading a priority. For one, if you don’t read, you simply cannot write well. More, our jobs hinge on understanding current trends across society, science, business, politics and pop culture. Books are instrumental in informing people, with a depth that daily newsfeeds cannot match. If you aren’t already an active reader, knowing where to start can be hard. So below, in no particular order, we’ve provided our list of five ‘must-read’ books for everyone in business and communications.

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman is an engaging examination of how our minds work. The author digs in to the two systems of our thinking and how to nurture them to improve decision making, strategy, happiness and success.
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth presents new research on what factors determine high achievement. Duckworth demonstrates why, in attaining success, determination far outweighs talent and luck.
  • Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath is a “fast-paced tour of success stories,” of some of the stickiest ideas in modern culture. The author shares ways to make ideas and messages stick around.
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie gives readers all the tools they need to achieve their highest potential. Widely considered an essential read for personal and career betterment, this book offers important insights that can be directly applied to communications strategies.
  • On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinnser couldn’t be more relevant than it is now, in today’s content-driven world. A manual for sound writing, On Writing Well explains fundamentals and tips from a true expert.

And, for extra credit, 1984 by George Orwell. One of the most talked about and influential books of the past century, Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece has recently reentered the spotlight of societal significance. While it doesn’t offer specific lessons for business or communications, it is a moving and important examination of politics and humanity.

If you’re already actively reading, good on you. Let us know what’s on your must-read list! If you aren’t, visit your neighborhood bookstore, pick up a title from our list, and settle in. Because, in the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Ashley, Director of Content

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