What’s on your bookshelf?

Richard Bailey emailed me this morning asking for my top 10 most referenced books for Behind the Spin – the magazine for public relations students and young practitioners.

I replied immediately – not least because it is a horribly wet and depressing day, and my workload comprises a host of tasks that require me to start by finding the wood underneath all the paperwork on my desk.

You can read my resulting response at Bookshelf: Heather Yaxley : Behind the Spin.

It is really hard to limit yourself to ten books as there are so many more that I refer to during teaching and/or general discussion.  Indeed, my list is always increasing through recommendations from students, visiting Bournemouth University library, idling away time on Amazon or following up on references in other work.

But I can imagine there are many PR practitioners who if asked about the professional books they would recommend, would look at you blankly.  I know that one of the joys – and pains – of the CIPR Advanced Certificate and Diploma students is the vast volume of work to read relating to public relations.

I long ago learned how to write a perfect press release, organise an event or produce a strategic planning report – so my interest isn’t in the ‘how’ of public relations, so much as the ‘why’.

Indeed, I remember as an annoying small child that ‘why’ was one of my favourite questions.  No wonder my mum taught me to read at an early age – she could then point me in the direction of books to find all the answers.

I can find lots of answers via the Internet today, but still discover so much more when reading a good (or even a bad) book.  I am pondering treating myself to the Sony ReaderWaterstone’s has a growing list of eBooks – although it is unlikely to be adding from my top 10 referenced PR books anytime soon.

This seems a shame as I’m sure students would find accessing PR textbooks much easier if they could use a gadget rather than that rather “old-fashioned” thing called the library.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

3 thoughts on “What’s on your bookshelf?”

  1. I agree that the focus tends to shift from the ‘how’ to the ‘why’ over time.

    But I’m also interested in the intersection between the instant and the considered: your post was the quickest I’ve managed to commission and post on Behind the Spin – but of course you’ve spent years reading these books, using them in your teaching and perhaps even in PR practice too, so there’s a depth of reflection and consideration on display.

    The Economist has a good piece on blogging this week: ‘Oh, grow up’ saying that blogging may no longer be cool, but it has entered the maintstream. What it’s lost in fashionability, it’s gained in utility. Couldn’t agree more.

  2. I agree that the focus tends to shift from the ‘how’ to the ‘why’ over time.

    But I’m also interested in the intersection between the instant and the considered: your post was the quickest I’ve managed to commission and post on Behind the Spin – but of course you’ve spent years reading these books, using them in your teaching and perhaps even in PR practice too, so there’s a depth of reflection and consideration on display.

    The Economist has a good piece on blogging this week: ‘Oh, grow up’ saying that blogging may no longer be cool, but it has entered the maintstream. What it’s lost in fashionability, it’s gained in utility. Couldn’t agree more.

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