Three Must Read Marketing & Communications Books

For communications professionals, it’s always challenging to find time for pleasure reading. After you make the effort, you’ll discover precious nuggets of gold worth sharing. Therefore, I’m challenging you to set technology aside for a few hours every weekend, and sift through the pages of one of three excellent books I’ve recommended. I promise, you won’t regret it…

4 Steps to Building Your Future: Dan Schawbel

As a communications professional, I’ve realized the importance of maintaining my own personal brand. After reading Schawbel’s book in the fall, I was inspired to use Twitter to market myself, reach out to hiring managers on LinkedIn and to launch a marketing and communications blog. Overall, his insight into personal branding motivated me to be more persistent, confident and innovative during the entire job search process. He advises students to actively search for internships, and to use technology to their benefit while looking for a full-time job.

Schawbel explains that introducing yourself to a professional on Twitter is like shaking hands. Interacting through other social mediums like LinkedIn and Facebook is  part of  the natural progression. So don’t be afraid to promote yourself online by highlighting your professional skills.

Inbound Marketing: Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah

When I started my internship at echogravity, a start up marketing agency my supervisor mailed me this book. The authors Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shaw attended MIT in 2004, and co-founded HubSpot, an inbound marketing agency located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The book delves into the importance of inbound marketing which simply means getting found using Google, social media and blogs. I’ve discussed this concept with marketers who argue that outbound marketing serves B2C clients more effectively. Nonetheless, it’s a great read and will have you dreaming about lead generation, and content marketing once you’re finished.

The Elements of Content Strategy: Erin Kissane

“Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, useable content” according to renowned content strategist Kristina Halvorson.

So why is content development, and maintenance so complicated then? Erin Kissane, a content strategist at Brain Traffic breaks down the intricacies of content strategy in her book, identifying its key influences: the editor, the curator, the marketer, and the information scientist. Content strategy is a very important discipline because it informs all aspects of the web including design, information architecture and user experience. For anyone who’s interested in digital marketing, this book is a must read.

As a professional communicator, it’s also important to find solace in unexpected places. Poetry, philosophy, music, nature and God are all incredibly inspiring to me. Next time you’ve got writers block, go for a walk in the park and take in the scenery. If you enjoy poetry, then take a 15 minute break during the work day to read a few poems by Emily Dickinson. Listening to a few tunes from Belle and Sebastian, Laura Marling, or Iron and Wine always relaxes me. Moral of the story- it’s okay to take a break every now and then.

Image Credit: lynn.gardner via Flickr


3 Responses to “Three Must Read Marketing & Communications Books”

  1. Michelle February 8, 2012 8:23 pm #


    I liked that your post was informative on the books and explained them in a short synopsis.. I want to read the book by Dan Schwabel. Hopefully it will motivate me to set up a LinkedIN account.

  2. Kevin O'Brien February 17, 2012 5:37 am #

    I would also add “Content Rules” as another in this list. Good book for content marketing!


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