Five Books for Nonprofit Public Relations Teams

Table of Contents

Nonprofit public relations typically requires a broad scope of work that includes community relations, media relations, public affairs, and consumer relations. This sector is a dynamic landscape brimming with new knowledge every single day. Industry professionals must dedicate themselves to continuous learning so that they (and their organizations) are not left behind. Many do this through a healthy mix of newsletters, articles, and conversations with peers. Although this form of professional development is relevant, it’s not always practical and can lack depth. 

Another way to develop new skills and invest in professional growth is with books about public relations best practices and theories.

Books aren’t just for the up-and-coming public relations pros in school anymore. There’s a wide range of comprehensive, easy-to-read guidebooks that can help anyone, regardless of industry, become a more well-rounded professional for their organization. Better yet, there are books written specifically for those in nonprofits, with tips and advice to meet the unique challenges faced there.

Here are five books that every nonprofit public relations pro, in-house or agency, should read.

*The Blake Agency is not affiliated with the publishers or distributors of these titles, nor is The Blake Agency compensated for any purchases made through links.

 

PR Lessons Learned Along the Way: Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional

Among BookAuthority’s ‘Best PR Books of All Time’, PR Lessons Learned Along the Way; Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional by Marc C. Whitt is a must-have in any public relation specialist’s arsenal. 

Though only released in May 2020, PR Lessons Learned Along the Way has garnered mass critical acclaim. The title has been included on the Public Relations and Communication Association’s (PRCA) Recommended Read list, was the number one new release for PR books on Amazon in June 2020, and named The Best New PR Book to Read in 2021 by PR Intelligence

Whitt is a public relations veteran. As the current Director of Media and Strategic Relations at the University of Kentucky’s Office of Public Relations with over 35 years of public relations experience, he is well-equipped to write this instructional text. PR Lessons Learned Along the Way is full of the experiences and insights Whitt cultivated during his career in higher education and nonprofit public relations. The book gives readers ‘strategies, tips, and advice addressing pertinent topics of their role in higher education or nonprofit public relations: program leadership and management, crisis communications, social media, earned media, storytelling, philanthropy and donor communications, town and gown relations branding and much more.’

PR Lessons Learned Along the Way was written to ‘encourage, inspire, and hopefully lead you to consider ways to become an even more effective public relations professional.’

 

The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause

style=”color: red”Written by Kivi Leroux Miller, founder of NonprofitMarketingGuide.com, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause is a practical guide for nonprofits to maximize their reach while remaining on tight budgets. By mentoring, advising, and consulting more than 150 nonprofit communications directors and teams, Miller has made herself an expert in nonprofit communications and maintains a well-respected resource through her top-ranked blog on NonprofitMarketingGuide.com

This book gives readers a “simple, yet powerful” framework for organizations to build a solid marketing plan that is suited to their mission, no matter their resources. Easy to read and just as down to earth as Miller’s blogs are, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide provides much-needed direction, cost-effective tips, and smart techniques that will alleviate the overwhelmed feeling that comes with the many hats public relations professionals wear. 

The Nonprofit Marketing Guide is the ace-in-the-hole for public relations professionals who are looking to move into working with nonprofits or want to maximize their impact in their current organization.

The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change

The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change is a roadmap for nonprofit leaders looking to get their organizations better connected via social technologies. While published in 2010, The Networked Nonprofit provides critical historical context and still deeply relevant narrative examples to show how nonprofits can be engaging in an ever-expanding digital world. 

Beth Kanter, a digital strategist with over 20 years of experience working with nonprofits and one of the most influential women in technology according to Fast Company, gives PR professionals the tools they need to harness the limitless potential of the Internet. Kanter demonstrates that the digital frontier is the place for organizations to experiment with how they connect people to their causes. The book is the product of Kanter’s years of work as a communications executive in multiple companies and desire to continue sharing insights with other professionals.

The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change is for the nonprofit professional who wants to optimize their organization’s online presence and utilize social media to make connections that create meaningful change. 

A Modern Guide to Public Relations: Unveiling the Mystery of PR: Including: Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media & PR Best Practices

A Modern Guide to Public Relations: Unveiling the Mystery of PR: Including: Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media & PR Best Practices is a “no frills guide to public relations” with tips and advice for entry-level PR professionals or anyone looking to learn new skills in their current marketing role. This book goes over everything from search engine optimization, to content creation, to making connections with members of traditional media online. A Modern Guide takes a tough-love approach to teaching readers new skills and a fresh perspective on a rapidly-changing industry. 

The author, Amy Rosenberg, is the founder and president of Veracity, a Portland-based marketing and PR Agency, the host of PR Talk (sponsored by the PRSA of Oregon), and one of PRNews’s ‘Top Women in PR.’ With over 20 years of marketing experience, Rosenberg uses A Modern Guide to consolidate her experience working her way up to management at two firms as well as building her own in one easy-to-digest book for new and experienced PR professionals alike.

The book is an up-to-date, need-to-know guide that anyone in public relations, in-house or agency, should have on hand. 

Laws of Promotion: The Quintessential Marketing Guide to Help Any Small Business or Nonprofit Put Promotion in Motion

Coming in at just about 50 pages, Laws of Promotion: The Quintessential Marketing Guide to Help Any Small Business or Nonprofit Put Promotion in Motion, is the shortest book for public relations pros on the market. Yet, it manages to pack a wealth of information into just three basic laws, along with several tools to help anyone develop or improve their promotion plans in just an afternoon. It’s perfect for smaller organizations with directors or executives that are overwhelmed by the mania that comes with understaffed and underfunded (or nonexistent) public relations departments. 

The book provides activities, free downloads, and illustrations developed by Leslie A.M. Smith, a public relations consultant and trainer who is dedicated to teaching public relations without all the jargon or acronyms. Readers will find that her passion for small business owners and local nonprofits shows in the advice she gives throughout the book.

Laws of Promotion is a short, sweet, to-the-point guide for marketing directors of small businesses or local nonprofits to hit the ground running with promotional planning or a quick primer for a public relations newbie who doesn’t quite know where to start.

*The Blake Agency is not affiliated with the publishers or distributors of these titles, nor is The Blake Agency compensated for any purchases made through links.

 

D. James, PR Assistant

D. James, PR Assistant

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