These books are marketing the change in our world

A Team Book Club

The A-team’s reading list: what we’re reading right now and what these books have taught us, from a PR perspective:

  1. Everything is changing!

Eckhart Tolle’s new title, A New Earth, is maybe the literary hallmark of our changing world. Though incredibly spiritual, the book is filled with practical tools on the ultimate acceptance of things as they are. An okayness with the vast, and fast change of times, as well as a heightened level of awareness. A skill our very own Alexandra Ambarus, who is reading the book currently, calls a gem for PR professionals who now, more than ever, need to provide a service of sensitivity sound boarding.

“We’re needing to operate at a level of deeper compassion and humaneness. As robotics continue to take up more and more roles, it’s becoming clear that there is this human capacity for empathy that could never become redundant.”

Alexandra Ambarus, Account Manager

2. In a changing world, everything is perspective – especially data

Outside Insight by Jørn Lyseggen, CEO of Meltwater, deals with the value of data. How it can be used to make better business decisions in an ever-changing digital world. Historically, CEOs made decisions based on historical data and not forward-thinking data information and analysis. Lyseggen says that for companies to be successful in the evolving world of today, data gleaned from the external environment of a business is much more valuable and appropriate in making business decisions. Adopting such a process puts a business in a better position to track trends in the market, identify competitor behaviours and actions, and to analyse future challenges that may have an impact on the business.

“In the age of data, information is king…but the kingmakers are the ones who will best be able to analyse the data properly and from there, use the information to inform the right decisions.”

Rick Robertson, Account Director

3. There is a growing focus on the essential

Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is about recognising that which is important and meaningful for your life, and steering your efforts away from “more”, to focus on what is essential. What actually matters. Never mind the rest of the unnecessary clutter.

“Economies are tough, audiences have other preoccupations, and it’s important now, that PR work has a focussed approach. A focus on what truly matters to audiences and those messages that anchor the business. This means that our work is less about being a jack-of-all-traits and more about developing key specialisations in order to be effective and valuable consultative partners to our clients.”

Jennifer Kingwill, Account Director

4. Leadership is ever-important

Bukelwa Matshikiza, Account Director, is reading Simon Sinek’s follow-up to his beststeller, Start with Why. Titled Leaders Eat Last, this book looks at strategies to get people on board with your vision and asserts that staff are more willing to take risk when they know that the business will back them.

“In the context of the agency-client relationship, leadership will always be important, and this understanding of leadership as service is critical. Our clients trust us to guide them in the PR and reputation space, and in turn, it’s important for us to service them with keen support.”

Bukelwa Matshikiza, Account Director

5. Always, always know some stuff

Account Director, Claire Williams is reading Rapid Fire by John Maytham. A compilation of Q&As from a segment of his show. Here, Maytham shares bite-sized snippets of information, like the origin story of the name Bluetooth from Harald Bluetooth, named for his dead tooth, which was a dark blue/grey colour, and was meant to be a placeholder name until marketing could come up with something catchier.

“General knowledge is always something I am interested in. It makes for great conversation starters, especially during those awkward silences with clients or at networking events which can happen from time to time!”

Claire Williams, Account Director

6. Integrity will always matter

Becoming by Michelle Obama is a book about many things. Zeal, tenacity, resilience, change… most importantly, it is a book about integrity. About turning your life around to do what you said you would do. About walking into many strange rooms, with a bolt of change about you, and being brave anyway, because of sober character. It is a story about treating others well. And treating yourself well.

“For me, this book is a life lesson. It taught me to live ethically. To always do the right thing. In my work, this means doing the right thing by those that I work with, by my clients and by audiences to whom we communicate.”

Ashley Makue, Senior Account Manager.
Compiled and edited by Ashley Makue

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