A Public Relations Book Group For Students and Professionals

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Jan 14, 2009 in Blogging, PRSSA, Public Relations |

Over my winter break, I started working on a new project:

A public relations book group.

The idea stemmed from a discussion I had with the PRSSA president at CMU, Christine Kunde. Since then, I’ve been brainstorming ideas with Nick Lucido, the PRSSA president at Michigan State University.

The book group would be open to PR students and professionals and they would discuss the book online, through chat, forum or blog.

Book selections might not specifically focus on PR, because professional development, writing, business and career-related books also would be helpful to read.

Through Twitter, I found several people who were interested in joining, including Meg Roberts, @jrdbryan and @LJZuber.

A group like this would not only offer professional development, but also an opportunity to network among our peers. I’m thinking that PR instructors, like Teaching PR and Public Relations Matters, might also be interested in joining or encouraging their students to join.

So I have several questions:

1. Are you interested? If so, please comment.

2. Do you have any suggestions or comments?

3. Can you think of a good name for this group? (“Public Relations Book Group” just doesn’t have a ring to it!)

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Jared Bryan
Jan 14, 2009 at 8:46 am


I loved the idea, and I emailed Nick about it the other day. @stephscheer and a few others from my Chapter thought it would be great as well. I could not think of a group name. I would love to know what our first book could be. Suggestions have been tossed around, and “Groundswell” was one that came to mind. What do you think?


Meg Roberts
Jan 14, 2009 at 8:53 am

Hi Rachel,

I’m so glad this will come to fruition! I have a goal to read 10 industry-related books this year, so this will certainly help me accomplish this.

Thanks for kickstarting it!


Lindsay McHugh
Jan 14, 2009 at 9:02 am

I would be very interested in joining! I graduated from Temple University in August (PRSSA alum) and I think it would be a great way to keep up with the industry. I’ll brainstorm some name ideas and comment if anything grabs me.

Jan 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

As a member of Temple University’s PRSSA E-board and student-run firm, I would love to participate!

Rachel Esterline
Jan 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm

@Jared – I’ve hear some good things about Groundswell and think it’s a good idea. We’ll have to look into prices because I’d like to make it where you can get the book pretty cheap.

@Meg – I made the goal to read at least one per month, so I think this will help us both. I look forward to your input in the group!

@Lindsay – I look forward to hearing your ideas and also having a PRSSA alum with us.

@Jessica – I hope you are able to spread the word to your fellow Temple PRSSA and firm members.

Everyone – I’ll be sure to e-mail you when it gets launched!

Alyssa Carter
Jan 14, 2009 at 1:56 pm

This is a great idea! Saw on Meg Roberts’ Twitter page. Keep me in the loop!

David Baker
Jan 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm


Count me in. I would love the opportunity to discuss books like Groundswell with other students and recent grads. I think we hear about one or two titles at every presentation and I would be more likely to get something out of them if I saw what my peers impressions were.

I am with you that “Public Relations Book Group” doesn’t sound right but I don’t have a better suggestion either. I’ll kick some things around and let you know what I come up with.

I’ll retweet your post about this on Twitter and send some info out to my Chapter as well to see if there is any interest.


Amy Ovsiew
Jan 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Hi Rachel –

I saw Nick and Jared’s tweets re: the book club. I’d love to join! A little background on me: I graduated last May from Rowan University (NJ) and was actively involved in PRSSA. Now I work for a PR agency and am getting involved with our state chapter of PRSA.

I’ll let you know any ideas I have for the group name!

– Amy (@amyovsiew)

Jan 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm


Count me in. I love the idea.


Jan 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm


Sounds interesting. Count me in as well.

Angela Seits
Jan 14, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I would love to participate! This is a great incentive to accomplish one of my New Year’s resolutions of reading at least one PR book each month.


Nick Lucido
Jan 14, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I know you can’t see me right know, but I’m raising both hands yelling, “me! me!”

I’m definitely down. Let me know how I can help. In the mean time, I’ll spread this out to my network. Thanks for spearheading this. You rock!

PR Book Club « PR Start by Nick Lucido
Jan 14, 2009 at 10:09 pm

[…] is heading up the group and is seeking interested members. Head over to her blog and comment to be part of something really awesome. Possibly related posts: (automatically […]

Katie Boland
Jan 15, 2009 at 7:41 am

I love the idea! Count me in. I have an addiction to industry and business related books and would love to discuss these concepts with other PR students.

We started a social media book club here in Ottawa and we are reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.


Rachel Esterline
Jan 15, 2009 at 8:13 am

Wow! The response to this group has been great. It is making me even more excited about it. At first I thought I might just get three or four people! I look forward to learning more about PR with all of you!

Meg Roberts
Jan 15, 2009 at 8:22 am


I talked to my supervisor at work and he gave me some ideas about books to think about reading:

Groundswell by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff
Wikinomics by Don Tapscott & Anthony Williams
Blink and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
Now is Gone by Geoff Livingston and Brian Solis
Tha Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR by Al Ries and Laura Ries
a Seth Godin book

I’m sure there are some great lists online, too.

As for the name, we’re in PR – surely we can come up with something witty.

Christy Hammond
Jan 15, 2009 at 8:45 am

I think this is a fantastic idea and I would certainly love to join in. The PR firm I interned with this summer had a book club and we read Disney Wars, which was a fantastic read even though it wasn’t directly about PR.

The only name I can come up with is Need2Read PR or something along those lines…

Thanks for trying to put this together!

– Christy (@behindthejersey)

Karen Russell
Jan 15, 2009 at 10:58 am

Great idea, Rachel. I’ll tell my students about it today in class.

Brian Camen
Jan 15, 2009 at 11:59 am

Hey Rachel,

Sign me up.


Lizzie Azzolino
Jan 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm


I’ll reiterate everyone else’s “what a great idea!” I’d love to be a part of this, and I’m sure I can help gather a group of University of Georgia PR students to join in — along with @KarenRussell and @kaye.

We could even consider a few books that lean a little more toward business or general career topics.

Keep us posted!
Lizzie – @liz126

Kevin T.
Jan 16, 2009 at 11:09 am

Rach –

GREAT IDEA! I would love to join. I am trying to think of names and will keep you posted.

David Baker
Jan 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Yesterday I attended a great presentation about Social Media Marketing that was presented by our local PRSA Chapter and there were some books mentioned in that session along with Groundswell.

Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build Their Brand by Shel Holtz, John C. Havens, Lynne D. Johnson

Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day
by Dave Evans

I saw one of the comments mentioned Malcolm Gladwell and I was given the chance last semester to read The Tipping Point and I would suggest that to anyone. It has some great information regarding networking and really changed the way I look at things.

I think that since we are always hearing about the importance of social media in our classes and by presenters at so many regional and national events these might be of interest to some.



[…] By prbookgroup My name is Rachel Esterline. I am the founder of Live It, Learn It, Love It. My recent post about this group generated a lot of feedback and I am now launching this public relations book […]

Tom Proietti
Feb 1, 2009 at 11:14 am

David’s entry lists a couple of the most important books available. I also recommend THE TIPPING POINT, BLINK and OUTLIERS by Malcolm Gladwell. And the FRONTLINE videos, THE PERSUADERS and THE MERCHANTS OF COOL.

Interesting how we are using the social media to communicate and to demo our premise.

Keep up the good work. You will hear more from me now that the semester is starting to settle in. More importantly, your entries make me so much smarter. Thank you all!


Rachel Esterline
Feb 1, 2009 at 3:57 pm


Thanks for the comment!

steve cunningham
Mar 21, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Rachel – I just stumbled upon your site while doing some digging around for a podcast/blog I do over at http://www.readitfor.me. I’d love to participate if you are still doing this. Drop me a line and let me know.





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