11 must-read PR and social media measurement books

From reference materials to classics to inspiring page-turners, this list has it all.


Here’s a short list of the best references and reading on public relations and social media measurement.

I was going to tell you to read these books before going back to school, but that much summertime homework is excessive, even for you over-achieving measurement mavens.

1. Measure what Matters” by Katie Delahaye Paine. This isn’t on the list because I need the royalty checks, but because it will give you all the basics to start measuring right. Read several reviews.

2.The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy” by Jon Berry and Ed Keller. Learn about how and what really influences behavior. It’s a wonderful data-driven analysis of who influences what.

Make sure you have these next two invaluable references somewhere close at hand. You don’t have to read them, but you will have to refer to them from time to time:

3.A Practitioner’s Guide to Public Relations Research, Measurement and Evaluation” by Don W. Stacks and David Michaelson.

4.Primer of Public Relations Research” by Don W. Stacks. The first edition of this book remains the dog-eared bible I keep next to my desk. See my review.

If you are socially inclined, you’ll want to read this sequel, of sorts, to “The Influentials”:

5.The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace” by Ed Keller and Brad Fay. See my review.

Here are six classics-or soon-to-be classics-on social media, in case you haven’t read them already:

6.The Cluetrain Manifesto” by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger.

7. “Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers” by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Read my review.

8.Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing” by Lee Odden. See my review.

9.YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day” by Greg Jarboe.

10.The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything” by Stephen M.R. Covey. See my review.

11.Twitterville: How businesses can thrive in the new global neighborhoods” by Shel Israel. See my review.

Katie Delahaye Paine is CEO of KDPaine & Partners, and publisher of The Measurement Standard newsletter, where a version of this article originally appeared.

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