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Remember books, those things that hold about 15 tweets to a page? Here at Sterling Communications, even as we move to 400-word press releases and 600-word blog posts, we believe there continues to be value in the long written form. A newspaper or magazine article sometimes can’t contain all the ideas and case studies the author wants to share. Below is a list of books that have inspired animated discussions in our agency off-sites and “lunch-and-learns.” We recommend you have your teams read them too!
By Patrick Lencioni
This is truly a “fable” written in an entertaining style that can be easily read in one sitting. It uses a David vs. Goliath portrayal of two fictional consulting firms to teach lessons on best practices for developing winning customer relationships. It’s stuck with me; I keep a note on my office bulletin board that lists out the “three fears that sabotage customer loyalty” described in the book.
By Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein
This book has echoes of Pavlov and Skinner in its description of how “choice architecture” (also called “liberal paternalism”) can encourage people to make better choices for themselves without having decisions forced upon them. At Sterling, this philosophy has inspired multiple changes in our office operations, from the important to the seemingly silly. Those boxes in the kitchen for recycling wine corks and batteries? An idea that came to me while reading “Nudge.”
By Carol Dweck
The book discusses how we can learn to fulfill our potential in business, school, parenting and relationships by subscribing to a positive mindset and encouraging such “”Little Engine That Could” attitudes in others. I found chapters 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8 to offer the most relevant examples and advice for a business environment.
By Jim Collins
What makes a company great? The author examines leaders in a variety of industries to find the commonalities. The chapters that have had the most resonance for me include chapter 3 (“First Who … Then What”), 4 (“Confront the Brutal Facts”) and 5 (“The Hedgehog Concept”).
By Fred Reichheld
How likely is it that you would recommend Company X and its products or services to a friend or colleague? That is the “ultimate question” that produces the Net Promoter Score, a popular customer relationship metric. The book cites company case studies with useful tips on how to manage customer “detractors” and turn “passives” into “promoters.” One of the lessons I took away from this book was to think carefully about balancing the effort put into managing relationships with passives versus detractors. Passives can be nurtured to promoter status, while some querulous customers (and employees) may never be fully satisfied.
By Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter & James Noel
This book discusses critical career passages (managing self, managing others, managing managers) and offers tips on coaching and performance standards. One thing to know before you decide to read it is that while it offers some lessons for small companies, it’s really aimed at large companies with many levels of seniority.
By Alex Berenson
Although this book was published before the start of the Great Recession, it offers many valuable lessons as to what went wrong in the early 2000s with companies such as Enron, Worldcom and Tyco — lessons that, obviously, people ignored. I read it several years ago to gain a better understanding of the difference between public and private companies and their laser focus on quarterly earnings reporting. The author is a former New York Times reporter, which was a major reason I read it. I knew he would be able to present dry material in a clear, compelling style, and he succeeded!
Lisa Hawes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Lisa on Twitter @lisakayhawes. There is no connection between Sterling Communications and the authors or publishers of these books. The photo credit is to Lisa’s iPhone.
About Our Fine Weblog
Welcome to Gearheads, the mostly official blog of Sterling Communications. Here, our best looking employees write about the influence of public relations on social media, web design, marketing strategy, and more. No hype allowed.
Topics of InterestAmazon apple attensity black Friday brand branding CES crisis communications Cyber Monday digital media Facebook Google+ Hemingway journalism LinkedIn marketing media media relations Microsoft Netflix pitching PR PR agencies press releases PR firms public relations rebranding reputation Search Engine Optimization Seattle SEO Small Business Saturday social media social media analytics solar Sterling Communications steve jobs Super Bowl technology trade show Twitter Web 2.0 web design writing YouTube
Sterling Tweets@sterlingpr: Jim Donald, former Starbucks CEO, at #MedalliaBPF: Rocket science, brain surgery, nuclear physics—none as tough as dealing with people. 1 day@sterlingpr: RT @kawika: Look what @marianneoconnor found in her desk http://t.co/MM0iX1DkEG as @sterlingpr preps for our office makeover. (via @weswarf… 1 day@sterlingpr: Wild Cards: https://t.co/t7emhITsbe A small sampling of business cards from previous and prospective #PR clients — in one Vine. 2 days@sterlingpr: Baskin Robbins, Tostitos, FedEx, Amazon and many others have subliminal messages in their corporate logos: http://t.co/l9kcYjnTDg 2 days
Our most prized awards are recommendations from clients, but these are nice too:
- PR SourceCode surveys IT journalists each year to discover the most respected public relations agencies and corporate communication departments. Sterling ranked second in the top 10 PR agencies
- PR News named Sterling Communications one of their ‘Top Place to Work in PR’
- The Business Journal named Sterling Communications one of the “Top 50 largest woman-owned businesses” in Silicon Valley
- The Stevie Awards, dedicated to woman in business, named Sterling Communications’s CEO Marianne O’Connor a finalist for the best entrepreneur in advertising, marketing and public relations
- Sterling Communications has won two SABRE awards for consumer PR campaigns, a Silver Award for the DoveBid campaign and a Certificate of Excellence for a NETGEAR campaign
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