They say knowledge is power - well, only if you know what to do with that knowledge. Here are our must-read choices for expanding knowledge and improving skills for comms pros. Contains affiliate links.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Lynne Truss

In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss, gravely concerned about our current grammatical state, boldly defends proper punctuation. She proclaims, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. Using examples from literature, history, neighborhood signage, and her own imagination, Truss shows how meaning is shaped by commas and apostrophes, and the hilarious consequences of punctuation gone awry.

AP Style Book

Associated Press

An absolute must for all PIOs! The style of The Associated Press is the gold standard for news writing. With the AP Stylebook in hand, you can learn how to write and edit with the clarity and professionalism for which their writers and editors are famous.

Basic Guidance for Public Information Officers (PIOs)


This guidance was developed in coordination with Federal, State, tribal, and local Public Information Officers (PIOs). The goal of this publication is to provide operational practices for performing PIO duties within the Incident Command System (ICS). It offers basic procedures to operate an effective Joint Information System (JIS). During an incident or planned event, coordinated and timely communication is critical to effectively help the community.

Writing Tools

Roy Peter Clark

Ten years ago, Roy Peter Clark, America's most influential writing teacher, whittled down almost thirty years of experience in journalism, writing, and teaching into a series of fifty short essays on different aspects of writing. In the past decade, Writing Tools has become a classic guidebook for novices and experts alike and remains one of the best loved books on writing available.

Pandemic, Governance and Communication: The Curious Case of COVID-19 (Routledge Series on the Humanities and the Social Sciences in a Post-COVID-19 World)

Dipankar Sinha

This book focuses on what is arguably the most devastating phenomenon in the history of modern civilization, the COVID-19 pandemic.

It shows how, on the one hand, the pandemic has exposed governments the world over to deal with a major health crisis; and, on the other, efforts by the ruling forces to enforce surveillance on people and disciplining them by maneuvering cutting-edge digital technology in the name of security and safety. Second, it explores how the mainstream versions of crisis communication and risk communication face huge challenges during a pandemic. Finally, it analyses how the pandemic propels an extraordinary expansion of infodemic — rapid spread of excessive quantities of misinformation and disinformation of the fake and false variety — and how social media in particular becomes its main tool in causing subversion of the prevalent information order.

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds

Carmine Gallo

Ideas are the currency of the twenty-first century. In order to succeed, you need to be able to sell your ideas persuasively. This ability is the single greatest skill that will help you accomplish your dreams. Many people have a fear of public speaking or are insecure about their ability to give a successful presentation. Now public speaking coach and bestselling author Carmine Gallo explores what makes a great presentation by examining the widely acclaimed TED Talks, which have redefined the elements of a successful presentation and become the gold standard for public speaking.

The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote

Sharyl Attkisson

Ever wonder how politics turned into a take-no-prisoners blood sport? The New York Times best-selling author of Stonewalled pulls back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research and reveals the dirty tricks those in power use to influence your opinions.

Voices of a Nation: A History of Media in the United States

Jean Folkerts

Voices of a Nation: A History of Mass Media in the United States presents a cultural interpretation of the history of both traditional and nontraditional media, emphasizing that minority as well as mainstream media have impacted American history. Voices of a Nation sets media history in the context of overall historical events and themes and tries to understand the role of media in a democratic society at varied historical points. Organized chronologically, the text recognizes the significant “voices” of such non-traditional media as suffrage newspapers, ethnic newspapers, and cultural movement papers and magazines.  

The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well

Paula LaRocque

On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet.

Painless Grammar

Rebecca Elliott

Whether you’re a student or an adult looking to refresh your knowledge, Barron’s Painless Grammar provides review and practice in an easy, step-by-step format.

Want more books? You can see our ever-growing library of recommendations here. If you would like to suggest a book or an author, get in touch!

May 18, 2022

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