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Op-Ed: 10 Must Read PR Books for Israeli and Jewish Leaders

MUST READ PR BOOKS for Israeli Public Relations - VITAL FOR ISRAEL & JEWS: Read these PR books – it’s necessary to better understand PR as it’s a vital part of combat in 2011.
Published: Monday, September 19, 2011 12:16 AM


A recent list I published at Business Insider of 10 must read PR Books received a tremendous amount of attention and debate within the professional Public Relations industry. The list may be found at:http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-09-12/strategy/30155677_1_pr-first-book-edward-l-bernays

As the next few weeks will be very difficult for the State of Israel with the upcoming UN sessions, I wanted to publish a list of must read Public Relations books for every Israeli and Jewish communal leader concerned with PR:

These are books which those concerned with Israel’s case in the media should read:

The Torah: The Jewish bible is the entirety of Judaism's founding legal and ethical religious texts. The Torah encompasses the Five Books of Moses and is the Jewish mandate for the State of Israel and the Jewish people’s reason for being.  It’s a simple must read for anyone doing Public Relations and marketing for Israel and the Jews - to know the foundations of Jewish faith and law and the essence of Judaism..

The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz: The famed Harvard law professor offers "a proactive defense of Israel," and presents a passionate insight into unfair attacks on the only democracy in the Middle East. Each of the chapters begins with an accusation against Israel, followed by "The Reality" as Dershowitz sees it, and "The Proof”. Its logic based with excellent logical explanations which can help one with reasoning in arguments, debates and media situations.

The War Against the Jews by Lucy Dawidowick:  The definitive history of the Holocaust – A clear book which details the Holocaust of the Jews during World War II. It’s necessary for all to remember that not so long ago as many tried to destroy the Jewish people, the rest of the world stood by.  Read it and remember it as today too, there are many who strive to destroy the Jews. It’s a necessary thing to know and be very aware of when dealing with media.

The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership by Yehuda Avner: This book by a former senior government official details at great length and with fascinating insiders’ stories experiences working side by side five Israeli prime ministers and countless senior players in government. The book provides insight into the intricate inner workings of politics – and details via which governments and people worldwide pressure the Jewish State. This book enables one views into the pressures on Israeli government officials – and a mirror into what pressures to expect.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: This book has been called the Public Relatiobible – Having sold over 15 million copies since first being published in 1937 as Carnegie states in the book “success is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to "the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people." Israel often assumes that being right is enough;-that’s not the case. Those speaking out for Israel need to know and understand that in today’s world, being right isn’t often enough, selling it is what will change the dynamic.

Crystallizing Public Opinion by Edward L. Bernays: Written by Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Bernays wisely analyzes how to focus and win in crowd psychology. He sought to become the first thinker to explain how PR could thrive by managing public opinion. As the book states quite clearly: "Perhaps the most significant social, political, and industrial fact about the present century is the increased attention which is paid to public opinion." While Israel can’t always win at least they can do a better job to communicate in a way that resonates more readily.

Media Training 101 by Sally Stewart: A well written guide to handling media – something not always remembered by the relevant Israeli and Jewish voices.  Preparation and practice are key – and from reading this one can learn how to understand and stick to talking points, how to communicate effectively with the media and some media control mechanisms.

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith: The traditional media is often Anti-Israel. Agreed and case closed – but in today’s new digital media world it’s possible to control much more of the message than ever before. From blogging (which allows you to reach the public’s without a “filter”), to twitter, digital media videos and the like, this book offers viewpoints which can be exploited to tap into the power of social networks to build influence and reputation.  Israel PR and the Jewish community PR need to do a better job of reaching publics without a filter – understanding social media is key to that.

Start up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle by Dan Senor and Saul Singer:  No discussion about Israel PR today can be complete without understanding how Israel-- a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources-- produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations.  Despite all of her difficulties, Israel is a remarkably resilient country and the Jewish state’s PR folks should emphasize the positives of this great story.

For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations by Ronn Torossian:  Naturally, my PR book is a must read – it’s the 1st book by the owner of a top 25 US PR Agency. The book details how valuable public relations is – and with discussion of the State of Israel’s PR shortcomings, as well as the importance of effective PR and frontline stories replete with case studies, this book can be bought at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/for-immediate-release-ronn-torossian/1102047620

And there you have it – 10 must read PR books.

I’ll end with a quote from the great Zionist thinker Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s biblically-themed novel, Samson:

"Tell them three things in my name, and not two: they must get iron (weapons); they must choose a king; and they must learn to laugh."

What Jabotinsky meant in part by “learn to laugh” was the necessary development of confidence on a national level. While PR is vital for Israel, so too is confidence and knowing that Israel won’t always be loved by the world. It’s necessary to better understand PR as it’s a vital part of combat in 2011.