A book that informs and makes you laugh out loud? Say it ain’t so

51b1eALnuAL (2)Aside from every book written by Christopher Buckley, and Stanley Bing, I’m hard pressed to name another author who possesses the gift to inform and elicit an LOL at the same time.

My longtime buddy, Chris Atkins, has just penned such a book. It’s called, “An Honest Day’s Work: True Tales of a Life in PR“.

But, don’t be misled by the rather myopic title (Sorry, Chris, I couldn’t help myself).

This is a MUST read for anyone and everyone who hopes to understand the ever-changing media landscape and, critically, how we arrived at the sad, sorry state in which we find ourselves.

Atkins’ tome (that apostrophe was you, Chris), follows a 35-year-long career path that includes stints at some of the world’s most admired corporations and global agencies.

If technology hates you as much as it does me, you’ll immediately relate to young Chris’s struggles to bang out a press release on a 1981 Smith Corona typewriter missing the letter ‘e’.

Then, in the blink of an eye, you’ll be standing alongside him as he singlehandedly serves as lead FedEx spokesperson in the immediate aftermath of an overnight plane crash at Newark Airport. He handled no fewer than three live CNN interviews. Talk about intense.

Chris was also front-and-center as the housing bubble burst and found himself defending Standard & Poor’s ratings. Ditto with his various misadventures at PwC and their misbehaving partners.

The beauty of these insightful stories is the way Chris balances them with laugh out loud funny anecdotes about abusive clients, alcoholic co-workers and, yes, Mr. Trump, sleazy reporters.

This is a book that is wise and witty (and an uber easy read to boot). I’d suggest every PR academic make it required reading for their PR industry wannabes. I’d also recommend B-School professors and Harvard Law types do the same since, as Chris points out, corner office executives and legal eagles alike are pretty much clueless about the multiple aspects of modern public relations.

One final note: While it’s limited to a scant and frankly, disappointing, three pages, this blogger plays a cameo role in the very beginning of Honest day’s work. And, really, how could I not rave about any book that doesn’t shine the spotlight (however briefly) on me?

 

 

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