Even the best communications professionals occasionally have days when they find themselves short of words. While some fresh air, taking a walk, or yoga exercises may help, there’s another way to stimulate your creative fluids amidst looming deadlines: taking refuge in the world of fiction. Yes, you read that correctly. We’re not talking about the staple how-to guides and PR books that communications professionals commonly use as a reference. We’re talking about fantasy worlds, spunky heroes, swashbuckling exploits.
Our PRecious team has carefully curated a list of fiction books that have the proven ability to help communications professionals quickly transcend writer’s block. Here are some literary works you can consider reading the next time you’re in dire need of inspiration.
Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)
For a little bit of magic and fairy dust to get you into the writing groove, look no further than J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Filled with imaginative wordplay, allusions to several folk tales, myths and legends, and even a play-by-play of Quidditch matches, the series can whisk you away from your writing desk to Hogwarts, where you experience Harry, Ron and Hermione’s adventures vicariously. Maybe you can pick up a trick or two, or even learn to concoct the perfect creativity-inducing potion while you’re lost in J.K. Rowling’s universe before heading back to the Muggle world.
Panchinko (Min Jin Lee)
If you’re working on a profiling pitch or story, Panchinko is your best bet. The masterpiece explores the plight and travails of Korean immigrants in Japan in a gripping, colourful and thought-provoking narrative that demonstrates the effective use of characterisation. Spanning several generations, Panchinko sheds light on social issues including poverty and suicide – in a fantastic display of linguistic prowess. Never failing to evoke emotions while putting the emphasis on heritage and family ties, the novel takes readers from pre-World War I to 1980s Japan through powerful imagery, setting, and character build-up.
South of the Border, West of the Sun (Haruki Murakami)
There’s something poignantly beautiful about might-have-beens. And Haruki Murakami has articulated this perfectly, enabling readers to experience a range of emotions as they flip through the pages of his short novel. If you’re looking at emotional appeal as a storytelling device to add more breadth and depth to your communications initiatives, take inspiration from this moving and bittersweet story that recounts Hajime’s journey into adulthood as he comes to terms with his life choices. Like a haiku, South of the Border, West of the Sun packs a punch in spite of its succinctness, and leaves readers with a trail of emotions and thoughts to ponder on.
The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
The Old Man and the Sea ditches flowery words and goes au naturel to tell the story of Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman, and the greatest catch of his life: an 18-foot marlin. This is terse prose at its best: simple, concise, and captivating – precisely what PR professionals should aspire for when drafting press releases. The Old Man and the Sea is proof that less words can oftentimes have a deeper impact on readers. But beyond learning from Hemingway’s writing technique, communications professionals will definitely come out refreshed after reading the novel, with new perspectives and insights as they start their next writing assignment.
The Firm (John Grisham)
It’s hardly surprising why The Firm has made it to the New York Times bestseller list for a record 44 weeks: The law thriller catapults readers into a world of drama and intrigue, and keeps them guessing until the end. Communications professionals can definitely use the page turner as a reference as to what makes a compelling read and how they can hook the audience better through adding suspense and mystery in their storytelling initiatives.
Do you agree with the list, or do you have other recommendations to add? Our friendly communications experts are more than happy to chat over a cup of coffee over interesting works of fiction, or how we can add more value to your brand’s marketing campaigns. Reach out to our team to continue the conversation.