PerkettPR Staff Picks for Must-Read Summer Books

Photo courtesy of m-trends.org

Photo courtesy of m-trends.org

It’s safe to say that communications professionals are pretty voracious readers. After all, our business is staying on top of and in the mix with massive amounts of content, so there’s more than a good chance that our eyeballs track back and forth across screens and pages for at least part of each day.

But when was the last time you really read something? No, we’re not talking about Google alerts, news scans, blogs or client placements – but a good old-fashioned (or digitized for our Kindle/iPad contingent!) book.

Summer is the perfect time to make a dent in your personal library – and if you want a little inspiration, check out what’s on our must-read list while squeezing in some vacation time before the kids head back to school:

Professional/Business Reading

Personal/Pleasure Reading

  • South of Broad by Pat Conroy: “Not a quick beach read, but his stories about the south and all of its many charms are always a nice escape to somewhere warm and different. I really liked Beach Music, too, and would recommend that first to see if you like Conroy’s style.”
  • Inferno by Dan Brown: “Brown’s books speak to my appreciation of history and my interest in the impact of religion on society and culture, as well as my (and everyone else’s) fascination with a good conspiracy theory.”
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: “I’m a little slow to the party with these, but better late than never! They’re chock-full of cliffhangers, so I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what Katniss Everdeen will face next.”
  • Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture by Andy Cohen: “I’m reading it on the iPad and absolutely loving it…super funny!”
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: “I quickly read through this and book two (Shadow of Night) and am now eagerly anticipating the next in the series. A history scholar and teacher, Harkness combines her passion and curiosity to create an amazing, rich story and uniquely compelling characters that stay with you long after the book ends.”
  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer: “If you’re looking for more intellectually stimulating material…I just finished it, and it’s terrific!”
  • Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich: “I’m hooked on them and am eagerly awaiting number 20. Any book that has you laughing out loud is better than therapy as far as I’m concerned!”

If one of your favorite books didn’t make the list, let us know. What are some of your recommended summer reads?

BravoTV – Making Reality TV Stars Accessible

BravoHello my name is Claire, and I am a reality TV junkie – and my network of choice is BravoTV.

I can’t get enough of my Bethenny, Real Housewives, Flipping Out, Top Chef, Million Dollar Listing, Matchmaker and Decorators. One might ask what makes these shows so addicting and how is it that Bravo TV continues to runaway with record-breaking viewership ratings.

Here’s why.

Beyond their ability to cast ‘real people’ with larger-than-life personalities (and in some cases, serious issues), which make for amazing television, Bravo has simultaneously created an aggressive social media strategy that feeds into the viewers desire to know more and to engage further with their favorite reality stars.

Andy Cohen

Taking the reality TV obsession to an entirely new level, Bravo and the genius behind the magic, Andy Cohen, provide fans with a 24/7 social media engine that makes our favorite reality TV stars accessible, even when the cameras are off.  (And yes, my husband is thrilled.)

Leveraging the power of Twitter and Facebook, Bravo has not only created a social media presence for its network, but individual programs and fascinating “Bravolebrities”.  Cohen also has a self-titled blog/microsite that features pictures and captions with celebrities, while Bravo TV has a TweetTracker portal that monitors tweets from fans, mobile and iPad Apps, a branded toolbar and The Dish newsletter. Each Bravo personality also has their own blog where they recap show episodes and answer viewer questions.  Bravo has even launched its own Foursquare app where fans can see recommendations from their favorite Bravolebrities!

Taking the engagement offline and on-air, Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live!” is yet another popular program that features Bravo personalities LIVE in studio fielding questions from fans via phone, Facebook and Twitter.  These 30-minute shows are then followed by a live U-Stream where fans can continue to call-in, Tweet and Facebook their questions – WHEW! Some might say this is all overkill, I say keep it coming – and keep it REAL.  Engagement is what it’s all about and if Bravo continues to provide ways for me to actually connect with the people I’ve grown to love (and hate) this junkie says “Bring it”  – @BravoTV and @BravoAndy Got it right!! MAZEL!!

Are you a fan of BravoTV?  What are your thoughts about their level of fan engagement? Share your comments below.