three books to read this fall
Creativity, Communications, and Running: Three Books to Read This Fall

September is upon us, and that means it is time to pack up those beach reads. If you need some inspiration to get you motivated at work after summer vacations, then AMA Baltimore has you covered. Here are three books to read this fall.

“The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time” by Allen Gannett

It is romantic (and comforting) to think that creative geniuses magically come up with a masterpiece. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In his book, The Creative Curve, Allen Gannett debunks the myth of divine inspiration and discusses the science behind creative success. Gannett, founder and CEO of TrackMaven and a professed pattern addict, spent two years researching successful creators to prove that there is a pattern to becoming an accomplished creative. By looking at geniuses like Paul McCarthy, J.K. Rowling, the COO at Netflix, artists, chefs and more, Gannett developed the creative curve — “a bell shaped curve relationship between preference and familiarity.” He explains the laws behind the curve and outlines the patterns needed to create a masterpiece.

While this book doesn’t try to be a marketing book, marketers can apply some of the creative curve laws to their campaigns. It is important to recognize when you’re ahead of or behind the curve, and we should all be smart enough to know that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Gannet says, “This is a book that tells you that if you choose to dedicate your life to creativity, there is a path, and a set of key considerations you need to bear in mind, and need to do, to make success happen.” We may not create the next best selling novel or iconic music of our age, but we can use their methods to be the best marketers we can be.

“Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers” by Jay Baer

“Advertising is a tax paid when you’re poor at retaining your current customers,” writes Jay Baer in his book, Hug Your Haters. We’ve all seen the horror stories about companies that responded poorly to angry customers online and ended up losing a tremendous amount of their following. Baer, president of Convince & Convert and author of multiple bestselling books, outlines why it is important to respond to haters online, explains the different types of haters out there, and shows us how to respond to dissatisfied customers. With examples ranging from Zappos and Discover to small businesses, Baer demonstrates just how important it is to respond to every hater on every channel. He says, “Customer service is more complicated than ever, but the formula for success is knowable and achievable.”

As marketers, it is important to understand excellent customer service. Sales and marketing need to work together in order to effectively serve their clients. Clients prefer to communicate with brands through social media, and it is more important than ever to ensure that both departments are speaking the same language. The examples Baer provides in Hug Your Haters will inspire marketers to step up their communications strategy (if they haven’t already).

“What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami

Award winning novelist, Haruki Murakami, is both a writer and a long-distance runner. When he was in his early 30s, Murakami sold his jazz bar, quit smoking and began his journey to be the writer/runner we know today. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a documentation of his training for the New York City Marathon and a reflection on years of writing and running. Murakami discusses his methods and work ethic throughout the book in a variety of scenarios, including the grueling experience of an ultramarathon. Murakami writes, “Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons.” For him, writing and running are interlinked.

Marketers need to be able to recharge creatively. Two of our Board members, Joe Wagner (President) and Anne Rubin (VP of Collegiate Relations), are avid runners with Joe once running 100 miles non-stop. Whatever your passion may be, it is important to clear your mind and enjoy a little self-care. For Murakami, running has similar qualities to writing (solitary, meditative, needs endurance). It complements his career and lifestyle. This isn’t a marketing book at all, but the author reminds us of how important it is to take care of ourselves first.

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