Whew! 2016 is almost over, and personally, I’m ready to start a new year. To preserve the sanctity of this blog, I won’t speak on the political events of the past twelve months, but – regardless of where you stood within the various social or cultural happenings of 2016 – I think we can all agree that a fresh start is very much welcome.

Before 2017 arrives, however, we have a precious amount of holiday time to relax, connect with our family and friends (who may or may not have thought we were dead when calls or texts were missed during a particularly busy week), and of course, read. For me, those spare moments awarded by the holidays are a perfect chance to grab a peppermint mocha (or favorite hot beverage of your choosing), put on those annoying-yet-cheerful snowman socks and bask in the heat of… your laptop. (No, not a fire. As residents of Los Angeles, aside from those few chilly morning hours, we’re perfectly toasty as is).

And what better fodder for warm, holiday reading than the best of the best blogs out there? Today, we’re sharing our absolute favorite blogs to get nice and cozy with and get those wheels turning before the New Year. Looking ahead to 2017, we yearn for more effective, brighter pitches, rosier media placements, sweeter client relations and clearer storytelling. We believe these blogs are just the ticket to help us get there. Cheers! (That’s where my peppermint mocha virtually clinks against your warm cup of holiday goodness).

1. Spin Sucks. Gini Dietrich (the CEO of Arment Dietrich, a digital marketing communications firm based in Chicago) runs this popular PR and communications blog with the help of her savvy staff. Gini is a communications expert who regularly dishes out big picture ideas, practical tips and the occasional foibles with (unnamed) clients. Her writing is clear, conversational and has that elusively organic quality of “flow.” Readers can gain a sense of Gini’s relaxed, smart style through her weekly “Gin and Topics” post, where she muses on her week and offers up a handful of her favorite links / videos from the past few days. It’s not all fun and games, though. Gini is a serious powerhouse and wisdom-dropper who can make you seriously question what PR really is, while inspiring you to ponder what it can be (See: “Media Relations is a Tactic, Not a Strategy”). Blog posts are typically published twice a day, so you’ll have plenty of PR inspiration to pluck from!

2. Buffer Blog. We’ve seen social media become increasingly important, as owned channels have become key for businesses to communicate with their customers. As the role of PR blends with those of social media or community management teams (at the very least, as a publicist, you’ll most likely work in tandem with a client’s social team), social media know-how is a resume must-have in 2017. The Buffer Blog’s posts are extremely detailed, informative, actionable and beautifully designed, while offering great advice for both beginners and advanced practitioners alike. We can’t think of a more complete and specific social media blog to keep our brains fresh and our social accounts sprightly. (I have their “27 Best Copywriting Formulas” post bookmarked and reference it at least weekly for guidance!)

3. Ragan’s PR Daily. PR Daily is a solid industry resource offering news, PR tips and real-world examples of PR and marketing campaigns, coupled with top-level insight on why they did (or didn’t) get the job done. It covers everything from crisis PR, social media marketing, corporate communications, press release writing (and more), making picking and choosing content that is applicable to your specific position very easy. We’ve already spotted some great pieces on revving up your marketing skill set for 2017!

4. Seth Godin. Round out your holiday reading with a little bit of Seth Godin. Seth’s daily blog (and everything else he’s published) is as close to a spiritual text that marketers, communicators and PR pros have to work from. Seth is essentially the smartest and most authentic person you’ll ever meet and want to be best friends with (and opening his emails every morning for a taste of his brainpower is pretty much meeting him, right?). His multi-faceted insightfulness – from PR practice to personal growth – exploding off of your screen is just enough to give you that mental kick-start in your day. We especially love how short his posts are. Seriously, he is so effective at presenting a seemingly simple theme (see: Batteries Not Included), and, by the end, you have a whole new perspective on the thing.

These are just a few of the remarkable resources we tap into regularly for insight, inspiration and a fresh perspective. Any one of them can help color your holiday reading with whimsy and wisdom to set you ahead for 2017, both personally and professionally.

What about you? Are there any go-to blogs you’d recommend to fellow PR pros? Let us know in the comments below and stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest news from NRPR Group by signing up for our bi-monthly newsletter, HUSTLE WITH A CONSCIENCE!