Tag: book review (page 1 of 1)

Brand Anarchy

Brand Anarchy front coverThe idea of a brand goes back to ancient times when ownership of livestock was asserted by burning one's mark onto the animal. This post is about a book called Brand Anarchy, so I thought I'd set the scene.

The mark would be applied to the animal with a burning stick known as a firebrand. That word has morphed over the years to describe passionate individuals looking to shake things up, so it is then with etymological pleasure that I note the authors of Brand Anarchy are firebrands.

I've known Stephen Waddington and Steve Earl from about the time we both started competing PR consultancies back in the day, and there's more than a few reasons why these two canny chaps managed to craft a distinctive and successful PR consultancy in a largely undifferentiated and saturated market. If you haven't had the opportunity to work with them, you can at least now read the book.

The authors are plain speaking – well, they are adept communicators after all. They have a visceral understanding of the PR and brand communications landscape in the 21st Century, one that has underpinned their personal business success. This book describes how reputations are formed today, and how transformed the process is from just a decade or so ago. This contrast is of course painted in many a book of recent times, but you'll appreciate the candour with which the authors describe how organisations must respond.

In fact, perhaps 'respond' is too reactive a word. The medicine here is to change how the organisation behaves, period. To be proactive. To drive engagement between an organisation and everyone involved in its success. To encourage participation and, without wishing to sound too liberal or post-capitalist about it, co-ownership. I mean this in the sense that an Apple fanboy feels a part-ownership of the Apple brand absent a stock trading account.

It does feel like anarchy out there, at least for those weaned on the 20th Century simple life. Actually, it's just complex. The authors strongly suggest you deal with it.

[Disclosure: the book references my work – the Six Influence Flows and the Influence Scorecard.]

Brand Anarchy on Amazon UK.

Communication Director Magazine book review – The Business of Influence

Communication Director MagazineMy book, The Business of Influence, has just been reviewed in Communication Director.

The magazine is billed as the professional specialist magazine for Corporate Communications and Public Relations in Europe. It documents opinions on important strategic questions in communication, discovers transnational developments and discusses their relevance from a European perspective. The publication is associated with the European Association of Communication Directors.

The review

Page 90, Communication Director Magazine, September 2011

"If you're in business, you're in the business of influence". So begins a typically thought-provoking chapter from The Business of Influence that explores the concept of the Influence Scorecard and the non-tangible results of new communication tools. Read more

Social Media Analytics

Are you savvy when it comes to social analytics? If you're a PR practitioner, the answer to this question must be YES.

Marshall Sponder visited London last week as part of his tour promoting his new book, Social Media Analytics – Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics (ISBN 978-0-07-176829-0). Having read a draft manuscript of the book, a quote of mine appears on the front cover: "Ignoring this book is akin to ignoring your market."

Social Media Analytics, Marshall SponderThere is no better independent authority on the tools and techniques than Marshall. Whilst some pundits simply maintain lists of social analytics vendors with some basic feature comparison tables, Marshall has actually used many of them for real. Moreover, he has a peculiar ability to prod the vendors and the engineers that build these services, to get under the hood and separate the actual capabilities from the marketing claims.

Marshall is not, however, a public relations practitioner or management consultant. This book does not provide a strategic framework for the integration of social analytics into your organisation. It does not address important issues such as privacy (of customers, employees and the wider public) or ethics. It doesn't attempt to define a detailed taxonomy of the analytics services out there, or make this a comprehensive market review. Read more