Tag: stephen waddington (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.

FIR Interview: Neville Hobson interviews Stephen Waddington and me about Share This

Neville HobsonShare This, the new book from the CIPR Social Media panel and friends, is selling rather well indeed. Having shot straight in at number 1 on Amazon UK's best new business book releases, it now resides at number 13 in the Sales & Marketing category.

Wiley, the publisher, has taken more than a handful of bulk orders directly from PR agencies, which of course don't then register on the Amazon charts else I'm sure the book would be Amazon's number 1 of course!

Neville Hobson, of the massively successful FIR (For Immediate Release) podcast, invited Stephen Waddington and me to discuss the book's content, audience, and the panel's future plans. Follow the link to listen now.

FYI, you may recall Neville interviewed me once before at my book launch party last year.

(Photo credit: Neville Hobson presenting at SMPR2012 by Coopr PR Bureau.)

Hosting CIPR TV… live at five!

The last time I was on TV it was the BBC's Working Lunch, March 2002. I was running Europe's first email money service at the time (before PayPal was available in these parts) and our servers were struggling quite a lot under the weight of our success on eBay UK. Facing up to a firm line of questioning, I was able to reassure Working Lunch viewers that any money they had stored with us was safe and sound.

Fast forward eight years and the definition of TV has changed somewhat. Indeed YouTube wasn't even launched until 2005, before going on to be the fastest growing website ever. By 2007, the capacity consumed by YouTube exceeded that of the entire Internet in 2000. In May this year, over 24 hours worth of video was uploaded to YouTube for every single minute of the month!

And now we have CIPR TV. Read more

Friday Roundup – is social media good?

Is social media good? This is possibly one of the most interesting questions I've been asked in my consultants' capacity in recent times. Of course almost all media is now social, or has a social component. Take the BBC's Question Time? Sure, its live audience participation is social, but for the rest of us it's simply broadcast TV. But things have only got more interesting for the programme's fans as the Twitter backchannel has allowed us all to join the debate.

But is social media "good"?

I hadn't seen Stephen Waddington's post this week about the police effort to capture a killer-at-large in Northumberland when I was asked this question, but his description of "digital rubber necking" makes one pause for thought. For those unfamiliar with the phrase, rubber necking most often refers to those motorists who slow down to see some vehicular carnage, and it appears that Stephen isn't too enamoured of the social media equivalent. Indeed, I felt most uneasy reading that the killer's facebook page now has 17,000 members.

So, my answer? Read more