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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The power of words, 16 Mar 2003
By 
J. Perle - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
I approached We, Me, Them & It sceptically. The title itself put me off. I anticipated pages of hot air masquerading as ideas. How wrong can you be?
John Simmons, a director of Interbrand, the brand and corporate identity consultants, has produced a rarity in the world of business books: something readable, stimulating and full of good sense. It is neither didactic nor pedantic, but remains as ambiguous as the real world in which we live and work.
Simmons reminds us that words constitute our main means of communication, and so lie at the heart of all business activity. Strategies, business plans, customer communications - all have to be written down. Yet Simmons also illustrates the perfidy of words, and the way they can mean two things at once.
Consequently, Simmons makes a heartfelt plea for plain English, and encourages us to harness the power of words to tell stories, embody corporate ideas and help to create brands.
The book begins by claiming not to be a "how to be a better manager" book, and ends by arguing that "the ability to write well is the most neglected skill in business life."
If Simmons manages to help his readers to write better, then in effect We, Me, Them & It is a classic management textbook. But one with a difference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BUSINESS BOOK THAT WILL BECOME A LITERARY CLASSIC, 17 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
A bit over the top, I know, but judge for yourself. The subtitle is "The Power of Words in Business". It should be "The Power of Words" full stop. Like all good business books, John Simmons provides practical frameworks for writing from different perspectives -- "we" (the corporate), "me" (the personal), them (the audience) -- and "it": the message. However, there is more here than just a writing model. This book actually practises what it preaches. The author's words (complemented by the intriguing images he has chosen) will make you thoughtful, they will make you smile and, in some parts, they might even make you cry. A truly inspirational and beautifully designed book. Life feels a little richer for having read it. You'll know exactly what I mean if you read it too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A business writing book with a difference, 27 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
"The ability to write well is the most neglected skill in business life...If you improve the writing ability of your company, or at least its sensitivity to language, you will improve your company's performance...It's not, then, a 'nice to have'."
Business writing doesn't have to be dull. In fact, if the language you use is formal, stiff or pompous, your company is probably underperforming. We, Me, Them & It is all about the importance of words. Words are the main way we communicate. Words can appeal to our emotions and our imagination. They can show our stakeholders, customers and potential customers who we are, what makes us special, and how much we value them. The bottom line is this: if you don't use words as effectively as you could, the power of your brand is diminished and you lose competitive edge.
"Don't forget to take yourself to work today."
John Simmons' approach to business writing is unexpected and innovative. He urges us not to be afraid to put more of our own personality into our business communication. He encourages us to be playful with words, and to draw inspiration from diverse sources such as literature and poetry. We are inspired to value words. To love them. To understand how they make us and our audiences feel.
"All writing is a conversation not a monologue."
So what's the title all about? The book's key message is that different personalities influence our business writing: "we", the company, "me", the writer, "them", the audience, and "it", the content of our writing. We must understand their needs and the relationships between them if we want to communicate well.
"Many books on writing start from the assumption that there are rules to be taught...I simply suggest that you plunge in without being intimidated by the thought of rules. Only begin. And having begun, keep on."
It's surprisingly rare for books on writing well to be interesting to read. This one definitely is. John's passion for language, understanding of business and incisive humour make this book informative, entertaining and inspiring. It has warmth. It's packed with case study illustrations, quotations and stories. It's got pictures too - always a plus!
We, Me, Them & It will compel you to think about how you use language and to strive for better ways of communicating. If you do any sort of business writing, even if it's just the occasional letter, you need to read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do yourself a favour, 16 Aug 2001
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
Buy a copy. Life affirming, thought provoking and full of practical advice, this book is essential reading for all business/copy writers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT READ - THOROUGHLY RECOMMENDED!, 13 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
I read this book in one sitting. If you love language, not necessarily just in the business context, you will find it fascinating. Thanks to Amazon for pointing it out on the Business & Finance home page. I would never have seen it otherwise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BOOK THAT HELPS MAKE BUSINESS A PLEASURE, 11 April 2001
By 
Stuart Delves (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
Great blasts of mountain fresh air for anyone using words in business and public life. Which, if you think about it, is just about everyone in the working population - including report-reading, list-writing mums.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, insightful, and amusing guide to good writing., 24 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
This book shows you how to combine the essentials of good business writing on behalf of your company (we), with the spirit of your own creativity (me), to the audience that you need to reach (them), whilst conveying the importance of the subject matter (it). Far from being a dusty tome full of boring corporatespeak, this book delights, astonishes, questions, and even makes you laugh out loud. The beauty of it is that if you read this wonderful book, it will not only help you write better, but it will make you enjoy writing so much more. An absolute must for anyone who ever had to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard at work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars NO EXAGGERATION - THIS IS GOOD!, 19 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
My colleague bought this book for me (from Amazon of course!!). At first, looking at the cover, I couldn't make head or tail of it. My colleague said: `Trust me.' I began reading at lunchtime - ended up not going back to the office - and finished it on the train home. This has got to be one of the most original business books around. Forget about `words in business'. It's much more than that!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A BOOK THAT SHOWS WORDS DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, 28 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
I attended a workshop led by the author some two years ago and even back then I was impressed and inspired by his enthusiasm for words in business. This book is a kind of bible for anyone who wants to make a difference through language and the written word. It's quite amazing how little attention is paid to words and language in business. This book might well change that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!, 1 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business (Paperback)
If you want insomnia, read this book. Impossible to put down, it's like a good novel: great characters, dramatic twists, pathos, humour - including an amusing story about working with the railways which will strike a chord with many, considering the current diabolical state of British transport! Whoever you are, you'll love this book.
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We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business
We, Me, Them and it: The Power of Words in Business by John Simmons (Paperback - 2 Dec 2000)
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