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4.0 out of 5 stars
Brand Anarchy is a great book and relevant to anyone working in PR, 30 Aug. 2012
Brand Anarchy is a great book and relevant to anyone working in PR. Its style is very conversational and the authors talk to you in a non-patronising manner as if they were having a chat with you over a cup of coffee which makes it really easy to read.
There are some great nuggets of information and some really excellent case studies included in the book, but on many occasion I was left wanting more. Perhaps the authors are just teasing us ahead of a follow up, but the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster case study could fill an entire book in itself and so having only a couple of pages dedicated to it was a little disappointing as I was really interested in reading more about it - I doubt there are many bigger case studies to analyse over the last few years in terms of managing corporate reputation.
I did find the start of the book a little repetitive. We get the point that social media means brands and organisations are losing control of their reputations and this seemed to be discussed in many guises over the first few chapters, but once it delved into some of the case studies, it got a lot more interesting.
Given my own company, markettiers4dc featured in the book, I was naturally excited to see how we faired. However, if I'm honest, I was surprised at the lack of attention given to the power of video, both live and ondemand, on how it can influence a brand's reputation online and can engage directly with its various stakeholders. That said, I do appreciate I have a natural bias towards broadcast and do appreciate the amount that needs to be covered in a book such as this.
One of my favourite case studies in the book is that of Asda and how an advert from 2008 for DVDs, aimed at fathers, placed in the Daily Mirror alongside a news story about wife-beating, started being posted on twitter three years later in June 2011. The comments provided by Dominic Burch, Asda's head of corporate communications and another member of the CIPR's Social Media Panel are excellent.
I also really approved of how much AVE's were slated in Chapters 7 & 8 and encourage every one of our own clients who keep asking for us to include it in our final reports to read these chapters first!
I found the book really picked up pace after half way and there are some great tips later on that companies should act on straight away, one of which my own company can benefit from, having experienced a competitor bidding on our name as a Google Adword (should I name and shame?). The Seymourpowell case study was therefore particularly helpful. The final chapter on Reskilling for the Future is also a must read for all.
I have to say though, my favourite quote from the entire book has to be that "journalists often make the best PRs" - I love the fact that it comes from two former journos!