What I’m reading this week (9/26/09)


I've always loved to read…and thank God, I'm fast.  So many books….so little free time.  I thought I might try a new feature on the blog and every week or so, give you the skinny on the books that have caught my fancy.  Most will be new ones (I am trying to whittle down the pile) but every once in awhile it will include a classic too.

Here's what I've been reading this week and my take on each.

Maverick Marketing by Tom Hayes: (buy it here)

As you might guess by the title, the book's "theme" is a trailride into the wild west of new marketing.  Hayes keeps the theme tall in the saddle throughout the entire book, which feels a bit forced in places.  But, if you can tolerate the cute "little dogie" references….this is quite a good read.

Hayes basic point is this:  You aren't going to win if you play the game the same way as everyone else.  You've got to be a maverick.  That might be in who you target as a key audience, how you reach that audience or your message.  (or a combo!)

The best part of this book are all the examples.  Hayes goes to the usual suspects like Virgin Airlines and Wal-Mart, but also brings in some fresh stories like Johnsonville Brats and Clif Bars.

Bottom line:  I started to skim but the real life examples drew me in.  Worth your time.

Brand Immortality by Hamish Pringle & Peter Field (buy it here)

This book is a scholarly study of branding, Drawing conclusions and culling data from 880+ case studies submitted to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) dataBANK and detailing numerous case studies from winners of the IPA Effectiveness Awards, the authors have compellingly made the case as to why the eventual death of any given brand is not an inevitable fact of life. The authors point out the pitfalls and dangers in much current thinking in the field of marketing.

The type is small, the graphs are plentiful and the language is academic. I have no doubt this is a fascinating study, but I must admit, I had a hard time staying with it. 

Bottom line:  Good information that academics will love.  It could have been packaged in a more digestible fashion.

Putting the Public back in Public Relations by Brian Solis & Deirdre Breakenridge (buy it here)

As you might guess by the title, this book is about bridging the gap between the old PR methods and the new.  While much of the emphasis is on social media, the underlying message doesn't depend on the media.  You could apply much of what the authors write about, whether you're reaching out via Twitter or the old fashioned telephone.

Lots of good stories and references that you can steal from throughout the book but what I think makes this book most different from other PR/Social media books is the 4th section on measurement.  Some very helpful thinking.

Bottom line:  Accessible,  memorable and some stealable ideas.  You'll dog ear some pages.

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