Friday, 8 November 2013

My review of Brand Vandals

Stephen Waddington asked me (and a few others to be fair) whether I'd review his latest book Brand Vandals.

He co-wrote it with Steve Earl.

I have to say first I'm not sure where he gets the energy and enthusiasm to do his high powered job, to commute from Northumberland to London, to be president-elect of the CIPR 2013, chair of the CIPR Social Media panel and to have recently co-written and edited Share This Too (which I had a small hand in) and be a really nice bloke to boot.

If he wasn't so lovely I'd have to dislike him out of principle for putting the rest of us slackers to shame.

Anyway I was flattered to be asked. But that said I'm no push over so this is my honest view.

Brand Vandals is one of those books that you read with some trepidation.

As you turn each page and approach each new chapter you're secretly hoping your organisation or brand has already considered every unfolding eventuality.

I found myself mentally ticking off examples from my own PR experience thinking through scenarios and case studies that could easily apply.

It prompted more than one or two emails to colleagues as I stress tested our own thinking and made me healthily paranoid once more. Which is a good thing.

The choice of interviewees quoted is spot on and add further weight to what is clearly a well researched guide to best practice in this area.

The authors clearly speak from a position of authority, but do so in a conversational manner that not only makes a serious topic more engaging but also mirrors the careful balance brands now need to strike. Wanting to be taken seriously whilst not being labelled so corporate and dull as to appear anything but human.

By mastering the art of humour, candor and humility I think Brand Vandals neatly talks the talk and walks the walk.

Copies will be duly ordered and left on the desks of those who could still do with the wake up call.

4 / 5

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