Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

What Does Leftover Turkey Have to Do with Public Relations?

In Jason Miller’s 2014 magnum opus, Welcome to the Funnel, he riffs on several high-level concepts related to marketing, including the Big Rock, the blogging food groups and the 6 golden rules of social media. While each one of these concepts can stretch well beyond the world of marketing, one in particular carries over to public relations better than the rest: the Leftover Turkey analogy. Imagine your typical Thanksgiving. You cook up a giant turkey and serve one glorious meal to your entire family. Afterwards, you proceed to slice and dice the remaining meat for weeks, repurposing the b...
Read More

How to Be UGLY: Finding Your ZAG with Marty Neumeier

Crocs. Cake Pops. Uggs. Snuggies. What do all these have in common? Well, you probably hated them before you loved them. Uggs were ugly, Cake pops were foreign, and Crocs were for geezers.

Turns out, these products had some genius behind them. That genius is called ZAG.

So, what is ZAG? Marty Neumeier describes it in his book, Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands, as the embodiment of what it means to be different.

Today, we all have a need for speed. Amazon ships overnight, Seamless delivers everywhere, messages send in seconds, and what used ...
Read More

Finding Your Creative Confidence

Have you ever been told you that you weren’t creative?

Maybe it was an art teacher you had in 6th grade who shook her head in pity when she reviewed your work, or a classmate who made fun, or possibly even an old boss who told you, “stick to your day job.” Whatever it was, being told we aren’t creative can scar us for life. It instills the kind of fear that makes us hesitant to do anything outside the box or raise our hand when we have an idea (even a great one!).

A lot of us have stories like that, which is why companies and individuals often assume that creativity and i...
Read More

Fearless Innovation: How to Be Creative in the Face of Fear

What does it mean to be creative? Do you always need to think outside the box, or can you be creative within a set of rules you need to abide by? Are you born creative, or is it a learned skill? In PR, you have to be creative much of the time, which can be scary to some. Ed Catmull explains in his book, Creativity, Inc., that it’s okay to be scared if you learn to overcome it. Being creative and innovative, as he describes it, is an earned right. You need to fail early, fail fast, and fail fearlessly. Every early failure is a door that closes on future wasted time, allowing you to focus on ...
Read More

Crossing the Chasm: 23 Years Old and Still Going Strong

Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey Moore, is held in high regard at Zer0 to 5ive. In fact, it’s required reading for the account teams and some even refer to it as the “Company bible.” Moore’s book focuses on the specifics of marketing disruptive high-tech products during the early start up period, giving organizations a roadmap on how their products can successfully “cross the chasm” into the mainstream market.

One of the most vital aspects of Crossing the Chasm is positioning. Moore states that positioning is the most discussed, yet least understood, component of high-t...
Read More

The “Zen” Approach to an Effective Social Media Strategy

2013 turned out to be a big year for social media (SM) events. From Twitter going public, to new social media networks popping up, such as Vine and Snapchat, to PR executive Justine Sacco being fired for a racist and inappropriate Tweet. While SM certainly had it ups and downs this year, one thing is for sure – companies must have a solid SM strategy in order to be successful.

SM news website, Top Ten Social Media, listed the best SM Marketing books of 2013, including “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Kabani. The book provides a nice overview of the difference be...
Read More

Solving One of the Most Painful Problems in Business: Death by Meeting

I recently read the national best-selling book “Death by Meeting” by Patrick Lencioni. The book is a “leadership fable” about how a man named Casey, the CEO of a company called Yip, helped revamp and refocus the structure of the executive meetings in his company to help move his business forward. The book opened my eyes to the many pitfalls of bad meetings. There are very simple, basic ways to make sure you are using your team’s time productively and accomplish what is in front of you. Meetings can be painful, long, and sometimes, even pointless. Technical solutions like Skyp...
Read More
Jan 16

Fortune Favors the Prepared Mentee – Takeaways from Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Confession: I did not read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In from cover to cover. I read it from the inside out. For some reason, the first few chapters didn’t draw me in, but when I opened to the center of the book, I found some meaty insights that I wasn’t expecting – particularly around the idea of mentors.

For many of us, mentor is a loaded word. It suggests someone older and more experienced than yourself, who can provide you with sage advice and professional recommendations as you build your career. Or, if you are in corporate America, it may be a person who was assig...
Read More

Aug 27

A Review of Introducing HTML5

This book shows you all the new tags that HTML5 introduces, how to use them, and how they will be practically used in the future. The book also touches on SEO and how HTML5 will help search engines become more efficient. Remy Sharp and Bruce Lawson made this book very informative, while keeping it simple to read. The book reads cover to cover very quickly – it is not boring like most “coding” books. I strongly recommend this if you are just learning HTML5. Key Takeaways HTML5 is not near as strict with syntax – it is very “loose.” Header, Nav, Aside, Article, Section, and F...
Read More

A Review of The Brand Gap by Marty Neumier

So, what is the Brand Gap? Unfortunately the left brain (analytical, logical, linear, concrete) doesn't always know what the right brain (intuitive, emotional, spatial, visual) is doing. Whenever there's a rift between strategy and creativity - between logic and magic - there's a brand gap. It can cause a brilliant strategy to fail where it counts most, at the point of contact with the customer; or, it can doom a bold creative initiative before it's even launched, as early as the planning stage. A brand is not what YOU say it is. It's what THEY say it is. A brand is a person’...
Read More
Mar 26