Guest post: Brand Anarchy "a book by old people, for old people"
After reading mine and Steve Earl’s book Brand Anarchy public relations student Ian Johnson reckons that it’s a book that is written by old people, for old people, making the point that the current generation of public relations students have grown up with social media. By Ian Johnson
I read Brand Anarchy this week, after waiting several weeks for the Sunderland University student library to have a copy available for loan. This book would champion the two most important things in my life at present, namely social media and public relations.
On folding close the final page and laying down the book, my wondering mind was prematurely stopped by thoughts of a generation gap, and worse still The Sex Pistols.
My initial reaction was that I, the converted, had been preached to. The book seemed to prepare the reader for the influx of some immigrant force of social media that would slowly but surely twist and turn everything they knew about public relations.
By old people, for old people This book was clearly written by old people, for old people. Brand Anarchy was written by experienced communications experts to get the rest of the industry up-to-date, up-to-speed and up-to-scratch, with how everyone else is already communicating.
To my generation, and the generations in our wake, social media is just an extension of our voice and our hands. We don’t consider the internet to be a media, like the radio or a newspaper; it’s much more than that, and much less to some extent; its natural, organic, and we’re not nostalgic about print because we’ve already seen off our CDs, mini-discs, and most recently iPods.
The velocity of technological advances is taken for granted, and they fit around our lives, we don’t fit our lives into them.
My conclusion? It’s not that the youth of today is in some way advanced, and every communication team should have a philosophy of out with the old, in with the new. However, I do think there is a gap. What if the YouTube generation were taught how to get the strategy right, and to understand how social media fits into marketing and corporate communications?
Brand Anarchy is a recognition that public relations was caught “on the hop” as the authors repeatedly assert and if they want the younger generations to listen to them they’d better start singing in the right venues.
But what do we get from it? How about a book, which takes social media for granted and explains the nuances of reputation building for the social media savvy?