It has almost been a month since Geoff Livingston's book, Now Is Gone, was launched.
I have gotten to know the Geoff much better since he called to interview me for his book earlier this summer. I am a regular reader of his excellent blog, the Buzz Bin and am a recent contributor to the Now Is Gone blog.
I was more than a little shocked when I opened my copy of the book and saw that Geoff used my Seven Categories of Social Media post as one of the forward chapters.
Before receiving the book, I had planned on doing a book review, but given that Geoff incorporated much of my thinking in parts of the book, I thought it would be better to tell you what I learned from the book instead.
Begin with Strategy
I appreciate Geoff's strategic way of thinking. The most important thing that I took away from the book is that before engaging in social media a company must make a series of decisions about resources, culture and transparency, rather than a rush to tactical concerns. He even suggests that some companies may not be social media ready.
Build Value to Become Relevant
Chapter three, Building a New Media Effort, might as well have been called Building Value, because he outlines how to affect the online community by adding value. Geoff also suggests having an editorial mission and creating outstanding content, an idea first forwarded in the excellent book, The New Rules of PR and Marketing by David Meerman Scott.
The enduring principle of Now is Gone is to build value for your community”
Chapter four was my favorite because it puts the community front-and-center. Part of the reason PR manages to screw up so royally is because we fail to put the interests of the people who buy our products or services before our own need to get some press clippings or online impressions. Rare is the effort that seeks to build something (usually content) of value for our customers that are looking to interact online. As the contributing author to the book, Brian Solis adds his thesis that Participation is Marketing.
The later chapters in the book add an excellent section on technology and its impact on marketing, advertising and public relations. Sprinkled throughout the book are a series of case studies that run the gamut from small to Fortune 500 companies. Geoff caps off the book with his Seven Principles of Social Media.
A Few Gems from Now Is Gone
- “Where social media shines is creating relationships, which is the first step to customer acquisition and the reinforcement of customer retention,” an interview with Toby Bloomberg of the Diva Marketing Blog
- Companies must use new and traditional media to become part of their [online] communities…in an honest, relationship-driven way
- The single notion that one message inspires everyone is absolutely ludicrous
- Companies have to be honest, communicate, give as well as take, and be ready for feedback
- [Social Media] forces high-ranking officials to jump back into customer relations
A Few Caveats
Now is Gone was written and rushed to market in much less than a year. As such, it is highly relevant but suffers from the lack of a good editor. The nature of social media has made it much harder (and infinitely more stressful) for authors to get a timely book out that is also a masterpiece.
Additionally, I am not a big fan of the term “PR 2.0.” I believe that the technology has enabled the communication process but shouldn't supplant it and terms that conjure up releases of software don't belong in most business environments. Of course, I generally don't practice in tech, so that might be my hang-up.
If you love perfect syntax and grammar, then Now is Gone, or for that matter this and most blogs, may not be for you. If that last sentence bothered you than this recommendation is for you. I wouldn't let a few typos stand between you and Geoff's excellent book on how businesses should strategically engage in social media.
Here is the link to Amazon.com if you want to take a look.
tags: Geoff+Livingston, Now+is+Gone, Book+Review