There are five books I keep within reach in my office. Sometimes I need a reminder on some of the wisdom offered within. Other times I need to produce a pithy quote to convince a client I haven’t lost my mind. And, of course, I also want to appear to be smart to people who visit.
Those five books are The Cluetrain Manifesto by Doc Searls, Chris Locke, Rick Levine and David Weinberger; The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell; Brand Hijack by Alex WipperfÃ¼rth; The Anatomy of Buzz by Emanuel Rosen and The Complete Far Side by Gary Larson. Sometimes you just need to laugh.
When I heard Rosen was publishing a new version of his “Anatomy of Buzz” only revised some nine years after its first publishing, I was excited. Buzz, and the accompanying strategies and tactics to achieve it have evolved greatly since 2000. Social media as we know it today didn’t exist then. The Cluetrain was just published. Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school. No one knew who Julia Allison was or what she did. Very few do today, but don’t ruin my punch line.
The point is that the world we live, and market, in has changed. Rosen’s work, while best-selling and wholly relevant, even in today’s context, was due for a paint job.
And what a paint job it got.
“The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited” is out and in bookstores. Go buy it. Even if you have the first one. It’s worth how ever much Doubleday is asking Barnes and Noble to sell it for. With 2/3 of the book new and even more great case studies, Rosen proves again that he is one of, if not the, leading authorities on word of mouth marketing. The work includes the chapter called, “Buzz Workshop” which helps you assess your brand and how to build buzz-generating prorams for it. That chapter alone is why this book will now rest on my office shelf.
My only criticism of the book is that I would have loved more social media and online specific examples. Still, there are plenty and the case studies are inspiring and not the same 10 you hear over and over again, even if Will It Blend still made the cut.
The key takeaways from the new version of the book for me were the same I had from the first version I read three or four years ago. The flames of buzz can be fanned. It’s not always accidental. And no amount of marketing can create buzz for a product that sucks.
There is a lot more to be learned in the book. Go buy it. If you’re interested in marketing or communications at all, it’ll soon find its way to your office shelf.
And it would be an oversight if I didn’t take a moment to let you know how Rosen fanned the flames of buzz for his book with me. Rosen started following me on Twitter. Flattered, I sent him a message saying, “It’s not everyday one of your favorite authors follows you on Twitter. I’m honored, sir.” His response was to send me a copy of the book and see if there was an opportunity for him to promote the book in Louisville soon.
So not only did I have a chance to review the book, but I’m pleased that Rosen himself will be the guest of honor at the April meeting of the Social Media Club Louisville. (RSVP by visiting our Eventbright page here.) Certainly, there’s something to be said for knowing how to build buzz. If you’re in or around Louisville April 14, come learn from one of the best.
And go buy the book. It’s well worth it.
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- The State of Buzz (and Word of Mouth) in 2009 (chrisabraham.com)
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