Having spent more than a year reading countless dry and difficult academic books, I can’t describe to you just how refreshing Brian Solis’ Engage! actually is. It is perhaps the most ‘unacademic’ academic book I have ever read. The methodologies and principles presented are career changing and it is disarming delivered as if the author is having a conversation with you in the pub. He is passionate, knowledgeable, humorous and inspiring.
Solis begins by exploring why embracing new media is vital to the future success of your business. Important to this argument is the concept that new media has changed everything, creating a world where the public is back firmly at the centre of public relations.
“Content is the new democracy and we, the people, are ensuring that our voices are heard.
“This is your chance to reinvigorate the tired and ageing models of marketing and service, build a corporate brand, and increase revenue; all while paving the way for a brighter, more rewarding and more prosperous metier”
For business to thrive in this new environment Solis suggests that we need to do four things listen, learn, engage and evolve. Simple you say? Well, Solis spends much of the book explain how hard this can be but what rewards you will get if you do so.
He patiently takes you through all the tools at your disposal before exploring the strategies and guidelines and may help you make the most out of these mediums. He then ends by exploring a number of specialist areas, including branding, marketing and customer service.
Throughout these chapters it is clear that Solis believes new media has made PR the responsibility of everyone in an organisation, from customer services to HR and marketing. He takes a holistic approach to the subject, rather than protecting particular departmental silos. e.g. marketing. As a result he presents a strong case for why new media will force businesses to change the way they are built and the way they operate.
Particularly interesting for me were the chapters on syndication and aggregation and the rules of engagement. But there are gems throughout this publication, including the wonderful Conversation Prism.
All in all this is an exciting book. I would perhaps even go so far as to say that I have never been so inspired by a book before. I now aspire to be a life student, champion and perhaps even leader in this field. Solis successfully welcomed me to the revolution and I have embraced the battle cry ‘Engage or Die’.