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The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age by PHILIP SHELDRAKE

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10

THE CHIEF INFLUENCE OFFICER AND INFLUENCE PROFESSIONAL

Let me generalize. Marketing is too hit and miss. Advertising is in spasm. Public relations is polarized, with a minority that ‘get it’ and a majority that don’t know they don’t. Customer service is drowning. The ‘digital’ slash ‘social’ set are trying hard to live up to the false promise they promised. The Chief Exec is frustrated that things just aren’t gelling. And almost everyone is inwardly focused on the current recessionary (or at least ‘non-boom’) climate, this month’s costs and cash flows.

Is this fair? No, I said I was generalizing. But I have spoken with quite a few board directors from different disciplinary backgrounds over the last few years who hold at least one of these views about the other disciplines, and not too rarely about their own.

Confusion reigns. We have SEO shops issuing press releases (and running reputational risks138), advertising firms recruiting PR consultants,139 PR firms brushing up their SEO,140 and a ‘media buying shop’ being awarded a major digital PR contract.141 Many organizations, not just end-users, appear to be suffering so-called social network fatigue.

Some baggage handlers break a guitar and some customer service staff claim ignorance, and then it’s all hands fighting the fire.142 Nokia’s failure to understand changes in its market are partially attributed by Bloomberg BusinessWeek to it being in Finland, “that meant it wasn’t in the mix of innovative ideas, which would have ...

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