Lots of practical information for both building a business and living a life.

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RETHINKING REPUTATION

HOW PR TRUMPS MARKETING AND ADVERTISING IN THE NEW MEDIA WORLD

A fun and educational discussion of building and protecting a reputation by two leaders in the field of public relations.

Seitel (The Practice of Public Relations, 11th Edition, 2010) and Doorley (co-author: Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication, 2006), the founding academic director of the Public Relations master’s program at NYU, assemble a set of case studies from the fields of business, politics and sports, and they separate their view of public relations from advertising and marketing. “Public relations,” they write, “is mandatory; advertising optional.” The authors show how it is now possible to build a successful international business in a short time without advertising. Susie Levitt and Katie Shea, student designers of CitySlips footwear, achieved this through networking among family and friends and using their Facebook and Twitter accounts to organize and expand their outreach. Other cases showcase the relationship between branding and reputation and how qualities of character, such as integrity, impact the performance of both business corporations and individuals. An example is Roy Vagelos, who developed a cure for river blindness and who, when he was made an executive at Merck, ensured the drug was made available where needed for free. The authors contrast Exxon's disastrous response to the Valdez oil spill with the different types of blunders made by BP's leadership during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and they profile figures in sports and politics who have required PR help, including Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick, Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner. Seitel and Doorley also highlight the integrity of Clinton's former press secretary Mike McCurry, and they use Paul Volcker's example of public service to derive their own Volker rule: “never spin.”

Lots of practical information for both building a business and living a life.

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-230-33833-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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