Is it time for a post-capitalism post-communism mashup?

The Guardian | An Age of Sharing

Books on politics and political issues rarely capture my attention or my imagination.

During the past decade, I have read just three books about politics, all biographies – Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. Probably great fodder for Freudians who’d like to pop me in a pigeon-hole. Good luck with that!

My own self-analysis of why these works did attract me tells me that each addresses times and experiences of significant change and, indeed, upheavals in society, in political landscapes and more. Each author, either directly and/or via a ghost, weaves a compelling narrative that resonates strongly with my understanding and sense of contemporary society and the changes I might wish to see happen as well as those I’d rather not.

The politics in each – in terms of labels like left, centre and right – get largely ignored.

This morning, during my usual early-Saturday online news consumption and sharing time, I came across an article in The Guardian by journalist Paul Mason that did very much capture my attention and my imagination.

In the article, published on July 17, Mason lays out a deep rationale and the canvas for his forthcoming book that discusses a topic that is most interesting if you take the politics out of it – the successor to capitalism.

Titled simply PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, Mason’s book is described by publisher Penguin as “a guide to our era of seismic economic change, and how we can build a more equal society.” Clearly politics – and by that word, I mean class politics – will be very much a part of this no matter how I wish it weren’t.

After reading Mason’s piece in The Guardian, I thought about how would I sum up what the book’s about in a tweetable-length text? I came up with this:

Mason’s article is peppered with thought-provoking opinions to support his clear view that we are en route to a post-capitalist world that will capture your imagination, whether you agree or not.

To start with:

Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian.

Well, that got my attention. Thank God he didn’t say “It’s time to be dystopian” that you might expect from a journalist who, in his own words, “was a Leftie activist.”

Then this:

Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, whole swaths of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Parallel currencies, time banks, cooperatives and self-managed spaces have proliferated, barely noticed by the economics profession, and often as a direct result of the shattering of the old structures in the post-2008 crisis.

New forms of ownership, new forms of lending, new legal contracts: a whole business subculture has emerged over the past 10 years, which the media has dubbed the “sharing economy”. Buzzwords such as the “commons” and “peer-production” are thrown around, but few have bothered to ask what this development means for capitalism itself.

And a paragraph that especially grabbed my attention:

There is, alongside the world of monopolised information and surveillance created by corporations and governments, a different dynamic growing up around information: information as a social good, free at the point of use, incapable of being owned or exploited or priced. I’ve surveyed the attempts by economists and business gurus to build a framework to understand the dynamics of an economy based on abundant, socially-held information. But it was actually imagined by one 19th-century economist in the era of the telegraph and the steam engine. His name? Karl Marx.

Karl Marx, as you will know, was a co-author of the Communist Party Manifesto, a publication I read in the 1970s and have always believed presents a Utopian view of a world that has never (can never?) been fulfilled as the failed dystopian Soviet project over a 70-year period clearly illustrated.

What Mason argues is for change within the current economic (and, I would argue, political) system rather than the “man the barricades” treatments you typically hear from ‘Leftie activists’ and those who talk about “we are the 99 percent,” etc. And, arguably, that’s what you see and hear today in much of the polarising rhetoric from the mainstream political Left.

So I like how Paul Mason makes his arguments for change with reality statements like this:

The modern day external shocks are clear: energy depletion, climate change, ageing populations and migration. They are altering the dynamics of capitalism and making it unworkable in the long term. They have not yet had the same impact as the Black Death – but as we saw in New Orleans in 2005 [hurricane Katrina], it does not take the bubonic plague to destroy social order and functional infrastructure in a financially complex and impoverished society.

And finally:

Most 20th-century leftists believed that they did not have the luxury of a managed transition: it was an article of faith for them that nothing of the coming system could exist within the old one – though the working class always attempted to create an alternative life within and “despite” capitalism. As a result, once the possibility of a Soviet-style transition disappeared, the modern left became preoccupied simply with opposing things: the privatisation of healthcare, anti-union laws, fracking – the list goes on.

And so I have pre-ordered the Kindle edition of Mason’s book which will be published in the UK on July 30. Can’t wait to read it.

[Image at top via The Guardian.]

FIR Book Review: ‘Trust Me, PR Is Dead’ By Robert Phillips

Trust Me, PR Is Dead Robert Phillips stunned the PR agency world when he walked away from his prestigious position as CEO of Edelman EMEA. Phillips explains his decision in Trust Me, PR is Dead, in which he calls for an end to the PR industry and advocates instead for a new model of public leadership (as the replacement for PR) and public value (the role of corporations which, Phillips believes, need to adopt a reinvented kind of capitalism that focuses as much on contributing to society as to their bottom lines).

Phillips came to Edelman when the agency he cofounded – Jackie Cooper PR – was acquired. While at Jackie Cooper, he was instrumental in the development of ground-breaking campaigns, including “Hello Boys” for Wonderbra.

Today he is co-founder of Jericho Chambers, which helps organizations become the kinds of organizations he believes corporations need to be – a vision he articulates in his book, which The Huffington Post called “Thrilling…a passionate revolution.”

FIR co-host Shel Holtz has a different perspective, which he shares in this FIR Book Review.

Listen Now:

Get this Podcast:

Book Info

Trust Me, PR is Dead

Publisher: Unbound
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 18, 2015
ISBN-10: 1783520833
ISBN-13: 978-1783520831

Purchase at Amazon US (Kindle version not yet available), Amazon Canada (Kindle version not yet available), or Amazon UK (Kindle version).

Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcast in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

(Cross-posted from the FIR Podcast Network.)

FIR Book Review: Geeks Bearing Gifts by Jeff Jarvis

Geeks Bearing GiftsGeeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News is CUNY journalism professor Jeff Jarvis‘ latest book, exploring the pressures on current news models and the directions news organizations need to go in order to thrive in the digital world.

FIR co-host Shel Holtz reviews the book, which has implications for organizational communicators, particularly in imagining the role of media relations in the future Jarvis imagines.

From the book description on Amazon:

Technology has disrupted the news industry – its relationships, forms, and business models – but also provides no end of opportunities for improving, expanding, reimagining, and sustaining journalism. Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News is a creative, thought-provoking and entertaining exploration of the possible future(s) of news by Professor Jeff Jarvis, who leads the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Jeff JarvisTo Jarvis, journalism helps a community better organize its knowledge so it can better organize itself: “But we in the field came to define ourselves less by our value and mission and more by our media and tools – ink on pulp or slick paper, sound or images over airwaves. Now we have new tools to exploit. Those tools require new skills and create new value. But at the core, we serve citizens and communities.” He offers not a single definitive future of journalism and news, but a range of possibilities depending on how journalists and journalism evolve – with the help of the ‘geeks’ whose advances in media technology offer many opportunities for journalists and media entrepreneurs who are willing to think creatively and take risks.

Jarvis, one of the preeminent voices on emerging forms of journalism, news delivery, and community engagement, advises many media companies, start-ups, and foundations. He is a former president and creative director of Advance.net, the online arm of Advance Publications, and was the creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly; Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News; TV critic for TV Guide and People; a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner; and assistant city editor and reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Listen Now:

Get this Podcast:

Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News

Publisher: CUNY Journalism Press
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published November 2014
ISBN-10: 1939293731
ISBN-13: 978-1939293732

Purchase at Amazon US (US Kindle edition), Amazon Canada (Kindle only), or Amazon UK (UK Kindle edition).

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

FIR Book Review: The Mobile Mind Shift, by Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff, and Julie Ask

The Mobile Mind ShiftThe Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment provides the first comprehensive overview of what it takes to develop mobile resources that accommodate the growing expectations of users who increasingly turn first to mobile devices.

FIR co-host Shel Holtz reviews the book written by three Forrester Research analysts: Ted Schadler, technology analyst; Josh Bernoff, senior vice president of Idea Development; and Julie Ask, mobile analyst.

From the book description on Amazon:

“Mobile has reprogrammed your customers’ brains.

“Your customers now turn to their smartphones for everything. What’s tomorrow’s weather? Is the flight on time? Where’s the nearest store, and is this product cheaper there? Whatever the question, the answer is on the phone. This Pavlovian response is the mobile mind shift ù the expectation that I can get what I want, anytime, in my immediate context.

“Your new battleground for customers is this mobile moment – the instant in which your customer is seeking an answer. If you’re there for them, they’ll love you; if you’re not, you’ll lose their business. Both entrepreneurial companies like Dropbox and huge corporations like Nestlé are winning in that mobile moment. Are you?

“Based on 200 interviews with entrepreneurs and major companies across the globe, The Mobile Mind Shift is the first book to explain how you can exploit mobile moments.”

Listen Now:

Get this Podcast:

The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment

Publisher: Groundswell Press
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 2014
ISBN-10: 0991361008
ISBN-13: 978-0991361007

Purchase at Amazon US (US Kindle edition), Amazon Canada (Canada Kindle Edition), or Amazon UK (UK Kindle edition).

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future reviews, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the weekly Hobson and Holtz Report, subscribe to the full RSS feed.

This FIR Book Review podcast is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

 

FIR Interview: Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, co-authors, The Power of Visual Storytelling

The Power of Visual StorytellingFIR co-host Shel Holtz talks with Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, who are out with a brand new book from McGraw Hill, The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand.

The publisher’s description of the book notes:

  • The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
  • Web posts with visuals drive up to 180% more engagement than those without.
  • Viewers spend 100% more time on web pages with videos.

Filled with full-color images and thought-provoking examples from leading companies, The Power of Visual Storytelling explains how to grow your business and strengthen your brand by leveraging photos, videos, infographics, presentations, and other rich media. The book delivers a powerful road map for getting started, while inspiring new levels of creativity within organizations of all types and sizes.

Listen Now:

Get this podcast:

About our Conversation Partners

[L to R] Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

Ekaterina Walter (left in photo above) led strategic and marketing innovation for brands such as Intel and Accenture, and is currently CMO of Branderati. She is an international speaker and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller  Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg  and co-author of  The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand.

Ekaterina sits on the Board of Directors of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). Her thought leadership was featured on CNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, Forbes, TechCrunch, CNN, WSJ, Inc., Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, and more. You can find her on Twitter: @Ekaterina. Her blog is at ekaterinawalter.com.

Jessica Gioglio (right in photo above) is the social media manager for Dunkin’ Donuts and the co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand.  Prior to joining Dunkin’ Donuts, Jessica held roles at TripAdvisor, State Street and Comcast. Reach Jessica on Twitter at @savvybostonian.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe music – On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

FIR Interview: Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda, authors of ZERO

ZERO“Our position is that a perfect storm is coming,” say Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda as an attention-grabbing way to start a discussion about ZERO: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model, the new book by the two authors published by Wiley in October 2013.

It may already be here, adds Jaffe: “In the book, we introduce several key arguments – business, economic, consumer, media and creative cases – any of which could, by itself, be enough to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but when combined presents a perfect-storm scenario.”

In this FIR Interview, Jaffe and Albarda describe the central premise of ZERO to co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz, explaining their thinking and passion behind ZERO’s core principle: if media inflation continues to outpace and run away from economic inflation, the bottom may fall out the media model.

They explain the meaning behind each letter in the book’s title – Zealots (advocacy), Entrepreneurship (innovation), Retention (customer-centricity), and Owned Assets (direct-to-consumer channels).

The two men believe that “ZERO marketing” is all about slow burn and long tail. “It’s about using existing customers to gain new ones,” they declare. “It’s about utilizing customers and advocates in innovative ways, leveraging existing assets as opposed to piggy-bagging on the borrowed interest and/or equity of middlemen.”

Specifically written for C-suite executives who work for leading brands, ZERO: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model is a ten-point action plan that responds to Jaffe’s and Albarda’s no-holds-barred call to action for corporations and their marketers to adapt or die amid an increasingly turbulent, changing, and dynamic media landscape.

Listen Now:

Get this podcast:

About our Conversation Partners

Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda

[Above: The two authors of ZERO (l-r): Joseph Jaffe and Maarten Albarda.]

One of the most sought-after consultants, speakers and thought leaders on innovation, marketing, new media and social media, Joseph Jaffe is Founder and CEO of Evol8tion, LLC (www.startupsforbrands.com), an innovation boutique that connects early stage startups with established brands to partner via acceleration, pilot programs and/or investment. Evol8tion’s clients include Unilever, Mondelez International, Anheuser-Busch InBev, P&G, and Kraft Foods. He previously founded and ran social media boutique, crayon, before it was acquired.

Jaffe has authored four books, including Life after the 30-Second Spot, Join the Conversation, Flip the Funnel and now, ZERO – Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model (www.zeropaidmedia.com).

Maarten Albarda started his career as a media planner at JWT Amsterdam. Three years later he moved to Leo Burnett Amsterdam as Media Director. In 1991 he took on managing Philip Morris and P&G Europe, Middle East & Africa and relocated to London.

After eight years, McCann-Erickson tasked Maarten with the Coca-Cola Europe & Africa business. Two years later he moved with McCann to New York to take on global responsibility for Coca-Cola.

In 1999 Coca-Cola appointed him VP, Media & Marketing Asset Management to Coca-Cola Japan. The next four years were spent developing the first IMC World Cup campaign. In 2002 Maarten moved to Coca-Cola Germany to implement IMC for all brands and support the next World Cup campaign.

In late 2005 Maarten relocated to Coke’s headquarters in Atlanta as Director, Global Media and & Innovation.

In 2008, Anheuser-Busch Inbev was formed as the world’s largest beer brewer. Maarten joined the company’s NY HQ in September 2009 as VP, Global Connections with responsibility for all consumer touch points.

In early 2013 Maarten formed MLA Consulting, LLC. He delivers strategic consulting on Integrated Marketing to Fortune 500 marketers and serves on several Advisory Boards.

  • Connect with Maarten on Twitter: @malbarda.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe music – On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)