#brandvandals and the internet’s darker side


How would you write a blog post about a book you’ve just co-written and avoid shameless self-promotion?

It’s a challenge isn’t it? Let’s see how I do.

The sweeping changes, driven by the reshaping of media, that have impacted the public relations industry in recent years have been the subject of several books intended to help people to get to grips with new techniques and new possibilities. But all have steered clear of perhaps the darkest side of all this progress – the people who deliberately set out to trash reputations.

Which is why #brandvandals (yes the title is a hashtag, yes that’s probably a world-first, yes that should capture all the online conversation about it) is a book that was waiting to be written.

When Stephen Waddington and I penned Brand Anarchy last year, the question many readers asked was how bad could it get? That’s what #brandvandals (correct, #brandvandals) aims to tackle. The really dirty stuff. The working title was Brand Vandalism, but we shortened it.

I got my hands on the first print copies this morning, hot off the press. There’s a social book club on the internet for people wanting to review it ahead of its general sale date of Hallowe’en. I know, spooky.

The first half of #brandvandals explores examples of deliberate brand sabotage and aims to give readers a glimpse inside the minds of the people who set out to ruin reputations. The second half looks at how to build better brand defences, how to see around corners and how best to upgrade communications functions to be better prepared. It is not meant to be a comedy.

Huge thanks to the people at Bloomsbury who’ve made the book possible, particularly Richard Charkin for his faith in the project. And gratitude too to the countless people who’ve contributed comments and wisdom.

Invitations to a launch party will go out in due course. The book is available for pre-order. Reviews are pending.

Let’s just hope it’s better than my attempt to avoid blatant self-promotion.

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