About Branding

In response to my comment yesterday about writers “building a platform,” my wife, Mary, sent me a gem that had popped up on her Facebook page.

Washington Post columnist, Gene Weingarten wrote a hilarious and scathing article called, “How ‘branding’ is ruining journalism:”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/2011/06/07/AGBegthH_story.html

A journalism student had written to Weingarten, as part of her thesis research, asking how he built his brand.  His reply was short and to the point:  The best way to build a brand is to take a three-foot length of malleable iron and get one end red-hot. Then, apply it vigorously to the buttocks of the instructor who gave you this question. You want a nice, meaty sizzle.

The conditions that Weingarten describes in journalism – a financially-driven battle for “eyeballs” – affects traditional publishing as well, where writers are urged to “market themselves like Cheez Doodles.”  He cites Snooki as an example of publicity run amok.

Read it and weep.  Or better yet, read it and laugh.  Sometimes the two responses are not so far apart!

8 thoughts on “About Branding

  1. Weingarten’s article made me laugh and made me weep. “It is as though all our words have become gauzy filler material, the pale fluff inside decorative throw pillows.” kind of shook me up…sniff, sniff. My choice: (note the colon) I’ll pick myself up and keep blogging.


  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bumper sticker!!!!!!! That is what the concept of The Best Thing is ALL about….Our Human Mind does not (ever really) know what is Best, our gut, our heart, our intuition does. I have been inventing new ways to balalnce and support our personal energy for over a decade now. If I was concerned about how to “successfully” brand myself, I would not ahve a thing published or sold. As it stands, I have over 100 happy people with Energy Grid-Power for Your Life installed in their homes and a book that has sold almost 100 copies already. I often wondered why I do not read up on “how to do things” and instead just jump in and start doing them. This article points out the Best reason why you should go with Your Gut and not with your (or someone else’s) THINKING! Great post!


  3. Hilarious! And, as someone in academia whose institution (like so many others) seems very interested in joining the corporate model and branding, I would completely agree. . .
    We still have the patent to our old family brand, maybe it should be used on administrators too?


  4. Pingback: The pros and cons of branding « nohumanbeing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s