Friday, December 15, 2006

Success Books - "High Visibility" Part 3

This is Part 3 of my review of Rein and Kotler’s High Visibility: Transforming Your Personal and Professional Brand. Part 1 is available here and Part 2 here. In reflecting on the entire book, I would say that this book should be viewed more as a textbook rather than an instructional manual for attaining visibility. It is exhaustive, and replete with excellent examples, but there is no real “How To” section. It appears aimed at being a textbook for marketing anf media courses.

The latter third of the book deals with:

Brand Transformation
The actual changes required of the “aspirant” to meet the needs of the market. What is the “target market”? How large? How old? How crowded with other “aspirants”? Is there room?

What “character” should the aspirant play? Tough Guy? Vixen? Brainiac?

What kind of coaching do they need? Speaking? Interviewing? Dress? Walk? Body Shaping?

Delivering the brand
What “channels” are appropriate for attaining visibility?
Old media? New media? Small audiences? Large audiences? Niche audiences?

There is a great section on why the media needs your story: they are hungry for stories that fit certain archetypes: personal struggle, leading-edge of trends, gossip, etc.

There is also an exhaustive section on the “black art” of PR (i.e. public relations). Few of us know that a huge majority of stories we see on TV “news” are actually created, not by newspeople, but by PR people. Very informative.

Sustaining the brand
Most “stars”, be they business, sports, or entertainment, go into decline eventually . Good management of one’s career, after the zenith is over, can contribute immeasurably to long-term income. A typical example is from sports star to TV commentator, but the book has many others.

In conclusion, the book makes some excellent points:

1. High visibility carries a huge income premium and is worth pursuing
2. There are many areas outside of sports, entertainment and politics in which an “aspirant” can earn that premium. Many walks of lidfe are open to high visibility
3. To be a “brand”, a person must be willing to be flexible enough to “transform” into what the market is looking for.
4. There are legions of professionals to help him/her do this.

For anyone aspiring to be visible, or perhaps participate in any of the related “visibility industries”, High Visibility is a must-read. Be prepared, however: this is a major text, and no “walk in the park”.

Go to Part 1

Go to Part 2

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