Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

My husband bought this book for me for my birthday. He had heard an interview with the author on one of his favorite talk radio shows.

Here are some points from the book and how I can apply them to my PR business. As the book explains, “If anyone wants to start an epidemic, then he or she has to somehow employ Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen: he or she has to find some person or some means to translate the message of the Innovators into something the rest of us can understand.”

This is what I do as a PR professional. One example of how I’ve done this is with a former baby sling client. I developed a relationship with a popular mom/blogger who writes about baby slings. She was generous enough to include many of our promotions and contest on her blog. This helped build my client’s business.

I found his theory on the success of Paul Revere’s ride fascinating. As well as the success of making NY subways safer by removing graffiti. All parents will find it helpful to know who may influence the smoking epidemic in their children’s lives.

“It takes only the smallest of changes to shatter an epidemic equilibrium.

Social epidemics are driven by the efforts of a handful of exceptional people. How socialable they are, how energetic or how knowledgeable or influential among their peers.

Epidemics tips because of the extraordinary efforts of a few select carriers.” (It was fun to learn about these carriers and categorize various people I’ve met in my life.)

“Any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.”

“Connectors, people with a special gift for bringing the world together. Connectors manage to occupy many different worlds and subcultures and niches. …they have some combination of curiosity, self confidence, sociability and energy.” Peter Shankman, the creator of HARO comes to mind.

“It’s also the case that the closer an idea or a product comes to a Connector, the more power and opportunity it has as well.”

As a PR person, how can I find the connectors and mavens in each of my clients’ industries? How can I find the “exception few” who are capable of starting epidemics? Once I find them, how can I develop relationships with them and treat them well?

“Have the knowledge and social skills to start word-of-mouth epidemics. They are teachers as well as students. Mavens are the data banks. Connectors are the social glue.”

Gladwells’s studies on the “Stickiness Factor” in ads was also fascinating. He talks about very simple things companies have added to their ads that made all the difference.” With this in mind, I’ve been trying to place directions to my clients’ businesses in the blog posts I write for them.

“…small, close-knit groups have the power to magnify the epidemic potential of a message or idea. What are the most effective groups? Many small movements can create one contagious movement.”

What blogs, Yahoo Groups, FaceBook groups, etc. should my clients be a part of?

I highly recommend “The Tipping Point” for anyone with their own business and anyone who does business consulting. http://www.gladwell.com/

No comments: