OK, I’m not sure how to say this without it sounding like a blatant humblebrag, so bear with me.
We have a lot of books here at Braithwaite.
I know, I know. #FirstWorldProblems. But it’s true – we have hundreds of books stacked around our office.
One reason is that our founder, Hugh Braithwaite, is a prolific reader. I swear he reads six books a weekend. New books pop up in our office all the time. He probably hasn’t noticed that I’ve stolen, like, 20 of them.
Another reason is that we have always viewed our profession as practice, just like law and medicine, where continuous education is not only valued, but required. Marketing has no such laws. And that’s a shame. There are probably thousands of marketing and business books published every single year, bubbling with new ideas and best practices. We see it as our job to not only keep up, but share. Stories worth spreading, get it?
And then there’s the possibility that we have so many books because of a marketing campaign itself. You see, one of our conference rooms has a built-in bookshelf, and, supposedly, a renowned marketer named Edward L. Bernays – widely known as “the father of public relations” or “The Father of Spin” – once convinced architects, contractors and decorators to build more bookshelves so his book publishing clients could sell more books.
“Where there are bookshelves, there will be books,” Bernays is famously believed to have said.
“He figured a vacuum needs to be filled, and if you had bookshelves in a home, you weren’t going to fill it with cereal boxes, you were going to fill it with books,” author Larry Tye, Bernays’ biographer, said recently.
So, maybe we’re actually just suckers. We certainly haven’t filled our bookshelves with Cheerios and Cap’n Crunch.
But is that story actually true, or was Bernays just selling his own cleverness? Malcolm Gladwell is certainly skeptical.
This kind of stuff fascinates us. We like reading about the history of marketing and business, and learning about the latest news. We like understanding how people think, and how to better communicate so others will understand. And we just like hearing and sharing good stories.
That’s why we’re starting up a little book club. Every couple weeks we’ll put up a new post on our blog with some thoughts from our staff about the latest books we’ve been reading and what we found interesting about them. They won’t be like book reviews; we’re talking just short, candid takeaways, with a few of the key ideas and maybe some cool examples from each. We’re especially fans of great advice we can start using right away, and which you could find immediately useful as well.
You can also read all the posts in this series by clicking on the “Be On The Books” category at the top right of the page, or just clicking here.