book cover is here


book cover is here

I’d like to thank Jill at ALA Editions for listening to my thoughts about the book cover, and for working with me to get to the final. I really appreciate all the attention you gave to this process!


  1. andy havens, 6. April 2009, 19:30

    My 2-cents…

    The reason mission (and/or vision) statements are hard, is because most organizations try to create them without having a *reason* for having a mission statement. Those questions you asked:

    – What do we do?
    – How is it different?
    – Why does it matter?

    Are great ones. But the difference between “good” marketing and “successful” marketing is that successful marketing requires goals, and goals require measurement. I’ve had this argument with students/friends for years; some folks say that a goal doesn’t have to be measurable. I disagree; even if it’s only directional, measurement is required. You have to know if you want to get closer to the West or East end of the field, or you may end up going the entirely wrong way.

    So… what is the goal of having a mission statement? For most marketing communications efforts, you want to define stuff like audience, tone, call to action, main message, etc. There are times when I refer to this as “unpacking” the goals of a project. We know we want something that’s “good;” nobody wants to create bad stuff. That’s a given. But running East at 10mph is just as “good” as running West… but may be less successful from a goal-oriented viewpoint.

    When I was in wireless marketing, at one point, we got merged (as one of the 12 re-orgs I went through in 10 years) and the VPs wanted a mission statement. But they made it clear that it was meant to be one that spoke to employees. That made it much easier in many ways. This is what the company means to “us.” It wouldn’t have been inappropriate for customers to see it… but it wasn’t aimed at them. Partly this was because merging two very different corporate cultures was one of the biggest challenges we were facing. Partly it was because, in the words of one of the VPs, “Our advertising is for the public. Our vision is for ourselves.”

    Who are you writing your mission statement for? What do you want them to do differently after they read and/or absorb it? How often will you be reinforcing or referencing the statement in regular work? Is it meant to inspire, inform or guide? How often will you review it? What standard business measurements can apply to it? The more clearly you can lock down the work you expect your mission statement to perform, the less fuzzy the prospect of writing it will become. And (hopefully) your mastery of WJ will become an asset as opposed to a stumbling block.

    Hope all is well with ya. Good luck.

    – A