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Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand Hardcover – November 10, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470293705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470293706
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,643,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

tactical transparency

Organizations are under a microscope as never before, and thanks to the Internet and the growing use of high-speed connections, word of misdeeds and mistakes can spread to millions with unprecedented speed, causing untold damage to an organization's reputation and share price. No longer just a "nice-to-know" concept, transparency has become a state of mind for thousands of CEOs, managers, employees, and customers around the globe. The flood of social media has brought in an age of digital transparency that is?putting the power to create or destroy a reputation into the hands of consumers. Every business today must speak the language and meet the expectations of a new digital population.

While exposing the risks inherent in maintaining a nontransparent relationship with customers, Tactical Transparency provides a methodology that will help organizations create their own unique plans to bring greater authenticity to their companies and brands. Drawn largely from interviews with leaders in companies that have achieved measurable success in this arena, authors Shel Holtz and John C. Havens provide step-by-step details on how executives and professional communicators can create a transparency strategy that will keep their organizations competitive in the twenty-first century. The authors show how organizations can evaluate their readiness for transparency, what they need to do to get ready, and how?to effectively communicate their transparency strategy to their customers and employees. They also identify aspects of blog/new media "netiquette"—an important but often misunderstood part of engaging in transparency.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Tactical Transparency

"I think this book spells out this new form of online communication in an extremely clear and valuable way. It drives home the point that social networking and blogging are only as useful and effective as the energy you put forth. As CEO, if you are sincere in your belief that the consumer of today deserves an opportunity to be heard, and you believe in your mission and direction for the company you lead, then this kind of communication is appropriate and necessary for future success!"
—Cindi Bigelow, president, Bigelow Tea

"Being better engaged with the marketplace than your competition is an advantage; transparency and authenticity are vital to that engagement. Engaging in an authentic conversation with the markets you serve brings nothing but opportunity."
—Jonathan Schwartz, CEO and president, Sun Microsystems

"Social media is transforming our culture. Smart companies value social media as a cultural pathway to creating more trustworthy relationships with customers. Holtz and Havens have crafted an impressive blueprint on how to be successful in this new age."
—Jackie Huba, coauthor, Citizen Marketers and Creating Customer Evangelists

"Using effective scenarios and real examples, this book will help corporate leaders visualize and practically achieve the positive results coming from embracing authenticity in communicating to customers, partners, and internal employees."
—Paolo Tosolini, new media business manager, Microsoft Corp.

"In a world of transparency, consumers cut through the bull, the fluff, the noise, and the decoys to see what's really at the unvarnished core. This excellent book—written by two experts who have never taken off their own transparency goggles—is part warning shot and part blueprint for the future."
—Pete Blackshaw, EVP, Nielsen Online, and author, Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David A. Rozansky on July 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Holtz and Havens put together the business book I've been hoping for. The premise of this groundbreaking business-strategy book is that companies need to be more forthcoming with information about the internal workings of their business. There are three "publics" that a business deals with, according to this book: external (the public), internal (employees) and investors.

From Enron to AIG, opacity in how executives make decisions has cost investors, employees and investors dearly, and the government is stepping up regulations to force companies to be more transparent. Holtz and Havens show that companies that have been transparent all along--with liberal employee-blog policies, social marketing policies and releasing what was once sensitive information (financials, research, opinions, and the handling of corporate mistakes and blunders)--have always fared better and retained the loyalty of their publics even in bad times.

There are concerns to being transparent. Some information is not for competitors' eyes, and some information cannot be legally exposed, especially in publicly traded companies. But the argument for releasing as much information as possible is put forth quite admirably.

By being transparent, a company becomes motivated by honesty, not greed. The employees have a better understanding if the bottom line, and investors feel more confident about the management decisions. A two-way conversation with the public means that a company is better positioned to compete.

The most important points that Holtz and Havens make are that corporate transparency is a legal, moral and competitive requirement, and that transparency among businesses is inevitable, that opacity is not only futile, but self-destructive.

I strongly recommend this book, with a rating of A+. Not only was I inspired by what Holtz and Havens wrote, I am moved to incorporate their ideas into the Flying Pen Press way of business.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Gordon on February 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've had the pleasure of hearing John Havens speak at various seminars and panels in New York. That background has been extremely useful in building our start up, ShortForm.TV. I'm glad everyone else now has the opportunity to tap into John's and Shel's insights on initiating and maintaining a dialogue with customers. This knowledge is critical to all of us now since, as the authors say, "the toothpaste is out of the tube!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jolie Perara on March 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Focus on dialogue not monologue." This is running premise throughout the book. I feel this universal principal allows us to build long-lasting relationships in business and family life. In business, many companies are finding that you can't just "do" a website; instead, the website needs to engage the consumer in a conversation. All the while, this premise has reminded me how important it is to stop talking to the family and start listening. Living a transparent life gives us the opportunity to connect with others on a deeper level, and that will give us a more fulfilling business and personal life.
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