I’ve always been a writer, but it wasn’t until the mid ’90s that I acquired the taste for being published.
Most writers will confirm, I suspect, that there’s a unique satisfaction to seeing your words in print. There’s no comparable experience in the digital realm.
A half a career ago, when I was economist in Connecticut, I wrote for lots of newspapers. This was in the day when physical cuttings of the articles would be supplied by “clipping services” like Burrell’s, and in a file folder I still have all the pieces I wrote for National Review, The Washington Times, the New York Post, the Boston Herald, the Hartford Courant, Investors Business Daily, USA Today and of course The Wall Street Journal, to whom I’ve been contributing semi-regularly since 2001. Circa Y2K, I even wrote a weekly column for an entire year — 52 straight Thursday morning deadlines met — for a now-defunct investment website called money.net.
My unstated compact with my readers is this: if you read an article by me in the morning, and you go to a cocktail party that night, and a subject comes up related to my piece, you’ll have something interesting to contribute to the conversation, thanks to having read my piece.
Have I delivered on this consistently? Probably not, but I still think it’s a worthy objective.
NB: I’ll spare you my Greenspan-era harangues about monetary policy, etc. These articles listed below are some of my “greatest hits” from the last few years, exempting the few pieces I’ve had in Monocle, which although they’re sweet and have won me clients, are awfully short.
Some of these are behind pay walls or require you to buy a book. Email me and I’ll try to sort you out.
Branding articles and book chapters
“The city as a brand” — a chapter in The Brand Challenge (2014); email me or click here to buy the book
“The joys and sorrows of logos and slogans in place branding” — in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (2013); click here for PDF, here for HTML
“The measurement challenge” — chapter in Destination Brands, 3rd edition (2011); email me
“Nation branding: yesterday, today and tomorrow” — chapter co-authored with Wally Olins in Destination Brands, 3rd edition (2011); email me
“Place branding: A view at arm’s length” — in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (2010); This one’s kind of a classic, judging by how many requests I’ve gotten for it over the years, and it has inspired people like JT Singh, with whom I later formed the production company Thrilling Cities; email me
Branding and business books
Brand America 2nd edition (2010) — co-authored with Simon Anholt; email me or click here to buy
“Just Do It: An Open Letter to President Obama on Rejuvenating Brand America” — co-authored with Simon Anholt; Chapter 8 of Brand America 2nd edition (2010) — email me
Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital by Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander — I was an adviser and editor on this, not the author; click here to buy
AKQA Ideas Volume 1 — I was the copywriter; click her to buy, though I warn you: I’ve seen it listed for as much as £1,000 (who knows if it actually traded for that much).
“Despite the fact that this book is published by an agency, the writers have succeeded in making it celebratory , without making it self-congratulatory. What makes it enjoyable to read is that at times it is witty and self-deprecating in equal measure. And while the content is interesting, insightful and original, the real beauty is in the design – it is striking and fresh, raising the stakes to another level. A merger of authoritative content and style, where new media melds with old.”