Charts the rise and fall of the spin culture of the last two decades... Every decade has its own identity, key values and needs. The 1990s were the age of spin, when the materialism of the 1980s, the desire for instant communication and soundbite democracy came together in the spin culture. This spread throughout society from business and politics even to charities and the church. Somewhere in these polished communications the message was lost. In this fascinating and highly readable work George Pitcher tells the story of the rise and fall of the spin culture, predicting its final death in the early years of the twenty first century. He examines methods of communication as a reflection of and within the context of the values of society and the process of democracy, before drawing on his considerable experience both as the giver and receiver of spin, to examine how we can move beyond the age of spin. * A zeitgeist work that captures the quest for meaning in the current age and a desire to progress beyond the heady days of spin culture. * Charts the history and rationale of spin throughout society from the early days of Margaret Thatcher to the death of spin in the hands of the masters of the spin culture. * Interspersed with the author's own diary entries as a journalist covering major events of the past twenty years * Discusses methods of communication, how they reflect the values of the age and the relationship between business and politics * Discusses the way ahead: how politicians, businesses and institutions can communicate with the general population in the post spin age. * Author offers a unique perspective with insights both as the giver and receiver of spin.
Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Media. Finance. Politics. Institutions. Issues. New Business. New Communications. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index.
"…the prize for ponderous pap this week goes to George Pitcher, author of The Death of Spin…" (The Guardian (City Diary), 12 November 2002) "…Pitcher writes knowledgably and persuasively on the financial and political dimensions of PR practice…reminiscent in its breadth of fellow former Observer journalist Anthony Sampson’s Anatomy of Britain, it also shares some of the moral questioning characteristic of the management writer Charles Handy…"(www.writeeffect.co.uk 22 November 2002) "…The author of this incisive volume is a former spin doctor…his comments on vacuous Late review-style criticism are worth the cover price alone…" (Scotland on Sunday, 15 December 2002) "…a fine book, from a man who has not only seen spin…but thought about it too…" (Management Today, January 2003) "…this small book, big on ideas, is the best survey of our business I’ve read in years…" (Profile (Institute of Public Relations), February 2003) "…Help, and an antidote, is at hand in the shape of George Pitcher’s important new book…lively, witty, and thoroughly entertaining…" (Accounting & Business, March 2003) "…important book on public relations…" (The Write Effect, 23 June 2003) "…a very interesting book on a fascinating subject…" (M2 Best Books, 25 March 2003)
George Pitcher was industrial editor of The Observer during the Tory privatisation years. He quit while he was ahead when he was voted National Newspaper Industrial Journalist of the Year in 1991and co-founded Luther Pendragon, a communications consultancy operating at the sharp-end of industry and politics, with broadcast-news journalist Charles Stewart-Smith. Over the past decade, his firm has advised senior executives of companies and institutions facing some of the most high-profile and controversial issues of the age and formed the team that advised the Government's Cabinet Office project on the Millennium Bug. He continues to write regular business columns and commentaries and lives in London with his wife and four children.
Spin-culture, the Zeitgeist of the last two decades of the twentieth century, is finally dying in the early years of the twenty-first. Far from being just a political phenomenon, spin-culture has infected the way we do business, how our media work and our institutions, from the Church to the Royal Family. It is both a product of the society in which we live and a replacement for engagement with real issues - a triumph of presentation over content, that values how we are perceived rather than how we behave or what we believe. George Pitcher, who has operated at senior levels on both the receiving and transmitting sides of spin, traces the roots of spin-culture in the Thatcher years, identifies where it all went wrong in the Nineties and predicts how our attitudes to communication in all walks of life have to change for the future. Writing from the inside about serious commercial and political issues with a lightness of touch and with amusing and enlightening extracts from contemporary notes and diaries, George Pitcher has produced a thought-provoking work not just for anyone in the business of communications but for everyone who wants to communicate.
'Revealing and highly entertaining. Mr Pitcher writes like a dream. This book needs no further spin.' William Keegan, Associate Editor, The Observer `Trust George Pitcher to stop the top spinning' Paul Routledge, Chief Political Commentator, The Daily Mirror 'An acute synthesis of experience and insight. Pitcher combines a light hearted refusal to take spinners too seriously with a grounded insistence that communications must grapple with issues that really matter.' Tom Bentley, Director, Demos
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