University Branding?

Really interesting piece in Times Higher Education about Universities and branding (or propaganda!): Although I hate much of the jargon of branding – “positioning”, “differentiation”, “USP” – I believe that the discipline of branding is a good thing for any organisation. It’s a good thing because trying to build a brand forces you to answer some fundamental “why” questions. Why should I apply to your university? Why should I work for you? Why should I fund your…

Writing Persuasively?

Fascinating insight into writing persuasively: I never had a single rejection as a fiction writer, but that was because I spent an eight-year apprenticeship as an advertising copywriter, learning to use words to persuade and convince (I nearly wrote corrupt), everything I wrote subjected to reading and noting tests, every word graded according to efficacy. I learned to identify with readers, the uses and abuses of typography, how one enthusiastic adjective makes three times the…

Book Review: Patriotism & Propaganda in First World War Britain

This looks like an interesting book - not reviewed by me I hasten to add: Gradually, much of the scaffolding of the influential, but historically inaccurate, depiction of British opinion during the First World War, reflected in countless novels as well as older historical studies, is being dismantled. The disillusionment of the war poets is no longer seen as typical of soldiers' attitudes and the fortitude of British society is increasingly recognised. The view of…

Playing at War?

Really interesting story on the value (or otherwise) of game playing to offer insights into politics, pandemics & propaganda: Simulations and games can be highly effective in helping to teach students about politics and war - but often suffer from oversimplification, a lack of clear purpose or insufficient time to explore issues meaningfully. These were among the views put forward at a workshop - held at the University of Westminster earlier this month - on…