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Spike your Brand ROI: How to Maximize Reputation and Get Results




Spike your Brand ROI: How to Maximize Reputation and Get Results

Adele R. Cehrs

ISBN: 978-1-118-97667-8 January 2015 Jossey-Bass 240 Pages


Increase ROI through more effective brand marketing

According to, we are exposed to more than 5,000 brand messages each day. Marketers call this “creating engagement," and each comment, share, or re-tweet is supposed to be a win. But is this deluge of content really working to shift perception, change behavior, or sell products?  The truth is, only 5% of people say that social media has a profound effect on their purchasing decisions. Moreover, only 2.7% of people are willing to stick their neck out on the line to recommend your brand via social media, a factor known as “social risk.”

In SPIKE Your Brand ROI, public relations maven Adele Cehrs shares her strategy for effective engagement: it’s all about timing. This book will teach you how to recognize, anticipate, or even create a SPIKE  – a Sudden Point of Interest that Kick-starts Exposure. This is your opportunity to reach people when they are primed to hear your message, and your brand is most relevant to their lives.

Based on the author′s actual engagements with clients like Yum Brands, Lockheed Martin, DuPont, and more, this practical guide outlines a new, pragmatic approach that will enable you to: 

  • Learn to recognize brand patterns that are driven by audience interests and outside events
  • Focus your energy, resources, and money when your brand is top-of-mind
  • Decrease your marketing spend while increasing your bottom-line benefits
  • Maximize benefits or mitigate damage by anticipating when your company, association, or nonprofit is going to be in the spotlight
  • Retool traditional word-of-mouth initiatives for optimum results

With Adele Cehrs' proven methodology, you can turn a SPIKE into a strategic platform from which to improve results, build respect, and boost your ROI.

Foreword by Sam Horn vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

About the Author xiii

1 What’s Real Brand Engagement? 1

2 Why Your Brand Doesn’t Stand Out 7

3 Brand Narcissism 13

4 SPIKE Assessment 21

5 Be Nimble, Assemble the Right Team, and Get Buy-In for the SPIKE Method 25

6 Picking the Perfect Audiences and Crafting Compelling Messages 33

7 Manufacturing a SPIKE: Provide First-of-Their-Kind Pitches, Stories, and Messages 41

8 When Is Your Brand Truly Relevant? Turn Your Editorial Calendar into a Relevance Calendar 51

9 Brand Patience: Why You Need It 61

10 SPIKE Spotting 69

11 The Upshot of a Positive SPIKE 79

12 Finding the Lost Principle of Influence 87

13 Create a Contrarian Brand Platform to Stand Out 97

14 The Fairness Fallacy and How to Call a Time-Out When Things Go Bad 105

15 Have a Crisis Plan in Place to Handle Negative SPIKEs 115

16 The Real Benefits of Responding to or Ignoring Negative SPIKEs 119

17 Maximize (or Minimize) 15 Minutes (or Days) of Fame or Shame 125

18 Why Wait? Anticipate Negative SPIKEs 133

19 Don’t Spin Out of Control, Manage the Viral Spiral 141

20 Dark Websites See the Light of Day 151

21 The Underdog versus Top Dog Effect: How Some Brands Pick Themselves Up and Come Back Stronger 161

22 The Pedestal Principle 169

23 Internal SPIKEs 177

24 Measuring the ROI of a SPIKE 185

SPIKE Spotting: Worksheets 193

Bibliography 207

Index 217