- Update: That record was broken Monday and then again Tuesday as the branding conversation continued.
Gene started the discussion with his Washington Post Sunday Magazine "Below the Beltway" column, answering a journalism student, identified only as Leslie, who asked how he had developed his "personal brand." Gene's response:
"The best way to build a brand is to take a three-foot length of malleable iron and get one end red-hot. Then, apply it vigorously to the buttocks of the instructor who gave you this question. You want a nice, meaty sizzle."
- I responded in my blog, saying that Gene has, in fact, developed a strong brand, even if he is scornful of the term.
After Owen Youngman, a journalism professor at the Medill School at Northwestern University, identified himself as the professor who had made the assignment, I asked him to ask Leslie if I could publish her research paper. Leslie Trew Magraw did send me her research paper, with permission to publish:
- Youngman blogged about the issue himself.
Paul Carr joined the discussion on TechCrunch, telling Gene: "If you"re going to embarrass a journalism student to set up a rant about personal branding and user generated content, it"s probably not a good idea to do it in a photo-bylined column (personal branding!) in which you use a letter you received from a reader (user generated content!) to artfully position yourself as an old-school newsman…"
Guy Lucas weighed in with another letter to Leslie, telling her: I can sympathize with those who don"t like the use of "brand" in journalism conversations because it originated in marketing and advertising. It still makes me a little uncomfortable, but I recognize it is in common use.
As you would expect, the issue got lots of play on Twitter. Gene got lots of support. But check out what they said. The personal loyalty and affection some of the tweeps expressed shows how strong the Weingarten brand is.