Oprah Time: The Dentsu Way by Kotaro Sugiyama and Tim Andree

The Dentsu Way highlights a very integrated approach to marketing communications. When I first started off in public relations Japan was described as a ‘backward’ market. This was supposed to be because PR wasn’t highly valued and Japanese advertising agencies like Dentsu would run an end game around PR agencies. There wasn’t a specialism in the industry to the same extent as the US or EU.

Of course, whilst the observations were true the facts drawn from them weren’t. Dentsu is one of the world’s biggest marketing communications groups not because it is backwards. The company has raised its profile in London due to the stand out work of Dentsu London over the past 12 months or so. Dentsu’s cross-communication offering looks remarkably prescient in many respects: insight-based planning is used to drive all activity. It is also interesting how closely psychology is linked to public relations campaigns looking to achieve product preference through attitudinal change.

The Dentsu Way explains their organisation and an approach in an exhaustive manner and manages to quote Bruce Lee along the way with regards their approach to campaign planning. The book is easy to read and informative with great case studies from the Japanese market.