Getting Return on Relationship: A Book Review

Drew Neisser Founder & CEO, Renegade

Posted on January 29th 2013

Getting Return on Relationship: A Book Review

Return on RelationshipWhen my friend Ted Rubin asked me to read his new book, Return on Relationship, I thought, “There goes a perfectly good Sunday afternoon.”  Little did he know that I would rather visit a proctologist than hunker down with a business book on any subject, let alone a topic that already occupies nearly all my waking hours.

But, since Ted is a friend (and not in the superficial Facebook-y kind of way) and our relationship was forged over time through “persistence, patience and purpose,” I read his book.  And damn—if all business books were as interesting, enlightening and inspiring, I might just have to read a few more.

And perhaps I shouldn’t sound so surprised.  After all, I wrote my first Fast post on his success at e.l.f. Cosmetics, I’ve seen his terrific presentation on ROR at various social media conferences and we’ve hung out at numerous points in between.  In fact, we enjoy the kind of relationship that Ted describes in the book as genuine, one that is “built on trust, transparency and honesty.”

This review itself is proof-positive of the power of Ted’s philosophy and is easy reciprocity for the numerous acts of kindness he’s freely thrown my way.  And here’s the thing: Ted doesn’t just talk the talk, he lives it in a way that validates his philosophy day-in and day-out. 

In fact, try this experiment: Reach out to Ted via your preferred social channel (his is @tedrubin) or even call or text him on his cell (remarkably, he shares his number at every conference).  He will respond. That’s his superpower.  And if you respond back, he’ll continue to respond—relentlessly. Until finally you’re out of words or time or breath and just decide to let his last :) end the conversation.   And this, my friends, is how you build relationships, the new kind of “currency” that Ted’s book will show you how to take to the bank.

Spoiler Alert—When you read Return on Relationship you will find yourself thinking anew about your approach to social media.  Even seasoned practitioners will find themselves jotting down ideas.  In fact, (true story) I sent three emails to my associates at Renegade while reading the book, each one filled with ideas that we could put into practice right away for one client or another. 

So as you may have figured out by now, this is no ordinary book review.  Frankly, it’s not a book review at all.  This is me being a brand advocate for Ted and, by extension, his book.  I don’t know his co-author Kathryn Rose, but if she’s a friend of Ted’s, then I’ll give her props too because that’s what true brand advocates do. Of course, you’ll find all that out when you order your own copy on Amazon, which I just did for several of my other friends. 

In the book, Ted notes, “your social audience doesn’t owe you your attention--you have to earn it.”  I think the same goes for book authors and without a doubt, both Ted and Kathryn earned my attention, providing a delightfully well spent Sunday afternoon in the process. Thanks guys.     


Drew Neisser

Founder & CEO, Renegade

Drew Neisser is CEO & Founder of Renegade the NYC-based social media and marketing agency that helps inspired clients cut through the nonsense to deliver genuine business growth. A frequent speaker at industry events, Drew’s been a featured expert on ABC’s Nightline and CNBC. In addition to blogging for SocialMediaToday, you can find Drew’s articles on, MediaPost and TheDrewBlog.

In the last few years, Drew and Renegade charged up the prepaid card market launching MAGIC by Magic Johnson via events & social, unleashed the AXA Gorilla on Twitter with audio tweets and a virtual retirement party, created the Optimist Network for Optimum Business, guided Toasted Head to become one of the most popular wines on Facebook, introduced young adults to Harlem Liqueur and made a splash for Davidoff Cool Water on Facebook.

Also at Renegade, Drew hatched numerous award-winning campaigns for a long-list of blue chip clients.  His ideas for HSBC, Panasonic and IBM were all recognized by BRANDWEEK as Guerrilla Marketers of the Year.   Among these is the legendary HSBC BankCab program, a restored Checker, that has been delighting HSBC customers since 2003 with free rides (and now informative tweets).  

Drew’s creative accomplishments include naming and launching the Toughbook for Panasonic and penning numerous taglines.  These include “Like money. Only Magic.” for MAGIC by Magic Johnson prepaid MasterCard, “Where Family Comes First.” for Family Circle Magazine, “Fire things up,” for Toasted Head wine and “Great tech support. Good karma.” for iYogi.

Diapered at Wells Rich Greene, trained at JWT and retrained at Chiat/Day, Drew founded Renegade in 1996 as a place where the best ideas can sprout from any corner and collaboration trumps ego.  Drew earned a BA in history from Duke University and lives in Manhattan with his wife and the agency’s mascot, a French bulldog named Pinky.  A native Californian, Drew dreams of becoming a surfer but is a long way from hanging ten.

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