Case Study: The Roadmap to Becoming Crisis Ready®

Organizations that are Crisis Ready® are more than just resilient. They’re invincible.

Building an invincible brand in an uncertain world

Written by crisis management advisor as well as founder and CEO of the Crisis Ready Institute Melissa Agnes, Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World provides organizations such as businesses, police, military, and universities the tools they need to build resilient brands. Being Crisis Ready® means if an organization is faced with a crisis, they come out of it stronger and even better than before.

What does this mean?

Modern-day organizations face a slew of potential risks: security breaches, economic hardship, PR disasters, and, most recently, global pandemics. In Crisis Ready, Agnes provides organizations with the roadmap for embedding a culture whereby every member of the team becomes adept at getting ahead of risk—be it a customer complaint straight through to a full-scale catastrophic crisis—in a way that transforms the risk into a brand-strengthening opportunity.

Crisis readiness is not the same as crisis management. Crisis management is what happens once the risk has materialized. The more Crisis Ready® an organization is, the less crisis management they are likely to have to do. When you’re Crisis Ready®, your organization can withstand hardships and unexpected emergencies because a Crisis Ready® brand is proactive, confident, and strategic.

Our goals?

  • Hand the mic to Agnes as a Crisis Ready® thought leader
  • Support her expertise with a powerful design
  • Create a quality, evergreen book that will help businesses for years to come

As a strategic advisor and keynote speaker, Agnes has worked with NATO, ministries of foreign affairs and defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, global non-profits, universities, and many others. In other words, she is an expert in crisis management across a diverse range of industries and is fully equipped to share her knowledge.

Agnes took the lead on her manuscript, and we utilized a writing coach to keep her on a timeline in coordination with the production calendar. She wrote, and we reviewed and edited. After 6 months, the manuscript was done.

The result? She created a compelling manuscript that provides readers with real-world examples of where organizations do well and where they fall short. This includes learning the tools to interact with stakeholders appropriately and having a measured plan of action to be Crisis Ready®.

Next, we needed a strong interior design to supplement Agnes’ expertise and streamline her findings. It was important to Agnes that the book be a multi-sensory experience. Our design team filled out the interior of the book with eye-catching 2-color graphs, diagrams, and most impressively, a gatefold insert that opens out to reveal a large chart with her teachings. It was a thoughtful journey to finding the perfect cover, fluctuating between thousands of ideas and outlines to create a meaningful, subtle approach. A simple yet powerful cover design tied it all together, conveying a sense of calmness and readiness in an uncertain world.

Two years later

Commended as “intelligent, intuitive, and unabashedly gutsy,” named by Forbes as a top ten business book in 2018, and named by Book Authority as a top three crisis management book of all time, Crisis Ready is the go-to book on the topic of crisis preparedness and crisis management, and has helped solidify Agnes as a leading expert in the field.

While Agnes is profitable with online and brick-and-mortar retail, she finds enormous success with bulk buys from corporations and businesses, who are looking to evolve their culture and become Crisis Ready® from the ground up. One of her greatest successes was with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. After supporting Chase’s small and medium-sized business clients through the COVID-19 pandemic, Chase bought 2,000 copies of the Crisis Ready® ebook to give away to their clients. We coordinated the logistics, and the deal was done.

Agnes frequently uses her book as a teaching and speaking tool on her podcast, vlog, and contributes articles to Forbes magazine. Crisis Ready is also part of the curriculum at Harvard University and dozens of other higher education schools globally. The book has gained Agnes professional speaking gigs and brought in more clients interested in retaining her Crisis Ready® expertise.

Now, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Agnes’ ideas have become even more relevant and necessary. This new era has forced organizations everywhere to reevaluate how to communicate with clients effectively and collaborate with staff virtually. Ultimately, organizations need a strategic plan to come out alive on the other side. Agnes’ expertise is in high demand because there is no better time to be invincible.

Now that Agnes has solidified herself as a leading authority on crisis readiness, she has launched her latest initiative, the Crisis Ready Institute, a public benefit corporation with a powerful mission. By incorporating a culture of readiness in organizations and teaching them how to turn risk into opportunities for growth and connection, the Institute is on a mission to create a crisis resilient world.

The second edition of Crisis Ready is in the works and is scheduled to be released in 2021.

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Case Study: Stepping into The Age of Intent

Named one of the Best Business Books 2019 by strategy+business, The Age of Intent guides readers through the challenges of using AI to improve customer experience.

Pioneering the conversation around AI-powered chatbots.
Written by co-founder and CEO of [24]7.ai P.V. Kannan, The Age of Intent: Using Artificial Intelligence to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience expertly discusses how AI-powered virtual agents can help a business to succeed—or fail.

What does this mean?
The rollout of virtual agents—in conjunction with human support agents and good business practices—has the potential to completely transform the customer service experience. Using case studies and real-world examples, Kannan outlines how these AI-powered chatbots can anticipate customer needs, fulfill requests, and efficiently answer questions, providing quality 24/7 customer service that gets smarter every day.

Our goals?
  • -Let the expert do the talking
  • -Details, details, details
  • -Set the book up for success

When we first began working on The Age of Intent in 2018, the use of artificial intelligence in the customer service realm was not widely discussed. While most people agreed a technological shift was on the horizon, publications often focused on one narrative: how companies would soon phase AI in while phasing human employees out. Kannan believes the corporate world should take a different approach—one that combines the power of machine learning with human intelligence. If implemented correctly, it’s a win-win for businesses and employees.

In order to ignite the conversation, Kannan partnered with Josh Bernoff, an experienced business author and expert on analytical thinking. Bernoff’s attention to detail and aptitude for research perfectly complemented Kannan’s industry knowledge and innovation. Together, they worked to bring Kannan’s big ideas to life, and perfected the manuscript with a powerful foreword by New York Times writer Thomas L. Friedman.

A successful book needs more than just a strong manuscript—it needs a cover design that succinctly depicts the content while catching readers’ attention. In this case, it was imperative that we highlight three main topics: technology, artificial intelligence, and customer interaction. We looked to our design team to take on the challenge, and the result was a compelling, eye-catching cover that uses a background graphic, central image, and bold title text design to bring the book’s concepts to life.

The age of intent is here
Following its publication, The Age of Intent became the #1 New Release in Enterprise Communications on Amazon and was availabe at Hudson News stores nationwide. It infiltrated business and technology publications, including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, TechCircle, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Kannan and his team appeared in the New York Times, providing readers with an inside look at how the combination of machine learning and human labor has made [24]7.ai so successful.

     

Praised as “a must read for any manager leading or participating in the digital transformation of their business,” The Age of Intent is leading the movement to AI in the customer service realm.

What will the future hold for artificial intelligence in the workplace? P.V. Kannan has a few ideas.

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The Crisis Ready Response to Coronavirus COVID-19



“Yes, over my weekends, because crises don’t sleep.”

That direct quote, from a webinar held on Wednesday, March 11, should give you all of the insight you need into the commitment crisis management expert Melissa Agnes has to her work. Melissa is the author of Crisis Ready: Build an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World and has been at-the-ready with her response to the coronavirus COVID-19. 

Her answer to this now global pandemic could have been simply hawking her book on social media, relying on her audience to order a copy and to make their own conclusions based on that content. Armed with a Forbes top business book of 2018 and a work taught in higher education courses around the world (including Harvard University and Homeland Security), one could argue that anyone with a copy of Crisis Ready would be, well, ready. 

But Melissa took her role ten steps further, developing and hosting a comprehensive webinar specific to the impact of COVID-19 in just over a week. It was free to the first 500 people who registered, and no assumptions were made that attendees were well-versed in the practices Melissa preaches. She solicited questions in advance, incorporated them into her presentation, and also answered questions in real-time to make it as valuable as possible to attendees. 

If you ever find yourself asking how to expand the lifecycle of thought leadership books, take a literal page from Melissa’s book, released two years ago. At the highest level, it’s about applying your subject matter authentically and thoroughly to the national conversation with the same level of commitment it took to cement your positioning in the first place. Here’s more from Melissa on how she got from there to here:

When did you decide to put on the webinar?
Specifically, I decided on Tuesday, March 3, while speaking with my team, expressing my frustration on the current lack of leadership and the undeserved domino effect this has on businesses and society at-large. This situation is unprecedented and people are scared. Of course they are. But they don’t have to be alone and I have a ton of experience and knowledge that can help, so I gave as much as I possibly could within a short 75-minute window.

How did you promote it?
Within 24 hours my team had a webpage up and we shared that to my newsletter list, on social media and we asked others to help us spread the world. I framed it as their form of payment for the webinar by saying:
The coronavirus is a global situation that calls for us all to come together and support one another. For this reason, we are not charging for this webinar. However, what we are asking for as a form of ‘payment’ is that you share this link and information about this webinar with your network, so we can increase the reach of this important information to all of those who will benefit from it.

I was very blessed to have—and continue to have—many shares, as the replay of the webinar, as well as all of the free resources that come along with it, are all still available for free to anyone who is interested.

How long did it take you to put the deck together?
It’s not just putting the deck together, but also figuring out the flow of the message I wanted to share, writing the copy for the webpages, setting up email automations, time promoting it across channels… all of which took about 4 days of my time, not counting my team’s time to actually launch the webpage for me, put up the Institute’s splash page, create new automation emails for those who registered, etc. All of this was forced to happen over the weekend and well into the early morning hours, since my day job consists of consulting and advising clients who are currently facing the impacts that COVID-19 are presenting to their businesses.

What else have you done related to COVID-19?
I’m advising clients and constantly trying to find ways to spread the Crisis Ready message to help others through this difficult time; I’m offering a very exclusive opportunity for companies through the Crisis Ready COVID-19 Coaching Program; the Monday prior to the webinar I hosted a Mastermind Session on COVID-19 for my Crisis Ready Community; today, I published this blog post, which I hope will also help inspire hope and provide access to helpful resources… And if anybody has any other ideas, I’m all ears and would be very grateful!

For more on Melissa, go to MelissaAgnes.com and order your copy of Crisis Ready on Amazon.

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The Big Ideas Coming Your Way in 2020

Thought leaders. Influencers. Disrupters.

How we label them doesn’t matter. It’s the ideas that matter. And our Amplify authors have the kind of big ideas that will change minds, shift perspectives, and—at the very least—make us stop and think this year. (Something we can all agree we need more of.)


Contract to Unite America bookContract to Unite America: Ten Reforms to Reclaim Our Republic
Pre-order now on Amazon, available February 18.
As an independent candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018, Neal Simon witnessed the destructive nature of modern American politics. He experienced firsthand the perverse incentives that push candidates and lawmakers to ideological extremes. He watched as party leaders resisted pragmatic solutions to our nation’s problems. He saw politicians prioritize loyalty to their party bases over progress for the American people.

In this comprehensive analysis of United States politics, Simon shows how degradations in party primaries, campaign finances, and election rules have caused American self-government to collapse into gridlock and divisiveness. However, the American promise is so much greater. As the first U.S. President, George Washington, noted in his famed address, “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.”

Capitalizing on personal insight derived from Simon’s political campaign along with extensive research, Contract to Unite America provides specific, practical solutions for an improved government and a better tomorrow.


Invisible Solutions bookInvisible Solutions: 25 Lenses that Reframe and Help Solve Difficult Business Problems
Pre-order now on Amazon, available March 3.
Unprecedented access to infinite solutions has led us to realize that having all of the answers is not the answer. From innovation teams to creativity experts to crowdsourcing, we’ve turned from one source to another, spending endless cycles pursuing piecemeal solutions to each challenge we face.

What if your organization had an effective and systematic approach to deal with any problem? To find better solutions, you need to first ask better questions. The questions you ask determine which solutions you’ll see and which will remain hidden.

Stephen M. Shapiro’s compact yet powerful book contains the formulas to reframe any problem multiple ways, using 25 lenses to help you gain different perspectives. With visual examples and guidance, it contains everything you need to master any challenge and will help you discover why we are hardwired to ask ineffective questions; learn to work through those barriers; understand the power and importance of well-defined questions; reframe any problem multiple ways to find the optimal solution; and move from idea-based innovation to question-based innovation that drives higher ROI.

Apply just one of the lenses and you will quickly discover better solutions. Apply all of them and you will be able to solve any problem—in business and in life.


The Conscious Marketer bookThe Conscious Marketer: Inspiring a Deeper and More Conscious Brand Experience
Available in April
The parameters of what constitutes successful marketing are shifting. In today’s increasingly competitive, global marketplace it is essential for companies and brands to not only understand what consumers are buying, but why they are making those purchases. That is where The Conscious Marketer comes in.

It’s one thing to be conscious, but it’s something else entirely to do something impactful with that consciousness. In this expansive guide, Jim Joseph breaks down the ways the marketing industry is changing to meet the needs of a more conscious, engaged consumer, and how those within the marketing industry can adapt to meet those expectations.

The Conscious Marketer provides readers with the tools to navigate the ever-changing landscape of effective marketing and branding, explaining how to market empathetically, actively, and with intent.


Our Future bookOur Future: The Basic Income Plan for Peace, Justice, Liberty, and Personal Dignity
Available in April
Politicians promise to bring us together, seek the center, and reach common ground, yet our government is broken and paralyzed by partisan conflicts. Americans have been in need of a plan to unite the country and renew the vision and values of our founders, and it’s finally here in Our Future.

In this conversational and thought provoking book, basic income expert Steven Shafarman presents a comprehensive history of related ideas—as well as offers a solutions-based compelling vision—with basic income as the key. It’s a concept millions of us currently support, with liberal Democrats endorsing it as a solid floor to replace the tattered social safety net, and conservative Republicans as a way to cut and simplify government. The core of Shafarman’s plan takes the best of both, updating proposals form moderate politicians and leading economists.

Our Future holds the blueprint to successful years ahead, to acting together as We the People and making history.


Pivot & Go bookPivot & Go: The 29 Day Mindset Blueprint to Redefine and Achieve YOUR Success

Releasing in June
Most of us run on an endless string of vague goals, should-haves, and “tomorrows”, with true, empowering change always just out of reach. Most of us feel stuck in a pattern or are unknowingly trapped in our day-to-day routine, without the proper tools to break the mold and live our best lives every single day. David Nurse, a renowned optimization and life coach of more than 100 NBA players and CEOs, knows it doesn’t have to be that way, and a powerful shift in perspective is the answer.

Pivot & Go is a compelling, hands-on blueprint to changing course and leading the life you want to live—today. In this energizing, adventurous, and actionable guide, David outlines a clear 29-day plan; not to living the life, but to living your absolute best life. His key is to make mindful mindset pivots, ones that allow you to shift your perspective by incremental, but profoundly powerful, degrees. Focusing on success, failure, passion, joy, and confidence, Pivot & Go is here to help you find your genuine rhythm—one that will carry you through each chapter of life with the energy and ability to make the most of every day.

Punctuated with stories from his own journey to leading a full and rewarding lifestyle, as well as featuring never-before-told stories of triumph from some of the top NBA athletes in the world, David has delivered a book like none other. Not only will it give you the power to change your life, it will give you the strength to do so. Get ready to banish negative thoughts, live to the max, and become energized and ready to tackle each and every day.

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From the Publisher

By Naren Aryal

Welcome to Amplify.  

At Amplify, we publish top-quality nonfiction titles. Specifically, we’re all about business books, political and policy-related works, and current affairs issues that are starting conversations. That’s it. Nothing else.

We launched our first book in October 2018, but we’re not new to the world of publishing. Amplify is the first imprint of a company I co-founded fifteen years ago, Mascot Books. Mascot is a multi-genre house, publishing everything from children’s titles, to cookbooks, to fantasy/science fiction novels, to memoirs—and everything in between. But even book people have favorite genres, and, as CEO, I wanted to establish a new imprint focusing on the genres I enjoy most and where we’ve had growing success. In the last five years, we’ve had the opportunity to work with some really impressive authors in the nonfiction space: CEOs, subject matter experts, innovative thought leaders. A new imprint would give these authors and their big ideas a unique space in the publishing landscape and set their work apart. Amplify was born.

Amplify’s first release was Brainwashed: The Bad Science Behind CTE and the Plot to Destroy Football, a controversial look at CTE research and the way it’s represented in the media, by former NFL star and ESPN commentator Merril Hoge. In several ways, it embodies the core of what we look for in an Amplify title, beyond being well-written and thoroughly researched. Some agree with the stance Brainwashed takes, some disagree, but one thing is clear: it’s gotten people—journalists, players, and readers—talking. Brainwashed started a new thread in one of sports’ longest and loudest conversations. That’s what good books do.

In 2019, we’re continuing the momentum with The Age of Intent: Using Artificial Intelligence to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience by P.V. Kannan, the cofounder and chief executive officer of Silicon Valley-based [24]7.ai, a leader in AI-driven customer experience software and services. Slated for release on May 28, 2019, the book shares P.V.’s take on how AI is helping the world’s leading businesses attract and retain customers through personalized, predictive, and effortless customer experience by redefining the way companies interact with consumers.

At Amplify, we believe content is king. Here, you can expect to find books from leading figures in business like Tae Hea Nahm and Bob Tinker; subject matter experts like Melissa Agnes (Crisis Ready); and budding thought leaders like Dave Frankland and Nick Worth (Marketing to the Entitled Consumer). With the 2020 general elections a little over a year away, we’ll rise to meet the slew of political titles hitting the market with some of our own from both sides of the aisle. We’re looking forward to new voices, growing partnerships, and great books in 2019. I’m glad you’re here and hope you’ll come along for the ride.

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