Books with inbuilt irony

In his editorial today, PR Week editor Danny Rogers menitioned The Fall of PR & The Rise of Advertising, a book launched to what I imagine was a receptive audience at Cannes, the annual advertising industry shin dig. The titile is a direct reversal of the Al Ries book, The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. As a regular knocker of the overclaims and wastage of advertising industry (and a booster of it’s better work), I feel obliged to buy the damn thing and read it if only to dismiss it. As Danny points out though, the author, who appears to have a history mainly as a speaker and a dancer, had to promote it through (bad) PR tactics: “It is equally ironic that the author should claim that ‘PR is now finding its credibility in the intensive care unit’ and then reoprt to classic PR tactics to promote his book, including posting the paperback to journalists with a breathy press release.”

If you Google or Bing the book’s title you end up with Al Reis’s opposite theory so he needs to get his optimisation sorted out too. And as for his promotional video……

Yesterday’s Times had a good piece on Chris Anderson and Malcolm Gladwell’s books and the fact that Anderson charges for a book called Free: The future of a radical price, in which he claims that any service that can be found online that charges much above this price will struggle.

Similarly in his great book, What Would Google Do, Jeff Jarvis devotes many words to explaining why in extolling this new business model, he resorted to one of the oldest and least like Google – a publisher and a book printed on paper.

And to be fair and consistent, Martin and I did not use many Crowdsurfing or sourcing techniques to write Crowdsurfing either. Maybe my next book will be Do As I, Not As I do: Hypocrisy and the business book.

But as I am banging on about books, do go buy What Would Google do. Jeff is a great writer and polemicist (in the best possible sense) and there is much to learn for PR folk in it.

Categories Technology

2 thoughts on “Books with inbuilt irony

  1. At his RSA talk Chris Anderson eventually gave us the secret of “Free” – its called the Day Job, which earns you Money. You then use your Free Time to make Free stuff.

    Problem arises when your Day Job conflicts with the Free Stuff people like to make. Like news….


  2. So, we are asked to believe, newspapers, TV and radio are collapsing because of the lack of advertising. But marketing – which includes advertising – is replacing PR. If so, both must be in terminal decline. What nonsense. Truth is both advertising/marketing and PR are set to boom. Moreover, newspapers are not dead; they are in a period of downsizing rather than obliteration (the ones that remain will most likely have more influence rather than less).

    PR is in the marketing business and sometimes marketing is into PR. PR founding father Edward Louis Bernays got his hands covered in soap when he meddled in marketing-cum-PR. Not much is new; neither is our panic about what the future holds. My message is lets hold our nerve.


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