Essential Reading

First off, I’d like to thank everybody on their enthusiastic and encouraging welcome to the blogosphere.  It’s very weird having comments on what is a very young blog from people whose words I’ve been reading and listening to for some time.

It’s pretty much on a par with the time I crashed a fag from Uma Thurman I'm that starstruck!

Recently I’ve had the time to do a lot of reading and the first book I knocked off my reading list was “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR” by Al and Laura Ries which I thought was excellent. 

A little too fluffy and cheerleadery but excellent nonetheless.  My biggest problem with the book came from one of the central tenets to the book which was that there was no place in the marketing battle for products or brands with no PR potential. 

“The media is the battleground.  A marketing manager who launches a brand with no hope of winning the PR war is in the same position as a military general who launches a frontal attack against an entrenched enemy.”

Now, this is where it gets interesting.

I believe that while the product or brand may not be newsworthy or media friendly in itself, there is always a way to get it good press.  Not just NIBS in the new product pages but great big swathes of coverage. 

Front page coverage.  Double page colour spreads of coverage.  30 minute features on breakfast programs.  Five minute reports from the noon and evening news.  Viral coverage that gets millions of downloads.  Coverage that can’t be contained by a nation’s borders and boundaries.

The sort of coverage that wins awards and more importantly, wins clients.

How can you do it?

By being creative, by finding a way to put a boring, staid product or brand into a dynamic newsworthy context.

And this is where, when I was reading the book, I started nodding like one of those dogs you see on car dashboards. 

Creativity is key.  I’ll say that again.  Creativity is key.

You can take a tiny packet of chewing gum and get it full page colour spreads in Toronto’s highest circulation daily.  You can take a candy bar that costs just over a dollar (Canadian) and get it into Fashion Television.  You can take the humble toilet roll and get hours of broadcast coverage…if you put it in the right context.

You just have to be creative enough.

 This new world, this world of social media will offer just another way to express that creativity, to find a new context for our clients.

The Days Go By and Still I Link to You – Friday May 26, 2006.

Dirty Vegas

Podcast lectures for Uni students – Thanks to Nevillefor pointing this one out.  Will he follow Stanford’s lead and make the podcasts available to everyone via iTunes as Stanford did last year?  Tip: I loved the “Why baseballs have stitches” and the “Ethical Implications of Animal Cognition” lectures although the sound quality is a little sketchy sometimes.

Live Press Release! Live! Live! Live! – Or maybe not.  The guys over at SHIFT have come out with a press release in response to Tom Foremski's very famous (infamous?) post on the death of the press release.  My take is that this will work very well for corporate, technology and possibly even to healthcare agencies but it won’t stand up in the FMCG world where journalists need the spin and texture us PROs can add.

England B 1 – Belarus 2 – Rather like a below average PR media relations campaign, England B started off brightly with lots of enthusiasm before becoming despondent they weren’t getting the result or performance they craved and ultimately losing to a very beatable Belarusian side.  Note to AD’s and AM’s – keep your team motivated at all times and always have a fall back plan or two in your back pocket if things aren’t going your way.

Too much?  Too little?  Want more analysis?  More case studies?Add your comment below or email me at



One Response to Essential Reading

  1. rdewsbury says:

    Great post Ed. I look forward to hearing more about your social media experiment.

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