CAMPAIGNS: Book PR - Book hits US with a novel approach

Client: Texere (New York)

PR Team: Planned Television Arts division of Ruder Finn (New York)

Campaign: The Finance Just in Time book tour

Time Frame: February-March 2001

Budget: dollars 7,500



The business media, which has seen huge growth in the last few years, is

in a constant, frenzied search for talking heads to fill air time and

supply quotes.



Andy Blum, senior publicist for Planned Television Arts (PTA), a

division of Ruder Finn, saw an opportunity to publicize Finance Just in

Time, a new consumer guidebook on the science of finance by British

financial guru Hugo Dixon. Hired by the publisher, Texere, Blum sought

to energize Dixon's arrival in the colonies by selling his expertise to

major business outlets.



Strategy



Dixon, the former "Lex" columnist for The Financial Times, founder of

the business Web site breakingviews.com and great grandson of Winston

Churchill, tailored Finance Just in Time (previously published in Great

Britain) for the American market. Blum used the book's US publication as

a peg and sold Dixon as a learned business commentator.



"It's a hard sell to make a journalist an expert, so we tried to get him

to come up with predictions about what the stock market would do," says

Blum.



Tactics



In February, Blum sent out 20 galleys of the book to airline magazines

and publishing trades for review. In March, 150 press kits were sent to

finance-oriented print, broadcast and Web outlets.



A novel aspect of the campaign involved a publicist dressing up in a

futuristic getup with a miniature Times Square ticker attached to his

back. After alerting local New York media to "Tickerman's" goings on,

Blum sent the walking one-man ad campaign to sidewalks outside the New

York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ in Times Square, the New York Public Library

and NBC's Today. PTA representatives were in tow to hand out information

on Dixon's book. Blum also had a deputy dress up as a "British

gentleman" in a bowler hat and suit to hand out copies of a positive

Financial Times review of the book.



Blum helped organize a book party at the New York home of Dixon's

mother, Edwina Sandys. The media were invited, press kits were handed

out, and a photographer was on hand. Tickerman attended as well.



The author also made appearances at the Columbia University Business

School and its Graduate School of Journalism.



Results



Dixon appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, Yahoo! Finance and

Jagfn.



He was also interviewed by Bridge News, News 12 Connecticut and Working

Woman. The Financial Times reviewed his book and it was also mentioned

on the Columbia University Business School Web site and BN.com.



Future



Lee Thompson, Texere's EVP and director of marketing, says her company

has a one-year contract with PTA, which she praises as one of the top

business book PR firms. She commended the use of Tickerman.



"There are 53,000 books published every year," she says. "Since

publishers don't have huge budgets, we have to think creatively. When

you have a gimmick like Tickerman, you can often get immediate

coverage."



Blum plans to use Tickerman to promote the book at this month's Book

Expo of America in Chicago.



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