The enduring PR value of books

It is surprising that in this 21st Century electronic media environment, one of the oldest communication vehicles — the book — continues to add significant value to a marketing campaign.

In an increasingly digital age, purveyors of news are turning to the Internet and wireless domains with the fervor of the early radio age. It is surprising that in this 21st Century electronic media environment, one of the oldest communication vehicles — the book, particularly the business book — continues to add significant value to a marketing campaign. In an information marketplace that seems to be shouting at everyone 24/7, it is the soft, measured tones of books that ironically continue to stand out amidst the noise.

A book serves as validation for the thought leadership of an organization or CEO and a highly effective conversation starter. The permanence of a book provides greater staying power for communicating the organization's messaging than digital marketing materials. In this space, leaders can more permanently and credibly transmit their brand promise.

There is an indispensable value to being “the source” and literally “writing the book” on something in a given market. Writing a book provides “ownership of the thinking” and affords the author and the author's enterprise authority that is often bigger than life. As far as a PR tool, the media love to interview authors while conference groups seek them as speakers. 

The main obstacles that keep most business leaders from producing a book are time and cost. A common misperception of what it takes to create a book is based on the myth that books take a superhuman effort and carry a burden of relinquishing a year or so of your life.

The reality, however, is that independent, self-publishing companies have taken the cost and time out of producing a book. These companies offer a vast menu of services, from editing and distribution to ghost writing. They turn a daunting challenge into a manageable reality that will vastly enrich a PR campaign.

There is no reason for PR-conscious business leaders not to try their hand at producing a book — a surefire way to create a tangible vehicle to announce ownership of progressive business methods and thinking. It gives a corporate vision wheels — through its inherent credibility — and more often than not, provides a long-term engine for the success of other PR tools.

A privately published book can accomplish many things. It communicates an idea, it preserves the past, and it shares a vision for the future. A book validates thought leadership and a brand's authority; it generates a greater trust from your audience.   A book stands the test of time as a powerful marketing tool. Most of all, a book can convey an ownable body of knowledge, connecting you or your client with a broad target audience.    

Mike Greece is managing director of the New York office of The Pollack PR Marketing Group.

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