NEW YORK: September will see the publication of The Fall of Advertising and The Rise of PR, a new book from the father-daughter duo Al and Laura Ries, which contends that PR is the best way to build brands.
This is not an entirely new theme from the authors, who touched on the point in their last successful work, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, but the new book, to be published by Harpers Business, focuses entirely on this debate.
"Advertising's Achilles heel is the idea that just because you say something meaningful and motivating in an ad doesn't necessarily mean people will believe what you say or buy the product, said Al Ries. "PR has the ability to change minds and build brands because it is credible."
Casting their critical eyes over such campaigns as the Nissan Toy commercials, the milk moustache campaign, and the famed Budweiser "Whassup ads, the authors show how creative ads haven't necessarily helped sales. Conversely, they also look at a host of great brand launches that centered on PR, such as Red Bull, Botox, the Xbox, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Palm.
"Nobody has really made the case to America's CEOs, said Ries. "It seems that when they think 'new brand,' they think 'advertising.' If they just read a few chapters of this book, it might change their minds.
"We're not saying advertising is dead, he added. "It has a role to play in working with what already exists within the prospect's mind. Advertising reinforces existing perceptions."
However, Ries was not optimistic that the book would get coverage in publications read by CEOs. "The management publications and top newspapers don't review marketing and PR texts, he claimed.
- See Editorial, p.8.
BUSINESS BOOK REVIEWS
For the period between January 1 and June 10, 2002, Carma evaluated 986 book reviews from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Business-Week, Forbes, and Fortune. Of those reviews, 59 were categorized as business books.
Books on management techniques got the most play, with 24 out of the 59 focusing on this subject.
Advertising, marketing, and media was the second most popular topic, with 21 of the reviews focusing on books in this area. But none of those books focused exclusively on PR topics - although the Inside Story of Palm does cover the successful PR strategies used to promote the product.
Most of them were focused on advertising or dot-coms.
Of the remaining books, 17 were on business psychology, 10 were CEO biographies, six were on finance, and one was on HR.