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
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.
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
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.
Dixon appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, Yahoo! Finance and
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.
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
Blum plans to use Tickerman to promote the book at this month's Book
Expo of America in Chicago.