THE BIG PITCH: Which pro do you think would make the best author of a ’PR for Dummies’ book?

ROB COPELAND, Copeland Communications, New York

ROB COPELAND, Copeland Communications, New York

ROB COPELAND, Copeland Communications, New York

The notion of a book called PR for Dummies conjures visions of

Litigating for Dummies, Psychiatry for Dummies or, perhaps, Brain

Surgery for Dummies.

All right. Brain surgery PR is not, but it is a profession that demands

a thorough understanding of the media and how attitudes and behaviors

are influenced. Albert Tortorella, a consummate PR professional who has

seen and done it all, has keen strategic instincts and the good common

sense to know when to do absolutely nothing. His genuine passion for

passing on that knowledge makes him a perfect candidate to write this

book. He also would not hesitate to tell the ’Dummies’ when to leave it

to the pros.

CHRIS MCCOIN, McCoin & Smith Communications, Ashland, MA

What I can’t envision is any book being able to teach the fine art of

pitching, which takes even the best PR pro years to perfect. But I can

see the book as a valued resource guide to help beginners develop press

releases, identify key media targets and deploy references. If authored

by Lois Paul, president of Lois Paul & Partners and the founding editor

of PC Week, the book could drive its message a bit further. Lois has

strategic and tactical PR experience and the definite advantage of

journalistic ’news desk’ savvy. Cutting through the noise, she could

teach the average person the basics of orchestrating a PR program.

GEORGE SIMPSON, George Simpson Communications, New York

I’ve asked many clients what they think PR is, and I’ve gotten back at

least 999 answers. Putting them all into a book would be impossible, but

to the average guy on the street, PR usually means media relations. This

book could focus on teaching a person to write a good press release and

other basics. The ideal author would be a former journalist who has

matured enough to understand the importance of PR in his/her daily


Someone who’s been on the inside, in the newsroom, could definitely

enlighten readers on the correct approach to take with journalists.

STEVE ROSEN, STAR/Rosen Public Relations, Cherry Hill, NJ

So, here’s the concept: we assemble a panel of all the greatest minds in

PR - every (living) counselor on PRWeek’s list of the’Top 100 most

influential public relations pros.’ Then, we team these brilliant

practitioners with Scott Adams, the author of the simple, irreverent and

wildly popular Dilbert books. Adams distills our experts’ collective

wisdom into concise nuggets of information and humorous visuals easily

grasped by the dumbest of the dummies. The result is a user-friendly PR

handbook and a contender to make it on to a list of Business Book

Bestsellers led by the likes of Who Moved the Cheese? (To borrow the

words of another pundit who has honed the art of speaking simply to the

masses, ’I tell you, it’s gonna be big. It’s gonna be really big!’ And,

yes, that’s my final answer.)

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