NEW YORK: Geralyn Lucas' forthcoming book, Why I Wore Lipstick, is a true story of unexpected breast cancer, which treats the situation with equal measures of gravitas and humor.
While a book of this nature is certainly able to pique many readers' interest, its publisher, St. Martin's Press, is undertaking an integrated-marketing strategy involving multiple partners and plenty of PR.
The focus of the PR strategy is that the Young Survival Coalition will be holding in conjunction with the book release its Courage Nights, which honor local women and help raise money for breast cancer in September and October. The coalition focuses on breast cancer under 40.
Participants include Self magazine; fashion designer Betsey Johnson; Lifetime Television, which employs Lucas as director of original programming; and cosmetic brand Stila, which created a new color named Geralyn; Westin Hotels and Resorts; and sorority Zeta Tau Alpha.
Many of the relationships came through Lucas and were organized by St. Martin Press, according to Courtney Fischer, a publicist at the book publisher.
Lucas posed in 2001 for Self's breast cancer handbook and asked for first serial rights after St. Martin's decided to publish the book in February. She worked on a Lifetime story about Betsey Johnson.
Demand was so great, Fischer said, that St. Martin's had to turn away Payless, which wished to help. And the level of passion from the organizations was so great, Fischer said, that they were able to work out conflicts between Self and Lifetime magazine.
The first event is at the New York City Self Center on October 12. The Today show will tape a segment, which it will air on October 20, and many celebrities have expressed interest in attending.
The next event is at the Betsey Johnson store in LA on October 14, and other events will take place at Betsey Johnson stores and venues around the country October 21. At the events, a cancer survivor will read the book, specially-designed Betsey Johnson t-shirts will be sold for the cause, and breast cancer education materials will be provided.
Lucas will be featured in People Magazine and on local station WNBC. Fischer is also talking with the CBS's Early Show and other television shows. She said that the media has loved the story.
"Even some of the journalists that haven't been aware of the other organizations' [involvement] have loved it," Fischer said. "The book itself is strong enough to stand on its own."
Part of the proceeds from the book, the Betsey Johnson t-shirt, and the lip color will be donated to breast cancer research and education.