Hillsman is a political ad man who understands consumer PR's value. The former campaign consultant for Paul Wellstone, Jesse Ventura, and Ralph Nader feels an effective political campaign has all the elements of a savvy consumer one.
And his candidates' unlikely success proves it.
After all, he says, if soda companies tried to sell their products the way politicians sell themselves, no one would drink soda.
Although this book's gems are Hillsman's ads, he spends a significant amount of time talking about PR. Great ads are one thing, but PR takes over when your underdog candidate does not have the money to air them.
Ultimately, Hillsman's message is not about marketing. It's about reforming a political process that alienates voters. Annoying, repetitive, uncreative campaigns from the political establishment (Election Industry Inc., in his words) are his target.
Hillsman offers a challenge to anyone planning to run for office, but his tone isn't preachy. It's funny, personal, and trustworthy. In short, it's everything political campaigns should be.
Title Run the Other Way
Author Bill Hillsman
Publisher Free Press (April 2004), 288 pages