The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR
||List Price: $24.95
Amazon.com Price: $17.47
- Media: Hardcover
Publisher: HarperBusiness (20 August, 2002)
- Average Customer Review:
Based on 35 reviews.
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 685
Advertising Bashing Void of Facts
Maybe I'm just having a bad day but this is quite possibly the worst book I've ever read. I bought this book hoping for an education on what Public Relations offers versus Advertising and how to use this to my benefit. Instead, I received page after page of trite comparisons of advertising to any number of things followed by week, factless reasoning as to why that particular comparison is bad. This book is no more than Public Relations people on a very rickety soap box yelling out self-gratifying opinions. If ever in my life I again read a page that compares advertising to The Buckingham Palace it will be entirely too soon.
Page 19, "You can recognize art by its extensive use in everyday language. Even though the sword has no function in today's society, it does live in the language. Nobody says, 'Live by the gun, die by the gun.'" (end of paragraph)
If you were thinking of buying this book, Don't. If you've already purchased this book, Do not open it. Return it as fast as possible before it makes you less intelligent through the void of reason it exudes and it's proximity to your brain.
A ¿Must-Read¿ for Marketing Professionals
This book is a wake-up call to both the advertising and PR industries, and a "must-read" for any marketing professional - especially those just starting out. It is also smart reading for any CEO or executive with more than a passing interest in the success of his or her company's marketing and sales. It is one antidote to the branding confusion that persists in the wake of the Internet Bubble era.
Citing example after example, the authors make a compelling, clear and simple argument in favor of their single overall theme: that PR works better than advertising for building new brands, while advertising is better at maintaining existing brands once a brand's PR has run its course. A significant although secondary theme is that "creative" advertising campaigns (e.g., unusual concepts that win awards but fail to move the product - like the Pets.com sock puppet on the cover) are almost always a big waste of money. It is the latter point, more than the rise of PR, which will no doubt cause many advertising professionals great fits of dyspepsia. Several other secondary themes offer some real insight and hit the nail on the head, in the opinion of this reviewer, a PR pro for more than 20 years. For those who take this advice seriously, this book offers as strong an argument as has ever been made for giving the PR function a seat at the Marketing table or in the Boardroom.
The fact that the authors do not offer how-to advice on mounting the PR campaigns they advocate adds to, rather than detracts from, their credibility. They are not shilling for the PR industry because they are not PR professionals and do no PR in their consulting work. Indeed, both of their backgrounds are from the advertising side. They also know that every PR campaign is different and no cookie cutter advice would offer much value.
Mr. Ries, now partnered in consulting with his daughter, is the author with his former partner Jack Trout of several seminal marketing books going back 20-plus years. Many credit them with inventing (or at least popularizing) the concept and practice of positioning in their classic book, "Positioning: the Battle for Your Mind." Coming from such a widely respected source, the advertising and PR communities cannot afford to ignore the authors' advice. Even those professionals who end up disagreeing with some of their conclusions will not be able to read this book without gaining some useful insights. Very thought provoking and highly recommended. Advertising and PR people alike should keep it in mind whenever they talk to their bosses or clients about what it takes to build, maintain or enhance a brand.
(Caution: While it's an easy read, this book was intended for professionals. If you are not in advertising, PR, marketing, sales, or executive management, do not bother reading it. You probably will not understand it or be interested in it or gain any insights of use to you.)
Read This for Branding Success
The right ideas are usually the ones that cause the most outcry.
So it is with the Ries' "The Fall of Advertising...". Sure, it's not going to make most advertising executives feel very secure, but the Reises capitalize and expand on a growing trend in the marketing/PR industry that started a few years ago and only conitnues to grow. If the dot-com industry showed us anything, it's that a company's name recognition can be built on media coverage alone: think of all the press Amazon.com and other top name Internet-based companies gathered not just from advertising but from continually gaining mention in top publications across the company.
The fact remains that the media is viewed as a credible third source of information, and a mention in an article is as good as a referral from networking.
The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR not only outlines the argument for the growing use of the media to build brand, but even supplies a few how-to steps to boot. Editors and journalists are hungry for good stories, ones that outline strategy success and trends along with tracking top compaies, and if a company can grab the media's attention with a well-laid out story idea, the publication will continually return to that company for future stories when they need to quote a source.
This book isn't just for the big boys, either. In fact, if anything, PR is as much for the small and medium sized businesses that can't afford the multi-million-dollar costs of a far-reaching advertising campaign.
If you want to build your name recognition and learn how to effectively use marketing, Al and Laura Ries' book is a great place to start.
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