Guerrilla P.R. 2.0: Wage an Effective Publicity Campaign Without Going Broke

Guerrilla P.R. 2.0: Wage an Effective Publicity Campaign Without Going Broke

by Michael Levine

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The world's most widely used and seminal introduction to public relations—now fully revised and updated for the 21st century with online strategies that work

Every Fortune 500 corporation, movie star, and scandal queen knows that a good publicist is essential to building success and maintaining public support. But if you're a

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The world's most widely used and seminal introduction to public relations—now fully revised and updated for the 21st century with online strategies that work

Every Fortune 500 corporation, movie star, and scandal queen knows that a good publicist is essential to building success and maintaining public support. But if you're a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or an undercapitalized beginner seeking an edge in a highly competitive arena, it's unlikely that you have your own high-powered publicist.

Guerrilla P.R. 2.0 offers all the resources necessary to mount your own campaign and get the media exposure you need. In clear and concise language, Michael Levine, one of the top public relations counselors in the country, reveals the same procedures he uses every day to get press on major stars—and how those strategies can be utilized on little or no budget. You'll learn how to think like a publicist and map out the perfect strategy for success.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The world is overflowing with opportunities for a determined publicist, enthuses public relations counselor Levine in this updated media relations classic. With an encouraging tone and a splash of humor, the author introduces readers to the PR pro's mindset ("There are two speeds in today's media world: fast and dead") and describes every facet of a successful publicity campaign, stressing the skills readers need to develop-familiarity with available media outlets, the art of the pitch and networking, stellar written and oral skills and a broad perspective-that will get the attention of movers and shakers in print and electronic media. According to Levine, limited means are no bar in public relations as long as confidence, dynamism and, above all, moxie exist in abundance. Levine's theories are steeped in specifics, and readers will find his examples of highly successful campaigns (such as the launch of M.A.D.D.) and flops (remember New Coke?) instructive and entertaining, and his book a clear-eyed and clever bible for the enterprising grassroots publicist. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Guerrilla P.R. 2.0
Wage an Effective Publicity Campaign without Going Broke

By Michael Levine
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008

Michael Levine
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061438523


In the fifteen years since its publication, Guerrilla P.R. has become a phenomenon.

Included in the Library of Congress, read by presidents, taught in all the most prestigious business schools in the country (and the world), this book—which I thought was too revolutionary to become so widely accepted—has indeed grown into "the most widely used introduction to P.R. in the world." That's not an exaggeration.

So given all that success, the questions must be asked: Why change it? If it ain't broke, don't fix it; right? What's the point of adding to something that has proved to be extremely successful as it stood? What was wrong with the book the way it was? Well, at the risk of sounding egomaniacal, I have to start by saying that nothing was wrong with the book the way it was—in 1993. And even today, the information that I tried to supply in Guerrilla P.R. remains usable and relevant. This edition is not meant to recount anything that was published in the original version. It was all true, and the basics remain true to this day. No need to take a word of it back.

But no one could possibly say that little has changed in public relations since 1993. Indeed, the world is a completely different place now than it was then, and since thepoint of P.R. is to make your name in the world, changes all over will certainly have an impact on the techniques and principles used to draw attention to a person or business.

Technology has had the widest, deepest, and most profound effect on P.R., as it has on almost every other aspect of American life. In 1993, a cell phone was at least twice the size of the one you're carrying today. Yes, the Internet was an interesting diversion, but nothing was ever going to replace newspapers, TV news, travel agents, bookstores, encyclopedias, and handwritten letters. The average American, asked about a plasma TV, would have wondered what blood had to do with making a television set work better. You wouldn't have wanted a Bluetooth; it would have meant a potentially painful trip to the dentist. A BlackBerry? Well, it was something to put in a pie.

The same condition is true for the editors, publishers, and producers of the world (not about being put in a pie—about the changes in the world). Their technology—the very tool you're trying to access as a P.R. Guerrilla—has changed a thousand times over in the past decade and a half. Things happen faster. News is disseminated in seconds rather than hours. It took weeks for some Americans to learn about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (and keep in mind—the country did not stretch to the West Coast in those days). It took people in Singapore a few minutes to learn of the death of Anna Nicole Smith, if they were interested, and that was only because the reporting took some time to complete. Technology would have the information to the public in a second or less.

You might as well get used to it now: I'm going to say over and over again in this book that there are two speeds in today's media world—fast and dead. That's not just a clever catchphrase; it's an absolute truth. There is no excuse for slowness, and no remedy for its effects. If you don't keep up with the increased metabolism of information flow in today's world, your business will not succeed. Period.

But with increased demand has come a huge jump in the number of hungry media outlets to which you can supply sustenance. In 1993, there was no Fox News Channel. There was no Food Network. There was no XM Satellite Radio. CNN was just getting itself going. MTV was still a music video channel. The words "reality based show" had never been uttered in Hollywood. American Idol referred to someone like Clint Eastwood.

Then, there were the deplorable 9/11 attacks, and everything changed, especially in the United States. Guerrilla P.R. had to change as well. Now, the country's mood was different: first anxious, then angry, then a spectrum of other emotions. It wouldn't be possible to conduct business—any business— the same way again. Publicizing those businesses would also undergo fundamental alterations, shifts in the very foundations of the Guerrilla P.R. method.

The world of P.R. had to change. The basic principles of Guerrilla P.R. have remained sound; the philosophy has not changed.

But some of the techniques involved definitely have. They've gotten faster, trickier, and more complicated. In some ways, they've gotten easier, more direct, and yes, faster. Everything, no matter what, is faster.

Since the book's initial publication, there have been some amazing successes in Guerrilla P.R. Consider the unbelievably profitable film The Blair Witch Project, which used Internet viral messaging to spread its message and reaped rewards its creators couldn't have imagined in their most fevered dreams. Consider the fact that presidential campaigns have been announced on YouTube.

By the same token, there have been some tremendous Guerrilla P.R. disasters. The February 2007 attempt by some Cartoon Network employees to publicize a new program with suspicious looking packages in Boston was an attempt at Guerrilla P.R. that didn't take into account the nation's climate post 9/11, and it went in a direction that can't be characterized as anything but wrong.

The rise of the Web log (blog) has also created a basic difference in the P.R. world of today. Now, anyone with a computer, a microscopic budget, and the will to type can create a media outlet of his or her own. Deliver your message—unfi ltered, uncensored, and unopposed—to the consumers you want to reach. Do it on a daily—an hourly—basis, if you like. Make yourself a star without having to go through the gatekeepers who have held the power for so long.


Excerpted from Guerrilla P.R. 2.0 by Michael Levine
Copyright © 2008 by Michael Levine. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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