A Book Review:
The book initiated quite a stir when it was launched. Some upset marketing practitioners condemned the book as baseless, that the Rieses merely recycled their old ideas and they kept using the same old examples. Some people also raised their eyebrows at Rieses guts to tell the city of Cusco and the country of Guatemala to change their names to attract more visitors! One thing that I agree with the thesis of this book: PR can change perceptions but advertising can't. PR is more credible. They message it conveys is more believable because it is delivered by the supposedly unbiased media. Advertising, on the other hand, isn't believable because everyone knows that it's a company's paid-for message. Ries & Ries further state that advertising has crossed over into the realm of "art" rather than remaining a form of communication. They point out that the yardstick by which ad agencies measure the success of their ad campaigns is the number of creative awards they win--not whether or not the ads actually sell products. So, even though the authors overstate their case and repeat it incessantly, follow the advice of Ries & Ries and spend more money on PR. Advertising doesnt build brands. Public relations does. A company should use advertising to defend its brand against competitors once its been built - and its credibility established - through PR.