Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ethical Considerations For Book Publicists & Authors

The PR industry has a bad rap, and perhaps rightfully so.  After all, the intention of the industry is to portray whatever client it’s promoting as the best of its kind, or as the only one of its kind, when we know it often is not the case.  Further, some publicists will lie, not just inflate the truth, while others purposely decline presenting a balanced picture tothe media.  The publicist is not under any kind of legal obligation when it comes to equal information access.  That would defeat the whole purpose of what a publicist does.  Can you imagine pitching a journalist and then saying: “In the interest of fairness, I’ve received 16 negative reviews, there are 11 factual errors in the book, and 274,000 other books are selling ahead of mine on Amazon?”

PR should be about putting your best foot forward to promote something you believe is worthy of media attention.  But it’s really about trying to leverage your time, money or connections to disproportionately influence the media, and in turn society and the consumer.

The media knows this and they are suspicious – as well as envious – of you.  They don’t trust what you tell them until they can verify it.  They don’t believe most claims are really verifiable facts, but rather they see them as mere hyperbole and posturing.  The media would rather you pay for ad space than for them to give you valuable real estate to hawk your book, product, service or ideology.

That said, keep pushing your agenda as best you can, in as ethical a manner as possible.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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