Thursday, July 13, 2006

My New Sacred Text (07 May 2005)

I read it on the train, trying not to knock other commuters off their feet. I read it in the bath tub, a towel in hand, in case the book got wet. I read it on the "Thinker's Seat" early mornings, and I read it in bed, falling asleep with it open on my chest, as if I wanted my heart to absorb its lines when my mind switched off. For two weeks, I mulled over it, making notes, creating a slide presentation, sharing it with friends.

It's not a book of poetry.

It isn't a novel.

It is not even a sacred text, or a philosophical discourse. But it has become, in this past few weeks, my Bible of sorts.

The book I am writing about is Pratkanis' and Aronson's "The Age of Propaganda: the everyday use and abuse of persuasion."

I know you will think I am the most rotten person on earth, but in all my years of running business this is the best book to describe marketing strategies. The funny thing is, the writers didn't intend it to be that. Their aim was to create a "wake-up call" to the American public that would help them dig themselves out of the bad effect advertising and political propaganda has on them. Except that most of the American public couldn't care less, and those who care are already immune to bull-shit. Meanwhile, among the warnings and examples are explanations of marketing strategies and why they work - as one reviewer said, "worth pure gold. This is a riveting, mind-expanding, even freeing book" - and I have already started experimenting with a few (albeit ethical) tactics in my work. Guess what? They work. They do. I love Pratkanis!! *smooch*
All the other marketing books, of which I have a stack, are paltry nonsense in comparison. Forget about write-ups - do workshops. Forget about mugs, magnets - do favors. Make your client feel bad about themselves, then generously forgive them their misdemeanors. They will feel even worse and try to do something in return. Create frivolous groups and make belonging contingent upon them obeying your rules - apparently people are such pack animals that they need these "granfaloons" for self-esteem. And so on, and so forth. I loved it.
So, if you are in business, or you want to convince your hubby to buy that 4WD, or that nasty secretary to let you see the boss: read the book. You can buy it from Amazon: at a very cheap price. Which is unfair, because it has the potential of making you gold.
And hey, "if you think you are - then you are".

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