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Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work--And Why Your Company Needs Them Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0470043929 ISBN-10: 047004392X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047004392X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470043929
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What would you do to get your business noticed?

Every day consumers are bombarded with advertising and public relations messages. With so many companies competing for limited consumer dollars, how can you get your company's message out? Sometimes, a successful PR stunt is just what the doctor ordered! Can We Do That?! looks at real-life PR stunts that will blow your mind and inspire you to think nontraditionally and find new and creative ways to get your company noticed.

PR Guru Peter Shankman chronicles some of the most ridiculous, outrageous, and possibly crazy PR stunts of all time. Wading through the silliness to get to the root of why some stunts work and some don't, Shankman offers a funny and insightful look at what it takes to win the game of PR. You'll learn how and why:

  • A stolen Yoo-Hoo truck became a promotional and media relations coup
  • RegisterFree.com's "Free Hour" promotion was so successful it virtually shut down Internet access on the East Coast for nine hours
  • More than 100 CEOs, dot.com workers, and media figures jumped out of a plane in the name of brand visibility
  • A small yarn shop in upstate New York caught on with hip city dwellers interested in eating their sweaters
  • And more outrageous ideas!

Shankman looks at these and many more case studies and provides the historical background and follow-up needed to fully gauge their success. But most important, Can We Do That?! shows you how to develop effective PR campaigns on your own. Getting noticed is no easy task, especially for small businesses. This handy guide to guerrilla PR explores the tactics and stunts that work—and shows you how to apply them to your own business without busting your budget.

About the Author

Peter Shankman is the CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a marketing and PR strategy firm, whose clients have included Snapple Beverage Group, Napster, and the Discovery Channel. He is also CEO of AirTroductions, the Internet's first in-flight dating and networking service. He lives in New York and frequently speaks at trade shows and conferences on PR, marketing, and creativity.


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Customer Reviews

I read this on vacation and will not carry the book home with me.
Toes
Really, it doesn't get any better than this...and I don't mean that in the sippin' Mojitos on a white sand beach sort of way.
Nunja Bidnet
This very short book is a little light on practical examples for my liking.
Fragmented 5

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

187 of 199 people found the following review helpful By Nunja Bidnet on August 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
A piece of "advice" from the author (pg. 54):

"PR for the sake of PR is a waste of time."

Writing a book just for the sake of writing a book is a waste of time for readers seeking ROI on their valuable time spent.

For readers seeking any insight on effective communication campaign operations, look elsewhere.

The content of this book ranged from the banal ("Everything should be a potential media opportunity...as a chance to get more media and more exposure for your client.") to the narcissistic ("...I am known. The media knows me...they know my clients.") with not that much of value for anyone -- industry beginners or salty veterans. At times the author's advice drifted toward the ridiculous. He suggests, for instance, that if you are suffering from a creativity block, take a trip down to the local animal shelter and hang out with stray dogs (no kidding!).

Without fail, his anecdotes cast him as the Maharaja of "out-of-the-box" thinking. I would agree with this self-characterization if the phrase "out-of-the-box" meant mass-produced Bratz dolls from the Walmart shelves after Christmas. His pomposity truly shines through when he describes situations at his firm -- he rarely mentions another name, opting instead to refer to most collaborators as his "employees." OK, it may be true that all of those with whom he's had these experiences happened to be his employees, but the facelessness and anonimity with which he veils others SCREAMS of a self-absorbed man who guards his "turf" at all costs and rarely offers credit and praise to others. Don't mean to play junior therapist, but it is an important note that highlights one of the more annoying aspects of this diary.
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Dan Cooley on May 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Hi there, after reading some of these positive reviews, I bought the book and I was extremely disapointed. I think was irritates me the most is that these reviews are clearly fake or written by PR friends of the author. I guess working the amazon system is what you'd expect to find from a pr person. Save your money.
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80 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
I feel duty-bound to note that sadly, as seems to be the case more and more frequently on amazon, there is review "fixing" going on for this product. The favorable reviews are featured and presented as "most helpful." However, the only one-star review actually has the most helpful votes AND the most actual information about the book. This review may not have useful information about the book, but neither do the "most helpful." I don't consider "beg, borrow, steal, just get this book!" to be very illuminating as to its contents. Presumably there were other one-star reviews that have been removed. Be aware that the rating is probably not accurate before you purchase.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Toes on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Very disappointing. I had hoped for something out of the norm that would make me think in different ways about PR. What I got was page after page of the author's self-promotion. Before buying and reading the book, I had read a number of reviews on Amazon and was convinced enough to buy it. I now agree with a recent reviewer that many of the reviews have to either be from Mr. Shankman's extended family or written by him and filed by his minions. I read this on vacation and will not carry the book home with me. It is not worth the weight.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Brendon Sinclair on August 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Reading the other reviews I have to think that Amazon sent me a different book!

Absolutely minimal advice, even less takeaways, bordering on banal and tedious.

The writing style is disjointed, ideas are bare or nonsensical and anecdotes are often just plain stupid (3 pages story about a guy who ate too much wasabi???!!).

Incomprehensible to me that it could get decent reviews.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ryan C. Holiday VINE VOICE on February 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If the book was as good as its premise (and title) we'd have already made this one a modern business classic. Unfortunately, rather than a discussion on the merits of event and stunt based PR, Shankman wrote an homage to himself. In other words, it's not so much "Can We Do That?" as it is "I Did That!" and the result is not nearly as educational or instructive.

Each of the publicity stunts Shankman writes about were performed by himself and majority came at the height of the tech bubble. One is about a party he threw for himself, another an event he did to promote his own agency (instead of a client). The remaining few are clever and innovative. They are just less impressive laid next to the author's shameless narcissism. He does, however, do an good job showing how just a little momentum can turn itself into a media frenzy that provides an ROI far better than traditional advertising or press releases ever can.

Those positives feel much more like missed opportunities than redeeming qualities. Unless you're a beginner or a personal friend of Peter, this book can probably be skipped.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Fragmented 5 on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
This very short book is a little light on practical examples for my liking. A bit less self-promotion and a few more real world examples would have provided a better balance for me. Some of the rules provided throughout the book made good sense but are really targeted at the novice rather than the seasoned professional.
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