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Trust Me, I'm Lying

Last week, in an article about clothing and apparel companies, I mentioned that I would shortly be doing a review of the book Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, by Ryan Holiday. Here it is.

I had said that this is a must read for anyone who reads news or blogs on the Internet, which is almost everybody. The book pulls up the "news rock" and shows all the dirty little secrets underneath. Holiday explains how the news can be, and always is manipulated, and how much of what you read is false, even if you read it in the major news publications.

He provides real life examples of how he "tricked" small blogs to run articles, and how those articles were picked up by larger bloggers, and finally published by newspapers. The manipulation of news is really unbelievable.

From a marketing standpoint, this is a great guide on how to get a product or service promoted. Holiday describes how even negative news can create lots of great publicity. As a matter of fact, negative publicity can create greater demand and news coverage for your product than positive publicity. He showed how he did that with American Apparel (APP) through the use of "leaking" provocative company ads.

He also used this technique to promote Tucker Max's movie, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, by vandalizing billboards promoting the movie, taking picture of the vandalization, and then forwarding the pictures to two Los Angeles related web site along with a complaint about how disturbing the movie is. Eventually all the hubbub got picked up by the major news sites, and even television networks.

One of the key points about the book is that news sites and blogs don't really bother to do the research to determine if a news story is true, and they don't even care, as long as it brings in page views. If it is pointed out that the article was incorrect, the bloggers and publishers turn their so-called retractions int more news, meaning more page views.

If you don't know that you are being duped by what you read on the Internet, you need to read this book. If you thought everything on average was true on news sites, you need to read this book. If you really want to know how the news media works, you need to read Trust Me, I'm Lying.


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