As I said, I spent the weekend over at Oak Street Beach. I must have appeared an absolute crazy woman to other beachgoers as I sat laughing my butt off at a novel about the PR business. Last week my tech guy tipped me off to "Ultimate Severance." It's riot. It's the bomb diggity.
Anyway, there isn't a day that goes by that when writing a post here I don't think, "ya just can't make this stuff up!" Well, the cast of characters in this book seem to slither right out of some of my columns. You get to meet flim-flam artists, imperial CEOs, Wall Street banditti, itchy mobsters, smarmy pols, and snake-oil peddlers galore and, of course, a ton of spinmeisters.
The plot centers around one of the "World's Largest PR Firms," Trotter Pugg Mitchell. And the firm's conniving CEO and master magician Marvin Runnymede.
James Baar, the guy who wrote the book, clearly has occupied many chairs in PR land and, and let me tell you, Jimmy takes no prisoners. "He just can't make this stuff up!"
I almost fell out of my bikini reading about the "credibility campaign" for the Old Masters Originals account, a troubled retailer of crappy art reproductions in costly frames. Ditto the "Millennium Dinner" travel promotion for the Maharajah of Bup. Ditto the purchase of the Chateau Le Roc de Creme, TPM's new educational center for selling "PR agency kits" to Third World countries. I am certain I pitched the Old Masters Originals account... at least once! :)
But the greatest fun comes when Marvin and TPM face financial doom. Enter Joey "Lasagna" Lazzarano, a big-time player in the New York mobs. Marvin and Joey uncork a big bucks "Corporate Governance Reform Program "for Wall Street raiders whose CEO targets are acting stubborn. It has two phases. The first is "Telling the Story." That involves spewing the usual spin. The second is "Easing the Path." That's where Joey comes in. He arranges an unfortunate "accident." Such the invention of "Ultimate Severance." Genius.
I tell you I laughed all the way to the final funeral when Jimmy makes everything come out OK. Well, sort of.
The book is a total hoot. If you're in the PR business, it is an absolute must read.