The Michael Lewis effect
If you want to see one of the best rollouts of a fairly complex business book, witness Michael Lewis’ extensive PR campaign for Flash Boys. He started with a “60 Minutes” exclusive where he said the “U.S. stock market is rigged”—not exactly earth shattering, but it got a debate going on Twitter among Wall St. columnists and other pundits. (Here’s a good one) The splashy “60 Minutes” debut then basically steamrolled into an all-day debate and coverage of high frequency trading on all of the business networks and the main networks (including CBS, of course).
The New York Times had no less than four pieces from the book including an excerpt in the New York Times Magazine, a DealBook column by Andrew Ross Sorkin, an official review of the bookand a piece about all the hoopla. The Wall Street Journal had its own review and so did other major outlets. A search in Factiva yielded 385 mentions for the book in the last 24 hours, and that doesn’t include blogs.
Then, a BNP Paribas executive wrote to all of his clients and told them Lewis was invested in IEX, the platform to combat high frequency traders that he wrote about. That prompted Lewis to issue a strong rebuttal on his Facebook page calling out the BNP executive by name. Twitter went nuts in the afternoon just as the whole Lewis frenzy was beginning to die down. BuzzFeed obtained a copy of the email (the post got 58,000 views in less than 24 hours), which fueled the fire even more.
To top it all off, in a highly unusual move, the FBI reached out to media outlets to let them know they had been running an investigation of high frequency trading for over a year.
AND THAT’S JUST THE FIRST DAY!
The book is of course No. 1 on the Amazon Best Sellers list right now.
By Zach Kouwe
Zach Kouwe is a Vice President at Dukas Public Relations.
Howard Marks Explains How confidence plays a huge role in investing in the market
By Zach Kouwe
Numerous advertising executives have offered marketing advice for hedge funds hoping to expand their client base. Some key terms that are circulating amongst the experts are “transparency,” “access” and “performance.”
Rob Reilly of Crispin, Porter & Bogusky said:
“They have to find a way to be more transparent. They need to be honest and show how the money is made and how their process works.”
He explained that although many hedge funds would find this disclosure unsettling, or even unmanageable, increased sharing contributes greatly to compelling marketing campaigns. Ads and campaigns in today’s industries are often extremely flashy and loud. Experts suggest that hedge funds find a healthy medium.
“I wouldn’t invent talking babies or clever mnemonics; I’d be very straight forward about it,” explained Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners’ John Butler.
For example, Mr. Reilly suggests that a firm broadcast a town-hall meeting on the official website, or even YouTube. The hedge fund’s executives could then publically answer questions from current, past, and potential investors.
While Richard Heinberg is known for his views on fossil fuels and peak oil, he is currently writing a book on the economy tentatively titled "The End of Growth." A recent excerpt, called "The Sound of Air Escaping," gives a balanced overview on the financial crisis and explains in plain English the panoply of criticism surrounding the government's various policy prescriptions. (download the excerpt here)