Wednesday, 11 December 2013

You Don't Know PR Like He Knows PR

It was said that the Tang Dynasty calligrapher Zhang Xu produced his best work after a few drinks.

I wondered if the author of this book is similarly wired. How else to explain the outlandish ideas for the ads and public-relations campaigns he was involved in?

I mean, using a wild 'Canadian' bear (probably a grizzly) to sell bathroom tissues (and, later, having to track it down when it got loose)?

Trying to get David Copperfield to 'teleport' an SIA jumbo jet from Changi to Heathrow?

Staging a concert inside Sarawak's Mulu Caves?

Re-creating the splendour of ancient Rome at Singapore's Orchard Road - complete with real lions - for a perfume launch?

And it was his PR agency, apparently, that got the Singapore Girl into Madame Tussauds.

Regarded by some as "Asia's Mr Public Relations", Michael De Kretser has been in the PR industry for about four decades. His PR agency, MDK, began in modest settings such as his own condominium and an office space above an Indian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.

After years of gallivanting around the world, setting up his out-of-the-box public-relations campaigns and growing his PR business, he is now the CEO of GO Communications Malaysia and also the chairman of the GO Group, a sprawling PR empire with partner offices in such places as Bangkok, Beijing, Colombo, Manila, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tokyo and Vientiane.

De Kretser's remarkable rise in the competitive world of public relations and some of his (mis)adventures en route to the top can now be found in his book, GO For It!.

While public-relations people can learn (a bit) about damage control and how to mount a PR campaign from it, the book is really about the inspirational story of a successful public-relations practitioner who, from humble beginnings, set out to make it big against all odds.

Between battling health scares, boosting brands, and saving tourism industries, De Kretser somehow finds the time to date one of the Supremes, hobnob with celebrities and the celebrated aboard Malcolm Forbes's luxury yacht, play a game or two of cricket, and much more. With lots of spirit and spirits.

Packed with amazing anecdotes and the sharp wit and candour he's known for, De Kretser's book will not only titillate, amuse, and shock but also inspire and make you believe that all things are possible when you say GO instead of NO.

Royalties from sales of the book have been pledged to charity.

GO For It!
A Roller-Coaster Public Relations Adventure

Michael De Kretser
MPH Group Publishing
157 pages
ISBN: 978-967-415-166-9

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