I’ve read Trust Me, I’m Lying — Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday. In this book, Holiday tells stories about when he helped brands like American Apparel to manipulate the media.
First of all, Holiday is a great writer of these kinds of books. A better writer than, say, Tim Ferriss and Malcolm Gladwell. But not as good as Neil Strauss, though.
Second, this book hasn’t aged well. It roughly takes place in the blogosphere around the years of 2005-2010. Needless to say, much has changed since then. Some of the dysfunctionality of this online space can be attributed to general incompetence rather than malice.
In a quite the bold American manner, Holiday goes on to portrait himself as the coolest of cats as he operates his keyboard in the shadows. I realise, obviously, that this is glass-house-territory, so I won’t be throwing any rocks regarding how the author portrays himself.
Still, I worked in this space myself during this period — but in PR. The difference was that Holiday was in marketing, but then unknowingly transitioned into using PR techniques as the media landscape changed. With typical PR results to follow!
Now, I wouldn’t say that there are massive volumes of practical knowledge to extract from this book; too much has changed since it was published. But if you remember this era and are interested in PR and marketing, you’ll have a blast as you experience these, often hilarious, anecdotes.