Wasted Money Press Release of the Day:3-2-2011

As communications professionals, we understand the power of a strong press release. And while our clients (and for you in-housers, our C-levels) often believe sending out press releases are important, it’s our job to make sure that the release has a purpose. Unfortunately, there are many companies who dismiss or ignore the strategic value of a release and instead send out something that could have been announced through a different vehicle: website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. These tools have made communicating to audiences easier, faster and cheaper. So with this, we start a new column here called Wasted Money Press Release highlighting releases that could have been better served using alternate communications vehicles.

Today’s is about how an unauthorized biography of Carl Icahn can now be found on audio. This is the kind of release that could have been announced via the author’s (or book’s) Facebook page, if there is one.

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Carl Icahn Biography by Mark Stevens Released on Audio

King Icahn Only Biography About ‘Takeover Titan’


RYE BROOK, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–King Icahn: The Biography of a Renegade Capitalist by Mark Stevens, the only biography about billionaire financier Carl Icahn is now available as an audio book. Though “unauthorized”, Icahn cooperated with the author, providing insight and personal anecdotes.

Stevens tells Icahn’s storied history from his roots as a middle class nobody to his rise as one of the wealthiest, most accomplished and feared businessman in the world–a champion of shareholders and guardian of corporate governance, engaging in the hostile takeovers of companies he deems undervalued and mismanaged. The legendary corporate raider made headlines recently with his offer to buy Mentor Graphics Corp, less than a week after Dynegy, Inc. shareholders rejected his buyout proposal.

Available for the first time as an audio book, King Icahn reveals how Icahn came to power—in his own words and those of the hundreds who faced off against him. In the person of Carl Icahn, one sees how raw power and exceptional intelligence is applied and how it wins in a seemingly bulletproof world. The book has been described as the equivalent of a real world, street smart MBA, teaching readers what no Ivy League school can. It is an insightful chronicle of mergers and acquisitions, captains of industry, TWA, junk bonds and master investors.

The book gets personal, revealing how the son of a Jewish cantor and elementary school teacher—who never took a business course in his life—took on the Goliaths of the Fortune 100, their lawyers, investment bankers, lobbyists and politicians—and beat them time and time again.

King Icahn is a spellbinding story of Wall Street in the 80’s and 90’s, and the meteoric rise of its most astute aggressor and tactician. It is a story that led to one of the great fortunes in American history and a financial world ethos that would wind up reshaping the corporate landscape, again and again.

King Icahn: The Biography of a Renegade Capitalist by Mark Stevens is available at http://KingIcahn.msco.com.

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So tell us, what would your strategy be for this particular release?