Michael Jackson

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

As I'm writing this, seven minutes ago Michael Jackson—who was (and may still be) a mesmerizing musical talent—announced a series of appearances in London, and perhaps around the world. I say good luck to him.

I simply cannot look at Michael Jackson. Too much deeply intimate stuff about him has been shoved down my gullet by the media: his admitted proclivity for sleeping with young boys, the photograph of him dangling a baby out a hotel window, the apparently botched surgery that disfigured his elegant face, the child’s fantasy world of Neverland Ranch, the lurid court cases and the endless speculation about his health. All these weird associations run through my head at the mention of his name. I would never pay money to see him perform, and I switch channels the instant he appears on TV.

This is the era of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, texting, “sexting” (sending salacious self-portraits over the Internet and cell phones), blogs and memoirs where tens of millions of us glory in “letting it all hang out.” As a March 5 headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer proclaimed: “Stars Micro-Blog Their Lives on Twitter.”

Somehow we feel it's our God-given right to know everything about everybody—Britney, Lindsay, Alec, Tom and Katie, Monica and Bill, Octo-Mom ...

So why am I deeply saddened by the death of a little-known, young musicologist, researcher and conductor whom I never met and about whom I knew absolutely nothing?

His life’s work touched many deeply.

"Public relations is the business of letting people in on what you are doing," counseled Evelyn Lawson, my first mentor in the business. And Michael Levine's new guide, "Guerilla PR 2.0: Wage an Effective Publicity Campaign Without Going Broke" (ISBN 978-0-06-143852-3, Collins paperback, 354 pages, $14.95), will put you and your team in the mind-set-and give you the basics-of professional PR. Even if you have a PR department or an outside agency on retainer, here is the inside dope that will enable you to know whether your PR is being done right or not.

Judith Regan, a 53-year-old self-proclaimed hottie, has been called by Vanity Fair “the Angriest Woman in Media.” She reportedly cussed out employees on a regular basis with the “f” word, the “s” word and, in doing so, routinely alluded to male and female anatomies—her own included—with various “c” words. According to one former editor, Regan went through 18 personal assistants in 2005. “Say what you want about the fearless, foul-mouthed former publisher of ReganBooks,” wrote Steve Kettmann in the San Francisco Chronicle, “it would be hard to deny she has probably been the single most influential force in publishing over the past decade.” She

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