Rosie O'Donnell's P.R. Strategy Paying Divends

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," October 9, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right. So, think fast: What do Rosie O'Donnell and Alan Greenspan have in common? Well, they both know how to sell books, maybe because they both know how to do something else: trash people. Al, of course, went after President Bush, Rosie, well, pretty much everybody else. Al became a bestseller. Rosie is rapidly heading that way. Her "Celebrity Detox" is already number 25 on Amazon, and she has not done a single interview to promote it.

My next guest isn't at all surprised. Michelle Jordan is founder of Jordan LLC. It's a P.R. consulting firm.

So, no surprises, huh?


CAVUTO: The — notion of — that you have to trash to cash, why?

JORDAN: Well, you know what? I think there are a couple of reasons, particularly when it comes to books.

First of all, you know, trash books are easy to read. And, secondly, I think there is that piece of us that, however much we admire the person, there is kind of some pleasure we get in also finding out that they have a dark side and perhaps life is not so perfect for them.

But you know what? As long as there is dirt to dig, and as long as there is dirt to dish, there is always going to be a market for it. And that will sell.

CAVUTO: All right. And the fact that, in — in Rosie's case, she's not doing any media interviews, canceled one with Diane Sawyer, it creates this mystique around the book, right?

JORDAN: No. You know what? I think that that has been a very, very calculated move.

And she's done it for two reasons. One is for publicity. And the publicity reason is that every author would kill to go on those shows. The mere fact that she has canceled and says that she won't do those shows has already created something of a media maelstrom for the book.

The second is reputation management. You know, part of the book is about Rosie as victim. Now, the dilemma that Rosie has is she does not really project a very sympathetic figure. And that is probably going to be tough — that is going to be tough to sustain on television.

The second thing is for that other part of the book is really trashing a number of people. So, she runs a risk that, if she sits down for an interview, a large part of that, she will find herself explaining why she said she those things, as opposed to explaining why we have to feel her pain.

CAVUTO: All right.


JORDAN: So, I think it's very calculated and very smart.

CAVUTO: All right.

But, if she is right, Michelle, I mean, the — the old rule of thumb is, you do have to conduct media interviews to create buzz around your book. Are you saying that, if she avoids all that altogether and goes just on the rumors in the book and some of the crazy stories in the book — I don't want to give it away, but some outlandish things — that...

JORDAN: Well, you know what?


CAVUTO: ... that will do it alone?

JORDAN: I think what is happening is, you know, the best sort of publicity is not what you say about yourself, but it is about what others say about you.

And, certainly, for right now, that is happening. I think she will do the interview. I think what this is about is, if Rosie has a really successful book, goes to — you know, within the top five, then she is going to do the interview about why she did not do the interview today.

CAVUTO: All right.

JORDAN: So, that interview will happen.

CAVUTO: Now, in Alan Greenspan's case, it was no surprise that there was tension with the Bush family. I guess when we saw it in print, he kind of confirmed it.

JORDAN: Right.

CAVUTO: And I asked him when he was here, you know, why do that? And he said that he was not trashing anyone. I am paraphrasing him here.

But that was key to that advance, right? I am sure someone says, when they give you a big advance on a book, we hope this is not going to be a doctoral dissertation, right?


You know what I think it is, Neil? It's — really, it's not the trash that sells the book. It is the trash that creates the publicity that sells the book. And I think, in the case of Greenspan, a couple of things — first of all, his trashing, for want of a better word, was very much within the context of the much larger story he was telling.

And I think, secondly, that...


CAVUTO: Well, no. You know what, Michelle? He did the gimme, you know, trash the president. I mean, that — that is good for a few books and a few laughs, and people love that. Oh, good, he is bashing the president. What's more is, he is a Republican bashing the president.

JORDAN: Yes. CAVUTO: That's a gimme. That's a layup.


JORDAN: Yes, but you know what? The book was about steak. He can deliver the steak. He needed to deliver some sizzle to fill the steak.

CAVUTO: That's right. And that was the sizzle.

JORDAN: And the trashing in that case was really...


JORDAN: ... to fill the steak.

CAVUTO: All right.

Michelle, thank you very much.

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