Rob Walker Letters from New Orleans

ISBN 13: 9781891053016

Letters from New Orleans

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9781891053016: Letters from New Orleans
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In January of 2000, Rob Walker left a high-powered media job in New York, and with his girlfriend, moved to New Orleans. Letters from New Orleans collects, in one volume, the delightful and unsettling observations Walker sent to friends and fans about his intriguing new life in New Orleans.

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Review:

When Rob Walker and his girlfriend relocated to New Orleans in 2000, Walker (a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine) started filling his friends' email inboxes with tales of adventures from his new home. Those stories--capturing the simple, everyday, and often unbelievable moments that regularly transpired in the Crescent City--are the basis for the fascinating Letters from New Orleans. Here, the author describes the parades and jazz funerals not as a tourist would see them, but from behind the scenes, amidst the personalities. Over the course of 20 or so vignettes, Walker finds himself in dive bars that should probably be condemned; bicycling through an improvised community park that happens to exist directly below a busy freeway overpass; and mulling the consequences of random, celebratory gun firings that appear to be a regular occurrence in New Orleans. Throughout, Walker is the perfect fly on the wall; he's equal parts journalist, anthropologist, and tour guide. He devotes his energy equally to the beautiful, the downtrodden, and the wacky, but these are clearly love letters to the unique people of New Orleans. Walker is, quite simply, infatuated with his adopted city. With the 2005 flooding of Hurricane Katrina happening just months after the publishing of this book, these pieces serve as even more poignant snapshots; some of Walker's favorite landmarks may be gone forever. With that in mind, the author is devoting the proceeds from this wonderful effort to Katrina victims. --Jason Verlinde

From the Author:

How will I market the book? As you have probably read somewhere, "traditional advertising" is dead. And speaking as the author of the Journal of Murketing, it is my opinion that none of the present alternatives satisfy: Stealth marketing is over, guerilla marketing is tired, underground marketing is played. So the time has come for a new approach: Phantom Marketing. Not only is Phantom Marketing secret, stealth, guerrilla and underground – it’s non-existent.

There is no street team. There is no snipe campaign. Key influencers are not even identified, let alone courted and "seeded" with product. The hottest DJs have not been hired, because exclusive parties will not be thrown. A secret, mobile pop-up store will not be moving from location to location in America’s hottest neighborhoods. Nothing will be distributed via "goody bag," and no one associated with Vice will be brought aboard to reveal what the cool people think. The folks who make a living posting fake messages on internet chat rooms will, for this project, post nothing. Hot graf artists will contribute no murals, no stickers, no stencils. There is no podcast, no blog, and no word of mouth ("organic" or otherwise). Everywhere you turn your eyes and ears – everywhere -- you’ll be totally surrounded by the absence of the brand.

Am I worried about others copying our unique Phantom Marketing tactics? No. Because executing a campaign like this one is incredibly expensive.

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