When Judy Hilsinger of bi-coastal publicity firm Hilsinger-Mendelson was analyzed as a "warrior" by Green Valley Spa nutrionist Jay Cooper, she was hooked, but not just to do the promotion for his book, The Body Code: 4 Genetic Types, 4 Diet Solutions. Hilsinger and partner Sandi Mendelson (a "nurturer"), decided to break the bonds of PR and agent and to represent the property, promising to bring their publicity clout to wh ver bid highest.
Pocket anted up "a healthy six figures" in a mini-auction, responding to what Mendelson described as "the need for a book that contained ideas that had already been embraced by magazine health editors and spas around the country. It had, in a sense, already been presold, and that is what made it interesting for us."
Added Laura Ross, Pocket v-p and director of marketing, a "nurturer" and a convert even before Hilsinger-Mendelson sold Pocket The Body Code, "It's the first diet plan to combine body type and personality type. People get it easily. Publicity alone is going to drive this."
Hilsinger-Mendelson, known for high-profile clients such as Anne Geddes and Suze Orman, have made a point during their 20 years in business to focus on trendsetters and new takes to which the media responds well. "We have no desire to compete with agents," said Hilsinger. "But there are occasional, nonfiction, high-energy projects that seem to be a natural for us to agent as well as promote. The Body Code is the first."
Articles on Cooper (who worked with co-writer Kathryn Lance for the book) will be featured in Family Circle and Vogue in the next several weeks (articles have already appeared in Bazaar and Fitness). But it's his 16-city bookstore tour that will be truly interactive: Cooper calls up volunteers from the audience and analyzes their body type on the spot, immediately giving them guidelines for eating and physical activity. "He came to sales conference," said Ross, "and the minute he started typing people, the whole atmosphere changed. It's like a talk show, with people discovering something new about themselves."
Hilsinger-Mendelson has also developed an accompanying video that illustrates the different types and provides testimonial by happy dieters at the Green Valley Spa, plus sample chapter and outline.
This may just be the beginning. Said Ross, "There may be all sorts of applications here -- like the John Gray system. Who's the best person to hire if you're a warrior, for example? Or the best person to marry? Who knows, there may be a lot more here than just diets."