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'Pyro' Goes Ahead; Warren Weighs In

HarperBusiness will publish Greg Stielstra's "Pyromarketing: The Four-Step Strategy to Ignite Customer Evangelists and Keep Them for Life" on September 27, without any substantial alterations. Stielstra, senior marketing director for HarperCollins sister company Zondervan, charged last month that Harper was holding up release of the book because Rick Warren did not want him to mention Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" in the book. Stielstra had worked on the Purpose Driven campaign and includes in his book marketing lessons from promoting the title.

While Stielstra's book moves forward, Warren has issued a statement — which is running in Christian Retailing and which he also sent to PW — denying that he opposed publication of the title. The statement reads in part, "My request to HarperCollins was simply that Greg's forthcoming book not use 'The Purpose Driven Life' as example of 'pyromarketing,' since that would be inaccurate. The effectiveness of 40 Days of Purpose spread from one pastor to another through word-of-mouth endorsement, not through anyone's marketing plan. That doesn't mean 'pyromarketing' doesn't work. It just means that it didn't create the PDL worldwide phenomena!"

Warren said he wants all recognition for the PDL sensation to go to God. "My only concern was that no one, neither Zondervan nor myself, claim credit for the astounding success of 'The Purpose Driven Life' book. The worldwide spread of the purpose driven message had nothing to do with marketing or merchandizing. Instead it was the result of God's supernatural and sovereign plan, which no one anticipated."