Tasting his own medicine

Local public relations veteran Robert Aiello may face his biggest marketing challenge ever in his 35 years in P.R., and he’s not even in the business anymore.

This former senior vice president and associate director of Ketchum Public Relations in Pittsburgh has jumped head-first into marketing his own mystery novel. The novel, called “The Deceivers,” was published this past September by Creative Arts Book Co., of Berkeley, Calif.

The book is one of three in a series he wrote about a branch of magic called mentalism. Like the book’s main character, Aiello says he too has had a lifelong interest in mentalism and has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians for 18 years. All three novels, set in Pittsburgh, are said to reveal one or more methods used by phony psychics.

But at this point, mentalism won’t get him greater sales. That’s where his years as a P.R. executive come in handy.

“Writing suspense novels might be my greatest challenge ever,” he says. “I’m drawing on my PR experience by marketing myself to promote the book. Now I have to practice what I’ve preached to clients all those years.”

And then he has to sell some books.

Daniel Bates