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@digital_drk @ginidietrich @KateNolan @jasonkonopinski If only the season ended today, we'd all be going to the playoffs.

4 months ago on Spin Sucks (the Book) is Here!

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Gini, I love that you timed your book release with my favorite day of the year: MLB Opening Day. #GoSFGiants

4 months ago on Spin Sucks (the Book) is Here!

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My top 3 were TurboTax, Radio Shack & Hyundai. I thought Squarespace won the award for biggest missed opportunity.

5 months, 4 weeks ago on Gin and Topics: Special Super Bowl Edition

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@ginidietrich I wish. Two week spring break. The benefit of having a teacher as your partner. 

P.P.S. I think Super Bowl Monday should be a mandatory corporate holiday. It's not like any work gets accomplished; people spend the whole day on Facebook re-watching & trying to think of funny things to say about the commercials.

6 months ago on The Power of Time Off

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@ginidietrich, this article wins the Internet for January. Well said! Now back to deciding where to take our March break (Austin is currently the frontrunner).


P.S. Do you think it makes me OCD that I get flustered that it won't let me capitalize @GiniDietrich?

6 months ago on The Power of Time Off

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While I don't doubt that sponsored content is a disruptive trend marketers need to pay attention to, the ethics and economics of brand journalism make me very uncomfortable. My primary objection is that it's inherently deceptive--even on websites where it's clear what is sponsored and what is not, the fundamental goal is to manipulate and to deceive readers in order to sell something. Most brands would be better off taking the money they are spending hiring journalists and buying sponsored content and investing it in their products. The whole category is a house of cards that feels like it's getting ready to collapse.

6 months ago on Brand Journalism: How to Use Sponsored Content

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@jenzings I bet they don't have any idea if it's increasing purchase intent. If they did, wouldn't we be reading about that in AdAge?

6 months ago on Brand Journalism: How to Use Sponsored Content

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@jenzingsI wonder if their executive team misses the days when Chipotle was a burrito company and not a media company? Considering the fact that their stock has underperformed the S&P 500 index for the past two years, perhaps they should.

6 months ago on Brand Journalism: How to Use Sponsored Content

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Some of us pedantics are simply fascinated by the sociological and psychological aspects of professional sports. For example, if you grew up watching Mean Joe Greene or John Madden play, why did they never act like this?

6 months, 1 week ago on The final take on the Richard Sherman interview

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Great post, and a good opportunity to remind people that if you don’t take vacations, your staff won’t either. I spent two years living and working in London, and one of the more interesting transitions was working in an environment with 5+ weeks of mandatory vacation. Needless to say, those were the two happiest, healthiest and most productive years of my life. So take all your allotted vacation this year, and be careful of companies where the executive team wears their lack of vacation like a badge of honor.

6 months, 2 weeks ago on Time Management: A Challenge to Make You More Productive

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I think your Mom should request a recount.

8 months, 1 week ago on The 82 Things I Love

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@AdrienneSender Is there any chance it was a spontaneous tweet? Again, I have no experience with the editorial arrangements between big brands and big agencies, but do they ever allow for a spontaneous tweet that doesn't have to get approved by 3 people at corporate? Maybe the offender snapped the picture, wrote the tweet, sent it, and didn't realize what s/he had done until they took a second look an hour later. If someone tells me that it's impossible for agencies to do spontaneous tweeting for a big brand, I may be ill.

It's funny, just in the course of writing this response Twitter's official advertising account tweeted the following: "The opportunity to humanize a brand on Twitter is a huge value proposition for a lot of our clients" @melissabarnes #FurtherFaster

Regardless, I'm going to stick with my guns and suggest marketers stop suggesting that social media is some form of "humanistic branding" tool. For starters, when you attempt to use social media to give a brand human character, you activity is based on an artificial premise since brands aren't human. Consumers automatically tend to humanize brands and ascribe personality traits to them. But they do so knowing that corporate brands are engines of commerce they enlist to solve a specific problem. I'm not saying you shouldn't use social media to give them a personality by telling authentic stories about your brand, or make authentic apologies when you screw up. But consumers want you to stop pretending to humanize the brand and start helping them simplify their noisy lives.

Look at all the brands that try to humanize themselves on social media a few days ago in honor of Veteran's Day, most of them with the best of intentions. They were just trying to be human, but most of the research I've seen says consumers will never let that happen.

There are a couple of research studies worth reading on this topic:

  1. The Marketing Leadership Council at the Corporate Executive Board did a study (which was turned into an HBR article last year). CEB found that businesses broadly misjudge what consumers want from them online. In particular, marketers often believe that consumers interact with them on social media to join a  community and feel connected to the brand. But consumers have little interest in having a relationship beyond the merely transactional. Their top reasons for connecting online: to get information and discounts, and to buy things.
  2. While it argues a different point, there's also been research done finding that there is a greater backlash by the public when a product branded with human characteristics fails.

PS: I agree with @CommProSuzi. This has been an absolutely engaging debate and discussion. There's a Certificate in Marketing waiting for any junior marketer who reads these comments from start to finish. Thank you @ginidietrich for being the best Julie McCoy in cyberspace!

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Home Depot Crisis: Social Media Requires Being Human

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@Karen_C_Wilson, I'd argue that the people who are watching at that level of detail are in the business of watching. They are not Home Depot's target consumer who a) will probably never hear about this and b) if they do, be satisfied with their single apology. One authentic apology can and should be the end of this. The idea that social media demands a unique apology for everyone who was offended by a mistake is what we should be apologizing for. Plus, if they had issued multiple, personalized apologies, people would be parsing the tone and content of each one looking for a flaw. 

@courtneybosch I'd argue that social media is inherently robotic. The fact that you can schedule a Tweet underscores this fact. No other form of authentic communication can be scheduled, edited and deleted in such a robotic manner.

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Home Depot Crisis: Social Media Requires Being Human

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@Karen_C_Wilson Do they? As @dbvickery observed above, the only people who actually see the repetition are those inspecting Home Depot's Twitter stream with a fine tooth comb. What if they had copied & pasted 3 or 10 different apologies; would that suffice? Maybe it looked robotic because Twitter is robotic. I actually think Home Depot did everything right (full disclosure: I haven't been in a Home Depot store in five years, and am not their target customer).

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Home Depot Crisis: Social Media Requires Being Human

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@ginidietrich I don't know the first thing about the ground rules or SOPs for big brand social media management, but are you suggesting that if Home Depot was your client they would have approved each of the 16,000 tweets in their account before they went out? In this case, wouldn't the agency simply say we are going to be live tweeting College Game Day, and Home Depot would in turn expect them to follow their brand messaging guidelines?

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Home Depot Crisis: Social Media Requires Being Human

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I wonder if this incident says more about the medium of Twitter as a brand marketing tool than it does about Home Depot's handling of the incident. For one, it's impossible for a brand to be human, especially in 140 character increments. Although Home Depot did an admirable job of being humane in their apology--even if they recycled it 1000 times--social media cannot humanize a brand. Social media marketers have a tendency to forget that human nature is something that happens naturally and independently, and requires a mind and a body. Sure brands are made up of people, but brands are not people (no offense, Mitt).

That being said, meaningful brands can have a personhood and a personality that should represent authenticity and trust, which is a VERY convoluted way of saying I agree with you. :-)

And if I were Home Depot's CMO, I would have also fired the agency. I think a $70 billion dollar company deserves better than someone who tweeted that.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on Home Depot Crisis: Social Media Requires Being Human

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Where are you getting your Social Media Marketing designation from? I've been searching for an advanced social media analytics class--specifically covering customer segmentation, attribution modeling, path analysis, real-time analytics, multivariate testing, and traffic reporting--but haven't had any luck.

9 months, 3 weeks ago on About me

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My favorite marketing book title/subtitle is "Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes. It suppose it gets an F for SEO, but it describes exactly what the book is about, who it's for, and what the value is to the reader. It has all of the good qualities of an impactful message: it's emotional, relevant, new, believable, and differentiating. It's also done pretty well on Amazon in spite of the subtitle.

How about something simple: "Spin Sucks: The Marketer's Guide to Irresistible Communications" 

In other words, I agree with @belllindsay :-)

1 year, 1 month ago on Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle

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@Bridget Spence (aka @MyBigGirlPants) lost her 9 year battle with breast cancer on Thursday evening. Please join me in honoring her memory by donating to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: http://www.dana-farber.org/gift

1 year, 3 months ago on #FollowFriday: Bridget Spence

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I've been testing sponsored stories for a few weeks, and it seems we are paying for mostly junk/spam likes, comments, and new fans--mostly from outside of the U.S. It's absurd that sponsored stories can't be geographically targeted. Any advice?

1 year, 10 months ago on How to Get Results with Facebook Ads

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Your Catalytic case study takes me back to my very first marketing class. The professor said that designing a marketing communication platform that integrates multiple channels with consistent messaging and calls to action is the best way for a marketer to strengthen brand recognition while simultaneously bolstering sales. But for many very small businesses, this is not an economically viable option. Assuming you agree with this approach, what are everyone's favorite examples of being multi-channel on a very limited budget?

1 year, 11 months ago on Marketing is Dead?

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 @ginidietrich  @jacque_PR Hurry before Baz Luhrmann ruins it with a bad remake!

2 years, 1 month ago on Top 10 Favorite Books of All-Time

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Here's my lucky 14:

 

1. Crossing to Safety by Stegner

2. Any Human Heart by Boyd

3. Saturday by McEwan

4. The Book Thief by Zusak

5. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Dorris

6. The Year of Magical Thinking by Didion

7. The River Why by Duncan

8. Out Stealing Horses by Petterson

9. Empire Falls by Russo

10. Lonesome Dove by McMurtry

11. Unaccustomed Earth by Lahiri

12. Little Children by Perrotta

13. A Long Way Down by Hornby

14. And of course Owen Meany is also one of my all-time favorites

 

My partner teaches 19th Century Women in British Literature, and he put this wonderful list together for his graduating class this year:

 

* Buy a copy of The Madwoman in the Attic by Gilbert and Gubar and keep it in your library FOREVER.

* Take the next step from the Brontes’ novels, and read George Eliot’s novels, especially Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss, and Daniel Deronda

* Watch the Masterpiece Theatre miniseries versions of Eliot’s novels (especially Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda)

* Read George Bernard Shaw’s turn-of-the-century play, Pygmalion, and then watch the movie musical revision of that play, My Fair Lady

* Buy a copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of Their Own and keep it in your library FOREVER.

* Read Woolf’s modern novels (20th Century), Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse

* Read Barbara Kingsolver’s novel, The Poisonwood Bible

* Read Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter

* Read any Flannery O’Connor short stories (especially “A Good Man is Hard to Find”)

* Read Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Read Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping

 

2 years, 1 month ago on Top 10 Favorite Books of All-Time

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Speaking of, I'm ready this post on my iPhone & there is no share, like, or reccomend button?!?

2 years, 2 months ago on If Facebook Buys Opera, It Can Be Bigger Than Google

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Gini, at what point does "analysis" cross into opportunism, and become an excuse to get more blog readers, Twitter followers & Facebook likes? I'm not trying to imply that's what's going on here, but after reading all the marketing & PR blog posts in the past year about Penn State, Exxon, Netflix, Rep. Weiner, BofA, News Corp, etc., it leaves me pondering that question.

2 years, 6 months ago on Komen In PR Mess Because of Planned Parenthood Decision

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Google+ may not be dead, but I wish it was. I wish they would invest all the time and money they are spending on G+ on something that actually needs fixing. For example, www.google.org or www.google.com/nonprofits/.

2 years, 8 months ago on The Future of Google+: Social Network or Search Enhancer?

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@ginidietrich May just be a case of personal preference, but I think Fab's product selection is more unique and less mass market than Gilt. Not familiar with Rue La La though!

2 years, 8 months ago on Seven Tools for Your 2012 Marketing and Communication Plans

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Here's one more name to add to the daily deals list: Fab (http://bit.ly/sqIa41). They are a company worth watching in 2012. Here's some recent coverage from Entrepreneur magazine: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220520

2 years, 8 months ago on Seven Tools for Your 2012 Marketing and Communication Plans

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I love President Clinton (full disclosure: I used to work for him), but the idea that American business leaders (and specifically Fortune 500 CEOs) are not hiring because of the tax system and because they aren’t sure that if they hire more people that the products they make will be sold is pure rubbish.

Let's start with taxes: corporate tax revenue last year was down by 27% compared to 2000, even though corporate profits are up 60% over the last decade. In 2005, 1 out of 4 large corporations paid no income taxes at all even though they collected $1.1 trillion in revenue. Examples abound: In 2008, Goldman Sachs paid only 1.1% of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion bailout.

Let's talk about sales: The Fortune 500 registered the third largest profit gain in history in 2010, and median pay for top executives was $10.8 million. When the last President left office, the Dow was at 7,949, today it's nearing 11,000. All of the economic indicators support hiring, but why isn't it happening? I was chatting this morning with an old friend who works for a Fortune 500 company and he was scratching his head about their absence of hiring. Their EBITDA last year was $1.3B and they have $1B in operating cash flow, yet they’ve had zero net job creation in the US in the last 18 months. It sure seems like something else is going on here.

Now if I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that high unemployment is the best way to keep an economy down and get a more "pro-business" friendly President in the White House. With this person in the White House, rules will be tweaked and regulations would be relaxed allowing the Fortune 500 to reap even more massive profits. Luckily I'm not a conspiracy theorist.

2 years, 10 months ago on Control Your Own Destiny

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@HowieG what's the URL?

3 years, 3 months ago on Death of Bin Laden Spreads Rapidly through Social Media

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@ginidietrich I didn't. I was just amazed how quickly some of the commenters were over-hyping Twitter's importance in the OBL story. Particularly given the amount of misinformation that was being spread on Twitter (i.e., http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/05/out-of-osamas-death-a-fake-quotation-is-born/238220/).

3 years, 3 months ago on Death of Bin Laden Spreads Rapidly through Social Media

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@EricaAllison, how exactly were the "traditional new outlets a big fat Fail?" Examples, please.

This is a classic example of talking Twitter's over-importance into existence. If Twitter had been offline last night, what impact would that have had on the OBL story? IMHO, none. As @JayDolan observed, there was as much false information on Twitter as there was fact.

I love Twitter; I think it's great at times. But I'm not sure why we've invented this need to pit it against what @FrankDickinson calls "the old, tried ways of communication and interaction."

3 years, 3 months ago on Death of Bin Laden Spreads Rapidly through Social Media

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