A little bit of here and there and everywhere has led me to New Hampshire.
This was cute!
Oh, so many stories...when we lived in Indonesia, our house was an old Dutch colonial house, and the main room had a VERY high ceiling. We had an at least 14' tree up, and one of our cats (I thought they were pets, but apparently they were acquired for a dual purpose as there was a rodent..."issue" in Surabaya/digression), decided to scale the very tall tree. The entire thing came down when the cat reached the top, and the sound of hundreds of glass ornaments shattering is not easily forgotten. Add to that my mother yelling "GIRLS STAY AWAY FROM THE TREE" because, broken glass. Fun times.
The stint in Indonesia is also when I decided to tell my younger sister there was no Santa. Older siblings are horrible. She reminds me of this every year.
1 week, 2 days ago on “Way to Wreck Christmas, Lindsay!” and Other Stories
@ginidietrich Ha! No problem, I was kidding. I think we're on a rotation...unless I was boring and @chipgriffin bumped me without letting me know... :-)
1 week, 2 days ago on Seven Podcasts to Add to Your iTunes Feed
Thanks for mentioning the Media Bullseye Roundtable! (even if you didn't mention me <sobs quietly>).
It's a fun program to do, Chip always keeps it entertaining!
Great list--and I am a huge fan of FIR and Wait, Wait. I'm adding Friday Five to my list...!
@Norma Maxwell Ha! I did roughly the same thing. I picked up the first book in early September, and had read all 8 of them by mid-October. I then started in on the Lord John novels, and am actively considering tracking down some of the short stories she's written!
2 weeks, 5 days ago on 14 Books to Read…or Skip
@Norma Maxwell @ginidietrich I love that you ask this question--I used to also, when I was interviewing people. I truly believe that strong readers make good writers, and that people who do not read cannot grow as writers. There is also a ton of data that shows people who read fiction are more empathetic than those who do not read, or those who read non-fiction. Empathy is critical for the practice of PR, I believe. Norma, I am an Outlander fan too. :-)
@LauraPetrolino I would love that!
3 weeks, 4 days ago on 14 Books to Read…or Skip
@MikeHale - It was an amazing book. First biography that ever brought me to tears.
@LauraPetrolino - Not sure how far you are in the series, but Voyager was particularly a fun one (it's the third book). It also has one of the best opening lines of a book I've ever come across (and I believe it won some award for best opening line).
The Drums of Autumn and Fiery Cross were particularly interesting for me, as she covers some of the history of the Tuscarora tribe of Native Americans--my mom's great-grandmother (I think) was Tuscarora.
@LauraPetrolino "I loved this book more than I want to admit." That was precisely my reaction...and then I went and read the other 7 books in the series (and have started on the spinoff series of Lord John Gray books). The fact that Outlander was her first novel, and she wrote it "to see if she could write a novel," is mind-blowing to me.
@Eleanor Pierce I loved The Round House and State of Wonder was very good (and I liked it MUCH better than Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad--it's a retelling of that story). I too liked Tinkers. I think a lot of people don't care for it because it is frankly a vocabulary workout (which was sort of why I liked it, I think...) :-)
@biggreenpen @ginidietrich Eight, and she's just started writing the 9th. Her books are meticulously researched, so it takes about 4-5 years typically, so next one...maybe 2018?
Men in kilts...mmmm...Jamie Fraser? Yum. ;-)
@ginidietrich Heh. It is higher than my normal level.
I went on a couple of series benders. I read the Hunger Games series, Divergent series, all 8 of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series books, and started on the Game of Thrones series. I'm a fast reader.
Nice list--I actually enjoyed Olive Kitteridge, part of that I think is that it is set in Maine, and living in NH you see the New England personalities in the characters. I also liked how Olive developed as a person through the stories. I also liked Unbroken, even though it took me longer than normal to get through that book because I had to keep putting it down--it was too intense for me in many parts.
On the other hand, I totally agree with your assessment of Labor Day, blah. I wish I had that time back to read another book.
I have read a TON this year (some years are like that, I think I'm somewhere in the 70 books read range), standouts are:
Dearie (Biography of Julia Child by Bob Spitz)
The Lowland (Jhumpa Lahiri)
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
Jim Henson (Biography by Brian Jay Jones)
The Woman Upstairs (Claire Messud)
The Luminaries (Eleanor Catton)
The Signature of All Things (Elizabeth Gilbert)
Wild (Cheryl Strayed)
American Gods (finally read this!)
Enon, by Paul Harding, is the follow up to his Pulitzer winner "Tinkers," and while it is well written, it was quite depressing.
@LauraPetrolino "every book I read changes my life in some way"YES. THIS.
Except for a couple, which were horrible and I couldn't get through them. Yes, I'm looking at you, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Read a Book Day is September 6
This is too hard. I could probably list 10 books by period/stage of life, I think. I'll think about it though...
On the Little House books (me too! Loved them), did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiography is coming out soon? It's called Pioneer Girl, and it's apparently adults only, with very gritty details that were left out of the books. I'm looking forward to reading it.
Regarding The Night Circus--she wrote the first draft of that as a NaNoWriMo, IIRC. But remember, it was her first draft! It was a terrific novel, I agree, but don't let the finished work put you off of your project!
Katie's post was very interesting--Chip Griffin and I talked about this on the CustomScoop podcast yesterday. I'll admit I am still somewhat pessimistic about the future of PR when so many just do not seem to want to get a handle on the points you've outlined above. How can people *not* get strategy? It's so important I'd say it is fundamental. The thing is that all of what you've listed (strategy, conversations, sales process, consensus) all take time and too often PR pros are still encumbered by an outdated view of PR that says the entire objective is to get media coverage, preferably print (oh, and front page of the NYT or WSJ, please).
Clumsy monikers notwithstanding, I am beginning to believe we need a "slow PR" movement (like the "slow food" movement) that emphasizes that good, effective, long-term results take time to achieve.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on The 10 Percent of Communicators Who Get it
@kevinanselmo It's not always lack of self-awareness and inability to manage time. As Gini notes, there are many places where this sort of work behavior is encouraged and rewarded--or just flat-out expected.
I had a series of successive jobs that demanded stupid-long hours. I went from political work (long hours, lots of time on the road), to legislative work (crazy hours when the legislature was in session, but normal work hours when they weren't, so about half the year for each), to lobbying (insane hours), to PR work (billable, so lots and lots of pressure to stay on the clock). I was burnt out and completely fried by age 31. Those were the jobs that I'd either chosen or lucked into, and while I loved the work I thought the hours were inhumane. But they were expected, and expected of everyone.
I'm a people-pleaser by nature and as a tiny (*barely* 5') woman working in predominantly male fields, I had to work those hours to even be considered competitive. I don't regret the hard work or the hours or the jobs--but I am glad I'm not working those types of hours anymore.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride
Great post Gini--a close cousin of this, and one that drives me nuts, are the "I never sleep" braggarts. It suggests, of course, that they are too busy and have too much going on for something as inefficient as sleep, because you know, what a waste of time.
I always want to start sharing the statistics on how sleep deprivation causes a whole host of medical issues, and has been implicated in early deaths.
@ginidietrich SMH. That's incredible (and not in the good way).
4 months ago on Newsjacking Gone Wrong: Four Simple Rules to Heed
@ginidietrich @ClayMorgan "...it happened last night..."No, no, no. Please tell me you are joking. Please? Good grief. Where are peoples' minds when they do things like this??
@biggreenpen @ginidietrich "I read somewhere that the customer was accustomed to the rules being bent for him to board with his minor children..."
If true, this makes me really annoyed. I *like* that they stick to their policy, and have seen many, many attempts to skirt it. If this is in fact the case, every gate agent who bent the rules is culpable in this mess. Stick to the policy!
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Social Listening Gone Wrong: Southwest Polices Tweets
This one really, really frustrated me because if he is really an "A list/priority" boarding customer, he knows darn well that Southwest strictly adheres to its boarding procedures. No group jumping, EVER. It's one of the reasons I love the airline. So it was a little bit out of line for him to react when he was told no--he really should have expected it. I also despise it when people try and pull the "social media card" to get their way. It's an adult version of a temper tantrum, and it is childish.
On the other hand, it wasn't really anything more than that: a grown man fussing because he didn't get his own way. The gate agent shouldn't have taken it further--it exacerbated the situation. Demanding a deletion of the tweet made the tweet noteworthy. I'm not sure anyone comes out of this looking like they handled things well--not the father and not SWA.
@TaraFriedlundGeissinger @biggreenpen I have always been pretty high-strung, perfectionist, Type-A, etc. I credit yoga to saving me from myself. I started practicing about 14 years ago, and it has made a huge difference in everything from how I sleep to how I am able to let go of things. I agree that you should be prepared to look around and try out different instructors and different styles.
5 months, 1 week ago on What Having it All Really Means
Gini, first, I am sorry to hear that what is genuine intellectual curiosity got twisted so horribly. I am, however, glad that you have (through diligence and hard work) an enormous platform to correct the record.
I've had similar things happen to me on a much smaller scale. I am intensely curious and want to know/understand how things work, and for some odd reason people see this as questioning their motives. I am now super careful in both the spoken and written word when I am looking to drill down in something--lots and lots of "I love how you did x, what was your process" etc., rather than a straightforward "explain to me..."
On the CTO's FB post...I'm not a skeptic by nature, but years in politics taught me how skilled some people can be at permitting just enough truth to surface to serve their own purposes. We'll probably never know if the CTO was truly "floored" or just saw an opening to generate some controversy. Or if they've had takedown requests before and just made an assumption based on previous history.
I am now an even bigger fan of Lindsay's--cooler heads prevail, and it is, in my opinion, almost always worth taking the time to examine all sides of a story.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on The Social Media Mob
@ginidietrich @Karen_C_Wilson Our library did that in February--it was a very clever idea and got people to read things they wouldn't normally pick up!
6 months, 1 week ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Ann Handley
I find it fascinating that so many of us seem to be closeted introverts. :-)
This was a great inquisition and that is an awesome picture!
PS--I'm beginning to think that GoPro helmet cams are a good idea for all cyclists. No need to get the license number that way--just review the footage. I have no tolerance for those who behave like that SUV driver did, and he absolutely should be held accountable.
7 months, 1 week ago on Share the Road: A Few Tips for Cars from Cyclists
Gini, I am so thankful you are okay. My husband is a cyclist, and I'll admit that every time he goes out, I worry--just a little bit. He comes home with far too many stories of nearly getting run off the road either intentionally by jerks or unintentionally by the inattentive. Don't even get me started on the text-while-driving people.
On helmets: A little over a year ago I was driving home on a nice day, and was just around a block from my house in a quiet, suburban area. As I rounded the corner, I saw a man on the ground, bleeding, and his little boy pulling on his arm and screaming, "get up daddy, get up." The child was wearing a helmet, the adult was not. He appeared to have hit a pothole or something in the road, had fallen and hit his head. I pulled over, checked with someone approaching from a nearby apartment building (they had already called 911) and went over to calm the child down (the father was just beginning to come to, he was bleeding and dazed).
The whole incident was absolutely terrifying for the child, and frankly rattling for those of us who had arrived on scene too. Wear helmets, people. Please.
@belllindsay Switch out the beer for wine, and yup!
I like beer, it just doesn't like me.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on A Reading Assignment: Five Articles You Should Read this Week
Great list--I read the Atlantic piece, very interesting stuff--the rest definitely sound intriguing.
Also: on the picture--I read The Billionaire's Vinegar; it was a very interesting read.
#TeamSuzy #Dogsrule -- I'm SO glad she is on the mend.
I'm happy to help out in any way, especially by helping out with the chat!
7 months, 3 weeks ago on What A Dog’s Cancer Taught Me About Community
I've spent most of the day thinking about this, because serendipitously enough, I had just finished reading "The Confidence Gap" in the Atlantic when this popped into my FB feed.
There's so much at play here--I think gender, yes, is a factor--but culture is too. As @PeterJ42 notes, the British are, generally speaking, not like this. My husband was born in England, and we visit fairly frequently, and you will be eviscerated (politely, and with humour) if you are perceived to be bragging. So, in noodling on this today, I've realized that my background (raised overseas, in a diplomatic family) probably also contributes to my issues with this.
I find revising my resume to be almost physically painful, I can't take a compliment worth a darn, and I all but break out in hives if I'm asked to list accomplishments. (Were you at FH when they made us do self-evaluations? That was a form of torture for me.)
I am thrilled and supportive to see women succeeding, and do not tolerate the mean girls nonsense.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Women Can’t Be Awesome: What’s Really the Root of the Problem
@Mr.D @debdobson62 ...and, this exchange has just made me realize that I was not in politics in the same state...oh, Kansas City, how you confuse me. I was in Missouri, and from this exchange, I gather Mr. D was in politics in Kansas, yes?
7 months, 4 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Kelly Dietrich (aka Mr. D.)
@ginidietrich - Ha! Yes, the nickname...you are one of the privileged few who know it!
7 months, 4 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Brand Ambassador Program: A Case Study
I enjoyed being an ambassador! It was fun, and more to the point--I really do think the book deserves a spot on any PR/Communication pros' shelf. I actually referenced the book when talking to another participant at the New Hampshire Writers' Day who wanted to know more about how to protect her blog content, and how Google treats duplicate content.
So, thank you Gini--the Facebook group was also a fun aspect of this project.
8 months ago on The Spin Sucks Brand Ambassador Program: A Case Study
@ginidietrich Ha, I immediately wondered that too!
8 months, 2 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Mitch Joel
What a great inquisition! Mitch was so gracious in agreeing to be a guest on the Radio Roundtable podcast back in 2010. I was giddy too!
I'm always so relieved to hear successful people say that they are introverted and shy. Networking situations terrify me, because I'm introverted when it comes to those setups too. I also agree with him on the RFP process, it is horrible.
It was definitely an interesting chat. As someone who most recently worked for a news/social monitoring firm, I bristled a bit at the suggestion that monitoring=surveillance. A lot has to do with intent, I believe. Monitoring your brand mentions is appropriate and as I noted, due diligence in this day and age. But the nuances of the topic that Eric brought up are very important to note, especially when it comes to doing searches on people.
Much to consider here.
9 months ago on #measurePR Recap: Complying Socially with Eric Schwartzman
@ginidietrich The key for me here is that you have a goal for them to stop asking for it--I agree that it's a (very) tough situation. As far as "what's the harm"--for those who *don't* have as an objective weaning them off of AVE, the harm is perpetuation of a false metric, and a depressed jenzings. ;-)
I know I'm preaching to the choir here--and, as I pointed out there are other "vanity" metrics that I actually can see some use for...AVE is just so incredibly frustrating to me. I guess I'm still astonished that it still gets asked for at all, it's just so....made up. I mean, what if we started a metric that said an online article had the same value as a banner ad? I just can't wrap my mind around how it ever became legit!
9 months, 1 week ago on Vanity Metrics in PR May Be a Necessary Evil
Okay, I've stewed on this all day.
There is, in my mind, a distinct difference between vanity metrics and stuff that is just made up.
Facebook followers, Twitter followers, etc. are vanity metrics. AVE, IMHO, is just made up. No one has ever, ever proven that a full page article has the same dollar value as a full page advertisement--at least not that I've ever come across (and how could you?). And, again, IMHO, the pass along multiplier is equally silly nonsense. AVE should die an ugly, horrible death, and it cannot happen too soon. It makes me all kinds of crazy to see people say "well, they ask for it so we provide it..." and then what? It perpetuates this cycle.
I see nothing wrong in providing hard numbers like followers if that makes people feel good. But assessing a dollar value is what they really want. The only answer is to make it totally uncool to provide AVE, and focus on where we can really demonstrate a real, bottom line, dollar value.
There are two tracks we can take: one, admit that some of this "stuff" just isn't legitimately measurable, but that it works. This will take a boatload of charm to pull off. The other track is to set up programs that have measurement built in from the outset. I think a lot of the reliance on vanity metrics and AVE is that both can be pulled up at any point in a PR program but REAL measurement takes planning, baseline assessment, etc.
It's going to take a shift in mindset in the industry to get over this hurdle. I don't think we get there anytime soon if we don't make it clear what is not okay (AVE. Not. Okay.).
This really is a burr under my saddle!
I love this post. LOVE IT.
I will say it over and over again to anyone who will listen to me: strong readers make strong writers. If you are writing and are not reading a lot, you are handicapping yourself needlessly. Especially reading literary fiction--in addition to writing better, there are recent studies that show that people who read literary fiction are actually more empathetic. Being empathetic helps people understand others better, which means that conveying messages (aka, storytelling) will be more natural.
All of the other points are great too.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Improve Your Writing with Six Writerly Hobbies
Registered. Anything I can do to help!
10 months ago on Become a Spin Sucks Brand Ambassador
This is hilarious--excellent work, Howie! Happy birthday to YOOOOOOUUUU, Gini!
10 months, 1 week ago on Follow Monday: Say Happy Birthday to Gini Dietrich!
I am really, really enjoying this series and like the idea of breaking long-form content into "digestible" bites. I love reading a well-written and thoroughly researched article, but I think it's tough to process on a daily (or multiple-times daily) basis. Long form content (done well) *should* be rewarded by Google, and I'm glad to see that happening. However, it also has to be read, and I think that given most peoples' time constraints, their ability to do so on a regular basis will actually be quite limited. Breaking it down makes a lot of sense.
And yes, yes, yes on the research. When I was in college I *loved* helping friends bolster their research efforts--digging to find material was just so much fun for me. (Nerd alert, apparently.) I'm wondering if there's an opportunity there somewhere for research assistance, because I see that as likely being the bigger challenge for many, as really good research does take time.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on The Role of Long-Form Content in Brand Journalism
Fascinating. I'm interested to see how this plays out for them. I'm also somewhat struck by the repeat of the number 7: stop working the fields every 7 years, TED talk person who closes every 7 years, and we hear of the "7 year itch" in relationships. I'm always interested/curious if things like this have some sort of biological switching mechanism to them (or some other science-y explanation) because it's weird to keep bumping into the same thing over and over.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on The Power of Time Off
Am I the only one who thinks of this clip when I think too much about sponsored content?
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Brand Journalism: How to Use Sponsored Content
@jono.smith that's a really good point. I wonder if ROI is a part of this--it certainly should be.
This from Chipotle certainly seems like an interesting branded-content push--a theatrical mini-series on Hulu about industrialized farming. Very interesting--clearly, the branded content is working for them because this doesn't look like it was an inexpensive endeavor.
@JoeCardilloAgreed on the journalism aspect being key. I don't think 2,000 word pieces should become routine by any stretch of the imagination. But an example of a long-form piece from a communicator that really needed to be longer is Shel Holtz's recent response to the "content crash" piece by Mark Schaefer (and, this post is *very* interesting in light of that discussion). Shel walked through--thoroughly--reasons why we are not facing an imminent "content crash." It was a long, thoughtful piece that was serious and definitely more valuable because of the detail it contained.
11 months ago on Long-Form Content: It’s Time We Take it Seriously
First, I'm glad to see this. I can't tell you how many times I've read a blog post and thought "that's it? There's so much more to this (story/issue/topic)." Then again, I have an attention span that is apparently an anomaly these days.
Long-form content, like long-form journalism, has a place in the market. Sometimes people *want* more detail. They *want* to learn something.
On how this will be executed--well, I had a flashback to college and producing papers that had required lengths (8-10 pages, 20 pages minimum, etc.). The page lengths were required because you were supposed to be doing real research. Some students will do the research and write long, thoughtful papers. Others will do almost none of the work and turn in page after page of filler words. Hopefully Google has an algorithm that will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Generally speaking, as someone who both likes to write AND who believes that there is a place for long-form, thoughtful content, I am happy to see this.