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I love how transparent you are Gini - you show us what works and what hasn't, and that's awesome.
This post underlines one of the reasons I didn't apply for the ambassador program - I knew I wouldn't have time to get through the book that quickly and write a review. And lo: I'm still only about halfway through.
The half I've read is awesome, and I want everyone I work with to read it, but still - nowhere near ready to write my blog post yet.
But I'll be doing what I can in an unofficial ambassador capacity to boost your sales. Because if everyone understood what an ethical approach to public relations looked like, how much more pleasant would all our jobs be?
3 months, 4 weeks ago on The Spin Sucks Brand Ambassador Program: A Case Study
"If someone wants to comment after reading a post, we want to be here for them."
Love it. And this is exactly what bothers me about taking comments off of a "blog," because to me without comments a blog is just a website that you update a lot. Like @creativeoncall said, it's plain old media. It's lost the social aspect because the writers no longer care to waste their time engaging with the little folk.
Of course, Copyblogger (while an excellent site) were never much for engagement, so I'm guessing it isn't part of their business model. And that's a choice that they've made, which seems to be working well for them.
Speaking of business, I wonder if they had an inkling of how much attention they were going to get for this controversial move?
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Crowd Work: A Case for Not Removing Blog Comments
Congratulations @ginidietrich - I've already got my copy (as you know), and I can't wait to blog about it ... and review it on Amazon ... and tweet about it... :D
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Spin Sucks (the Book) is Here!
You're awesome, and I'm totally going to take you up on that offer. Thanks Gini!
5 months ago on Vanity Metrics in PR May Be a Necessary Evil
Here's my challenge: There's a lot of info on what metrics aren't
useful (and I agree with you on these, Gini, especially on advertising
equivalencies - UGH).
But there's far less info on what metrics are useful.
work for a smallish organization. For communications, I'm it. My boss
wants hard data and I want to provide it to him. But, I need to measure
across all types of communication (events, traditional press, owned
media, social media) and to make matters worse, we're not selling
anything. I'm basically a community manager, and my job is to inspire
warm fuzzy feelings. Oh, and it's just one part of a very, very busy
Digging through this mess to find appropriate
metrics has been painful, and I'm hoping to pick up some specific tips
on what to look for at SMMW14 ;)
I know what not to do. What I need is a viable alternative!
@ginidietrich I'll do my part!
6 months ago on Become a Spin Sucks Brand Ambassador
@cyndistea Agreed! We can't wait to go back :)
6 months ago on Troy Restaurant, Wolfville NS
Great idea, Gini! I'm one of those freaks who simply can't read
anything substantial electronically, but I'll be first in line to buy
the book when it's released (what's Crush It week, by the way?) and you
can count on a review hitting my blog as soon as I'm done reading it :-)
Plus, I can't wait to hear you speak at SMMW!
Good advice here, Sue.
Manners never go out of style. Frankly, if more people remembered
that they aren't the centre of the universe, most of our world's
problems would be solved ;)
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Relationship Building: Start with Good Manners
Great tip on how to look at an old story from a new perspective... and a good reminder as I start building my organizations very first Editorial Calendar to keep an eye on different angles for the same story. I'm looking forward to Patrick's post too!
It's like you guys are reading my mind.
7 months, 1 week ago on Brand Journalism: Breathe New Life into Old Content
Great article, Yvette. I went through this when I started a new job in September - because it's fairly small, my company doesn't have formalized social media guidelines (I'm working on it!), and I was terrified to start tweeting. Eventually, you just have to start doing it! I did take the time first to formalize the basic messages that we were trying to communicate and found that measuring potential posts against these key messages helps to give me reassurance that I'm posting the right kinds of things.
9 months ago on Three Common Social Media Fears and How to Overcome Them
Great post, Gini. I love your behind-the-scenes snapshots.
I wonder if there isn't some benefit to learning the "hard way," though. Often we learn bad habits from the environments and people we work for, and figuring things out on your own at least gives you the opportunity to choose solutions from a wider range of options.
Sometimes unlearning habits and assumptions is just as painful as learning from scratch. Actually, I've had experiences where it's been MORE painful ... and a little soul-crushing.
But then, the grass is always greener on the other side, right?
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Experience: The One Business Regret I Have
"Rather the point is that we really need both: Experience and theory."
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
As a communications professional who has a swack (yes, that's totally a technical term) of academic background, I'm constantly trying to explain how much of what I do is grounded in theory. And how learning about things other than PR can make you a better PR professional. (http://katieworldwide.com/2013/communication-pr-graduates-success-is-simple/)
Most of the time, it falls on deaf ears. I love seeing others championing the value of theory :)
1 year ago on The Shoulders of Giants: Three Essential Communications Theories
@susancellura And this is why companies need to outsource to the right firms if they
don't have the talent in-house, instead of (for example) getting their
nephew to build their site because he's a "digital native".
1 year ago on Social Media and SEO: They Just Go Together!
@anitahovey Anita, that's golden advice for just about anything we do with technology! (Has The Terminator taught us nothing?!)
1 year ago on 4 tips for scheduling tweets without destroying your brand
@Howie Goldfarb "The more offensive thing is the view it is the woman who should be staying home."
The reason women get penalized for "opting out" is that it's almost always women opting out. If more men were doing it than women, you can bet your ass society would reconfigure to allow it.
a similar vein: I haven't read "lean in" yet because I have a sneaking
suspicion that the book's going to piss me off. Although, that would
make a good blog post, so maybe I should ;)
1 year ago on What the Opt-Out Generation Means Longer-Term
Ahh, Klout. It's fun to watch it travel up and down, but I'm still not so sure that it means anything. Interesting post, thanks Martin.
1 year ago on My Klout Score: It Loves Me, It Loves Me Not
These are great tips, and reading this reminds me that I need to re-do my bio. But I think that it might help to think of the bio as a "Why you should care about what I'm saying" rather than a "career summary". It's a little easier to edit out the irrelevant historical info if I think about it that way. And, definitely, give it to someone else to read so you've got another perspective (or two).
1 year ago on Let’s Talk About Me: Writing a Professional Bio
@belllindsay I'd totally include the cat in my bio. Alas, I have no such heart-warming heroic exploits to include.
@ginidietrich Good point. I have a bad habit of remembering all the things I'm not doing and forgetting all the things I am accomplishing. Note to self...
1 year ago on Off Script #2: Gini Dietrich on Business, Balance and Access
@yvettepistorio That's what really matters, I think - that we keep learning. Really, I figure if you're not learning something, somewhere - at work, a new hobby, in your personal relationships, from your most recent mistake, whatever - you might as well be dead. Because what's the point?
1 year ago on Social Media Marketing: Tactics Versus Strategy
I enjoyed reading this, Frank - thanks for asking the tough questions. I love that @ginidietrich is so open about the choices she makes in balancing engagement and running her business... but I still don't know how she fits it all into a day.
Good article, Yvette! Understanding the difference between strategies
and tactics is key, and like critical thinking, is a skill often
THIS "Your goal will help you determine what you
measure" is gold. Everything should tie back to your strategic
communications or marketing goals, and be re-measured at regular
It all kind of seems like common sense to me, but experience tells me that common sense isn't so common ;)
I did every single one of my Master's degree assignments in a coffee shop. Partly because it was an excuse to leave the baby with my husband, and partly because I work much, much better there. On the other hand, noises of other people living - you know, when you have to live in an apartment or townhouse? - those infuriate me. It's completely irrational. That's why I love working from a virtual office, so I can max my productivity by controlling the environment!
1 year ago on Coffitivity: Coffee Shop Noise and Creativity
@ginidietrich I understand completely. Until I decided to get a Master's degree, I was the same way.
Actually, your list also reminds me that I'm looking forward to re-reading the early Stephen King novels, all of which I have, and love, and haven't read for years. I kind of gave up on him somewhere around "Insomnia," but might check in on his more recent books :)
1 year, 1 month ago on The Spin Sucks Summer Reading List
@photo chris @Kato42 @ginidietrich I'll check it out :)
@ginidietrich I was in the bookstore today, buying myself a novel to perch on my bookshelf and motivate me through the last 1.5 weeks of my last Master's course. (I can't read fiction when I'm reading academic stuff, or I'd never read the academic stuff).
I totally thought of your list, and how I have "We Need To Talk About Kevin" on my list... but then I saw the latest James Rollins book on sale and thought "YES! Brain candy!" and bought that instead.
Because it's like the book equivalent of a Twinkie - all that book with no uncomfortable "thinking" feeling at the end.
@ginidietrich @LSSocialEngage That's how I survived working for the government. In that environment, I found that all you can really control are your own actions and relationship-building. And if you can find someone higher-up who is like-minded, and build a solid working relationship with them, you may start to win a few battles too :)
1 year, 1 month ago on Integrated Marketing Communications for Every Sized Organization
@ginidietrich Yep. There's a reason I moved on :)
@Howie Goldfarb Yikes. I hear you, Howie. I actually pay for daycare with borrowed money - I'm finishing up the last course in my Master's degree and working part-time (from home).
I find sticking my fingers in my ears and singing "la la la la la" helps to drown out those pesky money thoughts.
Although, I am lucky to live in Canada, where you can always access health care. It would be awful to have to worry about that :( Hopefully things will turn around for you guys soon!
1 year, 1 month ago on How a Virtual Office Allows You to Stop and Smell the Roses
@ginidietrich @belllindsay I can see Gini's 2013 reading material coming through in her blogging ;)
I used to work in government, and as you can imagine silos were a massive problem there. Having seen a worst-case scenario, I've worked in every position since then to build bridges with other departments as much as possible. Not only do communication people not think it's "their job" to help integration, but employees who aren't managers often seem to think there's nothing they can do to improve the situation. It simply isn't true! You can change things, one relationship at a time.
@Howie Goldfarb I work from home and send my 2-year-old off to daycare and get to enjoy a nice, quiet house ALL DAY. It's awesome. Then, when I need to feel less isolated, off to the coffee shop I go. I even, on occasion, get to have lunch with my husband (who works in a more traditional punch-the-clock-at-the-office environment. Love working from a "home office" :)
@RegisDudley @bhas Hmm. I've run into situations like this one as an employee (because a lot of my work has been in large organizations that treat "communications" as an internal firm that has to "bill out" for its hours). It's a horrible situation to be in, and I agree that regular check-ins and sign-offs can help... but in my experience, there are still people/clients who just don't get it. Plus, you want to be careful - there's a risk of moving from being a company that helps business owners to one that throws so much "red tape" in their way that they perceive you as being the reason nothing gets done.
I'm curious to see what Gini has to say on this one!
1 year, 1 month ago on Starting a Public Relations Firm: The Business Side of Things
Gini, I think it's wonderful that you're sharing such an honest look at the business side of things. I watched my mom build a business (not in PR), and it's a rocky road. Articles like this are a great thing for anyone considering following their entrepreneurial dream of starting their own firm.
@anitahovey You'll rock it, Anita :)
I love this post! I think people lose sight of the difference between tactics (write lists with an odd number of items! tie your posts to the news! etc) and strategy. Tactics can be good, and useful, and I share lots of them via tweets (some of which, yes, are scheduled). But those tactics need to be used in an overall strategy that needs to be informed by something greater - call it personality, humanity, whatever. And that is the focus.
1 year, 1 month ago on How Humanity Gives Your Marketing an Edge
@KateNolan Or, methodically try different approaches and track what works... take one approach for a week, keep the stuff that's resonating and switch up the stuff that isn't with something else for another week, and so on. Like the scientific method, but on social media :)
1 year, 2 months ago on Nine Reasons Fans Don’t “Like” Your Status Updates
@ExtremelyAvg @ginidietrich Just tap on what you want to be in focus on the screen and snap the photo quickly before the iPhone changes it's mind ;) the Camera app won't give you light readings tho (that I know of...)
1 year, 2 months ago on Four Tips to Take Photos for Your Content
These are good classic tips!
I do believe, though, that a person still needs an eye for design to be really good at photography, no matter how many lessons/tips/workshops they do.
Once again, your posts remind me that I'm slacking. Since I claim to be good at both photography and design, I have no excuse to not take my own shots for my own blog posts.
I'm preferential to #2, 3, and 4 because as a reader I want the subtitle to tell me something about why spin sucks. Especially for business owners, who might not automatically get that the "Spin" in question is the old-school PR kinda spin.
1 year, 2 months ago on Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle
@KateNolan Truth be told, I've found that off-line connections are the most important in getting things going. Like Gini said in another article, when she does speaking engagements, she sees an increase in activity on the Spin Sucks blog.
Aaaaand now I want cupcakes. Thanks a lot, Yvette!
Professionally, this is the one I see the most often: "There’s too much focus on selling or your only talking about your business."
The hard sell turns people off, period. If you're not into building a community, at least show off that you're part of a community. One of my local car dealerships, for example, posts about the local hockey team. They're a sponsor of the team, I think, but (as you probably know) hockey's a big deal up here, and people take their hockey team's success personally (not me, but I guess I'm anti-social that way).
So by cheering on the team, the car dealership becomes a part of the community at large and it helps to offset all those "awesome deals" they're offering. Sure, they could do more with their social media, but at least they're trying :)
"Don’t sell: Do great work."
This is great advice for everyone, introvert or not! Your work will speak for you, especially in PR.
1 year, 2 months ago on Introverts: How to Sell Without Selling
@belllindsay My husband sings ZED loudly over the end of every American toy or TV show that sings the alphabet song. He's very concerned that Amelia learns the proper pronunciation. LOL
1 year, 2 months ago on What PR Firms are Missing: Ideas
An intriguing post, Gini. Ideas are the hardest part of our business, I think.
"How many of you ... never look at something and think,
“Huh. I’ll bet that could work for X, Y, Z client."
Sometimes I think that's kind of all I do. Most
of my innovations, such as they are, come from just doing lots of
different things, personally and professionally, and then transporting
or tweaking an idea from one part of my experience into another.
from scratch are hellacious for me - naming a company? Yikes! I had to
read every baby name book in existence before we chose my daughter's
name and in the end we went with an old (but beautiful) name.
the trick of transporting & tweaking ideas generates some pretty
fantastic stuff even if it isn't completely "new". In fact, it's one of
the reasons I recently took on a gig helping out with a Public Culture
master's-level course... so I could learn from the students :) (I even blogged about it: http://katieworldwide.com/2013/2-simple-steps-to-innovation-through-learning-from-your-audience/)
I think there's a misconception that only artists can be truly creative. Really, all you need are a lot of different ideas and the situational awareness to apply them in new ways. it's more like being MacGyver than Michelangelo.
I love this article (introverts unite!). I think if you've got a well-tuned bull***t detector, it will serve you well no matter what the form of communication.
1 year, 2 months ago on I’m OK, You’re OK: Social Friendship and Gut Instincts
@creativeoncall And, the idea of always being on call (which is really the way it goes in PR) raises other issues from an employee perspective. You know, that old horse called "work-life balance".
I actually think that giving employees flexibility with scheduling their work hours helps this - a parent who knows they're able to go to their kids ballet recitals (or whatever kids do these days, mine's only 2, so we're not there yet) during the day is far more likely to feel positively about answering late night emails because they have the sense that there's give and take.
1 year, 2 months ago on The Client Service Issue in a Virtual Workplace
@TaraGeissinger What? You had three kids all at once and didn't go back for more? LOL
1 year, 2 months ago on Scale-Up Entrepreneur: Do You Have What it Takes?
Gini, have I told you lately that I love you?
Wait, that sounded kind of creepy. Seriously, though, you're a rarity - a business owner who not only has a high comfort level with virtual offices, but values a diverse skill set.
My experience has been that most managers are still stuck in an old-school "expert" mindset. They're looking for an employee that fits neatly into a particular tried-and-true job description and, well, I just don't.
I suspect a lot of other communications professionals don't, either, but we're so used to crafting our resumes to fit into those "typical" job descriptions, you might just be missing out on us.
Basically, most hiring managers think I lack focus because I have some graphic design, web design, media relations, internal comms, photography, comms planning, and yes, a TON of writing experience in my work history. Oh, and that one job I took managing continuing education programs ... in construction. Yes, really.
I call it being a "communications generalist. Pithy, isn't it?
I'm glad you're starting this conversation, because I think there's a lot of value in the disparate experiences us generalists bring to the workplace.
And the good news is: I think you're wrong - the people you're looking for do exist.
Or at least mostly. After all, if I can do graphic design and WordPress coding and write killer content, then hypothetically, I could figure out workflow development pretty quickly. ;)
1 year, 2 months ago on The PR Firm of the Future