I am a professional storyteller for GM's energy & environment communications team.
So many good points here, Gini.
It can be extremely hard to deal with tough clients. Especially if, like me, you automatically go into defensive mode. PR is a competitive field. Most of us always want to win. Even if it's an argument.
If it gets too heated, sometimes you need to walk away and come back. But you always have to come to a solution. The worst idea is to let it linger.
6 days, 3 hours ago on Five Tips to Deal with Angry Clients
@belllindsay You are so right - working from home is a gift. In your case, it sounds like the gift that keeps on giving! I kid. I'd rather work a few extra hours than spend those hours in traffic.
1 month ago on Remote Work and Staying Sane
Great post, Audrey. As more and more of us get the opportunity to work remotely, we need to understand the positives and negatives.
In my opinion, there is no negative to wearing sweatpants during the workday. Especially during Michigan winters. Having the option to do so has kept me sane.
For those people who think working from means hardly working, I think it's the opposite. I have a 20-foot commute in the morning if I'm working from home. It's convenient to eat dinner, put the kids to bed, then go and do some more work. There's no end to my day. At least when I work at the office there is a set end point (followed by the commute from hell.)
When I write long form content, I try to start it off with something completely off-the-wall that takes readers by surprise.
Sure, the intro usually gets edited out of the final version, but at least I tried, right? Just like most people wouldn't expect your pastor to talk about Justin Bieber, I think it's in our best interest to find ways to hook our readers. Once we have them, it shouldn't matter how many words we've thrown at them.
If it's compelling, they'll stick around.
1 month ago on The Changing Face of Long-Form Content
@JoeCardillo Thanks Joe. I'm going to read that later (right after I read the Stephen King interview.)
The key to marketers is telling stories is to tell the story so well that people forget they are being marketed to.
1 month ago on The Role of Long-Form Content in Brand Journalism
@ginidietrich I don't have specific numbers, but I know they always perform well. It's partly why we're trying to do a dozen or so of them this year. Like I said: we're experimenting. But they are stories that can be told, so we will. :)
Getting readers to accept long form journalism is tricky when we've been told for years that our readers want shorter pieces of content. You really have to capture their attention right away, or you risk them clicking elsewhere.
We've been experimenting with long form content on the GM environmental blog (when we have time), but it's usually in the form of a story about a dealership, or another local angle. In other words, something written for a built-in audience.
I guess the best route is to continue to experiment and try to extract those really interesting nuggets. I hate that word.
p.s. Thanks for linking to the Stephen King interview. I've saved to read later.
@ginidietrich @bradmarley If I was going overseas, I'd probably turn off my phone, too. But the only time I put my iPad on airplane mode is when I'm on an airplane. It's just so easy to swap and open my email. I need to just walk away when I feel the urge.
1 month, 1 week ago on The Power of Time Off
@Patti Agnew @belllindsay
I thought they built iPads without power buttons so that you could never turn them off.
As long as we have iPhones and tablets and light PCs, we are never going to be able to completely unplug, you know?
But this makes it doubly important to recharge while on vacation. The reason most of us work with a team is so we have people to rely on. This also means helping handle other's work when that person takes some well-earned time off.
My response to the Economist article: Well, duh.
(BTW, Grantland ran an oral history of Swingers the other day. You might like it.
1 month, 1 week ago on Media Relations: Why The Economist Thinks We Have it Wrong
So often, as PR professionals, we are restricted as to what we can talk and write about. Insofar as what can go into the press release. Repurposing the stories (or adding to them in a different medium) is a great way to get more life out of the story, because there is always more that can be shared.
I really love this post. Gini.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Brand Journalism: Breathe New Life into Old Content
@ginidietrich Probably true. Every day when we have to enter time we are reminded, if only indirectly, how much "work" we've done. You know as well as I do that the person who bills 7.5 hours can do just as much as the person who bills 11. Management needs to say that it's okay to shut it down at a normal time - especially to those who are just entering the workforce. A work life balance is important, even if you have no other commitments. That's my thought.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Time Management: A Challenge to Make You More Productive
@jelenawoehr That's everyone's goal, no? To find work that defines us? I'd love to find it. Maybe when I do my opinion will change. :)
Randy - I admire your tenacity in beating a shitty disease into submission and moving your business to the next level.
If I owned my own business (that incorporated elements of my passions) I would probably have a different take on this topic. But in an industry where the number of hours we work is still held in such high esteem, I am almost more focused on ensuring I maintain a balance.
I think a lot of us are scared to leave at 5:30, or not open our computers on weekends, because we think somebody is going to overtake us, and then our future (with the same company or line of work that promotes these thoughts) will be put into doubt.
I've worked hard the past few years to lessen the amount of time I spend working, while still getting the same amount of work done. There are days where I have to work late, but they are few and far between.
I enjoy this saying: Work to live, don't live to work.
@ClayMorgan I love how you phrase it as filling the gaps in coverage. Many, many companies have many, many stories to be told, but they don't. You need a person (or team) in place to tell those stories.
That said, @Gini Dietrich, I'm still confused as to how Grantland is brand journalism. Are we talking about Bill Simmons' brand? ESPN's brand?
2 months ago on Brand Journalism: Embrace the Trend for Your Organization
Where's Hannibal Lecter!?
Let's recap: Eats people? Check. Can force people to swallow their own tongue by the power of suggestion? Check. Is certifiably insane? Check.
I saw him on your Facebook list, but I'm surprised he didn't make the final cut.
Other than that, great post, Gini!
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Fourteen Greatest Villains in Literature
At a previous agency, I had to provide a report for every. single. journalist who I pitched who was on the media list for a given announcement. It didn't matter what they said. I just had to explain how my pitch efforts went. This made it feel like the numbers outweighed the success.
In other words, if I provided a report that said I pitched 45 reporters, I felt like I had done my job better than someone who only pitched ten. But you know what? Quality should trump quantity. But like @Word Ninja says below: Some companies judge success by the numbers, regardless of whether or not they are the right numbers.
Long story short: This practice will likely never go away.
3 months, 1 week ago on PR Spam: The Haggler Takes the PR Industry to Task
I think it's also important to understand what your audience is talking about, at any given time.
For instance, I follow a lot of people who live and work in Metro Detroit. When Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander was mowing down the A's in the playoffs, seems like everyone was tweeting about him being awesome. (And he is.)
But a few outliers were still tweeting links to their blog posts on how to infiltrate niche markets, or something. It was one of those "Huh?" moments where I realized they were more interested in broadcasting their knowledge, than they were in becoming a part of the larger conversation. So I clicked the "Unfollow" button.
Maybe it was a severe reaction, but I want my community to at least pretend to understand what is important to us when it's happening. Continuing to push out link after link is a quick way to lose a follower.
3 months, 1 week ago on Social Media: Six Ways to Evolve in 2014