Posted by Elena del Valle on May 1, 2014
Photos: Arment Dietrich, Inc.
Communicating responsibly, honestly, openly and authentically rather than by “spinning” is the best long term approach to public relations, says Gini Dietrich, chief executive officer, Arment Dietrich, a marketing and communications company. In Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age (Que, $19.99), a 154-page softcover book published this year, she explains the reasons she advocates such a communication approach. Prior to this book, she co-authored Marketing in the Round with Geoff Livingston in 2012.
Spin Sucks is targeted toward business leaders who hire PR firms or communicators for their internal teams. Many business leaders understand they need PR, they know – instinctively – if it’s working, but they don’t really understand how it works. This book is meant to help them understand what we do, how to hold their teams accountable, and what kinds of metrics they can expect. That said, most of the readers so far are communicators,” the author said by email in reply to a question about the target audience and the reason she wrote her book. “I wrote Spin Sucks because there is a really bad perception people have about our industry. We are not liars or spin doctors. The big, big vision is to change the perception.”
Gini Dietrich, author, Spin Sucks
The book is divided into ten chapters and four sections: Tell Your Story Without Sex or Extortion; Scammers, Liars and Beggars; Your Brand; Your Customers; and Spin Sucks. A brand is controlled by customers in the outside world, she says in the book. Customers have a voice and they are not afraid to use it.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Lots of business leaders think they can hire a PR firm and 90 days later, they’re famous and on every cover of every media outlet and their product or service is sold out. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing media relations, social media, content, lead generation, reputation management, or advertising, it takes time. Just like you can’t go out and run 26.2 miles without training, you have to prepare for success over a long period,” she said. “The very best thing you can do is always be ethical in how you handle yourself. Don’t take shortcuts. Don’t cheat. Don’t lie.”
In the last section, the author turns her attention toward the future speculating that communications will play a bigger role in customer service. She says it is essential to understand how customers want to interact with brands.
Click to buy Spin Sucks