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CEO Thought Leadership Series from Trade Show

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Spokeies™ University with Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich, lead blogger at Spin Sucks and CEO of Arment Dietrich, spoke with Founder of The SPOKEies™Doug Simon about authenticity in leadership communications. She also touched on the importance of using data to drive results and attain business goals. Watch below for more of Gini’s insights.

Key Quotes:

“When you create owned media, or content, it allows you to really become your most authentic self.”

“We have a gigantic opportunity out in front of us to use data. Data from our website, data from our customer relationship management software, data from all points of entrance into our site that gives us that validation.”



DOUG SIMON: She’s probably too young to be called a legend, but she’s a legend in communications. Founded Spin Sucks, is the co-host of the Inside PR podcast, runs a successful agency as CEO of Arment Dietrich. We’re lucky to have her. She’s also a judge for the SPOKEies™ — Gini Dietrich, thanks so much for being with us.

GINI DIETRICH: I’m definitely too young to be a legend, thank you.

DOUG SIMON: OK. Great. We’re starting off in agreement, but we can always stir things up.

GINI DIETRICH: We can agree about that, though.

DOUG SIMON: Cool. What’s your take on the SPOKEies™?

GINI DIETRICH: You know, I really love the idea. It’s funny bec– I also love the name, by the way. But I love the idea. I don’t think that– besides PRSA and IEVC, we don’t really have, as an industry, some really great places for people to be nominated for awards. And so I really love the idea.

DOUG SIMON: I think it’s important that representatives for brands, nonprofits, who actually work inside the organization get recognition as do the PR people that are putting them in a good position. Because the media is really trending to want authenticity that only they can really bring.

GINI DIETRICH: Right. Yes, they are.

DOUG SIMON: What are some tips and advice for brands who want to get their own people out there to build authenticity– whether it’s earning media, having other communications– what are some best practices that people need to be thinking of?

GINI DIETRICH: You know, it’s so hard to say best practices. Because as you know, things change so quickly. And they’ve certainly changed even more this year with fake news and alternative facts. And of course, the industry has always had the spin doctors. So I think it’s hard to say what the best practices are.

But what works really well right now is owned media. I mean, if you’re out there talking about creating thought leadership and authority and credibility for your own thinking, that is what really drives that authenticity. Because people can see through that, right? If you’re not being honest and forthcoming and all those kinds of things, they know. And when you create owned media or content, it allows you to really become your most authentic self.

DOUG SIMON: What’s also interesting about that is we found in a journalist’s survey we’re going to have out in the next week or two– and I’m talking now in mid-July 2017, for people who come back later and take a look at this– that 81% of journalists are actually looking at social media sites for story ideas.

So the idea of creating this owned content in a voice– when we actually do our satellite or influencer media tours now, we’ll create a video first with the spokesperson talking about the angles, and include it in the pitch. One, to help get bookings. But two, to actually drive media to the social media channels where they want to get that information.

PR– how important is it that PR gets validated when we do things right?

GINI DIETRICH: Oh, so important. You know, I’ve been blogging a lot lately about media impressions and advertising equivalencies because these are still metrics that the industry is using. And they have to die.

Because we have a gigantic opportunity in front of us to use data– data from our web site, data from our customer relationship management software, data from all points of interest or entrance into our site that gives us that validation.

And I don’t know if it’s because we’ve always done things this way or if it’s because PR people typically go into PR because they hate math. But I really, really encourage the industry overall to take a really hard look at sort of how our marketing brethren are validating the work that they do, and follow that same path.

DOUG SIMON: And I think that’s definitely coming down the path. And that’s why I think it’s so important to get your experts and leaders out there as influencers. So then when they go to these other channels, they can have a measurable impact. Well, thanks so much for your time. This is great. And we look forward to sharing it. It’s always a pleasure.

GINI DIETRICH: It’s always good to see you, sir.