Spin Sucks Book | Gini Dietrich

A Review of Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich

There is one thing you must know up front about Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age: This book was written for you, not for public relations professionals.

Spin Sucks is based on the popular Spin Sucks blog and is written for business leaders like you and me who “need to better understand how the industry is changing, what to expect from the PR professionals you hire, and what kind of return you’ll have for time and money spent by hiring PR pros.”

Spin Sucks Book | Gini DietrichYet, Spin Sucks is about more than just public relations, it is about an ever-shifting communications landscape that is increasingly relevant to job functions outside of traditional marketing and PR.

Customer Experience and Public Relations: The Red-Headed Touch Point

Of the many viral stories that have impacted organizations in the past five years, positively or negatively, how many began with a customer experience or an organization’s reaction to a customer experience? A pretty good number.

As customer experience professionals, the customer experiences that lead to these viral stories lie completely in our wheel house; however, the relationship between PR and CX is deeper than viral videos and errant tweets. It lies in the power of using our organization’s stories to tell a larger story about our brand.

While harvesting these stories (or mining them as my friend Mike Wittenstein of Storyminers might say) is an important part of improving our customer journeys, it is also an important component of a spin-free communications strategy. One of the highlights of Spin Sucks is how it so perfectly captures this dynamic and provides actionable ideas for using these stories to create a narrative about your company that is authentic and has resonance.

As you read Spin Sucks, one fact will become abundantly clear — customer experience and customer service are not divorced from public relations anymore. Business owners and customer experience professionals need to understand public relations and integrated communications to better do their jobs in the current environment.

If marketing and word of mouth (and mouse) are often the first touch points in a customer’s journey, then understanding the new ways customers are interacting with integrated communications is a vital part of understanding the customer experience. One of the things Spin Sucks does so well is show how our customers interact with our communications and more importantly how we can manage those communications to better interact with them.

If that’s not important to the customer experience, I don’t know what is.

Okay, okay. I could say a lot more about why you should buy Spin Sucks, but this is a blog post and not a review in The New York Times, so I will simply leave you with the following.

15 Reasons You Should Buy Spin Sucks

When you read Spin Sucks, you will…

  1. Learn the difference between publicity and public relations.
  2. Be more aware when you get questionable advice on handling bad publicity.
  3. Learn a 14 point process for promoting and conducting a webinar. (This list is worth the price of the book itself, and I wish we had a copy when we did our first webinar at the beginning of the year.)
  4. Understand the trends at Google and how slow and steady wins the content race.
  5. Learn what questions to ask when an SEO firm pitches you that they can “put you on the first page of Google.”
  6. Discover the four types of media.
  7. Understand how the convergence of these media types is leading to a shift in how consumers get and evaluate their information.
  8. Learn how content marketing can create tangible business results.
  9. Take away actionable tools for monitoring and managing your reputation online.
  10. Pick up strategies for dealing with trolls and anonymous attackers.
  11. Understand the difference between a public relations crisis and an issue.
  12. Learn that Taco Bell and Honda had a friendly Twitter war. (Apparently, I missed that).
  13. Get a glimpse into the future of communications, including why traditional PR firms seem to be going the way of the Dodo Bird.
  14. Realize that you really don’t know this stuff as well as you think you do. (I consider myself to be pretty knowledgeable in this area for a non-professional, and I got a number of actionable takeaways from each chapter.)
  15. Support one of the coolest people on the Interwebz.

In closing, Spin Sucks has one final feature that bears mention.  It is an easy read!

There are a lot of smart people sharing ideas nowadays, though few who have Gini Dietrich’s depth of knowledge on this topic, but not all of them create watchable presentations or readable books. (See last week’s Monday Motivation: Your Information Is Only as Good as Your Presentation for some thoughts on this.) Spin Sucks is quite simply, well-written. The style is smart but not stuffy, and the wealth of anecdotes that Dietrich intersperses throughout the text add context and color to her topic, which keeps the book amusing and eminently readable.

If you want to improve your understanding of modern communications and public relations, buy Spin Sucks now. You won’t regret it.

Click to buy the paperback version of Spin Sucks.

Click to buy the Kindle version of Spin Sucks.

Editorial Note: This review is based on a galley proof of the book.


By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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