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Gini Dietrich

Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors

By: Gini Dietrich | May 9, 2011 | 
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This year, at BlogWorld and New Media Expo, Danny Brown and I are speaking!

Yes, together and yes, it’s going to be legen (wait for it) dary!

Initially our blog topic was “Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors,” but some corporate suit was offended by that title so they asked us to change it. I guess he didn’t want to fly across the country to listen to all of the reasons PR pros suck.

Never mind it suits our personalities and it would have, hands down, gotten butts in seats, but we get that so we changed it. I really hope he comes to our session now!

Now it’s “Common Sense and Collaboration: The Last Stumbling Block for PR and Bloggers” (boooooring), but the content remains the same.

It’s no surprise, if you’ve been a reader of Spin Sucks for a while, that I think the way (some) PR pros treat bloggers is ridiculous. And it’s time to educate bloggers on how to work with PR pros in order to achieve some of your blogging goals.

Danny feels the same way because he spends time on his blog talking about ways PR pros and bloggers can work together.

He and I sit on both sides of the fence. We both are communication experts and we both blog. We know what it’s like to do blogger outreach and we know what it’s like to be pitched (it’s really, really bad in most cases).

We’ve been collecting the good, the bad, and the ugly we’ve received for the past couple of months so we can show examples of what works really well and what, well, sucks. And we’re prepared to discuss why most bloggers won’t be paid by PR pros, what you have to disclose (hint, everything), and what you can expect when you’re covering a product or service.

But don’t think we’re going to sit up there for an hour and agree with one another. We’re not. We actually discussed who would make a better bad cop (me) to keep the audience entertained. And we’ve thrown in a few fun things to get everyone involved. But that’s a surprise so you’re going to have to come to our session if you want to know what it is.

The good news is that if you’re not already registered, I get to offer you a 20 percent discount. You can attend live and in person (and if you do, you’d better let me know so we can meet!) or you can attend virtually. The discount works however you like.

So head over to their site, check out the different passess, choose one, and use code SS20 when you check out. That will get you your 20 percent discount. Then go to the schedule and go ahead and reserve your spot for our session.

Regardless if you prefer common sense and collaboration or doucheblogs and spin doctors, we hope to see you there!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

147 comments
LucretiaPruitt
LucretiaPruitt

I'm looking forward to seeing you guys and hating missing the session (as it happens to be something I talk about all the time!) Hatehatehate the fact that we're on the same time you are. But I guess that just means we'll have to think of sneaky ways to make our audience sound much more entertained! ;)

Seriously though - a title is a title. Somehow I lived down speaking at "Chicks Who Click"... which I tell you, was the conference with the worst name I've done so far. The people were great. The presenters were knowledgeable and spot on. It was just a little 'uber-clever' with the title that killed it really.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

I never work with Bloggers. Who do bloggers think they are expecting people in PR or Marketing to treat them like an asset vs a hinderance. I mean really now.

Greg Verdino wrote a book called Micromarketing. I read the first 3rd so I am an expert (see @Danny Brown I read parts of biz books) Anyhoody don't underestimate the combined Powa of Bloggers if you work with them ethically and vice versa, Bloggers need ideas and content. PR/Marketers need their stuff talked about. As long as no bribery is going on it can be the bees knees of bootiful relationships.

But anyway those damn bloggers have some noy-erve.

I will be outside Madison Square Garden holding my lighter up when you both speak at the greatest arena on earth! (even if the teams there suck).

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

Great discussion as always, think I 'liked' half the comments. Was there a subhead to your talk, something to put the douchebags and spin doctors in context? I ask b/c reading the @blogworld and other comments, explanations on people taking offense. I'm offended when ALL PR folks are lumped together, referred to as spin doctors or flacks, terms I see as insults. We don't all suck. At the same time I get the idea of marketing, face-grabbing headlines sell; and the quaint notion of humor, your talk is probably going to be more of the 'don't spin, be less douchey' variety. Best of luck, sure you two will bring the house down. FWIW.

MARLdblE
MARLdblE

I will SO be there and I can't WAIT to meet you guys in person...AND your other title kicked butt, which just goes to show why the corporate types just DON'T GET IT...but that is why you are going to be there with Danny to set them straight. Yay, yay, yay.

BobReed
BobReed

The folks at Blogworld were probably concerned that your session title was perhaps a tad similar to Dennis Leary's Comedy Central special, "Douchebags and Donuts". Then again, maybe they're just uptight prudes.

byronfernandez
byronfernandez

This sounds fantastic guys.

THANK YOU for this section: The way (some) PR pros treat bloggers is ridiculous. And it’s time to educate bloggers on how to work with PR pros in order to achieve some of your blogging goals.

As the 'new kid on the block,' one of my biggest challenges has been balancing listening without suffering too much identity crisis. I am who I am, and I'm proud of what it has taken to get here and how I've grown (and continue to) throughout the journey.

I look forward and hope to meet you guys one day

KarenARocks
KarenARocks

Gini

I hate being stifled too with things like that. I do have to let you know that HIMYM quotes go very far in my book. I am currently working on the Ninja report. ;) Might have to do the virtual route...thanks for the heads up.

TheJackB
TheJackB

I would go but I am allergic to funny East Coast accents. But Vegas is a different story altogether.

dinodogan
dinodogan

Good luck you two :-) I wish I was on the East Coast (or West Landing as I like to call it)...I would so be there :-)

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

Sounds like a case of spin to me...

So wish I could go, but alas, it's not in the cards! Soon, Gini D, soon.

I know you and Danny will blow everyone out of the water! Can't wait to see the video...maybe I'll have to head over to the virtual ticket window!

therealkazia
therealkazia

The new title does suck, but I'm sure the content will be epic! Is there a chance a copy of your talk will be available for play back some where? *finger crossed*

bdorman264
bdorman264

Zzzzzzz......yes, I liked the other title better. You didn't have any leverage on this?

I can only imagine the two of you together as you are both very quick to speak your mind; it should be a lively discussion.

Up close and personal; so if we are there you've extended an invitation to meet you personally, but we'll have to get thru Danny's body guards if we want to shake his hand? I've seen his crew; I think I can take 'em. They will be easy to spot, they will all be speaking w/ that cutesy Scottish accent and eating haggis.

ExpatDoctorMom
ExpatDoctorMom

Gini

So sad i will likely miss it. It almost worked out that I could attend and meet you both... just almost.

boo hiss on the corporate suits not liking the title. I think it would have attracted more bloggers but if they see your name and Danny Brown's name on the talk then this will suffice!

Can't add much to the PR world only worked in the world briefly reviewing medical campaigns for accuracy and input. I must say it was the funnest (is that a word?) job I have had!

Good luck at the expo to you and Danny both!

skooloflife
skooloflife

Considering we just partnered up with a PR agency as our sponsor and strategic partner for BlogcastFM, I'm definitely going to be attending your session. I'm looking forward to hearing what you both have to say about the subject and getting some in-depth insights into the PR part of things.

ParkRidgeDDS
ParkRidgeDDS

....it will indeed be.....legen (waiting for it ) dary (big grin). You and @Danny Brown are going to be awesome together. It's too bad that certain people couldn't see beyond their noses in regards to the original title but I am sure your topic is compelling enough to draw a huge crowd. Someday, I want to attend one of these events. I'll leave my overalls and cowboy boots home and wear matching clothes and heels (you'll have to hold my arm so I don't kill myself) and see what it's like to live the good life ;-)

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman

Love the dynamic duo approach to this - those suits don't stand a chance! Hmmm...wondering if the organizers will have a special '7 second' button just for you guyz...

Seriously, much of the corporate world has no idea how to deal with bloggers. Not to mention that an outreach can also elicit a negative review. Plus, I hear alot of 'mom blogger' complaining re how they are treated by us PR types. Yet their expectations also seem out of whack...

Who knows - this talk could become a manifesto of sorts....

TheJackB
TheJackB

@HowieG Yeah, those crazy bloggers are just among the wackiest around but I say that because I am one. Bloggers who need content are walking around with their eyes closed. There are so much to cover it is impossible to hit it all. @Danny Brown

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@3HatsComm Yes, there is a subhead about looking at the right and wrong ways on both sides of the coin. But something Rick said really got me. He said that, if you don't know us, the title makes us sound like we think we're too cool for school. And, as you know, that is mortifying to me. So I'm happy to change it so we don't sound too big for our britches.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@BobReed I think they're trying to please everyone, which is not an easy job. @Danny Brown blogged about it today so we got our voices heard. For sure.

See you tomorrow!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@byronfernandez Amen! :) Hopefully we'll begin to open up the eyes on both sides and begin to foster collaboration. Are you going to BlogWorld, by chance?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@EricaAllison I know! We HAVE to find someplace where we'll both be. Too bad I didn't know you a year ago. I was in your hometown!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

@bdorman264 I leave the whole bodyguard thing to Gini - me, I just walk about in flip flops and buy everyone ice cream :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@bdorman264 You should see @troyclaus . You're going to have to get through him to get to me. I'd be willing to bet you're up to the challenge!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@skooloflife Who did you partner with?! And I'm pretty sure you're going to kick our butts...we haven't started our presentation yet and you're already rehearsing.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

@ParkRidgeDDS You can wear the cowboy hat and boots anytime! To heck with all these dress up rules and regulations - be yourself, that's why we like you! :)

TheJackB
TheJackB

@ElissaFreeman I think that there are a lot of copycats out there who think that they gain influence by complaining about PR people. I just don't believe that all of these parent bloggers (and I am one) are getting pitched the way that they claim that they are.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@ElissaFreeman That's kind of what we're thinking - how it all really works, especially because we know you can't say to a client, "Well, this mom blogger deserves to be paid." Um. No.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

@ElissaFreeman Thanks, Elissa - I think folks are going to be slightly surprised by Gini's angry crusader side, hehe ;-)

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

@ginidietrich Hmm... problem of mass marketing and not pleasing everyone, different strokes.Thinking if I DIDN'T 'know' you and @Danny Brown I wouldn't make that 'too cool' impression. In fact me being me, per my RT this morning, I'd be all "Yowza! Now this is a talk I want to attend b/c it won't be the same old blah, maybe these folks will shake things up a bit." FWIW.

byronfernandez
byronfernandez

@ginidietrich @toprank Absolutely. Perhaps that's where the identity crisis/disruption lies, too -- seems like most of us began in marketing, PR backgrounds but now it's all ubiquitous with blogging, content. Fascinating.

Re: BlogWorld I wish -- still working on the big wave that knocks you off your feet (official careerjob/paycheck lol). Ironic, unacceptable : I was raised between SoCal and upstate NY, have traveled the world; have friends/fam in the City but have never been! Someday for sure. Merely a matter of when, not if...

TheJackB
TheJackB

@ginidietrich Nah, nothing so severe. I just have fun with people who think that they "stand online" instead of "in line."

And I have nephews and a niece who are growing up with funny accents. I can say this because I am a native Angeleno and we don't have accents. ;)

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@ginidietrich I KNOW!!! I will find a way sometime in the next 12 months...it's a date. Did you love Asheville? It's beautiful and very 'organic' :), don't you think?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Danny Brown @ParkRidgeDDS Oh no, Danny! We want Claudia in heels so she has to hold my arm as if I am her safety net. I love that idea!!

And thanks, Claud, for getting the HIMYM nod. :)

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman

@ginidietrich so true! But bloggers also have to realize 'why' they are being pitched in the first place. In some cases, I've read such missives as ""well, I'll go to your event, eat your free food, take your swag bag...and maybe I'll be nice and maybe I won't." There are likely a number of reasons why this is such a prevalent attitude. IMO, working on the client side, we treat bloggers like journalists (eg developing relationships, responding to interview requests in a timely way)...but I also expect them to uphold the same sense of professionalism in working with me. Just sayin'.....

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

@EricaAllison i finally found the post man. and I asked him and by then I was exhausted and the look on his face.... was like, how are you THIS far away? It turned out I was only 2 miles away. LOL. he scared me.

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@Lisa Gerber It is beautiful, isn't it! I've been on those sorts of 'meandering, this is cool, Oh sh*t, I'm lost' kind of runs...glad you found your way back!

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

@EricaAllison @ginidietrich oh! oh! oh! I was in Asheville last year also! I LOVED it. I went for a run from the Grove Park inn, up the ridge as high high as I could go until it turned to dirt and started going back down again and I got super lost. It turned into a 2-hour epic run. : ) So beautiful, though.

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

@ginidietrich He, he, he...I definitely stick out in business meetings and local conferences...: ) And yes, we have some really Great cycling here!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@EricaAllison Organic is a nice way of putting it. I loved it for about two days. After four, I wanted my big city back. But I did LOVE cycling there and I made some friends while riding.

JGoldsborough
JGoldsborough

@ginidietrich @ElissaFreeman @TheJackB Ok, this string of comments alone could have been a post :). Few thoughts:

1) Have to agree with Gini on targeting pitches. Way too many PR people send a pitch "To whom it may concern," which basically should say "I was too lazy to read your blog, look up your name or personalize my e-mail to you. You'll find those pitches in the trash. A personalized pitch ALWAYS works better. Always. Value over volume. Quality over quantity.

2) You absolutely CAN ask a client to pay a blogger...if the situation makes sense for the brand and if you fully disclose. We had a mom blogger panel in KC recently and they all said they want to monetize their blogs. And they want to do it by serving as brand ambassadors for companies over an extended period of time. Not with ads. The key with paying is it is usually part of an integration where you are paying for time. It is NOT paying the blogger to tell her what to say. Whether we think it's right or wrong, this is one direction the blogosphere is going.

3) Treating bloggers like journalists (if not better) is absolutely the right way to handle it because of their influence. Of course, I say that not knowing how everyone treats journalists.

Death to the mail merge and e-mail blast. Cheers.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@ElissaFreeman This is where you and I will disagree, Elissa. Picking up a release off the wire happens because you have space you need to fill and you see a need to use the news that way. That's completely different from being pitched a story, which is why bloggers get upset for the mass request. *I* get upset by it and I've done media relations my entire career. It's about the relationship with both reporters and bloggers, not about the mass request. The wire and pitching serve two distinct, and very different, purposes.

As a blogger, if a PR pro pitches me something that makes no sense for the blog (which happens, oh, at least 10 times a day) we typically just trash it. But if the PR pro knows us, comments on the blog, engages with us, and then pitches us something, we'll at least consider it. And I know I'm not alone in this.

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman

@TheJackB @ginidietrich Oooooh this topic has got me fired up...so rarely do I go back and keep commenting on a post (but clearly I'm in good company!). There is a huge education gap/need on both sides: 1. PR pros need to learn the nuances of pitching bloggers and following up...especially when an interested blogger contacts them; 2. bloggers need to better understand their worth and value to PR companies. Also? When a press release is distributed on the wire...does the journalist think: "Oh. I'm not going to even consider this story because this release isn't addressed to me personally!" No, he/she decides on covering the story based on merit. Yet, when a blogger receives a mass request, he/she upset because it's not addressed personally to them. (Tho', yes @TheJackB, that email should have said 'Dear Dad Blogger!'). If bloggers want to be treated as a serious business person, they have to act like one.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@TheJackB Totally agree! And that's really the genesis of our BlogWorld session...figuring out the compatibility between the two.

TheJackB
TheJackB

@ginidietrich I have had some pretty aggressive email exchanges with people about it. I don't care when they hurt their business but when it impacts mine that is problematic.

Some of the conflicts that exist could be resolved very quickly if both sides took a couple of steps towards each other.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@TheJackB I could not agree more about the bloggers who don't have an ounce of business sense...and some of them are in the top 10 "experts." It makes me absolutely nuts to read from an "entrepreneur" who has never built anything. Oh you're going to get me fired up.

TheJackB
TheJackB

@ginidietrich Some of it is embarrassing. When I receive emails addressing me as Dear Mom Blogger I know that they haven't read my blog and am tempted to send them shots of my anatomy to prove that I am male. But in spite of my juvenile sense of humor I don't.

But what I am saying is that some bloggers think that it is cool to bitch about bad pitches so they do so regardless of whether it has happened or not.

I get irritated with a lot of the bloggers out there who don't have an ounce of business sense. They do some really foolish things and devalue the work of all bloggers.

Some of that is through ignorance that can be attributed to not knowing how things work and some of that is based on laziness.

It drives me crazy when people work for free.

@ElissaFreeman

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@ElissaFreeman That's EXACTLY how they should be treated! Because they're as influential, if not more, than some reporters. I think the way you handle it is the right way.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] and Danny Brown‘s session title at BlogWorld New York. The whole discussion erupted on Spinsucks.com, an appropriate name to describe what was [...]

  2. [...] said, Gini’s wonderfully entitled talk – Douchebags and Spin Doctors – made the cut, but only under that agreement that the title of the presentation be changed [...]

  3. [...] as my friend Gini Dietrich mentioned in her post Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors yesterday, we’ll be presenting a session at this year’s BlogWorld Expo in New [...]