Gini Dietrich

Spin Sucks Celebrates 10 Years!

By: Gini Dietrich | September 13, 2016 | 

Happy Birthday, Spin Sucks!Ten years ago, I sat in a staff meeting where my team was talking about this blogging thing.

We were all intrigued by it, but had zero idea what it was or if it was something we should try to figure out, in case it made sense for clients.

Because we have a rule here that we try things on ourselves before we recommend them to clients, we decided to at least test it out.

So my team called a meeting and presented an idea: We would launch a blog called the Fight Against Destructive Spins—or FADS.

The idea being that, any time we saw someone doing PR incorrectly or giving the industry a bad name, we would call it out.

This was our very first blog post:

First Spin Sucks Blog Post

I’m always really embarrassed to show this.

I mean, the author is “Arment Dietrich,” there aren’t any images, there isn’t an easy way to scan the copy, there aren’t any links to what the heck we’re talking about (but you do see we footnote it), the subhead isn’t really a subhead, it doesn’t reach the minimum number of words for the search engine spiders, but worse…the copy is horrendous.

More than horrendous. It’s not even college essay good. It’s just really, really bad.

We Had No Idea What We Were Doing

The second blog post, which coincidentally ran on the same day (no clue why we did that!), wasn’t much better, but at least we have a couple of links in there and begin to speak toward our vision.

Second Spin Sucks Blog Post Ever

After this, we ran one more blog post in September, six in October, six in November, and three in December.

I’m also embarrassed to admit we didn’t know you could schedule blog posts back then.

We didn’t have an editorial calendar so there was zero consistency.

And everyone on the team—from the intern through me—would blog under the author name “Arment Dietrich.”

It was a disaster!

The Stats

But we kept at it—and thank goodness!

Today, it’s a much, much different story.

Depending on where you look, we are among the top three PR blogs in the world (Cision has us at number three, as does InkyBee, while Forbes counts us as number one—which I tend to quote when I talk about it).

And the blog, itself, is quite a beast:

  • There are 3,765 published blog posts.
  • Of those, 1,885 are mine.
  • There are 158,824 comments and, believe it or not, none of those are spam.
  • We have close to 50,000 fans, who subscribe, comment, and share.
  • And there are 172 students in either our mastermind group or taking our online courses (and that continues to grow, as we’re in the middle of The Modern Blogging Masterclass launch right now).

We Can Lay Claim to…

But the community is where the real value is and where we have the most fun.

We highlight four guest bloggers every week, who bring a different perspective than many of us have on the full-time team here.

These people donate their time and their content and, for that, we are grateful.

We can lay claim to hundreds of IRL meetings between people who met in the comments here—some of whom *I* haven’t even met yet—and there was a Spin Sucks wedding in 2014.

There was even a t-shirt made when Martin Waxman received, what he calls, his Spin Sucks Klout bump.

So, to celebrate our 10 year anniversary (TEN YEARS!), we thought we’d ask some long-time community members and friends how Spin Sucks has influenced them throughout the years.

Here is what they had to say…

The Spin Sucks Community Members


Spin may suck, but “Spin Sucks” definitely does not. Gini, her team of writers, and the online community at Spin Sucks have been a real source of encouragement, inspiration, and professional development for both myself and my staff.

From the nuts and bolts of agency management to industry trends and tools, Spin Sucks has been—and still is—a resource for my team as we work to serve our clients *and* grow our business.

Without Gini and her team at Spin Sucks, I don’t think I would have had the knowledge or the confidence to build the business I have today. (Or at least, my business would really suck. And it does not suck, thanks to Spin Sucks.) — Travis Peterson, Impact Campaigns

paula-kigerI did not arrive at Spin Sucks via a “traditional” route. I was a non-profit administrator who was developing a deep interest in social media. As that interest grew, I began following Spin Sucks.

I have learned from it, grown my network from it, been forced to think in new and different ways because of it. Most importantly, I have become a part of a community whose members care for and support one another. That doesn’t suck one bit. — Paula Kiger, Big Green Pen

Jay Baer

Spin Sucks is the most impactful blog about modern PR ever. Ten years of awesome, and I hope at least 10 more.  — Jay Baer, Convince and Convert



#FollowFriday: Liz Reusswig

😘  I had been a reader of Spin Sucks for awhile, but became a real “Spin Sucks Crazy” after meeting Gini four years ago at a social media event…she’s brilliant and surrounds herself with equally as brilliant team members. Our fun Spin Sucks community has been a valuable source of amazing info, support and, yes, even silliness for me. I count Gini and Laura Petrolino as true friends and am thrilled to congratulate them and the entire Spin Sucks team on 10 years! Best wishes for many more! — Liz Reusswig, EMR Strategies

brian-tudorFor as long as I can remember Spin(space)Sucks has been one of my go to PR and social media resources. I’m not just a community member, but also a former client and only have great things to say about the Spin(space)Sucks team. Congrats on 10 years Gini! I can’t wait to see what you teach us next! — Brian Tudor, The Infamous Podcast

Kate NolanI wish there was an internet “wayback” machine that would show me exactly which rabbit hole I fell down that lead me to Spin Sucks, because maybe that way I could climb back out. (I’m kidding!)

Spin Sucks has been an incredible tool in my career for many years now. Whenever I’ve needed some solid insight into a process, technique or strategy and, often, how to build an argument to support it internally, I know exactly where I can find it. Gini and her team have built a top-notch community of communications pros who are willing to tell it like it is… even If I think there aren’t quite enough Willy Wonka GIFs… — Kate Nolan, Eat at Kate’s

Dwayne AlicieI owe a lot to Gini and the Spin Sucks community, both of which inspired me to get my act together and go back to school so I could get a job doing what I love—marketing communications.

It has been a place for me to learn, to bounce ideas off people to gain confidence in myself and now to send other people who ask me for advice on their own journeys. And it’s still a place I go to find out the latest or for some clarity when I suspect I am mired in my own myopia. And also I have met some of the most awesome people—friends—in the world through Spin Sucks! — Dwayne Alicie, Concur

sara-rudeI joined the Spin Sucks community in what most would call a very “non-traditional” way. I had recently returned to agency life and sent Gini a pitch to have my agency’s president blog about some kind of trend or another. It was, admittedly, not a good pitch. However, Gini did something amazing: She replied to me, telling me not only it was bad, but why it was bad.

Talk about a humbling teaching moment. I replied back, thanking her and explaining I had just returned to agency life and things had changed a lot since I’d been gone. I pitched her on writing a blog post about my experience. She loved it. From then on, I’ve viewed Spin Sucks as my go-to source for not only professional development, but also for my own personal gratification, knowing that I’m getting advice and insight from honest practitioners who are real, approachable and really damn smart. Happy 10th, Spin Sucks! Here’s to at least 30 more! — Sara Rude, Cramer-Krasselt

Danny BrownWhen I first started reading Spin Sucks, it was called FADS, or Fight Against Destructive Spin. I suggested to Gini she call it Fish Are Deceptive Suckers, and to build a mascot that wouldn’t look out of place in a Disney flick. I was thinking merchandise, weekly specials like The Halibut Minute, and such as.

While I’ll always think Gini missed the boat on that one, it’s great to see it didn’t hurt the blog and her goals long-term. Because that’s what friends do—they take your stupid ideas, humor you, and do their own thing regardless.

So Happy 10th Anniversary, Spin Sucks—the ocean’s loss is the online world’s gain! — Danny Brown, of the aptly named blog

And now it’s your turn…how has Spin Sucks influenced you throughout the years?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • This post gives me all the feels! Thanks for accepting me as part of the community and congrats!

    • Gini Dietrich

      Ah, I love you, too! Hope DC was good, minus the incident in baggage claim.

      • It was! I actually got to meet WITH my Representative (vs staff (nothing against staff but it’s extra-special to meet with the actual Representative)) and she said we need to go to Costco together sometime (she lives in Tallahassee). The thing is she’s so sincere that even though I don’t plan to go to Costco with her, I honestly think she meant it!

        • You wouldn’t go to Costco with her?! You totally should. Think of the stories you could tell!

          • Oh no. Maybe I wrote that in an unclear way. I would TOTALLY TOTALLY go to CostCo with her. I just meant I’m not going to email her scheduler next week and say, “okay let’s set up that Costco visit”! 🙂

          • LOL!! That’d probably be a first for them.

          • Don’t tempt me. 🙂

  • Amazing! Ten years! When @ginidietrich started this thing, at age 50, did we EVER think it would last this long?!

    • She looks AMAZING for 60!

      • Gini Dietrich

        It’s my eye cream. It’s miraculous.

    • How has she not cut you yet?

      • Gini Dietrich

        I tend to just ignore him, JMB. The sad thing is, he’ll always be like 40 years older than me.

        • The constant messages I get from you that say “Stop,” “Just Stop”, etc. would lead us all to believe that your campaign to ignore me is a major fail. Just face it: I’m like heroin!

      • The poor dear. She doesn’t have the strength to hold a knife, let alone cut me. Although she did once wave around a teaspoon for emphasis!

  • Spin Sucks is my tribe. We’re all passionate, dedicated life-long learners propelled by our deep desire to make a difference. It’s on my ‘must read’ list for the comments as much as the content! 🙂 Love you guys & congrats on 10 years!!

    • Gini Dietrich

      I”m so sad we didn’t include your quote. Love you back!

  • Congratulations on 10 years! Double digits in blogging is definitely an accomplishment. I think every blogger I’ve ever known has had a somewhat similar start.

    • Gini Dietrich

      You know what else rocks in double digits? Beating you in steps.

  • 10 YEARS! That’s a big number, especially in our ever changing digital world. Congratulations! I’m so grateful to be a part of this team. Thank you for sharing your insight and your willingness to put yourself out there. You’re the real deal and we’re all better for it. 😘

    • Gini Dietrich

      Ahhhh! Thanks, Kara! <3

  • Why to be awesome for a decade Gini! Thank you for building such a wonderful and inviting community of people looking to learn, teach and grow.

    • Gini Dietrich

      Thanks for your help with this, Brian!

  • Dawn Buford

    Congratulations on a successful 10 years! The longevity of this blog and its community says it all. The content is always relevant, the community is always growing, and the learning opportunities are always expanding. I have learned a great deal in my time here and am proud to be an employee and a community member. Here’s to another 10 years of Spin Sucks enlightenment and education!

    • Gini Dietrich

      And we love having you around!

  • Congratulations!

    • Gini Dietrich

      Thanks, Trader!

  • A lesser Peter once said, “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” (Peter F. Drucker) Perhaps he meant a courageous decision a day? An hour? Gini thanks for creating a place I am proud to be a part of. I feel as if I just moved into a fully furnished home last owned by Martha Stewart.

    • Gini Dietrich

      This quote: “I feel as if I just moved into a fully furnished home last owned by Martha Stewart” made me laugh so hard, I shared it with my mom.

  • Yes, congratulations are certainly in order at this milestone. Spin Sucks has contributed to the dialogue that modern public relations transcends press agentry and is bound by ethics. On a personal note, my PRDude blog just celebrated its seventh anniversary. With just 314 posts, there’s some catching up to do to get in the league with Spin Sucks.

    • Gini Dietrich

      You can catch us! Do it!

  • I found Spin Sucks by accident while I was looking for business related blogs. The posts were easy to understand, and the comments were also a learning experience. I used to point out your blog when I had that job where I had to write ridiculous press releases week after week. I still lurk around, but don’t always come and comment. <3

    • Gini Dietrich

      I remember those days. It was funny…and not.

  • It’s nice to see you finally stepping out on your own, and not stealing all my best ideas again!!! 😉

    Congrats, miss, and looking forward to seeing how you continue to evolve.

    • Gini Dietrich

      It is kind of sad that I can’t steal from you anymore.

  • WOW! 10 Years! It’s freaking amazing! Congratulations! I told you on Facebook and Slack, but it’s worth repeating: You are an inspiration!

    I am so grateful three years ago I found you on the interweb and found out about this blog called Spin Sucks. Believe it or not I remember exactly that moment.

    I remember how each day I was waiting for the morning post to be published. I was clicking the refresh button like crazy, when I had a free moment at work or on my phone. My day was not complete without Spin Sucks posts.

    I have learned, still do a lot from Spin Sucks and the awesome community you created. I made many friends, here on the blog, and even though we did not meet IRL, I’m grateful to have you all in my life.

    Happy Birthday Spin Sucks!

    • Gini Dietrich

      You STILL hit the refresh button like crazy!

      • Corina Manea

        Old habits die hard! 😁

  • Laura Petrolino

    As dramatic as it sounds, this blog has truly changed my life. From shaping my professional career (both before and after joining the Arment Dietrich team), to introducing me to an amazing community of crazy (emphasis on crazy) smart people…many of whom I consider close friends, to simply being a support system as I struggled through the various professional or personal ups and downs of life.

    My very first “Follow Friday” was published during a particularly difficult time in my life. To this day I remember reading it over and over and over again—both the post and the interaction and comments with the Spin Sucks Crazies and basically deciding it was a symbol to help me keep trudging through the funk of it all.

    I mention that because I think the blog has served this purpose in so many ways to so many of us. Some times we need a kick in the ass, or some professional support, or a community of others facing the same challenges and obstacles we are (or the same opportunities), or just a group of crazy people to make us laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

    Spin Sucks has played all of those roles, and that’s what makes it great.

    Cheers to another several decades of endless learning, making waves, laughing a lot, and changing the face of pubic relations. I’m proud every day to be part of such an amazing community and play a (small) role in the ridiculously talented and inspiring Spin Sucks team.

    • I love this, Laura!! My Follow Friday was also published in the middle of an especially trying personal moment. Funny how Gini must have a sense for that kind of thing. 😉

      • I’ve always thought she had a spidey sense about it, I’ve heard the same thing from several others.

    • Gini Dietrich

      I don’t think I knew that your #FF came in a crappy part of your life. I need to investigate this.

    • Love you, Laura! It was the same for me when my Follow Friday ran! I still have mine as a shortcut on my phone along with my girl’s theatre reviews! xo

  • Congrats, Gini! Keeping a blog running strongly for 10 years is no small feat. I may not chime in as frequently as rock stars like Paula, but I’ve still received great insights from your posts over the years. Best wishes as you continue the good work!

    • Gini Dietrich

      Thanks, Lukas! It’s been fun getting to know you!

  • Congrats Gini and everyone at AD who has helped build this awesome community where members still comment regularly. xoxoxo

    • Gini Dietrich

      Thanks, love!

  • Not sure how I stumbled onto this fantastic tribe. Yet I am super grateful that it happened. I learned about the PESO model and much, much more. Laura, please feel free to write more about skeeball 🙂 And my dear Gini, you are truly ageless. Looking forward to the next umpteem years with Spin Sucks (leaving the years open and endless).

    • Gini Dietrich

      I was going to tell you not to encourage Laura, but then your next two sentences made my entire week. So I’ll just say thank you.

  • Late to the party but you know someone has to the turn the lights on brighter! Because this light will never go out!

    This post makes me so happy I found GinI and the team and just like Kate I am not sure what rabbit hole I fell down. But I sure am glad I ate the ‘eat me’ cookie.

    To another 10 years Cheers!

    • We are so happy you found us, too, Aimee! In fact, we were just talking the other day about how much we like you. <3