During the holidays, I submitted and signed a contract to write Spin Sucks.
I know I said I wasn’t going to write another book so quickly, but the opportunity presented itself and this is the book I’ve always wanted to write (at least for the past six years).
It’ll come out in December of this year, but my first deadline is one month away!
Therefore, I need your help.
Because we have such an awesome community here and you’ve all been involved in content creation, I’d like your participation in parts of the book.
Following is the table of contents, with chapter descriptions for each.
Read through it and tell me what you think. If you’d prefer to send me a note, that’s cool, too.
Part One: Tell Your Story without Sex or Extortion
1. Sex Sells
It’s no surprise sex sells. And so do shootings and train wrecks and car accidents (both literally and figuratively). How do organizations compete with that in today’s 24/7 news cycle without embellishing or stretching the truth? This chapter will introduce an earned and owned media strategy that works together to compete with far more “compelling” stories.
2. The Google Extortion
When Google released its Panda and Penguin updates, fresh content became the number one catalyst for higher search rankings, followed closely by social media shares that drive traffic to those new pages. Of course, if you use YouTube and/or Google+, your content will be ranked higher than those who use the other social networks (or none at all). This chapter explains these updates, helps readers understand how content affects their search rankings, and how to manage it most effectively and efficiently.
3. Shareable and Valuable Content Creation
This chapter looks at how earned media (traditional public relations) and owned media (something you create and host on your website) work together to tell your story without sex or extortion. It provides tips and tools for working with the Google guidelines to increase search rankings, provide valuable content people are compelled to share, and create your brand’s story online so people are talking about you (good and bad…the bad we’ll revisit in later chapters).
Part Two: Shysters, Liars, and Beggars
4. Whisper Campaigns and Anonymous Attackers
This chapter is about the PR firms and/or professionals that are hired to create “whisper campaigns” to say negative and untrue things about their competitors online. It details the organizations that have been caught doing this (Facebook did it to Google) and what happens as a result. It teaches readers how to handle something like this if faced with it in their own organization.
This chapter is about the perceived ethics of the media and the bias each outlet has to political views. It discusses how to work with reporters (and bloggers) in the most effective way, without manipulating them to tell your story. It provides tips and tools for building relationships that provide your organization with the best earned media.
6. Content Farms and Black Hats
It used to be all we had to worry about where finding the search engine optimization consultants that did white hat (or ethical) work. Now we have to worry about organizations that scrape (or steal) your content from the web. In a controversial case study involving an international shipping company earlier this year, this chapter will look at how to prevent content scraping and black hat tactics throughout your entire organization and extending to consultants and partners.
Part Three: Your Brand; Your Customers
7. The Communication Gap
For many organizations, there is a big gap between what they think the brand message is and how their customers perceive it. For some, it’s an operational issue and others it’s lack of communications. This chapter will help readers understand which challenge they are facing and how to fix it, both internally and externally.
8. Your Customers Control the Brand
It used to be organizations would create their annual corporate messaging, their advertising campaigns, and their once a month media briefings to tell their stories and mold their brands. Now a brand is what your customer says it is…and that could change every day if you’re not completely aligned internally. This chapter will discuss how to work with your customers to tell your brand’s story and maintain its consistency day after day.
Part Four: Spin Sucks
9. Preparation, Messaging, and Engagement
Even though the world has changed and canned messages are no more, it’s still important to be prepared, to be consistent in your messaging, and to engage with individual customers. This chapter gives readers the tips, tools, and tricks for using the web to engage with your customers in a consistent and powerful way that allows you to celebrate the brand ambassadors and turn critics into fans.
10. Crisis Communications: Trolls, Critics, and Detractors
Unfortunately we live in a world where people want something for nothing. And, because the web provides an easy (and sometimes anonymous) way to criticize an organization, readers must be prepared for the inevitable hit on their organizations. This chapter looks at companies, such as the pizza restaurant in Florida that received negative reviews on Yelp because he hugged POTUS during a campaign stop, that have had to deal with this, even though they weren’t looking for the limelight. It provides tips and tools for dealing with trolls, critics, and detractors.
11. The Shoemaker’s Children
It’s widely been said the shoemaker’s children doesn’t have shoes. This is true for PR firms that don’t do their own PR, web development firms that don’t have a website, and insurance companies that don’t provide benefits to its employees. Because technology is changing so quickly, and providing new and interesting ways for us to tell our stories nearly daily, it’s important organizations do their own communications internally – as a test and to create benchmarks – before launching externally. This chapter will explore how to do that, what to test, and know when it’s time to go external.
Is there anything you see missing? Is it compelling enough to get you to buy a copy if you see it in a bookstore? What else would you add?
Thanks to Jay Dolan for the awesome comic.
(Ignore this, I’m testing something with SEO: Connect with Gini on Google+.)