Gini Dietrich

Ten Communicators to Follow

By: Gini Dietrich | December 18, 2014 | 

Ten Communicators to FollowOn the 10th day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you… 10 communicators to follow, nine PR blogs to read, eight PR up-and-comers, seven must-listen podcasts, six communicator gifts, five communications trends, four free webinars, three strategy games, two Crazies secrets, and the PR win of 2014.

Only two days left in this series and it won’t be me who finishes it up (though Lindsay and Jess won’t disappoint!).

My last work day of 2014 is tomorrow so I will be digging into the case of wine that arrived last night. Merry Christmas to me!

Today we bring you the 10 communicators you should follow. Though, with the PR blogs to read and the up-and-comers we’ve already covered, you really have a good list of about 30 people who will keep you abreast of industry trends in 2015.

Ten Communicators to Follow

  1. Scott Baradell. A few years ago, I learned that Scott lost his wife, who left behind two adorable children, and that endeared him to me for life. Today he is remarried (Maria is awesome!) and they have two more kids. Every time I look at that house full of four kids, I shake my head. As if that’s not enough, he owns a business called Idea Grove that is changing the way organizations approach communications. Their blog is where you can learn about what’s happening in the tech industry, as it relates to PR.
  2. Rob Biesenbach. Rob is not only one of the top communicators in the country, he is an actor, author, and speaker (and he wears red pants better than most human beings). He also has hosted a webinar here on the 11 sins every speaker makes, including those who present to clients or prospects as part of their jobs. His blog focuses a lot on how to be a better speaker and communicator.
  3. Dorothy Crenshaw. I first discovered Dorothy on PR Daily, where they had syndicated a blog post she wrote about the lies PR firms tell their clients and prospects. Running a blog called Spin Sucks, I was intrigued. Since then, I have enjoyed her wit, sarcasm, and no holding back way of writing. Her blog is almost exclusively PR and it gives you the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  4. Abbie Fink. I first met Abbie when I had arrived at Counselors Academy many years ago a couple of days early and found myself alone for dinner. As an introvert, that doesn’t bother me too much, but a mutual friend suggested we meet. Boy am I glad he did! Abbie and I became fast friends (it isn’t hard with her; she’s wonderful) and have been friends long before this social media thing took hold. She is the general manager of HMA PR in Phoenix, where she leads a team on integrating the new with the old. Their blog has a lot of PR and a little bit of personal that humanizes their brand (see “What I’m Grateful For“).
  5. Bob LeDrew. Bob LeDrew, or Pepe LePew, as I call him, is most definitely one of the good guys (plus he’s a cyclist so of course I love him). He is a Canadian and runs Translucid Communications, which works with organizations to help them tell their stories. He also works every year to raise money for cancer and this year wrote, produced, and sang songs for those who donated a certain amount (it was quite amazing!). His blog focuses on the rules, regulations, laws, disclosures, and what you can learn from pop culture…all with a PR bent.
  6. Paul Roetzer. Paul is the founder of PR 2020 in Cleveland and is the author of two really great books (that every communicator should read). He also was a guest for an Author Q&A just last month. His blog focuses on the intersection between art and science (he speaks my language!), with a little bit of crisis communications and content marketing thrown in.
  7. Aly Saxe. I met Aly a few years ago at a Counselors Academy meeting, where she was exhibiting her new product, Iris. It is meant to help put numbers behind media relations efforts, which we all know is part awareness and part getting the right people to the door to buy. Her blog focuses quite a bit on metrics and how to measure the right things that take communicators from an expense to an investment.
  8. Joe Thornley. Joe is one third of the Inside PR gang and one of the smartest people I know. Every time we sit down to record our weekly podcast episode, he has a list of articles to consider that never even hit my dashboard. He reads things outside of the norm and his perspective is always extremely interesting. He is co-founder of Thornley Fallis and their blog focuses on the integration of the PESO model.
  9. Heather Tweedy. Another Counselors Academy friend, Heather and I bonded a few years ago during a pre-conference session on how to take photos to accompany your content. She was the subject of one of my photos when I captured her boobs Huskers shirt. She lives in Omaha so we bonded over the fact that I went to Creighton University, right down the street. She is content strategist for the Mutual of Omaha and her blog focuses on pop culture and icons, as they relate to PR. She also is the only person I know who thinks Kim Kardashian is kicking butt and taking names and will take you to task when you say anything negative about the woman (which I don’t agree with, but respect a ton).
  10. Martin Waxman. I’m kind of glad Martin’s last name starts with a W so we can end with him. He is the second third in the Inside PR gang (I am, of course, the third third), he is a communications whiz, he is an entrepreneur and a trusted colleague, and he is one of the most unassuming, hilarious people I know. His very dry sense of humor has me on the floor at least once every 15 minute episode of our podcast. His blog has a bit of a stand-up comedy bent and you’ll learn about one Canadian’s take on (mostly) American trends.

So there you have it. Of course, I am confined to the 10th day of Christmas so I’m certain there are many I have left off.

Which means it is now your turn. Who else would you add?

photo credit: Shutterstock

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!

  • BTW I have enjoyed the graphics for this series. Looks like a great list! 🙂

  • That is one outstanding list, @ginidietrich – especially near the end :). I’m thrilled and honored to be included. (I even used the US spelling, so what does that say)? By the way – I really like the series idea – it could be a PR holiday ebook…

  • biggreenpen Martin’s Klout is about to go up again!

  • martinwaxman I’m glad your name starts with a W so I could end with you.

  • Old Saint Nick himself couldn’t be prouder of this list of very nice (and knowledgeable people), a few I don’t know, a situation that will be remedied. 
    Enjoy that Christmas case of “plonk” G.D

  • ginidietrich biggreenpen Yep – I can already feel it climbing!

  • ginidietrich That’s one of the benefits of being at the end of the alphabet – sometimes you get to be the closer…

  • ginidietrich biggreenpen he’s unstoppable …

  • martinwaxman Always save the best for last….

  • biggreenpen ginidietrich When it comes to Klout bumps, I’m a hurricane in waiting :).

  • Wow, I made a list! I am honored to be among this distinguished company. Thank you, Gini!

  • Digital_DRK You might be the only person who read that and now knows what I’m going to do next week.

  • RobBiesenbach I haven’t received the check from you yet, but I trust you. It’ll be here this week. Right?

  • What a group to be included in!  I knew lying on the ground while you photographed me would someday pay off.  🙂  

    I love so many of these blogs and can’t wait to the add the rest to my list!!

  • ginidietrich In. The. Mail!

  • RobBiesenbach Awesome!

  • HeatherTweedy I will always love that you let me do that!

  • tressalynne

    heathertweedy Congrats on making the SpinSucks top 10 communicators follow list! #PR #comms

  • tressalynne

    martinwaxman Kudos on making the SpinSucks top 10 communicators follow list, Martin! 🙂 #PR #comms

  • martinwaxman

    tressalynne Thanks so much! SpinSucks

  • GERT is a small price to pay for calling someone Pepe!

  • ginidietrich RobBiesenbach Just a reminder that both Rob and HeatherTweedy made two of our 12 days blog posts this year……make it rain folks!

  • AndreaKempfer

    heathertweedy Congrats!

  • paulroetzer

    Wow! Thanks, ginidietrich! If I were publishing a top 10 list, you’d be on mine too:)

  • AndreaKempfer

    What a great list. So much good content to tackle in the new year. Time to update Feedly!

  • LauraPetrolino  I hope you’re feeling better,  you only have a week to be in top turkey tasting condition.

  • heathertweedy

    tressalynne SpinSucks It’s been forever!! How have you been?!!

  • tressalynne

    heathertweedy IKR?! Seems SO long. PRSAStL is hosting the PRSA_MDC this year (June 2015)–will I see you there?

  • heathertweedy

    tressalynne PRSAStL PRSA_MDC I certainly hope so!!

  • heathertweedy

    AndreaKempfer Thanks! 🙂

  • I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t following three of these incredible peeps yet! Resolved!!! Excellent list, every day I shake my head at just how many incredible people are out there in our little world. Congrats to you all!

  • We really know a lot of awesome people! Great list!

  • Digital_DRK LauraPetrolino Ah…thanks! I’m getting there 🙂

  • bobledrew

    HeatherTweedy Nobody’s ever asked me to lie down so they can photograph me. 🙁

  • bobledrew

    I am utterly humbled. Seriously and sincerely.

  • ScottBaradell

    Wow, thank you, Gini.  I’m so grateful for your words and friendship. Happy holidays!

  • ScottBaradell Now send me the answers to my Inquisition questions!

  • bobledrew Crap. No smart remark? What is this world coming to?

  • LauraPetrolino You clearly do not feel well.

  • belllindsay Which begs the question… which three?

  • AndreaKempfer Now if only we could get paid to read content.

  • paulroetzer Ahhhh! You know exactly the right thing to say to a girl.

  • Todd Lyden You listened to me! I love bossing you around.

  • bobledrew Pepe, I would ask you to lie down in a second!

  • bobledrew


  • ScottBaradell

    ginidietrich ScottBaradell What? Can you resend?

  • bobledrew HeatherTweedy It happens to me all the time.  Sigh………

  • LauraPetrolino ginidietrich HeatherTweedy I’m glad somebody’s keeping score! Who I need to buy off to make a hat trick?

  • bobledrew I crack myself up!

  • ScottBaradell Sigh…

  • ginidietrich Todd Lyden GRRRRRR

  • Todd Lyden FayBiz!

  • AndreaKempfer

    ginidietrich I’ve often wondered how I could make that a reality.

  • ginidietrich Todd Lyden this all:

  • AbbieF

    Gini — Who would have thought that an impromptu dinner in Naples would turn into a such a great personal and professional friendship.  Thanks for including me here, it is indeed an honor to be among such amazing communicators.

  • AbbieF That was the same trip that I developed a severe allergic reaction to mold in my hotel room and the left side of my face was so swollen, my eye was completely shut. I was wearing my sunglasses inside and when Joel Curran asked me why, I showed him. He said, “PUT THOSE THINGS BACK ON!”

  • Todd Lyden LOL!!

  • AbbieF

    ginidietrich  and if I remember right, Michelle got food poisoning and Elizabeth broke her leg.  Did you crash your bike,too? Quite the outing!

  • AbbieF ginidietrich I guess we weren’t ready for that part of Florida yet…

  • AbbieF That’s right! LOL!! And didn’t someone else get pink eye? Sydney, maybe? I didn’t crash my bike. I’ve been lucky not to crash during any of those conferences.

  • RobBiesenbach LauraPetrolino ginidietrich HeatherTweedy Um… not that I’m competitive but doesn’t Inside PR’s listing count for half a point extra???

  • ginidietrich

    LTPR Thanks!

  • ginidietrich

    MichelleMalina Let’s not give him too much credit. It was in alphabetcial order! IdeaGrove DallasInbound SpinSucks

  • I know 6 of 10 YAYAYYYY! And love all 6! But just fyi ScottBaradell martinwaxman RobBiesenbach don’t get any ideas strictly platonicaly! As for the ladies always open to having more girlfriends! 😉

    Though I took things with Martin to a new level in stalking him on LinkedIn. Soon we might be BFFs.

  • Howie Goldfarb Ha! Thanks Howie! And it was great to talk to you on LI – a bit of SpinSucks on another platform. It reminded me of when you travel somewhere new and run into a friend from home – suddenly the new place feels more like home, too :). 

    ScottBaradell RobBiesenbach ginidietrich

  • martinwaxman

    howiegoldfarb Urban speech commandos is more like it – and I’m trying to vary my wardrobe in 2015 🙂 ginidietrich SpinSucks

  • howiegoldfarb

    martinwaxman ginidietrich SpinSucks the number 1 google search phrase for PR in 2015 is urban speech commando per Moz fyi cc crestodina

  • howiegoldfarb

    martinwaxman ginidietrich SpinSucks crestodina Moz also said urban beef commando is the expected 2015 hot dog search term

  • biggreenpen Paula – I had to tell you, it happened again – hit 70 this morning (or as I like to call it a B-that’s Canadian grades, ginidietrich).  So thanks for the prognostication and all the help! It’s a SpinSucks miracle!

  • martinwaxman

    howiegoldfarb It better be!! ginidietrich SpinSucks crestodina

  • DorothyCrenshaw

    Forgot to thank you for the holiday gift! This list has some great discoveries for me as well; much appreciated. Wishing a wonderful holiday and New Year to all!

  • Pingback: The Eleven Most Read Blog Posts of 2014 (and a Bonus!) by @belllindsay Spin Sucks()

  • lauren letellier

    Chris Atkins, author of “An Honest Day’s Work: True Tales of a Life in PR,” and blogger at  Very funny, very on point commentary about the PR industry as seen from a senior veteran who has worked on both the agency and client side.

  • Pingback: One Year, Four Careers: Blood, Sweat & Tears - Rob Biesenbach()

  • Pingback: Twelve Digital Tools You'll Be Using More of in 2015 by @jessostroff Spin Sucks()

  • Thank you Gini! I’ve had one helluvah year meeting new PR pros around the world and listening to their stories. Our challenges are the same no matter our culture, our organizational size, or the kinds of companies we represent. We are all eager to find new ways to prove value and grow (and we are growing!) Spin Sucks and the people who contribute to this blog are helping move that forward. THANK YOU. Here’s to bringing PR to the forefront in 2015!