Gini Dietrich

Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle

By: Gini Dietrich | June 13, 2013 | 
101

Vote for the Spin Sucks SubtitleAs many of you know, I am in the middle of writing Spin Sucks, the book. It’s a little more than half-finished (yay!) and it’s getting down to crunch time.

Not only do I have to finish the book by August 1, now is the time the edits begin and we have to choose a subtitle.

You’d think the subtitle was the easy part. But you have to write it for search engines, which means it can’t always be catchy. I think we went through 200 or more subtitles before everyone agreed on the following five.

We’re taking a page from Tim Ferriss and doing some Google AdWords campaigns on each of the five, which leads a visitor to a landing page. There they can reserve a copy of the book when it comes out in November.

Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle

But what fun is it to only ask strangers what they think when we have such a great community here?

I also wanted to test list.ly so now we are killing two birds with one stone.

All you have to do is vote on your favorite one. If you have a comment (or eight), you can leave it right next to your vote.

[listly id=”5OB” layout=”gallery”]

Have a Better Idea?

If you have a subtitle idea you think is better than any of these eight, don’t be shy about leaving it in a comment.

We have been through so many, we’ll welcome any new ideas. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have such a great idea, it’ll be used.

If that’s the case, I’ll send you a signed copy of the book when it’s out late this year.

Don’t feel pressured, though, to come up with something new. There will be plenty of opportunities in the next few months to get yourself a signed copy.

Thanks for your help!

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.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

101 responses to “Vote for the Spin Sucks Subtitle”

  1. PattiRoseKnight1 says:

    #5 is my favorite.

  2. Before I vote, who is your target market? I mean… besides Google.

    • Danny Brown says:

      Adam | Customer Experience That’s the problem, mate. We pushed back on the tagline for our book, since we didn’t want it to be seen as “just another social media book”, as it’s most definitely not.
      But the publisher advised on search, both online and in book stores, so it made sense from that perspective.

    • ginidietrich says:

      Adam | Customer Experience It’s written with the business leaders in mind.

      • tsilvestre says:

        ginidietrich What kind of business leaders? They aren’t a generic group. Some like to lead by analyzing benchmarks and taking the lowest risk path. Others forge new paths and innovate. I think there’s a different message for each of them.

  3. lizreusswig says:

    Ok, I’m tiptoeing out on a limb here and offering an alternate…(she said sheepishly!):
    Spin Sucks: Define, Build & Manage Your Business Reputation in the New Media Age

    • ginidietrich says:

      lizreusswig I like it! I may have to tweak to put “business reputation” right after the colon, but I like it.

      • ginidietrich lizreusswig I haven’t voted yet, but I tend to lean towards the ones that include “reputation” for some reason. I know that online reputation management is a hot topic for many businesses — and something that even the Big Brands struggle with. Hmmmmm.

        • lizreusswig says:

          TaraGeissinger ginidietrich That’s kind of what I was thinking too…same with the “new media” nod – although it’s just one component, thought it might resonate with the target audience.  
          Then again, I agree with margieclayman’s assessment “reputation” might be limiting…so maybe the word is “identity” or “image” – guess I’d go with the one that feels the most authentic to the book.

  4. Danny Brown says:

    “A PR Blueprint for the Customer Centric Economy”

    • Danny Brown says:

      Or:
      “A Roadmap for the New PR in Today’s Customer Centric Economy”
      PS – enable the Edit Comment feature! 🙂

    • tsilvestre says:

      Danny Brown I tend to shy away from blueprints and roadmaps. Is the audience wanting to be told how to do things? Or is this book for those who innovate? Maybe “A PR Compass for the Customer Centric Economy”

      • Danny Brown says:

        tsilvestre You’d have to ask Gini on what her audience wants. 🙂
        On the blueprint question, if you want the book to be picked up by scholastics (colleges, universities, business schools), then a blueprint is core to that happening.
        It boils down to a business book versus a book about business. Blueprints are needed for the former; compass (or similar) would be better for the latter. If that makes sense. 🙂

  5. margieclayman says:

    I voted for the one I like best, but based on the outline of the book you posted awhile back, I feel like using the word “reputation” is almost too limiting. Your book seems so expansive in terms of what it’s covering. I haven’t had but a couple of sips of coffee so I am not coming up with anything better (don’t you hate that?) but I am feeling like your sub-title is pigeon-holing you a little so far.

    • ginidietrich says:

      margieclayman This has been a very hard exercise because you are asked to create a subtitle that people search…even if it means you’re selling the book short a little bit. If you come up with something better after your coffee, let me know!

      • margieclayman says:

        ginidietrich You know, it seems to me like a lot of people searching might search based on your blog because it’s so well known, and that’s taken care of in your main title. It’s not like you’re starting from scratch in terms of an audience 🙂 

        I agree with Sean – “Death” is too overplayed in the world of business and social media. I don’t like seeing it in the sub-title. 

        I’m thinking something more simple, like, “Spin Sucks: The 21st Century World of Public Relations.” That way you’re sort of paralleling your blog and theme with the overall state of PR today. Or, “Why Old-Style Public Relations Needs a Reboot” (to steal from Mitch Joel).

        • ginidietrich says:

          margieclayman I love you for saying that, but we have a very small percentage of the audience we’re trying to reach. While the blog is written for PR and marketing pros, the book is written for business leaders. I’m also trying to get away from the words “public relations,” but I could replace that with communications. Do you think that would work in your titles?

        • margieclayman says:

          ginidietrich I see. The elusive business leader. I feel like “communications” may still be too generic. What does the C-suite call this kind of work?

  6. belllindsay says:

    I know it’s important, but I have to say – as a creative type, feeling handcuffed by the “it has to search well!” SEO stuff has been driving me BATTY!! It has to be catchy, complimentary and read well too!! Ugh. How many of these have we been through ginidietrich? And I still don’t feel like the ones chosen above are the best of the bunch (but yes, I know, search rules) LOL

    • ginidietrich says:

      belllindsay I know… we’ve been through a few hundred.

      • ginidietrich belllindsay It’s tough, but it HAS to be searchable. I agree with Gini in that most of your target audience is going to “discover” that this book exists through search — whether with Google or Amazon. I know it feels wrong, but what we always do is write the best title or subtitle without thinking about search and then tweak it as best as we can to include a key term (or two!) 🙂

        • Danny Brown says:

          TaraGeissinger ginidietrich belllindsay The irony is, with authors doing the bulk of the marketing for their books, sometimes the search reasons aren’t the right ones. As traditional search makes way for social authority, I can’t help but feel long taglines will soon be a thing of the past.

        • belllindsay says:

          Danny Brown TaraGeissinger ginidietrich I agree Danny, especially if they end up clunky and longwinded – they also take away from the beauty of a great cover IMHO.

        • belllindsay Danny Brown TaraGeissinger ginidietrich Clunky and long winded is definitely not good! I think there needs to be a balance, but a great headline (or subhead) should always be the end goal. If keywords fit in nicely = bonus.

  7. Mark_Harai says:

    Spin Sucks: Managing Business Communications in the Age of New Media Transperency
    For grins and giggles… Hi, Gini : )

  8. I voted for “Communicating with customer in the new age of transparency” but I would jettison the word “new” from that.

  9. bdorman264 says:

    I voted for 6 because you used my picture, but I really like # 1 too. I wasn’t too crazy about using ‘death’ in any of them.
    PS – I’m glad you gave us choices, because if I had to make up something myself I might have had to take the day off…

  10. No booty shorts?! Hahaha!!! I”ll be curious to hear what your publisher said about that one 🙂

    These are great btw…not sure which one has my vote yet though…

  11. How about

    Be Honest or Die?
    Be Transparent or be sent to a Siberian Death Camp?
    Honesty makes Money?

  12. Griddy says:

    Hola Gin,
    I voted #1. I feel it communicates the message of the book rather clearly – in terms of what to expect inside…
    Good luck Aunt Gini lol ;).

  13. lauraclick says:

    I voted for the first one, but agree with Sean McGinnis that “new” needs to come out. But, I think there might be something better out there than these. I agree with belllindsay that the search requirement does make it hard. And, with margieclayman that these are maybe a bit limiting. I do like Danny Brown’s blueprint or roadmap suggestion. I think that’s what the book seems to be really about. I’ll let you know if a bolt of lightning strikes and I have a better suggestion!

    • ginidietrich says:

      lauraclick Boy, you sure didn’t make it easier! LOL!

      • lauraclick says:

        ginidietrich That wasn’t very nice of me, was it?! I hate getting feedback that about something not working without offering up suggestions. Here I just did that to you. So sorry!
        Maybe it would help to know what keywords you’re targeting? I could offer up some suggestions, but they might not be search friendly.

  14. Krista says:

    I can’t wait to see the finished product! Great work, Gini!! I voted for the first one because it had a different approach to the concept and didn’t repeat the word “spin.” Then again, I am a horrible copy writer, so who knows if that really matters. Good luck with the rest of your book project this summer 🙂

  15. biggreenpen says:

    Having a little trouble with list.ly (most likely user error) – will try later but #8 gets my vote – simple and conveys “movement”

  16. I also voted on the one that doesn’t repeat “spin” in the subtitle (#1), though I like the notion of the death of the Spin Doctor, which can be captured with the cover. Though your title has to stand independent of the cover.
    I also like the implied threat or “fear factor” in #4 — the fear of being left behind by technology might motivate people to pick up (or click on) the book. And the word “new” is important.
    Have you thought of any iterations with “rules” in the subhead? The New Rules for Communicating with Customers, or The New Rules for Reaching Customers in the 21st Century, or The New Rules for Reaching Customers in the Age of Transparency?
    Finally, does “communicate” really score high as a search term? More than, say, “build customer relationships,” “strengthen customer relationships,” or even making it as crass as “selling” to customers?

  17. NicoleCollida says:

    Having a little trouble voting as well – maybe because it’s my first time.  But, “Spin Sucks: Communicating to Customers in the New Age of Transparency” gets my vote!  It’s the most ear-catching and I think it lets the reader feel that you are going to simplify this whole process for them.  I agree with others on not overusing “spin” and maybe replacing “communicating” because it seems to be overlooked by people as commonplace.  What I love about this title is the idea of transparency.

  18. bowden2bowden says:

    I am in for #1 and as Sean McGinnis and lauraclick have pointed out, drop “new.” Making it  an encompassing statement.

  19. superdumb says:

    Spin Sucks: Communicating to Customers in the Language of the 21st Century… or #1 sans “new”

    • EdenSpodek says:

      superdumb I’m with you on this one. The word “new” through me off of the first one and #5 resonated most. Without “new”, #1 would probably be my first choice.

    • superdumb ginidietrich #4 is growing on me, but it could use a little more edge. We’ve been in the 21st century for 13 years now, so I think some sarcasm is in order (which is always a great way to win friends and business). So something like: 
      “Spin Sucks: Communicating to Customers Because, If You Hadn’t Noticed, It’s the Damned 21st Century Already (Dumbass).”
      In the audiobook version you could really give that title some oomph with a little well-placed upspeak.

  20. PJWright says:

    If you go with #1, how about “Talking to your customers transparently” .

  21. ayms219 says:

    #1 is my favourite in text and image. I do like the phrase “death of spin” though too.

  22. stevenmcoyle says:

    Am I the only who likes #6? I think it’s clever.

  23. sunnyz says:

    how about this (which may be here in the comments already):
    Spin Sucks: Managing Customer Relationships–and Your Organization’s Reputation–in the Age of Transparency

    • ginidietrich says:

      sunnyz Hmmmm…with a tweak for SEO it could be something like: Spin Sucks: Customer Relationships and Your Organization’s Reputation in the Age of Transparency. Yeah?

  24. rustyspeidel says:

    How Your Business Cam Harness the Power of Transparency

    • ginidietrich says:

      rustyspeidel That might work if I can get business and another SEO descriptor after the colon. Let’s see… Spin Sucks: Business Relationships and the Power of Transparency. Something like that?

  25. Kato42 says:

    I’m preferential to #2, 3, and 4 because as a reader I want the subtitle to tell me something about why spin sucks. Especially for business owners, who might not automatically get that the “Spin” in question is the old-school PR kinda spin.

  26. jono.smith says:

    My favorite marketing book title/subtitle is “Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes. It suppose it gets an F for SEO, but it describes exactly what the book is about, who it’s for, and what the value is to the reader. It has all of the good qualities of an impactful message: it’s emotional, relevant, new, believable, and differentiating. It’s also done pretty well on Amazon in spite of the subtitle.
    How about something simple: “Spin Sucks: The Marketer’s Guide to Irresistible Communications” 
    In other words, I agree with belllindsay 🙂

    • ginidietrich says:

      jono.smith My hands are tied by the SEO value, unfortunately. Trust me, belllindsay and I came up with some brilliant ones, but they were all shot down and we had to go back to the drawing board with the SEO assignment.
      I thought, at first, you were suggesting I name the book after Robin Hood.

  27. Okay, as far as I can tell you want to have either “communication” or “reputation” in it. How about a variation of #5… Spin Sucks: Controlling Your Business Reputation in an Out-Of-Control World. Just trying to add a little sizzle to the inevitably tasty content steak. 🙂
    Voting for 5. #1 without “new” is 2nd choice.

    • ginidietrich says:

      Adam | Customer Experience Ohhhh. I wonder if we could do “business reputation control in an out-of-control world”? We have to get those searchable terms right after the colon. You like that?

      • ginidietrich Adam | Customer Experience I think it still works well! I like that when business leaders see it they know what problems of theirs the book is supposed to solve.
        On a side note… I wonder if all authors nowadays should just start listing Matt Cutts as co-author by default. 🙂

  28. Wittlake says:

    Gini, I prefer “Spin Sucks: Communicating to Customers in the New Age of Transparency” but if the SEO generals will approve a little change I’ll like it a lot more: seriously, we should be communicating with customers, not communicating to them.
    I’m not a big fan of all of the “spin” ties, many aren’t particularly clear, and one (spinning out of control) is a fun play on words but I think introduces a different meaning for spin that could change what someone assumes the main title means.
    One idea that I think clarifies spin a bit (can keeps communication in): “Spin Sucks: Taking Spin Out Of Your Communications Toolbox”
    Alright, best of luck sorting through a few hundred more options! 🙂

  29. CommProSuzi says:

    I understand where you’re going, but I’m tripping over the word “and” in many of the subtitles.

  30. Samar Shamieh says:

    Spin sucks: speaking your business truth

  31. JayDolan says:

    I vote for the one that uses my picture.

  32. jaymethomason says:

    I like #8. Short and punchy, yet still Google friendly! Congrats on another book!

  33. Looks like you want to cover today’s most effective communication styles _and_ techniques through examples and recommendations (I would buy that!). So maybe:
    Spin Sucks: Communicate with Customers, Build Your Brand, and Manage Your Reputation with Honesty and Efficiency
    Longer variations:
    * “Learn to …” for nicer human readability.
    * “… with Honesty and the Latest Marketing/PR Tools and Techniques” for more SEO points.

  34. Uhm. I expect a signed copy regardless if I wax poetic.. I have a Wall of Fame bookshelf to keep up to date…  I like parts of all of them but they’re all so long. Stupid SEO.  Spin Sucks: Communicating in Real Time with Your Customers.

  35. dbvickery says:

    Just added…Spin Sucks: Reputation Management Without the Spin Doctor

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