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Gini Dietrich

Five Tips for Preparing for 2012

By: Gini Dietrich | December 14, 2011 | 
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I’m not going to lie. 2011 has been a terrible year. I’m thankful it’s nearly over.

But 2012? It’s shaping up to be a good year. A really good year.

Sure, we’ve hit the double dip recession and the economy doesn’t look like it’ll rebound until 2013. But it’s still going to be a good year.

Why? Because we’ve gotten lean and mean, we’ve figured out what our vision is and what we want to accomplish, and we spent this year setting the foundation for growth.

Following are five tips on doing the same so your 2012 shapes up to be excellent.

  1. What is your vision? When I started Arment Dietrich, I didn’t really know what I wanted to achieve. I knew I wanted to grow a public relations firm focused on real business results, but that’s not really a vision. Through Spin Sucks (our blog) and the forthcoming Spin Sucks Pro, I realized what I really want to do is change the perception of the PR and marketing industries. It’s a big, big vision and it may never be accomplished in my lifetime, but everything we do leads us to that vision.
  2. What do you want to accomplish? This is different than your vision because it’s more immediate. Where do you see yourself at the end of 2012? Do you see it as a successful year? What has to happen for you to feel like it was successful? Write those things down. For instance, I knew I wanted to write a book that had a publish date that coincides with the full, public launch of Spin Sucks Pro. Success is very measurable because either I’ll have a book or I won’t (I will – in May).
  3. Set the foundation. A lot of the things you’ll need to do to move toward the vision and to accomplish what you’ve written down will require a foundation. Perhaps it’s developing a content strategy or creating a community on one of the social networks or writing a book proposal or developing a new product or service that will be sold later in the year. Whatever you decide, the foundation needs to be built. And, if you’re like me, it may take one crummy year to get it where you need it so you have many years of success. This is a marathon so keep that in mind as you’re building.
  4. Get lean and mean. This was a really interesting exercise we went through this year. We cut everything we could think to cut. And then we cut some more. Just because you have an office lease or contracts on equipment or bank loans does not mean you can’t renegotiate terms or get out early. We spent a good portion of the year getting as lean as we could by doing some of these things in order to make cash king in 2012.
  5. Maintain your optimism. It’s easy to get down, especially when we keep hearing about how terrible the economy is. But if you maintain your optimism, it’s amazing how things tend to work out. The power of positive thinking definitely applies. Keep your vision posted on the wall in front of you so you can see it all the time. And, when you get down, look at that vision and think about how great things will be when you achieve those lifelong goals.

It’s not going to be easy, but I guarantee if you do these five things, you’ll beat the economy and flourish while your competitors flounder.

This first appeared on Al Smith’s blog, The Care Movement

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.

85 comments
Mike Martel
Mike Martel

Just stumbled on your blog. Excellent post! In several of the comments, it mentioned not looking back to the previous year. I always recommend people keep the past in sight and yet in perspective. It gives you a good yardstick to see where your going. It is really the foundation the article mentions. At the same time I wouldn't get too wrapped in it . The future is what is important. Full steam ahead.

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman

Just catching up on my 'Gini-reading'...and had to comment on this post. I always love your candour - even when it hits a nerve. But the most important take-away for me here? Ask yourself, your colleagues, your agencies: where do you see yourself and your department at the end of 2012? I'm doing a strategy session soon with our agency partners...and this is going to be a great question to kick things off. Thank you!

Al Smith
Al Smith

I thought this looked familiar. You will be hearing from my attorney. Oh, I guess I better get one first. Ha. Wow. This is so cool. Thanks for posting this again at your place. I am honored. Seriously. And I get a mention as well as The CARE Movement ? I am reaching for a tissue now. Unbelievable. See, I knew you cared ! Lol. Thanks again so much. Really do appreciate you.

Uh, one thing. Next time (and there will be a next time) please capitalize CARE. Very important.

Lol. Luv ya.

Already looking forward to next summer for our helmet cam adventure / video. Woo Hoo !

Buddies for life ? For sure.

Al

rachaelseda
rachaelseda

Thanks for the motivating advice Gini! Now I have some home work to do...hmm I don't know if I am exactly thankful for this part.. ;)

Raj-PB
Raj-PB

We wish you all the best for 2012. When we cut lean, we tend to understand what is 'luxury' and what is 'necessity'. So, its good in a way, because tough times enable us to distinguish between the two and concentrate more on the necessities.

daveegauthier
daveegauthier

@ginidietrich enjoyed this blog - a tangible way to sift through long term goals, and short term objectives. i look forward to your book!

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

I am not one to look back on a year and judge it, because self examination is often painful. That being said, I accomplished something I never imagined this year. So I'm happy. In 2012, I hope to do a bit more.

I love this community. It is fun to hang out, comment, and even occasionally write a post (I had 5 for Gini this year and the nice comments they received were greatly appreciated.)

I too, didn't realize it was a rough year. I'm a fan and if there is anything I can do to help make 2012 a monster success, I'll be happy to lend a hand.

Marcus_Sheridan
Marcus_Sheridan

Your transparency and honesty is refreshing and awesome Gini. Thanks for setting the bar in the PR industry and the blogosphere as well...and some great tips here too.

Can't wait to watch you succeed in 2012 and meet up again soon. :)

Cheering you on daily,

Marcus

delwilliams
delwilliams

I love your honesty Gini. And yes, I think you hung the moon. I have watched people complain and belly ache all year to the point that I started unfollowing them. I know, I'm mean. My year has not sucked per se, but there has been quite a bit of shifting, which got old after awhile. It was people like you who encouraged me, most often without knowing. Here is to an AWESOME 2012.

rhonda hurwitz
rhonda hurwitz

This is the post I needed to see as am thinking about 2012. Printed out and taped to my wall. BTW, maybe off topic but I saw this quote in Topydeys blog today:

"My hope for you this holiday is that you don’t have what you want but, rather, that you want, and cherish, what you have" (from http://tobeydeys.com/2011/12/13/just-in-time-for-the-holidays/ )

... somehow combining your thoughts and hers is working for me today!

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Since this is my first year as part of the Spin Sucks community, I have learned a lot and plan to take the knowledge from here into 2012 and beyond. I owe Gini and the rest of the community a lot of gratitude for sharing their knowledge and experiences. It's like being a kid in a candy store grabbing fireballs by the handful in this community.

You know GD, based on your writing style, demeanor, attitude and grace I would have never known that 2011 was a bad year for you. One of the keys to a successful PR pro is despite negativity and misfortune going on in your life, you put on a smile and fasten on your positive attitude PR hat each and every day. Not an easy thing to do.

Maranda
Maranda

Aww Gini! 2012 is going to be awesome! I have the most optimistic view about how the next year is going to play out. It just feels like good things are on the way. That's the best way to start a new year.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

Can you believe it was one year ago today, Dec 14, 2010, that I sat in your office talking about moving to Chicago and joining the Arment Dietrich team? That was fast! 2011 has been the most challenging year of my life and the most rewarding. It certainly did not go as planned, but what does? I am super happy to see it go bye bye. (But I've been saying that every year since 2008)

One of the things I LOVE about the last two weeks of December is it's a great time to step back and do a personal retreat with professional and personal goal setting.

I second @Katie Gutwein ! Amazeballs 2012!!! LOL.

Latest blog post: About Us

TheJackB
TheJackB

Perspective and attitude are important. Hindsight makes it easy to see what you could or should have done, but only to a point. I can look back at September of 2008 and see how a couple of decisions created issues that were exacerbated by an economy no one could have predicted.

It led to in many was a disastrous time that I am just beginning to climb out of.

I do my best to look it at as a time of learning and to say that dedication, tenacity and willingness to adapt is why things will get better. Rusty is right about #5, so important.

hackmanj
hackmanj

Such prudent and timely advice. I do feel and see a lot more optimism out there. Another thing is people are getting used to how things are and getting back to business as usual. You can only go so lean. That and the desperate price cutters of 2009/2010 imploded in 2011 (thank goodness) so that frees up the people who care about quality.

BobReed
BobReed

Yep, 2011 bit. But we'll be hitting it hard in 2012. And, hopefully, that pounding starts tomorrow.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@John_Trader1 I'm not a complainer by nature so I didn't really talk about it in person, either. I am big on reflecting and learning and then sharing what I learned. No one really wants to go through the journey of pain with you. Plus, it's important to me to keep my team motivated and energized so I put on a happy face, even when I'm not.

Speaking of being a kid in a candy store. I just checked into a hotel and they have bowls of salt water taffy at registration. I was sneaking them into my pockets while the woman was looking down at the computer. I wanted to take the entire bowl!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Lisa Gerber Was it really one year ago today? Was that the same day as the big Spin Sucks Pro brainstorm?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@TheJackB Hindsight is, in fact, 20/20. The past couple of weeks I've reflected on what I could have, and should have, done better this year. The past three years have been long and expensive learning experiences for me, but I'm with you...maintain dedication, tenacity, and willingness to adapt and we'll both be fine!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@rustyspeidel It's hard (as you well know). This past summer I didn't think I was going to make it. It was hard to maintain the optimism.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@hackmanj Yeah...at some point we have to just accept this as the new normal and get back to work.

Al Smith
Al Smith

Sticks and stones ........ but dork ? Come on. It's time for a new word. Luv ya.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

@ginidietrich @ExtremelyAvg actually, me too! And I got it in my email and thought Gini had made that comment. right after she challenged Marcus to a Best Teeth Contest and I was pretty sure we had a problem on our hands so I was happy to see my mistake.

Latest blog post: About Us

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

@ginidietrich I have a sneaking suspicion that your community would be a lot smaller if you were a complainer.

Salt water taffy. Mmmmmm....

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

@ginidietrich@Marcus_Sheridan This is true, We are in fact, going to win the Newlywed Game. However, I'd like to add, that as much as we do know each other, I was unaware of your lip gloss inventory. I know you love it, obviously, which is why I bought you a box of it for Christmas. But I'm devastated to discover over on FB, that you have a moving truck full of it. SIGH.

Latest blog post: About Us

Marcus_Sheridan
Marcus_Sheridan

@Lisa Gerber@ginidietrich That's the thing Lisa. Gini does that with people she really likes. When Mr. D asked Gini to marry her, she replied, "Gosh I hate the Packers. Stupid yellow and green uniforms...."

That's just how she rolls... ;-)

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