Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Jayme Soulati

By: Gini Dietrich | March 4, 2011 | 

I was thinking about how I met Jayme Soulati. I think it was first on Mark Schaefer’s blog and then later on Mack Collier’s #BlogChat. It’s funny when you meet someone in your industry, who has the same friends as you, but you’ve never actually met. Jayme and I changed that pretty quickly…and you should too!

She began her career in Chicago (why did you leave?!) and now works and lives in Ohio. A funny tidbit about her? She was president of the Publicity Club of Chicago in the 90s. Having been president of the Chicago chapter of PRSA, I know how difficult that job is (so she deserves huge congrats!).

A few other interesting and tidbits about her?

  1. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin where she was president of the student chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (of course she was!).
  2. Jayme’s favorite successful media relations story took place in Abu Dhabi.
  3. She hails from a family of physicians and medical providers; her grandfather was northern Iran’s first surgeon and founder of a hospital that remains in business today.
  4. She loves tennis and used to play USTA 7.0 mixed doubles in Chicago.
  5. She is a recreational children’s soccer coach, although she never played organized football.
  6. Jayme’s first company was called Soulati Media Relations; launched in 1991.
  7. She won a Silver Trumpet from the PCC for an octogenarian’s walk across America.
  8. She successfully fought a legal battle against an Internet pirate in China and won intellectual property protection for a client’s domain name.
  9. She is a guest lecturer at academic institutions on the topics of social media, business, and public relations.
  10. She has traveled 20 countries and lived in Iran as a child for seven years.
  11. She speaks rusty German and rustier Farsi and is learning Spanish little by little.

She won a legal battle against a pirate? I have this vision of her with an eye patch swinging from a mast saying, “Ahoy ye pirate! You killed my father, prepare to die!” If I had any photoshop skills I would have put an eye patch on her photo above.

She’s a very interesting person (and it was an Internet pirate, not a real one), but the reason she is today’s #FollowFriday is because she’s doing something really important on her blog right now.

Yesterday’s subject is the definition of public relations and continues through a series of “What Is PR?”

If you’re in the PR industry or you work with communication professionals, it’s important for you to stop by her blog and leave your comments and perceptions – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Through Jayme’s efforts and all of our networks, including discussions on Spin Sucks, we’re furthering our aspirations to change the awful perception of the industry.

So follow Jayme on Twitter, connect with her on Facebook, and subscribe to and engage with her on her blog. This is important – we need to create a unified front that then can change perceptions at national media and corporate America.

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.

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70 responses to “#FollowFriday: Jayme Soulati”

  1. […] If you are a regular reader of Life as an Experiment, you likely have seen Gini Dietrich’s Follow Friday Posts over at SpinSucks (The Fight Against Destructive Spin). Modeled after her weekly post extolling […]

  2. Soulati says:

    I will repeat what I tweeted. I am freaking embarrassed and gasping with humility. Speechless.
    I thank you with hands outstretched, head bowed and bending at the waist, Gini. Thank you, may I repeat that? Thank you.

  3. EricaAllison says:

    So well deserved! Even though I literally just met the lovely Ms. Soulati on her blog this week -under the most dreadful of PR circumstances – I couldn’t agree more with your choice! Looking forward to getting to working alongside the illustrious @ginidietrich and @Soulati to fight the good fight against not only destructive spin, but rogue clients and their perceptions about the industry as a whole.

  4. Soulati says:

    @EricaAllison @ginidietrich Very excited to do ditto, Erica! (May I ask, please, how the heck anyone gets the billable work done?) Here’s a thought (now sharing it on 3rd platform and sorry for repetitiveness): establish a national PR pitch team to troll for opps to position PR as written by profession’s leaders; all pro bono for good of reversing national rancor. Am evolving idea as I write it. Can be done or no?

  5. Hi Gini… just read that you’re president of the Chicago chapter of PRSA. A marketing friend of mine recently suggested I join PRSA and/or PCC. Does PRSA allow membership for people in related fields?

    –Tony Gnau

  6. suddenlyjamie says:

    Hi, Gini! Hi, Jayme! Just came by to watch a few videos and saw this post in the side bar and HAD to stop by and share the love. I “met” Jayme on Mark Schaefer’s blog as well (you, too, Gini – weren’t you part of the viking conversation?)

    ANYway … when I first met Jayme, I was in the midst of competing in a blogger competition and had come up with the idea to try and raise money for some small, local charities as part of my campaign. Jayme was one of the few people who jumped on board to lend me a hand. Her sincere enthusiasm and kick-ass follow through were such a gift to my tiny little project.

    So, I guess I’m here to try and make her blush some more – to say what a genuine and caring person she is and that I’m proud to call her my Twitter friend and hope to get a Real Life meeting someday. 🙂

    Happy Friday, everyone!

  7. cos4 says:

    Whether it’s your #FollowFridays, guest blogpost invites, shout-outs, shameless plugs, or answering Facebook posts, the bias is the same: The subjects chosen are always women.
    How about balancing things up?
    Are you telling me that you don’t get correspondence from men?
    And Danny doesn’t count: he’s the honorary girl in the group.

  8. ginidietrich says:

    @cos4 Ha! It’s SO FUNNY you say that because it was really heavy men for a while and I had to start mixing it up. But last week’s was mostly men – Joey, Danny, Judy, Aaron, and Frank.

  9. balemar says:

    @Soulati You’re so modest! You deserve it! So looking forward to your “What is PR?” series!

  10. ginidietrich says:

    @suddenlyjamie You were here to watch videos?! Now MYcheeks are pink!

    This is such a nice ode to a wonderful woman. Jayme, I hope you print this and tape it to your wall!

    P.S. Yes, I was part of that conversation. LOL!!

  11. Soulati says:

    @suddenlyjamie No matter we spell our names differently, Jamie; we’re kindred spirits in so many ways and thank you for adding to this astonishing gift. You’re correct; red face is the color of the day!

  12. ginidietrich says:

    @T60Productions I’m past president, but yes, they allow membership from people in related fields! You have to join the national organization ( and then the local chapter (which, I think, is another $75 or so).

  13. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati @EricaAllison Supposedly that is what PRSA does, but I can imagine they wouldn’t mind the help. It wouldn’t be an easy undertaking, but like #HAPPO, if there are champions across the country, I don’t see why it can’t be done.

  14. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati It is my honor, Jayme. I love the work you’re doing. Now…come back to Chicago!

  15. jennwhinnem says:

    It’s no secret that I agree with this #FF Gini! Jayme is a great friend, and I too met her through Mark’s blog. She is a wonderful mentor and guide to me. Thanks for sharing her here!

    Picturing Jayme as a pirate though…I might hurt myself laughing.

  16. ginidietrich says:

    @jennwhinnem THANK YOU for that! I thought it was quite funny, myself. Can’t you just picture it?!?

  17. Soulati says:

    @ginidietrich @suddenlyjamie Way ahead of you, Gini! Already printed and on the wall; hate to be a copycat, but there you go! What a gift from you two!

  18. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati As you well know, I love to post things like that to my wall! 🙂

  19. Soulati says:

    @jennwhinnem XO XO, Jenn!

  20. EricaAllison says:

    @ginidietrich @Soulati guerilla warfare? I think we’re/ you’re both already doing it with your blogs and your posts – on a very different level. However, I do agree to take hold and change perceptions, these ideas and opinions have to go mainstream. I’ll be interested to see what NYX says in response to @Soulatipitch! From there, the pitch could be made to others/expanded.

  21. Soulati says:

    @EricaAllison @ginidietrich I linked PRSA definition of what is PR on my blog; read it, read it again, and realized the glass house doesn’t know what the frontlines are thinking and doing. Sorry, that’s my opinion and will address it in blog soon. Erica, maybe that’s what we all do is unite the PR bloggers to share educational posts about the profession (what works, what doesn’t, how we do it) on a more consistent basis? Getting media to accept purely a column on PR (a typical behind the scenes deal) likely a challenge.

  22. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati @EricaAllison I agree with you, Jayme. They do a lot of letters to the editor that never see the light of day and they aren’t on the front lines. I’d love to see more action from them, but I’m not sure they’re staffed or funded to do so.

  23. EricaAllison says:

    @Soulati @ginidietrich You know after I hit ‘post comment’ I started really thinking (and not just getting wrapped up in our collective awesomeness) that the mainstream doesn’t know about this situation, nor do they care. Not the Main St Mainstream anyway.

    They just want to make sure that who they hire to do PR or marketing does their best job and looks out for their best interests. The way to educate more people? Do the best job we can do. Share blog posts and articles (when relevant), address the NYT situation as an educational opportunity (if they allow it on their turf) and then proceed to uphold the high standards that we have and make sure that we educate one client at a time, one colleague at a time and collectively, we really do make an impact.

    I always like to weight the long term benefits or detriments to big ideas like this one (and it’s a great idea), and what comes to mind for me is that if we (or whomever) bring this to the level of a national PR Corp seeking justice via education, will we see more negative than positive outcomes in that approach? Will people think we’re ‘spinning’ our own tales and why are we bothering to push our ‘educational agenda’? It may add more fuel to the negative fire. Thoughts?

  24. Soulati says:

    @ginidietrich @EricaAllison It’s a conundrum and quagmire; I need to think this through and Erica you’re providing great fodder for that. As a strategist, my ideas are fast and furious, but as a realist, spinning wheels in the mud is not what I want to do. More from me on this to come. Gracias!

  25. Soulati says:

    @ginidietrich @EricaAllison Started to respond, Gini, to the governing bodies of the profession. Staffing, funding and glass houses are issues we can’t fix and a laissez faire approach from the profession about membership and volunteering. Then I decided this is a topic for another rainy day. (Kind of like “Hey, Jayme, put up or shut up, eh?)

  26. DannyBrown says:

    @ginidietrich @cos4 What the deuce??

  27. DannyBrown says:

    @ginidietrich @cos4 Gini, I think you’ll find Judy is a lady. Jus’ sayin’. 😉

  28. DannyBrown says:

    Great recommendation this week, miss (but then, they mostly are). Love the passion Jayme brings to the table, and the fact she’s never afraid to share a strong opinion. Too many are – we need more strong voices. 🙂

  29. 3HatsComm says:

    I’ve read and commented on her blog so many times, can’t say specifically which blog or guest post or tweet first connected me with @Soulati I’m just glad it happened. And FWIW, I am the real dread pirate Roberts. 🙂

  30. 3HatsComm says:

    @DannyBrown @ginidietrich @cos4 Nice catch.

  31. ginidietrich says:

    @DannyBrown @cos4 That’s why I said “mostly”. Jeez.

  32. 3HatsComm says:

    @ginidietrich @cos4 It balances out I think, and not sure gender matters to me as much as just the quality of the tweeter or guest blogger. A good person to follow is just that, IMHO.

  33. Soulati says:

    @DannyBrown Gosh darn; I try so hard to be demure, Danny. My #Fail! Thanks for the nod from a dude who has, gasp, 406 pts on Disqus. Is there a Klout score for that? XOXO (thank you)

  34. Soulati says:

    @ginidietrich @jennwhinnem I want all of you to know, @3HatsComm , too, that I’m avoiding all reference, inference and suspicion that I’m a pirate and certainly not a Somali pirate; but perhaps a Disney Caribbean. That is all.

  35. Soulati says:

    @3HatsComm Me, too, Davina, but where you put me to shame is with this IDK, FWIW nonsense; I need to look up that first one, darn it.

  36. ginidietrich says:

    @DannyBrown Mostly?! MOSTLY?!?!?

  37. jennwhinnem says:

    @Soulati @3HatsComm IDK – I dont’ know. FWIW – for what it’s worth 😀

  38. jennwhinnem says:

    @ginidietrich My plan is to get her intoxicated when I meet her, then slap an eye patch on her and snap a photo.

  39. ginidietrich says:

    @jennwhinnem LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. 3HatsComm says:

    @jennwhinnem @Soulati Beat me to it! 😉

  41. 3HatsComm says:

    @jennwhinnem @ginidietrich Aim higher Jenn.. YouTube!

  42. Starr says:

    OMG, is this the same Jayme who I worked with @ PCI in the ’80s? Hi Jayme! Glad to see you doing well in Ohio.

  43. Soulati says:

    @Starr You’ve got to be kidding; nope that’s not me b/c now you’ve dated me for real! (OK, kidding…hi, Starr!) I vaguely remember; can you get me an avatar or something so I can see your mug again? I do remember your name for sure! I think you wore glasses with dark hair. Wait, aren’t we supposed to be doing this on Facebook?! Sorry, Gin Blossom!

  44. Soulati says:

    @jennwhinnem @ginidietrich OK; I just BURST out. Jenn; watch it, Matey!

  45. Soulati says:

    @EricaAllison @ginidietrich If you get a moment, just had a visitor on my blog in the name of Keith Trivitt (I believe) who gives his url as the PR Breakfast Club! He’s also associate director of PRSA. Loved his response in re the NYT and apparently, they pitched same idea earlier and Loren Feldman NOT interested. Any surprise?

  46. Griddy says:

    And how is my Aunt Gini doing today? 😉

    Thanks for introducing us to Jayme – with a recommendation like that – I certainly look forward to visiting her blog and getting to know her.

    Although Gin – you do know that you were suppose to pronounce her name with an Italian soprano voice right? Do-re-mi-fa..SO LA TI DOOOO Or maybe even like Maria in the Sound of Music lol. DO you need me to sing that one too? As it is your readers are starting to wonder about this comment 😉

    Hi Jayme – I’m Ingrid and I look forward to meeting ya. I’m already fascinated by the orange Mini ;).


  47. Soulati says:

    @Griddy I’m dying over here; does laughter reduce calories? Please read all the wonderfully impressive professional fodder on my blog and only then can you read my weekend/non-professional, stupid yet highly creative escapades with my orange Mini Coopah.

    I will repeat, I sat in the front row of the tour bus in Austria singing with Julie Andrews every single song in Sound of Music. So there.

    Thank you, Gin Blossom, for introducing me to all these cool dudes.

  48. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati @Griddy I would SO sit in the front row and sing with Julie Andrews and you! I LOVE THAT! But be careful of Griddy. She’s really an 80 year old man pretending to be a cool and hip chick.

  49. Soulati says:

    @ginidietrich @Griddy Kind of like Judy? (Griddy, you missed it; was a morning Danny Brown joke right here.)

  50. Griddy says:

    @Soulati @ginidietrich Actually Jayme – I pretty much stalk Danny and Gini – or is it them that stalk me – not sure – either way though – I don’t miss much of what they say ;).

    Ha! Wait…I just remembered – it’s Gini that stalks me – Danny just follows me around but he usually whistles or something to let me know that he’s in the shadows somewhere. Actually he’s the one who told me about Gini stalking me. He followed her following me. It’s all a big dilemna really LOL ;).

    But I feel bad for both – since I am really an 80 year old man – both of them have to walk realllllly slowly when they’re behind me. hehe

    I write really slow too!

  51. Griddy says:

    @ginidietrich @Soulati The hills are alive – by God they are! I was 16 going on 17 when I saw them but alas…but the time I turned around to say Eidelweiss they were but a ray of golden sun! 😉

  52. Griddy says:

    @ginidietrich @DannyBrown I would simply like to emphasize that I’m in the MOSTLY category lol ;).

  53. ginidietrich says:

    @Griddy You are a loon.

  54. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati @Starr That is SO FUNNY! You can do this here…I don’t mind!

  55. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati LOL! I totally have to use the urban dictionary when @3HatsComm comes along!

  56. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati @EricaAllison I have some thoughts for both of you, but my brain is complete mush. So I’ll come back later.

  57. Soulati says:

    @Griddy @ginidietrich It’s so sad to say; I think I’m going like her…Judy, I mean Rudy, or Griddy some such.

  58. jonbuscall says:

    About time too!!! Jayme is one of the good guys :=) She’s so dynamic and incredibly generous.

  59. Soulati says:

    @jonbuscall Gosh, Jon, I thought I was done blushing yesterday. Thank you for saying so…! You’re in incredibly generous set, too, and now I get to tell everyone!

  60. ginidietrich says:

    @jonbuscall And don’t you think @Soulati looks good as a pirate?

  61. Griddy says:

    @ginidietrich Oh my God, I just came back to read these today. Hahahahahaha! I’m laughing at myself. Seriously – I have got to stop leaving comments at 4 am when only one eye is open and half my brain is functioning.
    Actually – nevermind – that would be 8 am for me. We’re good!

    Oh, and thank you Jayme ;).

  62. cos4 says:

    @3HatsComm@ginidietrich@cos4 Agreed – good content is good content, regardless. I was jus’saying…

    Danny – No offence, McDude!

  63. HowieSPM says:

    What a great #FF and what an interesting awesome life Jayme!
    @ginidietrich now I feel like I have not accomplished anything in my life thank you. Sigh. Well I am rocking the livefyre points. At least I have that. Putting it on my next business card.

  64. HowieSPM says:

    @ginidietrich @Soulati @Griddy I think Jack Bauer should sing with Julie Andrews.

  65. Soulati says:

    @HowieSPM @ginidietrich Hi Howie! Thanks! You certainly do have the points racked up. How does that work? Are you a serial commenter and maybe you repeat yourself just to earn a point or two more? Let me in on your secret!

  66. ginidietrich says:

    @HowieSPM You are rocking the livefyre points! But if you go out on a pirate ship, I’ll blog about you, too!

  67. ElissaFreeman says:

    Loving this #FF – especially as I just discovered Jayme this past week, with her post on the NYTimes restaurant crybaby, Bruce Beschel. She takes the time to engage those who comment on her blog – as well as looking for ways to continue the conversation. Good pick…! Tho’ I’m pretty sure I got to Jayme via you, Gini…as we all know…all roads lead to (and from!) Gini…! lol!

  68. Soulati says:

    @ElissaFreeman Thanks, Elissa! Are you @elissapr? And, I can’t take all the credit; need to share that with @jennwhinnem as she was the guest author that day. What a roller coaster, and I thank that jamoke for meeting all you and for this fab gift from the Gin & Topics Gin Blossom Special.

  69. Soulati says:

    @ElissaFreeman Oh, hay, Elissa? I am not a pirate.

  70. ElissaFreeman says:

    @Soulati @elissapr @jennwhinnem yes…tis I…elissapr!

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