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Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Valeria Maltoni

By: Gini Dietrich | December 17, 2010 | 
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Today’s #FollowFriday likely needs no introduction, but she definitely deserves your time and attention. Valeria Maltoni, or Conversation Agent as she’s known, was one of the very first bloggers I began to read many years ago as I forayed into this world. Not only is she wickedly (wickedly? Is that a word?) smart, she loves chocolate, red wine, and espresso as much as I do. Valeria, if you love shoes too, we’re long-lost sisters!  And OMG! If you’re a cyclist, then we’re twins separated at birth.

Today’s #FollowFriday is Valeria Maltoni and, if you continue reading, I’ll give you more reasons than chocolate, red wine, and espresso to love her.

It won’t come as any surprise to you that I think spin sucks. I hate it when you introduce yourself and the person asks you what you do. You tell them PR and they say, “Oh! You spin (or lie) for a living!” That happens, oh I’d say, 90 percent of the time. It really makes me angry. Because it implies we all sit around and spin up good lies to tell the public to make companies look better. Sure, there may be some professionals who do that, just like there are bad professionals in every industry, but the majority of us are good.

And that’s why I was drawn to Valeria in the beginning. Not only does she support her industry organizations (she’s a member of all of them and she’s accredited by IABC), she walks the talk of being a consummate professional.  She is smart, smart, smart (did I mention that already?) and she knows how to take what’s happening in the world and drill it down into useful information.

For instance, everyone is talking about Klout scores and whether or not people deserve free stuff because of their Klout score. My Klout score is seemingly high and I think it’s baloney (except I really want VIP treatment in Vegas, but that’s another story). Valeria breaks it down for you, first in July by explaining how the algorithm works (or doesn’t work) and then earlier this week by explaining how true influence is measured and whether or not it makes sense for your company.

What I really, really love is she presents the information and the facts, then provides her take on the whole thing. And she does this with every blog post, through thoughtful meaning and careful consideration.

So, if you’re not doing so already, follow Valeria on Twitter, read (and subscribe to) her blog, connect with her on LinkedIn, “like” her on Facebook, and get to know her. You’ll be smarter for it. I promise.

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.

19 comments
rachaelseda
rachaelseda

You had me at red wine & chocolate & then I remembered I already follow her so I am passing along the good recommendation, thanks as always!

donlafferty
donlafferty

Love Valeria. She's as real and accessible as she is passionate. Always asking questions and genuinely willing to listen too, the mark of a thought leader who is also a real person.

donlafferty
donlafferty

Love Valeria. She's as real and accessible as she is passionate. Always asking questions and genuinely willing to listen too, the mark of a thought leader who is also a real person.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

I subscribe and <attempt> to read many great bloggers and Valeria is one of them. She is always extremely relevant to what is going on in the world (perfect example you gave of her focus on Klout right now) and she serves content that educates without being dry. Always enjoy her commentary and point of view and she has inspired a few posts of my own. She definately deserves this #FollowFriday and I hope that it introduces her to people that are not currently reading. Subscribe to her blog if you haven't already - seriously.

KellyeCrane
KellyeCrane

Valeria is one of my favorite people -- I actually hope to be like her when I grow up. She's one of our true thought leaders (a designation I don't give to many), and she serves it up at a prolific pace. What I find even more amazing is that she manages to do it in a second language (for those who don't know, Valeria is from Italy). I second your recommendation!

lkpetrolino
lkpetrolino

I give five thumbs up to this FF (I have two, but I'm sure I can find a few other willing peeps to borrow some from) I love, love, love Valeria and Conversation Agent....I have a small handful of blogs that I read daily...no matter what....and Conversation Agent is one of those, always amazing content and specific take aways that I can apply to something I'm doing that day.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Lets just say I am a big fan of all the Powered folks. They work very hard to be a Social Agency that is honest and two of my FTF's (Favorite Twitter Friends for you Noobs) are Matt McDougal and Aaron Strout (plus they know Haiku!). They are one of the few Agencies I have gotten to know that I would refer businesses to or partner with on a project. Valeria is great. I have read her blog and followed her on Twitter and she put on one of the Powered Webinars I attended. I agree with every you said.

Gini this is a first. No worries that one more unsuspecting person has me thrown into their life. This time. 8)

EricPudalov
EricPudalov

Thanks again for this great "Follow Friday" profile, Gini! I'll do my best to catch up on some of Valeria's blogging and advice. It's also funny you should mention the PR/"you lie for a living" reaction, because when I've mentioned the name of your blog to people, I often get, "What the heck does 'spin sucks' mean?"

Yes, in my heart, too, while I know for certain that there are people out there who simply "spin" companies' images to make them look good, I take comfort in knowing that there are professionals like you who emphasize the good points, and teach clients how to improve their weaker areas.

It also pleases me to know that you're doing something that (I assume) you, in your heart, feel good about, rather than deceiving people for profit (which I also know is all too common). So once again, I'm glad to be one of your readers, and I enjoy our "social media relationship"!

P.S. We could do more to follow the example of meerkats.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@donlafferty I agree that she's always willing to listen. And I'd add engage! She's one of the top dogs who doesn't care about your "klout." She treats everyone the same.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@KellyeCrane A prolific pace is a great descriptor! I hope to be like her when I grow up, too. She's amazing!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@HowieG I love that Aaron thinks The Economist copied him (which is what I said in today's Top Five). That makes him one of my FTF, but you're still a noob. Thank heaven I wasn't the catalyst for you following Valeria!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@EricPudalov It's so funny you say that because we had a really big meeting this week where we were transparent and honest and it bit us in the butt. A lot of our advisors counseled us to go a different route, but it felt dishonest and unethical to us. So we didn't. And we lost the deal. But, as I told my team, "at least we can sleep at night." Good guys always finish last, but they do finish on top!

P.S. I get the "What does Spin Sucks mean" too!