Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Martin Waxman

By: Gini Dietrich | January 16, 2015 | 
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Martin Waxman and Gini DietrichBy Gini Dietrich

I am very excited to bring you today’s Spin Sucks Inquisition.

Martin Waxman and I have been friends for a very long time. Long before this whole social media thing was a thing. Long before people met online. Long before…never mind, this is making me sound old.

I have a very fun memory of being somewhere warm and he and I were with a couple of other friends during a break at Counselors Academy. We were sitting in an outdoor bar teaching some of our peers about this Twitter thing.

Since then, he and I (and Joe Thornley) took over Inside PR so I get to talk to him every week (lucky me!). I’ve also Skype’d into many of his graduate-level courses to “teach” his students.

Because of those classes, I’ve met people such as Bill Smith and Darryl Robinson-Keys, both of whom you’d recognize from the comments here.

Martin has a great sense of humor (it’s very dry, which I love), he’s exceptionally intelligent, and he’s savvy enough to have changed with the PR times.

He’s also the kind of friend who knows me well enough that he can buy me a book as a gift and hit it out of the park every, single time.

I am very happy to have him on the Spin Sucks Inquisition hot seat today.

What is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made in Your Career?

There have been a lot, but OK: My biggest mistake was wanting a business idea to happen really, really, really badly. So badly, in fact, that I put all my energy and resources into bringing it to life.

And because I was so single-minded (I read somewhere that was supposed to be a good thing), I dismissed or ignored any critical questions people I trusted had about what I was planning to do.

Then just before the big day, a little Yoda in my stomach said, “Not a good idea, this is. Stop it, you should!”

But being a polite Canadian and eternal optimist, I pushed the evil thought way down, chalked it up to jitters and went ahead.

Dumb, dumb me!

I now know that for all decisions, if someone close to me asks me a question that makes me squirm, I pay attention. And I always trust my gut!

What is One Thing about Yourself that Would Surprise Most People?

Many folks know how much I love comedy and that I used to be a standup MC.

Well, one evening during those long ago days, I proudly shared the screen with Canada’s Country Gentleman, Tommy Hunter, on his weekly TV show!

You can ask Lindsay Bell about who he was. The producers were trying to spice up the program and I was brought on as a novelty music act.

He towered over me (literally, he’s a very tall guy).

You would not believe how happy I am that there’s no online evidence of my performance.

If You Could Achieve Everything You Ever Wanted in Life, but Had to Die 10 Years Sooner, Would You Make that Trade?

No way! I’m one of those people who’s nearly late to every meeting (I said nearly), because when it’s time for me to walk out the door, I always have “just one more thing” to do.

And I think that’s the same with my life.

There will always be just one more thing to accomplish—either personal, professional, or a mix of both.

(Which could mean my last words will be a tweet.)

What Industry Advice or Practice Would You Most Like to Cry Foul On?

It really bugs me when people pretend they’re experts on a subject they know nothing about, when the only thing they do know is how to jump on a bandwagon.

How can you tell if you’re talking to someone like that?

They use a lot of jargon and often add a telltale the in front of words such as Twitter or Snapchat (The Twitter or The Snapchat).

I’ve met too many of these BS artists in PR and they give the profession a bad reputation.

What is the Best Book You’ve Read in the Past Six Months?

During the holidays, I read Richard Ford’s latest book, Let Me Be Frank With You, a linked collection of stories centering around failed novelist, sportswriter, and now retired real estate agent, Frank Bascombe.

Ford has written about Bascombe in several books including The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and Lay of the Land.

The writing is crisp yet lyrical, witty, and bittersweet. And every sentence is honest to the core.

I love how the main character has learned to relish the smallest moments in life. And every time I read about Frank Bascomb’s adventures, I get the urge to buy a big American car and sell a house or two.

Why Does Spin Suck?

Spin is creativity’s evil cousin and is sometimes mistaken for creativity at first glance because there’s a family resemblance on the storytelling side.

Be careful because, unlike creativity, spin is only there to pull the wool over your eyes, put one over on you, take you to the laundry, and pretty much any pulp fiction metaphor that you’d like to use.

Don’t associate with spin!

Where You Can Find Martin Waxman

An early adopter of the social networks, Martin can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedInSlideshare, his blog, every week as my co-host on Inside PR, and even writing here on Spin Sucks.

If you’d like the opportunity to work with Martin, he has customized one-day workshops that combine strategy, an understanding of the tools, editorial calendar development, and how to bring it all to life via content marketing. He also has an eBook coming out later this winter that is produced by Cision. Learn more on his website.

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!

  • Thanks so much for including me, @ginidietrich and for that wonderful introduction! You made my day and it feels like I’m in the hall of heroes…

  • MARTIN!!!! Martin is tops. And I nearly fell over when I read the Tommy Hunter story!! I bet you anything someone’s got that moment in the archives! LOL I would pay *huge* money to get it dug up!!!  Enjoy your day, Martin! I’m so glad I’m able to call you a friend. xox

  • Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL8qPj5UvNA

  • ElissaFreeman

    Wait…what??? martinwaxman was on Tommy Hunter????  THAT MAKES HIM A CANADIAN ICON!!!

  • Friday’s always get away from me, so I wanted to come over here ASAP so I don’t look up from my computer and realize it’s Saturday and I hadn’t come over to say hi to Martin! 

    And I’m so glad I did. As I was reading this there might have been about 20 quotes that I started to grab so I could add it to my comment with a resounding “YES!” or “So well said” or “That’s exactly my feeling on the subject.” ALLLL the amazingness here. 

    So with that said, I’ve decided that my favorite quote of this entire thing is by far: “a little Yoda in my stomach said, “Not a good idea, this is. Stop it, you should!””

    I’m going to start using that on a daily basis. 

    Cheers Martin! So great to learn a bit more about you!

  • I believe I met and followed Martin through this blog and delighted that you confirm my thoughts on his humor; so dry that whether shaken or stirred it is a taste that tantalizes the palate. In either case, swallowed to absorb the nutrition of his knowledge or back through the nose in uncontrollable laughter, his writings will tingle your senses.  What I didn’t know is that he was a standup MC! It all makes sense now as these inquisitions always seem to offer insight into the person behind the social media presence.

  • LauraPetrolino Thanks so much, Laura! Glad you liked the Star Wars reference! With the next one coming out soon, I wanted to be topical :).

    And – I do my best to write in tweets…

  • belllindsay Wait, you’re old enough to remember Tommy Hunter?

  • belllindsay Thanks Lindsay. Me too (about the friendship part). Let’s just say I’m afraid to dig too deeply into the TH archives. But I can tell you it was a thrill to be on that show. Like stepping into hallowed Canadian ground. Come to think of it, that’s what CBC on Jarvis (and area) felt like…

  • ElissaFreeman Ha! Thanks Elissa. How about stood next to an icon – that’s a bit more like it!

  • It’s so good to see you here, Martin! I always enjoy your perspectives and, of course, your wit. Cheers!

  • LauraPetrolino Got me too, it did.

  • martinwaxman Of COURSE you’re in the hall of heroes, Martin! I have so enjoyed getting to know you, to share those twappliances with you, and to tweet in the shadow of someone with so much Klout. 😉

  • ElissaFreeman martinwaxman LOL!!

  • belllindsay I feel like if anyone could find that clip, it would be you.

  • martinwaxman Well, a hall of heroes for about three minutes.

  • YAY!!!!!!!!!  I am at loss for “text” here…  Martin is a social media super hero, super nice guy! I am super excited that he has been selected for today, although not super surprised in the least [note: stop saying “super”]   [Distraction – Twitter Mention Eden Spodek…]  
    Paraphrase:  “Yoda is an evil thought” , “Spin and creativity are kissing cousins in a banjo playing Deliverance uncomfortable kind of way”
    I am here and constantly inserting myself into #digitaledu because of Martin and my desire to stay connected with a great guy I have a “super’ lot of respect for! [end of mushy statement]  YAY!!!!!!!

  • Digital_DRK Literally laughing out loud at you right now!

  • I am so with you on the fauxperts, Martin!! And I find that it’s getting harder and harder to let my filter work when I’m around them.

  • KristenDaukas I am so proud of you!

  • ginidietrich   my mushiness has that effect on people…I blame Martin (he’s too nice)

  • Listen to your internal Yoda!! 

    That’s my lesson for the day.

  • Eleanor Pierce On your list of babies names?

  • martinwaxman

    belllindsay Digital_DRK GRandPK MediaLabRat lkpetrolino elissapr sabguthrie SpinSucks Thank you!!

  • martinwaxman

    EdenSpodek Appreciate that, Eden! SpinSucks wbsmith200 Digital_DRK

  • Yay, Martin! I am also at my most productive between the moment I am supposed to leave to get to an appointment comfortably on time and the 10 minutes past that moment. I get a TON done and then my commute is hugely stressful, but I almost always miraculously get there within 15 seconds of the appointed time.
    Looking forward to the book!

  • RobBiesenbach Thanks Rob! Yes – you nailed that one. And you’re absolutely right about that stressful commute. Like you, I make it, but I always swear I won’t do it again. (Of course, I do.)

  • KristenDaukas When I’m with them, I can feel my face turn redder and redder as I listen to the crap they spew and do everything I can not to scream… Thanks Kristen!

  • Digital_DRK Thanks so much for the kind words and apt summation, Darryl! Actually, in this case I’m happy to follow you!!

  • Eleanor Pierce You mean to your internal Yoda listen?? Thanks Eleanor!

  • jasonkonopinski Appreciate that Jason!

  • annelizhannan Thanks so much Anneliza! You made my day! (And I wish someone had written that review of me when I was performing!)

  • ginidietrich martinwaxman So far it’s been about 20!

  • martinwaxman

    howiegoldfarb Ha! Can’t be too late… ginidietrich SpinSucks

  • I was so excited to see ginidietrich ‘s tweet on the twitter! This viral stuff really works I am going to write a blog post on how easy the viral thing is. And I can see why Gini’s Klout is so high. But back to Canada! Which means Kloot!

    I had no idea about your MCing martinwaxman so you used to rhyme with Eminem that makes you old skool! I have been meaning to listen to Inside PR maybe now that you achieved Inquizzed status I will do so. Do you tell jokes to Gini on the program?

    I know you don’t speak western Canadadian. but I so want to put an Ay at the end of each Yoda phrase Ay. If only Rcck Moranis had played Yoda the world would be so different today.

    Always nice learning more about you Martin you are one of the good people….almost an icon…..you are on icon trajectory keep up the good work!

  • martinwaxman RobBiesenbach I always tried to squeeze every last minute I could before starting a project in college…or studying for tests. And I did not get married until I was 45 but in general I am very prompt even with the dilly dallying. I was not late to my wedding for example. And I meet deadlines. I guess the better phrase is ‘Work well under Panic’

  • Digital_DRK Eleanor Pierce Yep. Right at the top of the list. Up there with Gini and Jack Bauer …

  • martinwaxman

    DebWeinstein Thanks Deb! See you soon to brainstorm ideas for the #CAPRSA tweetchat – details to follow… SpinSucks

  • Eleanor Pierce   such sarcasm in one so ready with child…

  • Howie Goldfarb Brat.

  • martinwaxman Eleanor Pierce no she meant external. Some people see dead people. Eleanor hears Yoda. Doctors confirmed she actually does hear Yoda but have no way to cure her.

  • martinwaxman KristenDaukas whoa Martin just showed his Mafia side, Someone gonna get a cap busted in them at Mashable for some of the stuff they publish.

  • EdenSpodek belllindsay shhhhh. Martin was actually present when the famous Cain and Able match went down.

  • martinwaxman ginidietrich you mean Super Heroes Martin and the Halls of Justice obviously. What is your Super Power?

  • ginidietrich Howie Goldfarb what? You have a high Klout score. It’s ok. No need for shame. We ended high klout discrimination a long time ago in this country.

  • Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich Take off, eh! How’s that for Hoser-speak, which I prefer over corporate speak any day! And your the first person to get the Canadian pronunciation of Kloot right…

    Thanks Howie – you’ll have to listen to IPR to find out and also we need you to comment on IPR. 

    Thanks for your comment – it made me laugh.

  • Howie Goldfarb martinwaxman RobBiesenbach I’d say we can relate to that – not being late but having that pressure…

  • Howie Goldfarb martinwaxman KristenDaukas Yep. It doesn’t happen often, but there you go…

  • Howie Goldfarb martinwaxman ginidietrich It has to do with a recorder, but I can’t say more!

  • Digital_DRK Best. Comment. Ever. Really SUPER! LOL

  • annelizhannan Oh, Martin was a bit of a TV big shot up here in Canuckistan, Anneliz!! Back in the good old days. LOL

  • EdenSpodek Sadly, Eden, yes. 🙂

  • martinwaxman Yes, I agree. When I fist started at the CEEB I was at 790 Bay!! It was kind of fun when it was all broken up and spread across the city like that!

  • BillSmith3

    Best quote from martinwaxman , “Listen to your inner Yoda.” 

    I was in Martin’s Advanced Practices in Online Reputation Management course and I’ve known him through the Toronto PR community, he is truly one of the smart guys in the room and a mensch.

  • BillSmith3 Thanks for saying that, Bill – and using the M word!

  • ginidietrich belllindsay And now the challenge is on!

  • belllindsay I know what you mean. Remember the old studio on Yonge near MacPherson? It’s Staples now – not the same…

  • martinwaxman belllindsay hey that’s my local Staples! …I did not know that.

  • Ah, Richard Ford is an awesome writer! Good choice, martinwaxman! I’m a fan of a few of his short stories. Good to see you’re still around in the SpinSucks community!  🙂

  • martinwaxman

    And I’ll say it back-RT ginidietrich Don’t start the wknd without stopping by SpinSucks to say hey to martinwaxman http://bit.ly/1ARis0S

  • audacious_amma

    ginidietrich. Agree. Prof Waxman is the real deal. Never lost his cool or his wit .martinwaxman maureenjudge

  • martinwaxman

    audacious_amma Thank you, Radkiha! Not sure if I qualify for the P word 🙂 ginidietrich maureenjudge

  • martinwaxman

    Digital_DRK Thanks Darryl! SpinSucks

  • belllindsay Put one of Martin’s performances up on Gin and Topics; I’m sure we could get a few laughs from the crowd there 😉

  • JRHalloran Thanks! I really enjoy his tone and how spare his stories are!

  • biggreenpen Paula, I figured you’d be interested to know that I got my Klout Bump from the Inquisition – and it’s not even my birthday month! Thanks ginidietrich!

  • Martin Waxman

    Thanks Eleanor! I think it may deserve a whole post 🙂

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