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Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Lindsay Bell

By: Gini Dietrich | April 11, 2014 | 
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Lindsay Bell and Gini DietrichBy Gini Dietrich

Though Lindsay Bell-Wheeler is not unfamiliar to most of you, because we launched this new series well after she started here, I thought I’d go back and highlight employees who were once featured in #FollowFriday.

I met Lindsay on The Twitter back when she was at Radian6 (which feels like a thousand years ago) and then followed her to Jugnoo, who became a client shortly after she moved there.

Of course, the moment she became available on the job market, I grabbed her. We couldn’t afford her full-time at the time, but I knew we couldn’t let her go.

We hired her part-time, with the promise to make her full-time within the first 90 days. I kept up my end of the bargain and 19 months later, she’s rocking content for us and for our clients.

Lindsay is one of my most favorite human beings on earth. She’s smart, she’s savvy, she’s creative, she can brainstorm better than most, and she’s super fun to tease (mostly because she takes it well and dishes it right back).

I asked her to take her turn in the hot seat for today’s Spin Sucks Inquisition.

I hope you learn a new thing or two about her.

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

This is a funny one (funny strange, not funny ha ha), because for the better part of my career, I always thought this “mistake” was a positive. I only realized this was a ‘mistake’ after many years had passed, and after I had gained so much more experience in the workplace, and of course, matured personally as well. 

Definitely, my biggest mistake in the early days of my career, in TV Land, was an overabundance of ego. Mixed with a healthy dash of hubris. I look back on it now and I’m actually quite embarrassed, but at the time, I honestly thought I was being a strong, confident, professional woman.

I’ve always been a fighter, all my life, and I just kept on fighting, even when it was A) not necessary and B) completely detrimental to my career.

I had a very successful career in TV land – which makes me wonder how much more I could have achieved had I only realized back then that my ‘strong confidence’ came across as ‘arrogant female dog’ness’. 

I’ve actually never admitted this before publicly. So, hey, catharsis!!

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

Probably that I’m excruciatingly insecure. I mean, people who know me, know, but people in the digital space will probably find this surprising.

It, of course, ties in perfectly with my ‘biggest mistake’ above – because while I’m painfully insecure – and I mean about everything – I have spent the better part of my life hiding that fact, and not letting it cripple me. And I definitely went far overboard in that regard when I was younger.

I’ve learned coping mechanisms, I’ve learned how to ‘act,’ and I’ve learned how to get out there, be social, and work a room.

But it’s very, very difficult for me.

But, one thing that’s fantastic about getting older? You start to care less about other people and what they think. And you definitely start to love yourself more. 

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

THIS QUESTION DRIVES ME CRAZY!!! There are way too many variables! By “achieving everything” – does that mean I can become a multimillionaire? And by dying 10 years younger. Does that mean I die at 80 instead of 90? If the answers are yes, then definitely! 

Or, will I be healthy? What if I say no, and then end up spending the last 20 years of my life as an invalid?? Or, I say yes, only to discover that I was meant to exit this mortal coil at age 65!! So, minus 10 years, and good grief – I would only have eight years left! Do you SEE the way my mind works?? Now I’m wrecked for the rest of the day. 

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

I must be in a good mood today, because I’m finding it hard to think of one!

Normally I’m such a critic!

I suppose, and this is more of a big picture view, but man, there’s so much negativity in the social media space these days.

I feel like I’m back in high school – no, GRADE school – some days. I get it that people are competitive, and it’s a dog eat dog world, but the constant criticism and nit picking that seems to go on, tearing each other down, I find it really quite exhausting.

I just don’t have time in my day to waste looking for someone’s mistakes, or making fun of their most recent business venture.

It’s easy to forget that there are human beings behind those blog posts/social media updates.

People aren’t perfect. I know I most certainly am not. 

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

Definitely Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital.

This book outlines the horror, and the tragedy, that was Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans. I have watched Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke”  twice already…and now want to watch it again.

Katrina was a disaster of such unfathomable proportions – I went into this book 100 percent on the side of the health care staff.

Then you read it – and you’re so conflicted.

The author reels you in with sympathy for what the brave nurses and doctors at Memorial went through during those days – no power, no food, the sickest of patients, bureaucratic bungling from every level – but, quite brilliantly with her reporting and by way of her story telling, by the end of the book….you’re not really sure what you think.

Were the doctors right in the steps they took…? Was it mercy killing? Or murder?

It’s a brilliant journalistic exploration of what happened, the PR nightmare that ensued, and the trials of some of the key players.

You will not know which end is up after reading this book. 

Why Does Spin Suck?

For me, personally, spin sucks because I despise cheats and liars. I really do. Like, viscerally. It’s way too easy to cheat and lie. Except for the part where you have to be sure and remember to whom you told which lie!

But still.

It’s the lazy man’s way of life. Whether you cheat your way to the top, or lie your way out of a scandal, spinning the truth speaks volumes about a person/brand’s character. 

Trust is very important to me. If you have my trust, I will go to the ends of the earth for you – I will buy your product faithfully. I will support you personally. I will even give you second chances when you fail – because, as I mentioned above, people are flawed.

It’s what makes them so interesting. But, make those mistakes, and use spin to deke and dive – and you will be exposed eventually – then you’ve lost me.

And I don’t think I’m an anomaly in this regard. 

Where to Find Lindsay Bell

Lindsay, of course, can be found on Spin Sucks, as she is the content director.

But you can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

If you don’t already know her, stalk her online, introduce yourself, and get to know her.

I promise you, you won’t regret it.

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.

118 comments
aimeelwest
aimeelwest

How did I miss this?! 


Ahh yes as you get older you get a bit more perspecitive on things. I think back to some of the things I said and did and totally cringe or laugh at my absolutle niavety.

Word Ninja
Word Ninja

Love the picture and learning more about you, Lindsay. I had the same reaction to the "die 10 years sooner" question when I first read it. Contemplating an answer took a year off of my life.

JRHalloran
JRHalloran

Rock on, @belllindsay! Your wit is what I like most about you. I always like that you have a good comeback for just about anything. :-)

As for your thoughts about social media in whole, I agree with you. Everyone has become so politically correct. You can't say "I like kittens" online without finding yourself in an argument about racism, sexism and the like now. It's annoying.

Latest blog post: The Deaf Club

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

I dig me some Lindsay Bell. 

That book about Katrina sounds really interesting, will have to check it out. Also, yeah the negativity online drives me crazy too. Sometimes I wonder how many people are actually trying to be good humans (well, most of the people around here are, which is nice). 

jessostroff
jessostroff

I would love to see Lindsay and Gini's first Twitter interaction!


So glad to get to know you better, Lindsay. I absolutely love learning from you, you're so SMAHT! I can't wait to meet in person. Someday!

Latest blog post: It Doesn't Always Work Out

Karen_C_Wilson
Karen_C_Wilson

@belllindsay you're just so cool and likable. I was really excited that you came to Ottawa last year so I had the chance to meet you. :)

DickCarlson
DickCarlson

As someone who has THE LARGEST EGO IN THE WORLD(tm) I can sympathize with your problem.  (Well, I like to think of it as a "problortunity", as I actually heard one idiot once describe something once.)  Those of us who are chronically insecure would form a support club, but we're afraid we'd be rejected for membership.

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

Lovely! Thank you so much for revealing more about the elusive Ell Bee. 

KateNolan
KateNolan

Eh, hosehead! Look! It's the Crazy Canuck! She's all canucky up there in Canuckistan! Yes, canucky IS a word!

Some day when Gini organizes SpinCon we will meet, have a beer, and discuss our insecurities. :)

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

OK It's time! Welcome to the 4th Installment of the Friday Inquisition Punditry Report with your hosts Tommy Bunny and me. And how exciting Tommy! It's @belllindsay who gets Inquizzed today! Let's get started.

Me: So Tommy how much do we trust @belllindsayI mean do we trust Pirates?!

Tommy: Well my Uncle Bobby was a Pirate Bunny yo and he was always honest with me yo! Plus Pirates talk really cool like yo!


Me: Uhm.....Tommy everything ok what is with the Yo? 


Tommy: Oh sorry been practicing. Noticed you have some Breaking Bad Marathons with Sebastian and Jesse is the Bomb Yo!


Me: Please not here ok? You promised to be a good bunny. So what do you think of the content Tommy? And one more Yo and its Hossenfeffer ok?


Tommy: She did great. Loved...did I say Love? I mean three paw snaps LOVED her content. I mean she found a way to use Hubris and Overabundance all in one interview. I mean who can pull that off? Lindsay that's who. Plus I mean come on Howie she bleeds honesty. Who else besides you is so blunt and honest? No one that's who. Had no idea she was working in Bollywood in Canada in her early more formative and impressionable years.


Me: Yeah we have known her a long time and yet we still don't know her. But now we know more about her while still not knowing her if that makes sense? So what about the meat Tommy?


Tommy: OMG @ginidietrichasked for a rib bone and she got back 4 porterhouses, rack of ribs, 3 flank steaks and a rump roast! It was gynormawesomness! If I wasn;t vegan I would be slathering BBQ sauce and getting my bib and ready to eat kind of thing. (at least @bdorman264said that is how they do it down south).


Me: So what do we grade her Tommy? Remember a lot is riding on this!


Tommy: A+++++ I mean she knocked it clean out of the park Howie. If there was a double grand slam in baseball she hit one.


Howie: Uhm Tommy there is no A++++ it goes from F to A+ did you not go to bunny school?


Tommy: I went to school....against my will...because YOU MADE ME! But reality is @belllindsay emailed me and said if she gets fired today it's my fault and was coming to get my lucky bunny foot for a key chain.


Howie: Don't blame you. She said she would scalp me if I was mean. So...she did GREAT!


Ok thanks everyone for tuning in again. See you next week same Bunny time same Bunny station. We heard next week's guest is Warren Buffett. Can't wait!



belllindsay
belllindsay

@JRHalloran  HA! I think it's my good comebacks that keep me employed...what do you say? And you're right, all the negativity aside, the PC stuff also drives me bonkers. But then, I'm old.... ;)

belllindsay
belllindsay

@JoeCardillo  OMG! Joe, you have to read that book. I was a WRECK after. Because, it really does throw you for a loop! Like, did they? Didn't they? Brilliant writing and research. You will love it. :)

belllindsay
belllindsay

@jessostroff  Oh dear. SMAHT I am not!! LOL You young pups teach me something new every day. Jess, all I know is I stumbled upon Spin Sucks back in the day and I said "Um, WHAT?? Who IS this @ginidietrich broad?? And how can I get to KNOW her!" I guess I succeeded. xoxo LB

belllindsay
belllindsay

@Karen_C_Wilson That was such a blast! I love Ottawa - such a great city - and again, meeting people IRL is priceless. :)

Karen_C_Wilson
Karen_C_Wilson

@KateNolan  There's gonna be a SpinCon? I hope I get the invite. Wouldn't want to miss that! Can you imagine the Spin Sucks crazies all together in the same room? 

Can the world even handle that?

belllindsay
belllindsay

@KateNolan  "She's all canucky up there in Canuckistan!" BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! And yes, SpinCon, let's do it!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@belllindsay @KateNolanbtw its CanooOOOKKKK! with a deep YOU and a hard K like in K-K-K-Ken from a fish called wanda and you have you say it like you mean it. Have it first start in your diaphragm and slowly build through your longs until it reverberates out and makes the windows shake. At least that is how I was taught.

Karen_C_Wilson
Karen_C_Wilson

@ginidietrich @KateNolan  I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess there'd be more heckling at that conference than anywhere ever in the history of the world. All in good fun, of course! Plus, someone would probably bring a squirrel.

KateNolan
KateNolan

@belllindsay @ginidietrich Gini, you can't have a SpinCon without Lindsay. Sorry, its a rule. Lindsay, make sure you pack your passport when you come, I hear you need that to cross the border now...

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