Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Lindsay Bell

By: Gini Dietrich | April 11, 2014 | 
125

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.

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125 Comments on "The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Lindsay Bell"

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biggreenpen
2 years 5 months ago

Cool post about you Lindsay!! And I love two words/phrases in here: “arrogant female dog’ness” and “mortal coil.” I think you know how I feel about Five Days at Memorial, and I am positive you are not alone in fighting that insecurity scourge — rest assured you have so much to give and there’s truly no one like you! 🙂

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

biggreenpen  Thanks Paula. I’m feeling a little insecure right now, after re-reading the above! LOL!!!

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

Wheeeee!!! It’s MEEEEEE!!!

Eleanor Pierce
2 years 5 months ago

Yay! I knew from pretty much the second I started snooping on Lindsay on the social medias (when I knew I’d be interviewing with her for a job) that I was a fan. 

And I totally want to dig more into where the line is between confident woman and ‘arrogant female dog’ness’ falls. Because as we all know, women are often judged “female dog-y” when they behave in a way that men can get away with and only be labeled “competitive” or “assertive.”
Is it time to start discussing the whole “ban bossy” campaign?

bobledrew
bobledrew
2 years 5 months ago

That picture is possibly the most amazing one I’ve ever seen. Except for the dude kissing the woman in Times Square at the end of WWII. 

Any opportunity to learn more about EL BEE DUB is an opportunity I’m takin’.

Digital_DRK
2 years 5 months ago
I first met LBW in a bar, way way long ago (Monday of this week), It was an apropos venue for the intoxicating connection (I have fantasized) we have with one another. LBW is the very first member of this crazy community I have personally hugged. (Monday of this week).  Lindsay’s first words to me when we met were either “let me go or I’ll call the bouncer” or “oh my god you have an accent”, there was a lot of background noise so  I couldn’t be sure, and I thought from the corner of my eye I saw the bouncer… Read more »
bdorman264
2 years 5 months ago

Hola belllindsay, no surprises here; this is who I thought you’d be. You certainly fit right in with the crazy side of this crowd and I have enjoyed getting to know you better (even though most of the time it’s from afar). 

So far, this Inquisition piece has been very enlightening; I like it. 

You know, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose and not to be too picky but under the Spins Sucks paragraph it should be ‘It’s way to(o) easy’….two o’s……:). Just sayin’…..

@jason_
2 years 5 months ago
Yay! It’s Lindsay’s turn on Inquisition b.k.a. #FF, congratulations! It was big of you to admit your biggest mistake to us. A lot of people never admit they’re wrong period, much less confess it to the entire internet, so kudos to you for doing that. Lindsay, I would never figure you being insecure. I say that because your personality on the web oozes confidence. Getting older is definitely an upside to everything you mentioned because I feel the same way. I guess I need to checkout Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. I can related because I lived in… Read more »
LSSocialEngage
2 years 5 months ago

Hey belllindsay . So glad you are the subject of  Spin Sucks Inquisition today. Loved getting to know you a little more.  One of these days I look forward to getting to meet you IRL too. Have an  awesome day.

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

bdorman264 belllindsaymy daughter can and will pick your nose Bill.

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

Digital_DRK i just mailed you a key chain mace spray self defense kit!

KensViews
2 years 5 months ago

As always, we get a big dose of honesty from belllindsay  The part that made me chuckle is when she acknowledged that her ego/hubris/etc. came from intense insecurity, and that this might in some way surprise us. When people act out in this manner, it’s nearly always due to some intense insecurity on their parts. And the rest of the world always knows! I’m supremely delighted that Gini hasn’t fired you. Yet. LOL!  PS: I think it’s incredibly awesome that you got a disease named after you. Who else does that?!!

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

bobledrew i dunno that photo of chris farley with a straw and coke in front of him on the phone to score more the night he died possibly trumps at least the WW2 photo…but not the one here of Little B Waynette and Grateful Dead together my two favorite bands.

jasonkonopinski
2 years 5 months ago

She’s alright, I guess.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

KensViews Thanks Ken, and yes, us Bells seem to get around! LOL

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

LSSocialEngage Thanks Lubna, and yes indeed – must meet face to face!!

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

jasonkonopinski she told me you always scarf all the cupcakes at team meetings.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

bdorman264 Oh brother. #typos #FTW

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

KensViews belllindsay i am pretty sure in Canada it is houbris right?

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

Digital_DRK  Woohooo!! I *did* try and get the bouncer’s eye, but he kept ignoring me – STORY OF MY LIFE! #insecure Great time Monday, and speak for yourself re: intoxicating – I didn’t even have a drink at the Pilot! 😀

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

bobledrew  Ugh. The Bell’s Palsy face!! LOL It’s a pretty amazing pic, I have to say, and truly sums up mine and ginidietrich’s relationship!!! xoxox

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

Eleanor Pierce  Yes, I agree, but in this case, back in the day, I’m pretty sure I was pretty ‘woof’y’ – nowadays, I own my woofyness! As you can attest! LOL

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

Howie Goldfarb KensViews Bada bing! #trytheveal

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

i have 30 mins more of baby duty until Tommy and I can review. Notice Sebastian reading your inquisition with me. I had just told him ‘dude in the 1490’s this is what the Spanish did to our people’ His look says it all. I said “I know! this is why we all fled Spain!”

ClayMorgan
2 years 5 months ago

Interesting tie that ego/hubris does not equate to strength. Interesting stuff.

ginidietrich
2 years 5 months ago

Digital_DRK  OMG. LOL!!

ginidietrich
2 years 5 months ago

bobledrew  She is mad at me for using this photo. I LOVE IT!

ginidietrich
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay  Oh boy.

ginidietrich
2 years 5 months ago

bdorman264 belllindsay  Dude. You ever heard of a private message to point out one’s mistakes? I’m going to go cry in a corner now! Wahhhhhhh!

jasonkonopinski
2 years 5 months ago

Howie Goldfarb I want a cupcake.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

Howie Goldfarb  BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Look at that luscious mouth!! (not YOURS Howie). 😉

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

makeaner Thanks! You will LOVE the book.

biggreenpen
2 years 5 months ago

makeaner belllindsay Five Days at Memorial is a book you will never forget; I’d be interested in your opinion when you’re done.

belllindsay
2 years 5 months ago

ClayMorgan  Agree? Disagree??

biggreenpen
2 years 5 months ago

Eleanor Pierce would LOVE to discuss “ban bossy”

ClayMorgan
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay ClayMorgan  I do agree. I THINK that most folks do go through a period of ego/hubris as they become more successful. Hopefully, that settles into just a solid, quiet confidence.

Eleanor Pierce
2 years 5 months ago

biggreenpen Eleanor Pierce  Well, to be honest, I feel like I need to read Lean In first. Have you read it yet?

biggreenpen
2 years 5 months ago

Eleanor Pierce biggreenpen I have (and I think quite a few of the crazies have b/c it was the topic of at least one SS blog a few months back). I seem to mainly have put people off of reading it (going by the comments!) but I agree — it would DEFINITELY give context to the “ban bossy” campaign to have read Lean In first. Here are my thoughts:  http://biggreenpen.com/2013/09/08/lean-in-a-book-review/

DwayneAlicie
2 years 5 months ago
Well, this was all very interesting, and frankly my world is rocked, because I had belllindsay pegged for a sociopath. Noooooo, I’m just kidding! No one with a saucy, tell-it-like-it-is mouth like that could be a very successful sociopath! Thank you, Lindsay, for calling out the shenanigans in the social media space. Some people just cannot be happy in their current situations and have to take it out on others. “Social” provides a nice easy space to lash out to make themselves feel better. Been there, I’ll admit! Learned the lesson! Bought the t-shirt! Cut it off at the waist to make… Read more »
susancellura
susancellura
2 years 5 months ago

belllindsay “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.” SO. TRUE.

KensViews
2 years 5 months ago

Howie Goldfarb KensViews belllindsay  I like the flavour of that comment!

jolynndeal
2 years 5 months ago

I love these inquisitions and the honesty from those being interviewed.  Lindsay, I would never have guessed you were insecure. People are drawn to you because of your personality, knowledge and genuine easiness.  I hear you with your dislike of  the constant criticism. I have been working hard to look at it objectively, otherwise it would push me to just quit. It’s amazing how brave people are behind their computer.

Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago
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… Read more »
Howie Goldfarb
2 years 5 months ago

DwayneAlicie belllindsayshe is NOT a sociopath dude! Paranoid Schizohrenic with a bunny complex yes. But definitely not a socio or a path!

ginidietrich
2 years 5 months ago

KensViews belllindsay  She gets fired daily.

KensViews
2 years 5 months ago

ginidietrich KensViews belllindsay  #CrazyBossesIHaveKnown

KateNolan
KateNolan
2 years 5 months ago

Eleanor Pierce biggreenpen  Read it, Eleanor! I read it and thought “This is what everyone’s all worked up about?” I thought it was an empowering book that took a pretty good stab at gender lines and how not to hold yourself back. Sheryl Sandberg was also on The Colbert Report last night and did a pretty good job of explaining the “ban bossy” campaign. http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/guests/sheryl-sandberg

KateNolan
KateNolan
2 years 5 months ago

Howie Goldfarb jasonkonopinski  Not just the cupcakes, Howie, the beer, too!

KateNolan
KateNolan
2 years 5 months ago

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. 🙂

ginidietrich
2 years 5 months ago

KateNolan  Except she won’t be invited!

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