Gini Dietrich

Welcome to the Fifth Estate

By: Gini Dietrich | May 31, 2011 | 
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Think about when Twitter became a household name. Do you remember when that was?

I do.

It was when the plane went down in the Hudson River and a guy named Janis Krums tweeted a photo of the plane in the river, from the ferry (about as close as anyone could get without being on the plane), as they were going to rescue the passengers.

That was January 2009…and that was the turning point.

Krums tweeted the photo and the “news” instantly. And it took traditional media, what seemed, an eternity to report on the crash. In this instance, Krums represented citizen journalists, or the Fifth Estate, and Twitter became a household name.

Welcome to the Fifth Estate

Geoff Livingston, co-owner at Zoetica, and now two-time author (not including the two books he hasn’t published) is the author of the newly released Welcome to the Fifth Estate.

The Fourth Estate, or the traditional media, got its nickname by policing the governments of France and Great Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The French Estates General consisted of The First Estate of 300 clergy, the Second Estate of 300 nobles, and the Third Estate of 600 commoners.

The media, or the Fourth Estate, fulfilled a new role, providing their readership with more factual information about political events. As a result, politicians were held to a new level of accountability.

The Fifth Estate, or citizen media, often introduces previously unreported, yet relevant news, and it questions stated facts.

Think back when Natasha Richardson died. The Fifth Estate reported her death, not minutes, not hours, but days before it was confirmed. People at the ski resort where she fell and hit her head witnessed…and reported.

Case Studies, Measurement, Actions…Oh My!

The book follows the idea of the Fifth Estate, as it relates to marketing and to how companies can and should communicate with their citizen journalists.

It has 14 case studies that follow a summary, engagement, results outline. It’s worth the read just for those as they’re not commonly used case studies and there is a variety for several industries, including non-profits and associations.

The chapter on measurement, written by Geoff’s business partner Kami Watson Huyse, is one of the best I’ve read. She understands how to relate the Fifth Estate activities to a P&L and gives you tips to create your own dashboard that will make the executive team happy and you an investment instead of an expense.

You’ll recognize some well-known names in the book, and you’ll also find some friends (cough, Ike Pigott and Shonali Burke, cough).

But if you buy it for only one reason, it’s for the list of general actions to consider as you embark on integrating new tools into your marketing program (hint, it begins on page 113).

So there you have it. I highly recommend it. It’s one of the best business books I’ve read since Groundswell. You can buy it by clicking here (not an affiliate link because we’re not allowed in Illinois).

Disclosure: Geoff is a friend. He gave me a copy of his book (though I’m going to buy copies for our clients) and he signed it for me. He bought me a glass of wine and this really yummy fig and marscapone bruschetta in NYC last week, while we discussed some future projects. But I’d already read the book and written most of the review at that point. So I wouldn’t really consider it a bribe.

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,Β co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She alsoΒ is the lead blogger atΒ Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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78 Comments on "Welcome to the Fifth Estate"

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CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
4 years 11 months ago

Love the review! Will read the book… oh, and the disclaimer is one of the best I’ve ever seen!

So true. Instantaneous nature of Twitter (and social media in general) is one of my most favorite things about it.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@CristerDelaCruz LOL! I laughed at myself when I wrote the disclaimer. You can borrow my copy if you promise to return it!

cubanalaf
cubanalaf
4 years 11 months ago

Ha, the disclaimer was my favorite part.

I had already planned to buy G’s book, but this cemented it. Thanks other G! πŸ™‚

johnfalchetto
4 years 11 months ago

Gini, does this mean I owe you a glass wine when I publish my book ?

Love the part about social media and their impact on P&L, when is it released?

adamtoporek
adamtoporek
4 years 11 months ago

Gini, nice review. The book sounds excellent! Question: Is it more geared towards the large company CMO viewpoint or is there some good value for SMB’s as well?

faybiz
4 years 11 months ago

wow… looking pass the yummy fig and marscapone bruschetta- sounds good, can’t wait

KDillabough
KDillabough
4 years 11 months ago

Great review: LOL awesome disclaimer. On my list to buy. Thanks Gini. Cheers! Kaarina

KenMueller
KenMueller
4 years 11 months ago

@adamtoporek I echo this question. Just about every book out there is for the larger CMO point.

DannyBrown
4 years 11 months ago

Where the hell was my wine and fig?????

3HatsComm
4 years 11 months ago

@KDillabough It really was. πŸ˜‰

3HatsComm
4 years 11 months ago

@KenMueller @adamtoporek There IS an echo in here, same question.

3HatsComm
4 years 11 months ago

Hmm… but I might have to maneuver and try to get my wine and fig bribe. And Illinois doesn’t allow the links huh? Wonder how many millions you’re missing out on? πŸ˜‰ Good review, certainly piques my interest .. as well as knowing many of the names included. FWIW.

rachaelgk
4 years 11 months ago

By far the best disclaimer on a blog post I’ve ever read.

wabbitoid
4 years 11 months ago
Twitter became a household word around Saint Paul a bit earlier – exactly 3 years ago, when we had the Republican Convention in town. Many people were using twitter to stay ahead of the action in the streets and know what was going on. That’s when I got hooked – and a lot of other people did, too. As for the idea of a “Fifth Estate” …. eh, I’m a bit more of a Revolutionary than that. We all go in and out of being reporters in this new world, so there can’t really be any separation in thought or… Read more »
DannyBrown
4 years 11 months ago

geoff livingston , when @ginidietrich says she’s going to buy copies, take it with a pinch of salt… ;-p

Yael Rozencwajg
4 years 11 months ago

@DannyBrown geoff livingston @ginidietrich Anyway Gini is a good saleswoman, she deserves a glass of Scotch whisky πŸ˜€

Ike
4 years 11 months ago

@3HatsComm I wonder if you could include affiliate links in the comments? After all, if Livefyre’s servers are located elsewhere…

geoffliving
geoffliving
4 years 11 months ago

@Yael Rozencwajg @DannyBrown geoff livingston @ginidietrich LOL, I’m honored to be in consideration for any kind of sale.

geoffliving
geoffliving
4 years 11 months ago

@wabbitoid Mmm, but now that Twitter is waning, where will people go next?

geoffliving
geoffliving
4 years 11 months ago

@DannyBrown Catch the early flight next time, mate!

geoffliving
geoffliving
4 years 11 months ago

@3HatsComm @KenMueller @adamtoporek You will be happy to know that this is more of a boot strap, scrappy approach to social than the big company approach. Most of us don’t have the luxury of seven figure budgets.

Ike
4 years 11 months ago

@geoffliving @3HatsComm @KenMueller @adamtoporek I don’t have a seven-figure budget, and that includes the two digits to the right of the decimal.

Yael Rozencwajg
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich OK I’m seeking for one like you :p

corhospes (cor hospes)
4 years 11 months ago

In welke boekenkast komt dit boek straks niet? http://tinyurl.com/3dnnkl7 Thx @josgovaart

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@cubanalaf You’re very welcome, LAF!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@johnfalchetto Um, yes. It’s the only way I do reviews these days. It is available today!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@faybiz It was so yummy I had to make some at home last night. Equally as yummy.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@3HatsComm @KDillabough Now I feel like all of my disclaimers have to be as good.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@geoffliving @DannyBrown What Geoff said! Nanny nanny boo boo!

HeatherShinnThomas
HeatherShinnThomas
4 years 11 months ago

Love it! And loved hearing @geoffliving at the PR News Facebook Conference last week – I almost won a free copy of the book during his keynote speech, but alas…my arm raised was not picked. Will definitely be on my “to buy” list, especially now that I know about the “boot strap, scrappy approach.” πŸ™‚

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@Ike @3HatsComm I can include the links, I just can’t get paid. Illinois shut down affiliates last month because Amazon doesn’t pay state taxes.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@rachaelgk LOL! Thank you!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@HeatherShinnThomas And to think you missed out on wine and bruschetta, too. Boooo!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@DannyBrown You’re all tough behind that computer screen!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 11 months ago

@Yael Rozencwajg YAY! And I’m glad we’re back to being silly around here. Phew.

BillyDelaney
BillyDelaney
4 years 11 months ago

I enjoyed this post and what it says about the future. Can’t trust the fourth estate. Wonder if they will find a way to block the efforts of the citizens?

Nerd #2
Nerd #2
4 years 11 months ago

Thank you Gini for being part of the Fifth Estate and reporting your finding this book to me!!! Who knows how long it would have taken the mainstream publications to get this information in my hands. EEEK! Just had a scary thought! They might not EVER cover this book!!!

But thanks to you, a ton of people are now wiser on this topic! Keep up the good reporting! πŸ™‚

HeatherShinnThomas
HeatherShinnThomas
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Boo indeed! Fig and marscapone sounds yummy…where did you go?

CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich You can actually MAKE this? I thought it was bought from a gourmet store or something. So in that case… recipe please πŸ™‚ @faybiz

CristerDelaCruz
CristerDelaCruz
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich I thought I was the only post-35 person who still said that πŸ™‚ It comes in the ‘awesomest auntie’ territory! @DannyBrown Along the lines of @geoffliving ‘s response, I was going to say “Too bad, dude”, but refrained since I don’t really ‘know’ you. However, since we’re connected to “Nanny-nanny-boo-boo” lady, I figured you’d be cool with it (I hope?) πŸ™‚

DannyBrown
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Yes. Yes I am. πŸ˜‰

DannyBrown
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich @geoffliving Didn’t get the invite, so chew that!

DannyBrown
4 years 11 months ago

@CristerDelaCruz @ginidietrich @geoffliving As long as you keep calling Gini “nanny nanny boo boo”, no complaints here. πŸ˜‰

3HatsComm
4 years 11 months ago

@Ike @geoffliving @KenMueller @adamtoporek Forget bootstraps and shoestring marketing… Try ‘aglet’ marketing sometime. πŸ˜‰ Good to know there are some scrappy approaches for SMBs, thanks.

adamtoporek
adamtoporek
4 years 11 months ago

@geoffliving @3HatsComm @KenMueller Thanks Geoff. Good to hear. I’m sure I would have read it anyway, but to Ken’s point, so many books are centered on the major brand CMO, knowing that it is not moves it higher on the list. Congrats on the book!

MimiMeredith
4 years 11 months ago

I think buying this book for clients is an excellent move. It sounds like a great explanation of the role of social media. But I have to say, my favorite part of this post was the disclosure copy!

JamesDBurrell2
4 years 11 months ago
Gini, I’m certainly intrigued by the concept, and thinking about it raises the question, have you or anyone that you know tried the new Facebook integrated Bing search? Peer/citizen journalism is obviously much broader in perspective/ point of view, so one can piece together a well-rounded story despite any inherent bias. I fear (sorry for going off on a tangent) peer based searches might tend to greatly skew results especially if one’s facebook friends tend to be of similar demographics and beliefs. Again, apologies for veering off topic; it’s just that the thought popped into my head while I was… Read more »
KDillabough
KDillabough
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich @3HatsComm We’ll be watching for that Gini: the gauntlet’s been thrown down:-)

Yael Rozencwajg
4 years 11 months ago

@ginidietrich Yes although I need a good old Scotch after my 2 hours boxing … Phewww πŸ˜‰

KDillabough
KDillabough
4 years 11 months ago

@Yael Rozencwajg @ginidietrich Ah, a woman after my own heart…single Malt? I’m a big Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Oban fan…not all at the same time, of course!

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