Every Friday since the pandemic shut things down last March (here in the U.S.), we’ve highlighted communicators and marketers who at first were trying to figure out which part of the sky just fell on them in My Hot Mess. Then we shifted to those who are crushing the pandemic with Survive & Thrive

Now it’s time to get back to business, even if it’s not totally normal. We’re going to do that with an Ask Me Anything series—an elevation of our previous Spin Sucks Question series.

Welcome back to another Ask Me Anything, which is a new series where we talk to our friends, our viewers, and our community. about what they would like to know.

Let’s take a look at the mailbag. This week’s questions are:

  • What’s everyone reading these days?
  • What types of KPIs do you put in place for revenue and new business leads when your plan is focused on earned media and speaking engagements?
  • How do we handle the death of an advisor?

AMA: Business Books

I personally just picked up Post Corona, because I understand that it speaks to some of the things that I discuss when I keynote a virtual conference or do a workshop for business leaders. A friend recommended it because he said that it talks about the same types of things that I’m talking about—values-based marketing, taking a stance, and engaging employees at a different level. So that’s on my list.

Christine Mortensen said she just finished reading Liminal Thinking. She said she is also listening to Our Time Is Now.

Roger Fredensen recommended Sapiens and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, and Michael J. Fox’s new book, No Time Like the Future.

Those are some good business or nonfiction books for you to consider. If you want fiction recommendations. I am a fountain of information from that perspective.


This one is really hard because it’s extraordinarily challenging to link earned media and speaking engagements to new business leads and revenue.

Of course, we can do it anecdotally, which means if the client does a speaking engagement and somebody calls them afterward and says, “Hey, I’d really like to work with you,” we know that is due to our efforts of helping the client get the speaking engagement.

If somebody calls and says, “Hey, I saw you in XX trade publication,” we can correlate that to our efforts, as well.

But it’s really challenging to correlate earned media efforts directly to new business leads and revenue.

This is why I always advocate for the PESO Model, but I also fully understand that it’s not possible to do that for every organization.

If you’re focused solely on earned media, I would ask the client or executive—every time I talked to them—”Hey, did you get any leads from that speaking engagement?” Or, “How many calls did you get after that article ran?”

It’s not super fancy and it requires some work (and honesty on their end), but it will work.

The other thing you can do is pay attention to Google Analytics and do some attribution modeling.

Take a look at the website traffic you have that came directly from an article that ran. Let’s say you had 4,000 visitors come directly from your earned media efforts. You can then dig into what those visitors did—did they look at other pages on the website? Did they download any content? Did they subscribe to the newsletter? What else did they do?

That will allow you to begin to attribute your efforts to eventual new business leads and revenue.

AMA: Death of an Advisor

This answer stinks, but it depends. It depends on the relationship of the advisor. And it depends on who it is as, as well.

If it’s somebody who is well-known for the business, it would make sense to make a public statement.

But, for instance, I’m an advisor on three businesses and I’m on the board of two businesses. If I unexpectedly passed away (KNOCK ON WOOD!), there wouldn’t be a need for them to make a statement.

Nobody knows that I’m part of their businesses and it wouldn’t make sense to do some big public, sweeping statement.

But if the advisor is really well known or let’s say it’s the chairman of the board or it’s the CEO, then you would want to do some sort of announcement.

It depends on who it is and what the relationship is, but it’s always tricky. The first thing you want to do is make sure that the family is okay with the business making a statement. If they’re not on board or not ready to go public, you must respect their wishes first. Then decide what it is you’re going to do—or not do.

Have a Question For Us?

There also is a bit of color commentary in the video so don’t miss that! We talk hybrid school schedules, why there are so many freaking breaks, and what to do when you’ve been quarantined…again.

If you have a question for a future AMA, you can drop it in the comments here or join us in the (free) Spin Sucks Community.

Ask it there, drop ideas for multitasking I can do while answering your questions, engage with your fellow marketers, and have some fun.

I’ll see you next week for another enlightening AMA.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich