Spin Sucks Podcast 100 EpisodesOne hundred episodes ago, we launched the Spin Sucks podcast with trepidation, anxiety, and a sense of adding just one more thing to the weekly task list.

Today, while not exactly the easiest task for me to complete each week, it’s one of the most effective.

And that’s because of you who listen.

You show up week after week after week.

You listen while you walk the dog or clean the house or soak in the tub or lock yourself in the bathroom to escape the insanity that is the global pandemic.

Or maybe that last one is just me.

It’s been quite a ride—from a whopping 53 downloads per episode to more than a thousand.

We’ve had quite the journey together and I thought it’d be fun to celebrate 100 episodes by taking a walk down memory lane.

The Most Popular Spin Sucks Podcast Episodes

As I thought about how to celebrate this journey with you, I asked my buddy Chris Penn what he thought.

I also tried to get him to produce this episode, to no avail.

But if you know Chris, you know his advice was to look at the data. Big surprise!

So I did.

And of the top 10 Spin Sucks podcast episodes, six are about the PESO Model.

You love it, which makes me very happy (because I do, too). 

Reworking Earned Media

Topping the list at 1,019 downloads is Reworking Earned Media, which surprisingly ran the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

I guess you had more time that week to listen—that or it was just an incredibly brilliant episode.

During that one, we talked about how to help your interviews that end up on the cutting room floor gain the light of day.

One of the most frustrating parts about doing earned media is that some of our work never comes to fruition.

Back in the day, we had a huge media event planned—complete with actors and a gigantic dead fire ant—when President Bush sent our troops to war against Iraq.

You can guess how many journalists showed up for our event.

That’s right! Zero.

Of course, I had no control over that, but it still reflected poorly when the leadership team looked at money spent versus results for that particular day.

No one is immune.

Even when you have a fantastic relationship with the journalist, blogger, influencer, podcaster, or vlogger.

Your Professional Development Journey

Second on the list at 962 downloads is How to Do Your Own Professional Development.

Most large organizations have professional development budgets, be it to attend conferences, take an online course, or semi-regular internal workshops taught by external experts.

When I worked for Fleishman-Hillard, there was quarterly professional development in the form of business development coaching, writing skills, and more.

They always relied on internal experts for most things, but also occasionally brought in experts.

I remember taking Ann Wylie’s writing classes back in the day.

She still teaches them—and still gets rave reviews.

But when you work for a smaller organization, are the boss, or are a solopreneur, the professional development budgets are often zilch, zero, nada, and none.

So you have to get creative in how you’ll stay up-to-date on the latest trends and industry developments, improve your skills, and make sure you’re always learning. 

A Meta Episode

Third on the list, coming in at 911 downloads is, funnily enough, A Podcast About Podcasts. Very meta!

We talked about whether or not you start a podcast or recommend one to the executives with whom you work. 

As with everything, it depends!

Which is a crappy answer because it doesn’t give you any direction, but it truly does depend. 

No matter how much Spotify invests in new creative content, and no matter how many startups want to “disrupt the auditory environment”, whether or not a podcast is going to be right for your organization or your clients comes down to business goals, and where a podcast might fit into your PESO Model communications strategy. 

Podcasting can be a very efficient way to generate a lot of owned media, and provide a lot of materials for shared media. But if you’re not ready to make the time investment or aren’t sure podcasting is for you, you can dip your toes in instead. Being a guest on podcasts has some serious benefits.

The PESO Model Hurdles

Fourth on the list of most popular of the Spin Sucks podcast episodes, according to you, with 911 downloads, is Why Communicators Struggle To Implement the PESO Model.

The PR environment that led to the PESO Model has changed a lot.

Back in my day…hahaha! Just kidding. I’m not ancient. Yet.

But A LOT has changed in just the last 10 years.

I was just talking to the editor of Unfold Magazine about how we use to cut client stories out of the paper or magazine and use glue sticks to paste them into clip books. And it wasn’t that long ago!

But that’s not the landscape we’re looking at anymore, is it? Not even a little.

Times have changed, and a new model has been developed by clever people *ahem* to help communicators of all kinds.

Sometimes using the PESO Model can be a struggle for communicators, especially because it’s different from what they’ve used in the past—and from what executives expect. 

There are four key reasons people struggle with the PESO Model.

Quickly, they are:

  • Experience and wisdom 
  • Being. So. Excited. About. Tactics. 
  • Wishful thinking and untrue assumptions
  • Lack of a big picture understanding 

If you listen to the episode, you’ll get your arms around how to get past these hurdles.

The New PESO Model

And last but not least, the fifth most popular episode, coming in at 859 downloads, is The Newly Refreshed PESO Model Graphic and Process.


In February, we relaunched the PESO Model and included a certification partnership with Syracuse University. 

With the relaunch, we updated the tactics listed under each media type.

Things such as Google+ and Vine were still listed under shared media.

We had influencer marketing under earned media and email marketing under paid media.

It was created eight years ago, so it was definitely time for a refresh!

We updated the tactics, of course, but more, we upgraded it so it’s focused on strategy and not so much on tactics. The tactics are still there, but we took what we’ve learned in the last eight years in implementing this for clients—and teaching it to communicators—and evolved it. 

For instance, we added lead generation, search engine optimization, distribution and promotion, and marketing communications.

Influencer marketing now lives between earned and paid.

Email marketing between paid and owned.

Reputation still lives in the middle, but we’ve updated what that looks like when you strategically use an integrated PESO Model. 

The most important thing to remember is that the PESO Model is like a pyramid with four corners.

You have to have each corner built solidly, or the whole thing will collapse.

That’s the secret to PESO Model success.

The thing that most people get wrong when they say they implement a PESO Model program is they use only one of two of the media types.

And the program collapses.

That’s not the fault of the process—or model.

It’s because a house was built with only half a foundation. 

The Rest of the Top 10

Rounding out the top 10 Spin Sucks podcast episodes are:

It’s been a wild ride and I can’t wait to see what the next 100 Spin Sucks podcast episodes bring.

I’m also anxious to fast-forward to April of 2022 so we can skip right through to having a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Until then, I’ll be in your ears every week.

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.

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