guest blog postsOn the 12th (and final) day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you 12 popular guest blog posts, 11 phrases that should be banned10 PR metricsnine productivity tipseight communications podcastsseven books for communicatorssix SEO tricksfive breakable habitsfour PRM toolsthree AI expertstwo PR trends, and one mindset shift in a pear tree.

It’s always fun to look at our analytics to see which articles were the most popular of the year.

Of course, Laura Petrolino and I always rank high (if only for sheer volume), but it’s more fun to look at what our guest authors have produced.

Some of the most popular guest blog posts are from as far back as 2015 and some are from this year.

The older ones, of course, have traffic from search, which means our optimization efforts are working. Yippee!

Regardless of when they were written, you will find some of your top concerns, challenges, ideas, thoughts, and needs reflected here.

Guest Blog Posts #1: Journalists’ Top Pet Peeves

We love to hear what journalists have to say about working with us.

They love us. They hate us. It’s a contentious relationship, but a necessary one. Some are good. Some are bad.

And they often have advice for us on how to interact with them.

Delaney Kline pulled together six of their top pet peeves.

Here is what she has to say:

The key is to make your content stand out, remain respectful of journalist’s preferences, and strategically plan your outreach. 

And always keep one universal truth in mind: we’re all real people behind the keyboard. 

Guest Blog Posts #2: Nano-Influencers

Influencer relations is an oft-discussed topic in the Spin Sucks Community.

We discuss the merits, pros, and cons of celebrities down to micro-influencers.

And now we have another group to add to the discussion—nano-influencers.

Dan Seavers, from Talkwalker, introduced us to this group with some compelling data that shows where the opportunity truly lies (and it’s not with the big guys).

Here is what he has to say:

I predict, by 2020, we’ll see brands use increasing numbers of nano- and micro-influencers in their campaigns.

And reaping the ROI because of it.

It’ll be a tough journey and some extra work will be needed, but it looks like 2019 will be the year influencer marketing changes.

And it’ll all be because of the little guys.

I kind of feel bad for Dan, seeing as he didn’t expect a global pandemic and all. So let’s see if this comes true in 2021.

Guest Blog Posts #3: Product Launch Challenges

Harvard Business Review reported 75% of products fail to make more than $7.5 million during their first year of launch.

What if you want to be part of the 25%? I mean, I’d like my entire business to make $7.5 million, let alone one product launch.

But I guess we’re talking here about gigantic companies with big product launches.

To have the most success, guest author Brandon Leibowitz says:

The idea is to understand the challenges you might face when launching a new product and then implement effective techniques to overcome those challenges.

He then goes on to provide case studies on the most common product launch challenges and provides tips on how to overcome them.

If a product launch is on the horizon for you in 2020, this is a must-read.

Guest Blog Posts #4: Digital PR

Gone are the days when legacy media ruled the roost—newspapers, radio, and television have all taken a hit.

Which is part of the reason why digital public relations has taken hold.

(I’d also argue it’s because you can measure it, which is what executives need PR to do.)

Here is what Tom Buckland, the author of Digital PR in 2019, has to say:

Digital public relations is more than simply applying traditional public relations strategies to the digital world.

Its toolkit contains additional tactics, such as direct lead generation, attracting referral traffic, and SEO.

He also has three core elements that will help you achieve the elusive result your CEO or client wants.

Guest Blog Posts #5: Effective Crisis Management

From major product recalls, to a tsunami-triggered nuclear meltdown, to Michigan State’s damaged reputation nightmare, we’ve reached a crisis management tipping point that is driven by digital and social media.

The old crisis playbook is now obsolete.

And Jeff Hunt has five key principles to help you in this day of the social media angry mob.

From authenticity (which we apparently still have to say) to speed and creativity, the idea is not to hide but to quickly inform your customers what has happened and what you’re going to do about it.

We do still have to fight the legal battle (what we can and cannot say, legally), but authenticity and transparency win every time.

Jeff outlines how to make that argument to lawyers and executives—and win.

Guest Blog Posts #6: Emoji-fication of Marketing

I love that this is one of the most popular blog posts of 2019.

Written in 2015, it makes me laugh to think we were so adamant about using emojis in marketing.

I was certainly on that bandwagon and Janice Cuban made a great case to not allow them in our content.

Here is what she has to say:

Here’s the thing: Emojis are a prop—they’re not a marketing plan or strategy. Nor are emojis a substitute for sentences or phrases.

Picture, if you will, a bunch of marketing execs sitting in boardrooms plotting to win millennials over with their new smiling dog poop, custom brand flags, and wacky beer insignia strung together on their latest ad.

They’re wrong.

The second you whiff of trying to be cool, you’ve lost the battle. Ultimately, slapping emojis together is a one-trick pony.

I do agree with her and still think emojis don’t have a place in an overall marketing strategy.

But a well-placed emoji, particularly when someone can see your face or read your body language, can be quite effective.

Guest Blog Posts #7: Working with Marketing

Ah, marketing and PR. PR and marketing.

The lines continue to blur and marketing is eating our lunch, so to speak.

But we still have to work with them—and it has to be a fulfilling and effective relationship.

Madison Sanders wants you to sit around the campfire and sing songs with your marketing department.

To do that, she provides insightful questions to ask your marketing colleagues.

While written for an entrepreneurial audience, these questions (and the responses) will help you measure your own effectiveness.

They have us beat in that regard so learn from them. Absorb everything you can. And then use it for your own reporting.

Guest Blog Posts #8: PR Strategy and Kylie Jenner

Like many of us, I love to hate the Kardashians and the Jenner clan is not immune.

But this guest blog post by Jessica Fahner put the youngest Kardashian/Jenner in a different light.

As it turns out, we can learn something about PR strategy from her and her launch of Kylie Cosmetics.

Here is what Jessica has to say:

Kylie Jenner is someone you’ll want to keep your eye on, especially if you’re trying to reach millennials or Gen Z.

As a current trendsetter, Kylie’s strategies are a good indicator of where the fields of PR and marketing might be heading.

Then she provides Kylie’s PR roadmap for success (which likely won’t surprise you, but still will provide some ah-ha moments).

Check it out!

Guest Blog Posts #9: Legal and Ethical Issues In Marketing

This guest blog post by Monique Goodyer is included every year—and has been since 2015!

I guess when you have something really valuable to say, it sticks around for a very long time.

In Legal and Ethical Issues in Marketing, she covers the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Here is what she has to say:

The concept of marketing has existed since the start of time, but it recently has become an area of high contention where legal and ethical issues in marketing are dubious and ill-defined.

For example, when does data collection become an invasion of privacy? When does promotional activity become a misleading claim?

It’s easy to claim you don’t know because, well, you don’t know where the line for ethical issues in marketing lies, but there are some things to always consider. 

If you don’t know where the lines lie, read this. Be informed. Be educated. Don’t use ignorance as an excuse.

Guest Blog Posts #10: Teaser Campaigns

Teaser campaigns are not something we often discuss on Spi Sucks, but they’re an interesting and fun tactic in our toolbox.

Of course, some industries are more open to teaser campaigns than others.

The common factor to a great teaser campaign is they have dedicated fans that lap up the intimate details and enjoy the tease that only drip-fed information provides.

In Tips to Launch a Teaser Campaign, Thomas Emmerson gives us seven pointers, including:

  1. Think in layers
  2. Be ready to rebuff
  3. Think about the future
  4. Message your channels
  5. Who to please
  6. Don’t forget the advocates
  7. Teamwork makes the dream work

If you want something fun, new, and creative to do next year, this one is a great read.

Guest Blog Posts #11: Leaders Leading Leaders

I am never going to hear the end of this, but How Leaders Can Best Be Leaders by Ken Jacobs was our second most popular of 2019.

Written in 2018 (longtail, FTW!), Ken discussed the challenges with leading leaders:

  • How much autonomy do you give them?
  • When do you step in, and when do you hold back?
  • How do you lead someone who, in many ways, is a peer?

Here is what he has to say:

They’re a talented bunch who’ve risen close to the top for a variety of reasons. Yet they still need guidance, encouragement, and feedback from you to continue their leadership journey.

Not only to best serve you and your organization, but those they lead, guide, encourage, and mentor, as well. It’s not easy, but I believe it’s certainly worth it.

Effectively leading leaders can be amazingly fulfilling and so he provides 10 tips to help you do exactly that.

(I’m never going to live this one down.)

Guest Blog Posts #12: Have Notebook. Will Travel.

As it turns out, you all like anything that has to do with writing.

Yesterday’s blog post about the 11 phrases to ban was one of our most popular of the series.

Why? It has to do with writing.

And that trend continues with the most popular guest blog post of all of 2019—one that was written in 2017 by Mike Connell.

Have Notebook, Will Travel extols the joys of writing on paper.

Here is what he has to say:

Everyone has their must-have tools that make them better at work, life… just better.

For me, it was always a notebook. Well, not just any notebook. Finding the right one took years.

LeuchtturmsMoleskinesRhodias. I’ve gone through hundreds of them. It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I came across the big winner. The Traveler’s Notebook (aka The Traveler’s Company Notebook, the notebook previously known as MTN, or Midori Traveler’s Notebook).

We’ll have to check in with Mike to see if he still loves his Traveler’s Notebook, storage pockets and all.

What Are Your Favorite Guest Blog Posts?

Now it’s your turn!

We could only feature 12 guest blog posts here today.

What have been your favorites of the year?

The comments are yours…

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