Last week, I was thinking about what I wanted this week’s article to be about when I saw a Facebook post from Fay Shapiro that CommPro Biz is celebrating 13 years.

And I thought, “EUREKA!!” It is also our anniversary!”

On September 11, 2006, a little blog named Spin Sucks was launched. We are a little bit older than CommPro Biz, coming in at 17 years old, but the truth is, it didn’t really gain any traction until 2009. So…14 years? 17 years? As my kid would say, “Potato, pohtahto.”

Until 2009, it was a hot mess of a disaster, and it still befuddles me that we continued to work on it despite the lack of results and the hot mess of it all. I’m glad we did! It has been THE thing that has propelled us onto an international stage. It has afforded me two book deals. It helped us launch the PESO Model™ and then the ensuing Certification. And it can even take credit for a marriage that is now ten years old.

The First Spin Sucks Blog Post

The very first blog post we published was on September 11, 2006, and it was a D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R. Truly. I’m not being too hard on myself or my own worst critic. It was awful.

Here, you decide. I’ll paste it below.

Welcome to FADS—the Fight Against Destructive Spin

Skilled spinners manipulate the facts and deceive the public, pushing their own agendas and clients with a complete disregard for journalistic integrity and common decency.  We have had enough of destructive spin, and we are putting an end to the strategic deception and outright lies.

Spinners have tainted the reputation of public relations with their tall tales and twisted lies, but they are not alone in stripping away the integrity of our field.  Hollywood has imposed itself on our industry, using party planning bimbos and political hypocrites to portray our profession on “reality TV”.  But these shows don’t represent reality, and they’re tainting our reputation one half-hour at a time.

FADS is committed to improving the reputation of our industry and educating the public.  PR is misunderstood, so FADS educates the public about what we do and the important role we play in society.  We disprove the Hollywood hype and expose the “reality” as fiction.

Okay, so we might be dreaming.  I mean, “You never get rid of roaches no matter how much you spray,”* but we’re going to keep trying so the number are small and less influential among our peers (thanks, Ray!).

We are proud to be PR professionals.  We love what we do, and we want to restore the integrity of our profession.  Join the Fight Against Destructive Spin today.

Who we are:

We are a group of PR professionals concerned about the reputation of our industry, committed to raising the level of professionalism in public relations and putting an end to destructive spin.

And then we added a footnote that says, “Dominick Rosario – Insect terminator and philosopher,” but nothing in the article belongs to that footnote.

What We’ve Learned

You’ll note that, while our URL has always been, we called ourselves FADS. That got dropped pretty early on—probably in 2009 or 2010—to be called Spin Sucks.

That was the first lesson we learned as we built our brand. Make it simple, stupid.

There are a few things we’ve learned about blogging since this first article was published:

  • How to categorize content so it’s easily searchable and found both by humans and robots
  • The importance of both internal and external links
  • How to give credit to experts, authors, and influencers without it looking like a high school research paper 
  • How to set up the blog like a magazine—with editors and authors and a calendar
  • The importance of using multi-media: images, audio, videos, memes, and more
  • Creating formatting and making it easy for the reader to read
  • How to use SEO and setting it up correctly

And lots and lots and lots of other things. Blogging has taught us not only how to produce compelling content, but how to promote it, how to gain subscribers, and even how to build a business around your intellectual property. 

Stay the Course

The point is that you can come back from really bad. You can start out terrible and become something great. It just takes consistency, some studying, and an interest in learning. You have to start somewhere, and even if that somewhere is terrible, you will learn, and you will grow, and you will evolve. And what started out as terrible will become fruitful and interesting and fun.

It also has huge business implications as you build a community of prospects who become customers and your biggest advocates. I liken the Spin Sucks Community to an external sales force. My team could not generate the number of referrals that come from the community alone. 

A lot, a lot has changed in the last 17 years. I mean, I have a near-adult blog now. It can vote next year! (Just in time, too!)

You guys! This is how ancient we are!

What Has Changed In the Last 17 Years

When we started blogging, keyword stuffing was how SEO was done. Since then, Google has gotten A LOT smarter, and we’ve had to figure out how to keep up. 

You know what else wasn’t a thing back then? Mobile. Today, you can’t imagine not optimizing content for mobile, right? But totally wasn’t even a thought in our brains as we texted by clicking ABC then DEF THEN GHI…you get it.

I remember I would write content whenever and wherever I was. On a plane. Sitting in a parking lot waiting to go into a client’s office. During breaks at meetings. I would write. And, as soon as I had an internet connection, I would publish. I didn’t matter what time of day it was—and it was often way into the wee hours of the night. I published. Back then, I didn’t know you could schedule your content! I’m telling you. Ancient.

Of course, we now have infographics, podcasts, webinars, videos in the content mix, live polls, quizzes, and more. None of that existed 17 years ago. 

Alexa, Siri, and Google Home all came onto the scene, changing how we optimize our content. We’ve been able to personalize content, create long-form content, use LinkedIn and Medium to expand our audiences, expand our email marketing efforts, distribute content in new and interesting ways to reach new audiences, build community—and even make money from our content. 

But the biggest thing that has changed in the last 17 years? The marketers ruined everything! That’s right. We got a hold of content marketing and social media, and we ruined it. Now, it’s all barely used for more than a billboard to announce your products and services. 

Those of us using it for education and information to build trust and reputation will win every time because we are outpacing our competition, who just blares out into the ether how great they are.

Content Marketing Predictions

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed the importance of E-E-A-T’ing your content: experience, expertise, authority, and trust. If you continue to produce content that follows that structure, it won’t matter what happens to social media, Google, artificial intelligence, voice-enabled assistants, and more. People will always want your content.

If I’m predicting the future, I would say that’s the biggest thing you should focus on—E-E-A-T your content. 

But there are also some other considerations, such as:

  • Increased reliance on artificial intelligence
  • Voice and visual search
  • AR and VR content 
  • Continued rise of video content
  • A focus on the content experience 
  • Greater emphasis on authenticity and values
  • Decentralized content platforms
  • Interactive content
  • Purpose-driven content
  • Localization of content
  • Personalization at scale
  • Privacy and ethical considerations
  • More learning and educational content
  • Integration of different content formats

The Future of Spin Sucks

I have no idea if Spin Sucks will be a thing 17 years from now, but I also didn’t know it would make it past its infancy because it was…so…bad.

But here we are—17 years later, learning on the job and applying our experience and expertise every day to build authority and trust.

We could not have done that without each and every one of you. Thank you for being with us on this crazy content marketing journey!

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