Last year, we took a long, hard look at the Spin Sucks content, our goals for 2019—and how it all relates to our vision: to change the perception people have of the PR industry.
What we discovered (well, my team already knew…I had to come to terms with it) is that I was holding us back.
Content is my first love. I LOVE producing content, engaging with the community, and building the brand.
But I cannot continue to do that at the level I do AND run a fast-growing organization.
I finally admitted to myself that I needed to give up leadership of the content team so we can change the perception people have of the PR industry.
But admitting it to myself was just the first step. I then had to come to grips with the fact that I would no longer call the content shots.
Sure, I still would have veto power, but I would have to give up most of the control.
There also was another challenge: we had to find someone (or someones) to run our content so it felt on-brand and comfortable to me.
It had to be people who already believe in our vision and want to be part of building it.
After several months of interviewing and putting candidates through the wringer, we have a brand spanking new content team!
And it with great pleasure (and a little nervousness) to introduce you to them.
In some cases, they will need no introduction. Many of you may already know them. And, if that’s the case, you’ll know what a cracker jack team we’ve built.
In our content specialist role is Paulina Michael.
I found Paulina last March because I desperately needed someone to watch The Bean during spring break. We decided to give it a trial run and see if we all liked one another.
Turns out, we all adored one another and Paulina is now my savior and one of Bean’s favorite people (outside of her parents, of course).
This past holiday season, we were traveling quite a bit personally so didn’t need help with The Bean, but we desperately needed help on Spin Sucks, especially because I was going to be gone.
We offered Paulina a winter internship to both help us out of a bind and to see if she enjoyed the work as she entered her final collegiate semester.
Turns out, another dream come true!
So, as Paulina finishes school (graduation in June!), she is working with us as content specialist…with the hopes that she’ll accept (I mean, be offered…have to play hard to get!) a full-time role this summer.
You likely won’t have much interaction with Paulina through her internship and into the start of her career, but watch for her next year!
Working directly with Paulina, building our community, and managing our guest authors is our new content director, Whitney Danhauer.
Whitney is a former client and one you may have heard us discuss when talking about content geniuses.
You know if someone can make locks and doors exciting (and she could), you had someone special on your hands.
She’s been featured on Spin Sucks several times—she’s been on the Inquisition (back in the day) and she’s written for us.
She also is the co-author of Good Riddance, a pop culture throwback to Backstreet Boys, Varsity Boys, and scrunchies.
Whitney, as some of you have already noticed, is leading engagement and conversation both in the Spin Sucks community and on our social networks.
She also is the herder of guest author cats so, if you have a pitch you want us to consider, she’s your go-to person now.
And, in her most important job, she is the responder to mean and troll-like comments, while protecting me from the jerks who like to make rude remarks about everything from my furniture and light fixtures to my face, my hair, and my clothes.
(I have far too thin skin so she is going to protect me.)
Chief Marketing Officer
And completing this rockstar content team is Martin Waxman as chief marketing officer.
Martin and I have known each other a looooooong time.
We first met at Counselors Academy and quickly became friends. That had to have been, gosh, 2007?
Wow. I’m old.
Then we began to co-host Inside PR with Joe Thornley.
I’ve spoken to the two of them (on the phone, on Zencastr, on Zoom, on Skype, on Google Hangouts, and in person) every, single week for…nine years? That can’t be! Martin, is that true? Holy smokes.
I AM old!
When I told him what we were looking for in a CMO—and how important it was to me personally that it be someone who already knew our brand and our content, and was a big believer in our vision—he threw his hat in the ring.
He will be setting strategy, building new programs, crafting new and exciting things for the community, and leading the content team.
And he has the sheer pleasure of talking me off ledges and pulling control away from me.
What This Means For You
The content team has big plans for this year and beyond (think new website, new ways to contribute, bigger and better community, more valuable products), but don’t worry! I’m not going anywhere.
If anything, the content will be more organized and not so off-the-top-of-Gini’s-head or at Gini’s every whim.
We already have a five-page document full of ideas (that we currently have named “parking lot”) so it’s going to be a fun year, er, years.
Here’s hoping I don’t freak out too, too much. I’ll keep repeating my mantra: you can continue to do it, but you won’t reach your goals if you do; make the choice.
We’ve certainly made the right choice with this team. Now it’s time to execute (and for me to step back and give up control).
So here we go! I’m excited and hope you are, too!
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash