Today’s #FollowFriday likely needs no introduction, but she definitely deserves your time and attention. Valeria Maltoni, or Conversation Agent as she’s known, was one of the very first bloggers I began to read many years ago as I forayed into this world. Not only is she wickedly (wickedly? Is that a word?) smart, she loves chocolate, red wine, and espresso as much as I do. Valeria, if you love shoes too, we’re long-lost sisters!  And OMG! If you’re a cyclist, then we’re twins separated at birth.

Today’s #FollowFriday is Valeria Maltoni and, if you continue reading, I’ll give you more reasons than chocolate, red wine, and espresso to love her.

It won’t come as any surprise to you that I think spin sucks. I hate it when you introduce yourself and the person asks you what you do. You tell them PR and they say, “Oh! You spin (or lie) for a living!” That happens, oh I’d say, 90 percent of the time. It really makes me angry. Because it implies we all sit around and spin up good lies to tell the public to make companies look better. Sure, there may be some professionals who do that, just like there are bad professionals in every industry, but the majority of us are good.

And that’s why I was drawn to Valeria in the beginning. Not only does she support her industry organizations (she’s a member of all of them and she’s accredited by IABC), she walks the talk of being a consummate professional.  She is smart, smart, smart (did I mention that already?) and she knows how to take what’s happening in the world and drill it down into useful information.

For instance, everyone is talking about Klout scores and whether or not people deserve free stuff because of their Klout score. My Klout score is seemingly high and I think it’s baloney (except I really want VIP treatment in Vegas, but that’s another story). Valeria breaks it down for you, first in July by explaining how the algorithm works (or doesn’t work) and then earlier this week by explaining how true influence is measured and whether or not it makes sense for your company.

What I really, really love is she presents the information and the facts, then provides her take on the whole thing. And she does this with every blog post, through thoughtful meaning and careful consideration.

So, if you’re not doing so already, follow Valeria on Twitter, read (and subscribe to) her blog, connect with her on LinkedIn, “like” her on Facebook, and get to know her. You’ll be smarter for it. I promise.

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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