One of my most favorite stories about Jayme Soulati is she was in Chicago during the holidays a few years ago.
Because things at work were very slow, I met her for a long lunch, which she spent flirting with the server.
Every time he came back to our table, she reapplied lipstick. Which led me begin to tell people that I count how many times she applies it every time we’re together.
Heather and I counted at dinner: Sixteen times.
If you know Jayme, you know this is not an exaggeration. And it’s one of the gazillion reasons I adore her.
She is, by far, the life of every party. She’s a ton of fun to be around.
And that is why I asked her to sit on the Spin Sucks Inquisition hot seat.
What is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made in Your Career?
In my Chicago agency days, I wanted to work for Bozell.
I was almost through the interview process and feeling good until I got to the salary question.
I put out this zany number, and the woman was like, “Na’ah Sistah, we ain’t hiring the likes of your fat, egotistical head!”
Well, that did it for my big agency dreams, and it relegated my confidence to smaller and mid-tier shops.
It also meant I wasn’t hanging around someone else’s office, so I started my first agency when I was 30-years-old.
For seven years, we rocked it with kids out of school and lots of clients, and then I realized I still had a ton to learn myself and felt I had missed out by moving into entrepreneurial endeavors so early.
So, I went back in and rode the tech boom until kidlet was born and then came back out again, never to look back!
What is One Thing about Yourself that Would Surprise Most People?
I’m shy; no really, I am! Maybe for, uhh, 10 minutes when I walk into a room full of unfamiliar faces?
(I’m just trying to convince Gini that’s a true statement with that up inflection at the end.)
So, I take a deep breath and dive in.
(Gini: She’s full of it. See note above about being the life of every party.)
If You Could Achieve Everything You Ever Wanted in Life, but Had to Die 10 Years Sooner, Would You Make that Trade?
I want to live healthy as long as I possibly can to see my baby have babies, and to write all the books floating around in my head.
I’m never done achieving, so that answer required no pondering (coin).
Heck, if something new wasn’t waiting for my discovery, I would be dead.
What Industry Advice or Practice Would You Most Like to Cry Foul On?
I’m crying foul over two establishments:
- GOOGLE. How has the world become so dependent on one company’s methodologies and animal updates? Why are we spending unspeakable amounts of money to fix the products of their whims? Look at what Google Analytics has wrought — Big Data and the demise of privacy.
- THE MEDIA! We are at the mercy of the greatest spin of all time from journalists and editors who are crossing the great divide to sell, sell, sell with sensation and fear. Who interprets the studies that say coffee is fine and a week later it’s not? Who interprets the studies that say, “Oh, you can have more salt in your diet now, those fears about high blood pressure are malarkey.” The almighty bottom line is at risk; striking fear in the hearts of consumers to influence news du jour, sales and attention is SPIN at its freaking finest. And, PR gets all the flak, because we’re flaks, right?
What is the Best Book You’ve Read in the Past Six Months?
I have to come back to that question.
OK, I’m back.
The books I read are unsuitable to mention here.
The books I buy in case I want to read them are too numerous to mention…these include my peers’ great tomes.
A colleague just sent me “Getting Naked,” by Patrick Lencioni.
I decided I better skim that quickly so I could be really smart and actually recommend a book for this section only to realize I wanted to read every word.
I was pulled in by the first word “be vulnerable.” I’m at page 61, and really recommend this!
What I really want to say about reading is this—I prefer Forbes, Fast Company, and Stuart Elliot in The New York Times.
Each time I pick up those ‘zines and column I am immediately inspired to think creatively or write a post or administer the collective opinions into my own client service.
I just read the publisher of Forbes’s column about maneuverability; how smaller teams will be more maneuverable in this disrupted world.
That is #RockHot!
Why Does Spin Suck?
Spin It to Win It is the mantra of the day, right?
Let’s piggy back on someone’s great viral concept, say the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and jump into the fray with our own twist to get some attention.
That’s what I see, that’s the bad taste I feel, and it begs the question: Where is the authenticity and original creativity?
I wrote that blog post for Spin Sucks a few years ago, and I continue to grapple with the concept of being genuine, trustworthy, and authentically you.
Back in the ’80s, when public relations was “traditional,” the creative campaigns were #RockHot and built one media impression at a time.
The closest thing to a brilliant national campaign for a variety of reasons is the Frito Lay flavor contest for its chips.
Notice the copycats in the stores?
The wannabes are sending a thumbs up to first movers for solid PR blending with product marketing, consumer engagement, and word-of-mouth buzz.
Did I come anywhere close to answering that question? No, I think you better read the “cry foul” question for a better answer.
Where You Can Find Jayme Soulati
She also is launching a podcast for mid-tier business about marketing with John Olson so watch for more on that later.
(Gini: I think, just by reading this, you can cry foul on Jayme’s comment that she is shy.)