Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Jayme Soulati

By: Gini Dietrich | November 14, 2014 | 
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Gini Dietrich and Jayme SoulatiBy Gini Dietrich

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.

Last year, she, Heather Whaling, and I ventured to Louisville to work with Jason Falls at their IABC conference.

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?

OHMYGOSH, NO!

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

You can find, follow, and talk to Jayme on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Slideshare, Pinterest, and on her blog.

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.)

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • YAY JAYME! I’ve had the distinct pleasure of getting to hang out with her crazy self not once but twice. In two different Carolinas, at that. And it was always a good time. 

    And the “I’m shy” thing …. hahahahhahahahahhaha (deep breath) hahahahahhahahahahhaha

  • Ellie Pierce

    Yay! It’s Jayme day!!

  • Jayme, pleasure to meet you. So you’re not too impressed with Google’s data gathering practices.  Perhaps the cost of convenience is the demise of privacy?  Would you support a Google lipstick usage analytics that resulted in a drone delivery of new product, where and whenever needed?  Cheers 😉

  • I’ve never before fallen in love with someone online, but this must be close to what it feels like.  What a fantastic inquisition!!  

    Now to go stalk this Jayme women all over the Internet.  Maybe Google will help….  

    Though seriously, she is absolutely correct in her opinions about both Google’s privacy killing machine and the commercialization of the media. Which is turn is now gated and framed for you by Google.

  • Great answers to the inquisition, Jayme! Anyone who creates a Happiness on Fridays series is a winner in my book! Something tells me you do a pretty good job of that the other 6 days of the week too!

  • biggreenpen Hi, Fellow Inquisitionee!! Weren’t those questions hard and each time I’d read, I’d laugh b/c THEY had to answer them. Little did I know, the hot seat would be mine.  Thanks for reading and remembering our Happy Friday Series, Lady! 
    P.S. I wonder if I could start my own lipstick line that looks like a Big Green Pen?

  • HeatherTweedy Hi, Heather!! I’m delighted to be someone new to you, and even more delighted that Gin Blossom unearthed me from the archives for another showing on Spin Sucks. She’s really coy that way, ya know?

    Thank you for such a sweet comment! I’m excited to engage, when I decide to re-engage, and over at the blog, Gini forced me to come out of exile and post today so I could look like I’m still paying attention!  LOL! Omgosh, I do miss this world up here.

  • Digital_DRK Holy Guacamole! We are now creating a new lipstick line — you, me and Paula. I’m so excited to have my distribution methods all worked out! You are #RockHot! B/c as you know Mr. DRK, if no one can get the product in the outskirts of dystopia, the lips will remain pale. So nice to meet you!

  • Eleanor Pierce Dammit, preggers mama. I’m so insulted that you and Gini do not believe me. It makes me very upset. And, I’ll second that with the face to face thing; I love you and I’m so jazzed to be here today!

  • Soulati | Hybrid PR  lmao…..the pleasure is all mine!

  • ElissaFreeman

    I’m a big fan of Jayme; even more so now that I know she is an expert at lipstick application.  Plus, I bet she does it WITHOUT a mirror…!

  • This was just fun. I always admire people who can rock lipstick. I’ve never progressed farther than Chapstick.

    And, yes, on Google. When a company becomes a verb in our everyday vocab, that’s scary.

  • ElissaFreeman Oh my yes!  No mirror and I don’t forget the humps! How you doing, Girlie??

  • I had to pause at “Na’ah Sistah, we ain’t hiring the likes of your fat, egotistical head!” to compose myself in laughter. Just how many $gOOgle zeroes did you have in that proposal! Glad to hear it didn’t put a comma in your confidence and you have been been indexing successes ever since.

  • I am SO excited to see Jayme HotRocks Soulati here!!! She’s so deserving!!! I have had a girl crush on Jayme since I met her a few years ago at SoSlam. I’m still not sure which brought us together.. our curly hair, our loud mouths, our loud personalities or all them combined. Having the 2 of us in the same room together is…uhm… interesting to say the least. Speaking of… when you coming back to NC Jayme?!

  • Word Ninja Did you know chapstick is like Rose (wine)? You start there and graduate to Chardonnay, then Pinot Noir, then Merlot, etc. So, you get the tinted chapstick (my fave is Nivea cherry) and wear until you want to try the real deal. And, oh, MAC makes the best lipstick evah and NARS is on par. Heh.

  • Yay, Jayme! One of my favorite people in the world. And too modest to mention her own most recent book, Message Mapping. I really love how she presents information in a way that feels like you’re sitting down hanging out with your best girlfriend. Keep on being #RockHot lady!

  • Soulati | Hybrid PR I wonder if you’re confusing “sometimes pauses a moment before launching into the Full-on Jayme experience” with “shyness.” ??

  • rosemaryoneill I was going through some photos last night for a project I’m working on and found the one of the two of us. It made me a little nostalgic.

  • Eleanor Pierce RIGHT?!?! LOL!!!

  • susancellura

    Woo-hoo, Jayme!!! Love you, girl!!

  • Grrrrr… find the coffee daukas. I’m definitely not #RockHot today.. lol… sorry @jayme!!! #ItsNotHotRocksItsRockHot

  • KristenDaukas LOL. I’m on a call so I can’t multi-task. Be right back!

  • KristenDaukas HotRocks. LOL!!

  • KristenDaukas Kristen! You’re so right. We blow up a room together, and I love you for that reason. I need to come back to NC; I love your state! In fact, my next place on my wish list to live is Asheville. Congrats on a great ConvergeSouth, too! XO

  • annelizhannan Hi, Anneliz! You’re so freaking smart; yep, I thought I was going to pull down $100K! Hilarious. Great to see you here and thanks for not bashing my lipstick today.

  • rosemaryoneill RoHo? Is that you? Omgosh, I’ve been needing to catch up with you via traditional methods. Got time? How’s that veranda? If you have a party on that porch, then KristenDaukas and I will come play. And, we’re gonna bring annelizhannan and the Gin Blossom, too.

  • susancellura Hi, Girlie! How’s Texas? How’s biz? What’s new? Oh, I have been away toooo long. Miss everyone, and thanks for popping over!

  • ginidietrich Eleanor Pierce #PSHFREAKINGSHAW

  • Gini Dietrich

    Lipstick!

  • Only 16 times? I don’t believe it, had to be double. 🙂

  • Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes TheJack, oops, is that a secret? Whatup? Dude, traditional communication methods are in order with you, too!

  • I’m so glad I found this blog!  I love this interview and the questions you ask, Gini. I love learning from and getting to meet fun, inspirational, smart people–change agents + hustlers so thank you!  I’ll be sharing Jayme’s awesomeness via this post next week for sure, and now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go subscribe to her blog!

  • Norma Maxwell Hi, Norma! I have a secret. I am no longer married to my blog! In fact, we got a divorce so I only sporadically show up to nurture my opinions up there! Heh. But feel free to comb nearly five years of archives! LOL.  Great to tweet you, comment you, and all that #RockHot stuff. Thank you!

  • Soulati | Hybrid PR Norma Maxwell You must be sharing your brilliance elsewhere?  Either that, or you are too darn busy to write and have clients keeping you otherwise occupied (not a bad thing to be sure).  In any event, I’m sure I’ll learn plenty from your archives anyway 🙂 I glad to learn of and “meet” you Jayme!  Cheers ~N

  • ElissaFreeman

    Soulati | Hybrid PR Doing great! Now what you need to do is post what your lipstick looks like…flat or in a perfect point??

  • How did u know??!!

  • rhogroupee

    Soulati SpinSucks I’ve always got time for you! I’ll shoot you a DM to get on your calendar next week. 🙂

  • Omg u asked for it. I am going to put that pic on top. And I’ve gone mobile to do it.

  • Soulati | Hybrid PR Stands to reason 🙂

  • Gahh. Couldn’t upload via mobile; so, let me share my lipstick story right here for all you lipstick on a pig mavens ElissaFreeman ginidietrich PRTini et al. 

    The NARS on the left is more dense which means less indentation compared to the MAC in the middle with slightly more indent to the curvature of the luscious lip. The spanky cherry Nivea is tres soft and starts flat but soon gets a tip, too. 
    POOPY. @Livefyre  not letting me post my image; stand by.

  • Oh, big bummer. I had to post my 3 lipsticks on Facebook.

  • ElissaFreeman Soulati | Hybrid PR I think I just stole 30 minutes photographing lipstick and trying to post the image here! LOL

  • Hey Jayme, I bought that magazine…er, uh book Getting Naked but it probably wasn’t at the same establishment you bought yours…:).

    I only get 5 minutes a day for social online these days and when I saw you were featured I definitely had to drop by. Good to see you, hope all is well and hopefully you have some indoor tennis courts in the big O, huh? 

    Great choice @Gini Dietrich, Jayme is always a lot of fun.

  • Soulati | Hybrid PR biggreenpen YES! You sit there every Friday admiring that inquisitionee’s answers while thinking of your own hopefully salient responses but in reality it’s a bit frightening and humbling to put your 10-year answer out there (at least that was the hardest for me). // And hmmmm maybe there is something to BGP Lipstick – goes on strong and exudes positivity all day long? 🙂 🙂

  • bdorman264 Hi, Bill!!!!! Miss all the old cronies and yes I am playing tons and tons of tennis! Just won a few singles matches, which makes me beam. How’s golf, business and life in general?  Thanks for coming over, Bill.

  • bdorman264 BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • JAYME!! Wow, now THAT was an inquisition! Didn’t Gini tell you we don’t get all heady and toss around big words and philosophical thinking on Fridays…??  LOL

  • belllindsay nope

  • Whoa! I can feel the energy zooming off of this page! I love it! We definitely need to meet sometime soon Jayme! Great learning about you!

  • ElissaFreeman

    Soulati | Hybrid PR ElissaFreeman ginidietrich PRTini Yes agree! NARS is fab…my guess is your colour is ‘Damage’ – as in damage control but of course…

  • LauraPetrolino Hi, Laura! I probably knew of you before the vice versa. That’s what happens when Spin Sucks! Nice to meet you, too.

  • belllindsay Heh

  • ginidietrich rosemaryoneill you have to send me that, I never saw it! You need to come visit Charleston and have a banana pudding with me.

  • Soulati | Hybrid PR rosemaryoneill KristenDaukas annelizhannan The veranda is open for business any time!

  • Nobody expects the Spin Sucks Inquisition.

  • Dude. #RockHot!

  • Norma Maxwell I’m so glad you enjoy this series, Norma! xoxo

  • rosemaryoneill Um, OK. On both accounts!

  • I love that Soulati | Hybrid PR skims more books than @Gini Dietrich reads each week!  So happy to see you here Jayme!

    Your take on the Google is interesting. I kind of feel the opposite. I hate that SEO firms and Web Marketing companies place cookies to track us across the web as well as try to game the Google algorithm and ruin organic search. Optimizing for SEO is the worst thing to happen for consumers because consumers of the content and what they read became secondary to trying to get search results. And it didn’t work 99.999999999% of the time but worked enough to screw up our search results (just take 10 winners out of 500,000 entries to ruin the first page of results. Because if no one gamed the system and the Google math pumped out the best results they would never have to change it.

    I blame crestodina who invented SEO formatting of Websites and Web Content back in 1925. It all started with him! 😉

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