Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Melissa Agnes

By: Gini Dietrich | September 19, 2014 | 

Melissa AgnesBy Gini Dietrich

A couple of months ago, Deirdre Breakenridge emailed me an introduction to Melissa Agnes.

I am so happy she did!

Because Melissa and I hit it off during a podcast we recorded together, I invited her to host a crisis communications webinar for us last month (and it was awesome).

I like her so much—she’s smart and funny and polite (she is Canadian after all)—I wanted to introduce you to her through the Spin Sucks Inquisition.

So here she is…Melissa Agnes on the Inquisition hot seat.

What is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made in Your Career?

Not trusting my gut. Sometimes when you’re starting out, you hesitate or second guess yourself for different reasons.

I’ve learned to always trust my instincts.

They seem to always lead me in the right direction.

What is One Thing about Yourself that Would Surprise Most People?

This is a difficult question to answer about yourself, so I asked some friends who know me well.

I got a bunch of answers back, but I’m going to go with this one: I never wear matching socks. (But the truth is that they always match, they just aren’t the same!)

If You Could Achieve Everything You Ever Wanted in Life, but Had to Die 10 Years Sooner, Would You Make that Trade?

Hmmm… I don’t know.

Goals tend to grow and change over time, so what I want to achieve today may be different in five years, or will definitely have evolved, so this means that if I were to say yes, perhaps I wouldn’t die satisfied… or could it mean that I would get to live forever?

I’d need answers to these questions before I made the trade.

What Industry Advice or Practice Would You Most Like to Cry Foul On?

The term “social media crisis.”

There’s no such thing!

A crisis is a crisis, and no matter where a crisis originates it will take place on social, just as it will take place in the search engines and on traditional media.

What is the Best Book You’ve Read in the Past Six Months?

There are so many, but if I had to choose one I’d have to say “The One Thing” by Keller Papasan.

Why Does Spin Suck?

Because it’s not truth and doesn’t help you work towards building real and trusting relationships.

As a crisis professional, I look at these things as major risks when managing a crisis.

They do you no good.

Especially today.

Where You Can Find Melissa Agnes

You can find Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, PinterestYouTube, and on her podcast—The Crisis Intelligence.

You can also find her blogging at Agnes Day or speaking on crisis communications.

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!

  • Hi Melissa! Welcome to the…. Inquisition!

  • Great inquisition — and excellent point about crisis being crisis.

  • Well, hello. Did ginidietrich tell you I love Canadian women?  🙂 
    I definitely agree with you about not trusting your gut! I have my own expression for that. I call it “Vibes don’t lie.”

  • JRHalloran Note to self: Start telling my Canadian friends about James.

  • The NFL is calling, can you give them a hand? 

    If GiniDietrich befriended you there had to be something quirky or stray dog in you, so I guess the socks fit the bill. 

    Great to meet you, now that I know the name guess I better keep my eye out for all the great things you are doing, eh? 

    Best of luck to you.

  • I’m sorry. You have to further explain the socks. What do you mean they match, but they’re not the same? Like the teenagers that wear one polka dot and one stripe, but they’re the same colors?

  • ginidietrich I totally get this. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing? LOL She means the socks may both be black (or brown, or grey) but they are from different pairs! Probably because us Canucks are so inclusionary. 😉

  • ginidietrich JRHalloran Oh, to be 26 again. 😉

  • I loved the comment on Social Media Crisis. There is no such thing. They almost always start off line (I have a blog post about this I am working on right now) and from doing something dumb, unethical, selfish, or greedy.

    Most social media ‘crises’ are actually events and die fast and just require an apology. CEO’s don’t resign over events. The recent Southwest Air event is a perfect case in point. The NFL problems also offline events.

    Nice to meet you!

  • I really enjoyed getting to know Melissa during the pre-production, etc., of our webinar. She’s amazing! Very happy to see her on the hot seat today! 🙂

  • Howie Goldfarb Or, as the great Supertramp would say “Crisis, what crisis?”

  • Hi Melissa! I think learning to trust your gut is an issue for most everyone. The unknown is really scary! I’m still working on that. 

    As for the sock issue, my niece doesn’t wear the same socks either. Did you know you can now buy packages of socks and no two are alike? That would drive me nuts!

  • HA Sorry I called you Agnes. But I sometimes call Gini ‘Dietrich’ so Agnes works for me!

  • bdorman264 LOL!! That’s actually a really good point. Ha!

  • Melissa, I had the great fortune of catching  your video chat Crisis presentation during a “Digital Strategy and Communications Management” class at the University of Toronto,hosted by the cool and super nice guy –   Mr Martin Waxman. #digitaledu
    I asked some weird question about defining different levels of crisis and associating them with various levels within the Organization executive, in terms of response. (in class I possibly wasn’t quite that succinct)

    Pleasure to see you here!

  • Digital_DRK LOL

  • ginidietrich Digital_DRK fyi martinwaxman is not cool or super nice. In fact he will be very resentful you used those terms. He is Hip and Rico Suave per his business card.

  • belllindsay ginidietrich inclusionary maybe for Canadians but not when it comes to American’s. You exclude some and it makes those excluded thinking annexation is the next step for the US. Plus with Scotland staying in the UK the Crown has enough colonies that they won’t miss one. 😉

  • ginidietrich bdorman264 wow now Bill has me feeling Gini’s friendship with me is based solely on charity. Sigh.

  • belllindsay ginidietrich JRHalloran while livefyre never links my last blog post they always seem to be a few years old….seeing Jame’s title of his recent one……oh boy. I tell you Gini these self centered upstart Gen K’s attacking the greatest Generation ever to walk this planet (at least since Alexander the Great’s time)……
    Oh wow sorry just read it. That was really nice. I couldn’t agree more..and I quote…
    ‘I am not sure why Gen K doesn’t respect their elders. It isn’t Gen X who screwed us it’s the Boomers who did’.
    ‘If I had a yacht party I would definitely invite ginidietrich Howie Goldfarb and have bassnectar and theglitchmob play…but my yacht of choice would be the Space Wench of course’
    That was a very nice ode to me thank you James! 😉

  • Howie Goldfarb Thanks Howie! You are so right!! Oh – and nerd is another thing that’s on there… ginidietrich Digital_DRK

  • Howie Goldfarb but he has a killer twoaster (and twcoffeemaker), and these are rare items indeed … cc: martinwaxman

  • Howie Goldfarb belllindsay ginidietrich JRHalloran livefyre bassnectar theglitchmob I had you in mind the whole time, Howie! Lol.

  • biggreenpen Howie Goldfarb martinwaxman That’s true! In this case, since it’s all about crisis communications, we may need a virtual frying pan, too!

  • ginidietrich  It’s still on my bucket list to sweep a pretty Canadian girl off her feet.  😉

  • Howie Goldfarb belllindsay ginidietrich I have no clue what you just said, Howie. 😉

  • belllindsay ginidietrich Haha, I read it more like Gini did. As in, the socks may be one green and one blue, but there are both green AND blue in my sweater.

  • I love you for not wearing matching socks! LOVE, love, love you for it! I am a fearless non-sock matcher often myself…because sometimes one sock gets lost and so a pink sock needs to mate with a blue sock so it doesn’t live out the rest of it’s life alone!

  • JRHalloran ginidietrich do it they have free healthcare!

  • martinwaxman Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich  “MW is one of the nicest nerds you’re going to meet (and I’m not saying that just because I happened to average an A across the entire course)

  • ginidietrich

    melissa_agnes Yay!!

  • Digital_DRK Great to see you here!

  • Kara Haha! I had no idea! When my in-laws buy me socks for Christmas (or those thin winter gloves) they always buy me two pairs and mismatch them as one pair before wrapping them!

  • belllindsay Thanks Lindsay! It was great meeting and laughing with you as well 🙂

  • Howie Goldfarb No worries, it happens to me all the time 😉

  • Howie Goldfarb A crisis is a crisis and will end up online and offline, no matter what. However, most of what people call a “social media crisis” is nothing more than an issue.

  • ginidietrich Haha!! You guys are all right in your way!! I won’t wear a green sock and a pink sock, for example, unless the green sock has some pink in it and the pink sock has some green in it. Otherwise, I’d just look weird! 😛
    I actually just recently bought myself a pair of black socks that say “I am fabulous” (fabulous is also totally my word!!) and to go with them, I bought a pair of black socks with rhinestones. How do they match? They’re both black and fabulous!! 😉

  • bdorman264 GiniDietrich Haha! It’s great to meet you too. Definitely keep an eye out – and come and say hi if you ever happen across my blog or podcast 😉

  • JRHalloran ginidietrich Haunting is always welcome!

  • ClayMorgan Hi Clay, thanks for having me 🙂

  • biggreenpen Glad you enjoyed it!

  • LauraPetrolino Haha! My habit started because I felt like matching and folding socks was soooo not something that I wanted to spend time doing. It’s funny because every once in a while I’ll pull two socks out that match and wear them – and I trip all of my friends out!!

  • Anyone notice that the word “socks”  appears in this thread more often than the word “Crisis” 

    I hereby re-declare this the “Spin Socks Inquisition – of Melissa Agnes”