Jeannie Walters and Gini DietrichBy Gini Dietrich

Back in the good, ol’ days of Twitter when people used it to actually make new friends and meet new people, I came across Jeannie Walters (yes, the Jeannie who hosted our webinar earlier this week).

I’d met a couple of her colleagues on Twitter and then in real life. I’d heard her name from our mutual friend, Brad Farris, and wanted to know who was this person. When we finally met, we discovered I worked with her college roommate right after college.

Talk about a small world!

She quickly became one of my best friends and her sons are definitely my boyfriends.

When we get together, I always take my notebook because I know there is going to be a conversation (or six) that I have to blog about. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where she’ll say, “This isn’t to be blogged” if it’s meant to stay between the two of us.

I asked her a hundred years ago to sit on the Spin Sucks Inquisition hot seat. It just so happened I scheduled the same week as her webinar.

Welcome to Jeannie Walters week!

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

The biggest mistake I made was thinking everything would stay the same for a while.

I was in a business that was caught up in the unexpected and very fast-moving financial crisis in 2008. We thought we had a stable situation and it changed drastically in one weekend, we were left wondering what to do.

I’ll never forget that lesson.

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

I’m not as organized or OCD as people think. I’m hyper-organized about certain parts of my life (hello, color-coded calendar!), but I let other stuff get messy.

My life is really complicated with a husband who travels often right before or after I do, two active kids, and lots of great business stuff.

That means sometimes my breakfast dishes sit all day or I let the inbox overflow.

I’m not always ok with it, but it’s how it has to be.

Oh, and people also might not know that Justin Timberlake is my boyfriend.

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

I don’t think I would, but that’s because I think goals change.

When I’m 80, I’ll want to do some cool stuff when I’m 90.

Who’s to say when we’ve truly achieved?

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

Customer communications that are purposefully deceptive or overly complicated.

Company communicators think they’re clever and create processes that are built to confuse.

It’s just wrong. And mean. And annoying. I really, really dislike it.

Insurance and medical bills come to mind. We would never talk to one another that way. Why send it in writing?

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

Spin Sucks? Is that the right answer? (It is great!)

I’m also reading Emanuel Rosen’s newest book, Absolute Value, which is really interesting.

And I’ve enjoyed re-reading The Trumpet of the Swan with my son.

Sorry. That’s three books. I’m not always great at following directions.

Why Does Spin Suck?

Spin is deceptive. It’s about assuming the people you’re trying to “spin” are dumb, uniformed, or worse.

We live in an age when anyone can access information which used to be reserved for the elite. Why not embrace that and welcome more people into the process? That’s where real magic happens.

Where You Can Find Jeannie Walters

You can find Jeannie on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube (TEDx!), and on the 360Connext blog.

And you can download the recording of the future of PR (hint: It’s customer experience) webinar she hosted for us.

Photo credit: A selfie taken by yours truly on May 31.

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.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich