#FollowFriday- Alina KellyBy Gini Dietrich

Nearly two years to the day, I met Alina Kelly while she was in Chicago for a conference (and shopping, but that’s supposed to go unmentioned).

We had dinner and had a lovely time regaling one another with stories of broken bones as grown women. Since then, she’s become a friend and someone on my “must see” list when I’m in Toronto.

She founded AKelly Consulting 10 years ago, where she focuses on public transit and government, has two teenaged daughters, a “wonderfully supportive” husband, and Harley, a golden retriever puppy.

Allow me to please introduce her to you through the Spin Sucks Inquisition.

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

Maybe I’m taking this to an extreme, but for something to be a career-level mistake, I’d have to believe it changed the course of my career in a negative way.

I prefer to view things I’ve done as choices that resulted in learning experience.

Some choices may have been better than others, but none has led to an utterly failed outcome or any huge regrets.

I’ve had plenty of learning experiences, but don’t feel I’ve made any catastrophic mistakes.

I’ve just made choices that have led me to where I am today—which happens to be a pretty happy place.

What do I regret the most?

Naming my company AKelly Consulting.

Because of a project timeline, I was in a hurry to incorporate and defaulted to AKelly.

I wish I’d taken the time to come up with something clever.

Has it changed my career?

Maybe, but it’s not keeping me up at night.

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

I’m an introvert and feel totally awkward in a room full of strangers.


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

No deal. I don’t have a fixed “to do” list, so it would be impossible for me to complete it because I’m adding things all the time.

In addition to which, my list includes spending lots of leisure time with family and friends.

That’s impossible to achieve by checking out early.

Nope. Not doing it.

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


Hi Alina, 

I recently came across a stat that surprised me: Organizations lose $958 million every year on inefficient content marketing strategies.

Content marketing has the potential to be a real revenue driver, but a lot of brands lose money because in-house teams don’t have time or skills to manage the process from start to finish. On the flip side, here’s one business that outsourced content to XXXXX and we got them 900% ROI.

I’d love to put you in touch with one of my coworkers who can share more examples of how outsourcing can save time AND generate better marketing results.


Director of Marketing 

A 900% ROI?!?

Where do I sign?

If it were that easy, we’d all be online rockstars.

Companies that set these ridiculous expectations and infer they have a magic formula to deliver triple-digit ROI are selling snake oil, as far as I’m concerned.

Producing high-quality content, regularly, against a strategy is hard work.

These hucksters annoy me.

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

My friend Katya owns the Great Escape Book Store in our Toronto Beaches neighbourhood.

I rely on her to suggest titles from her wonderful new and used collection.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki is one of my recent favorites.

It’s about a Japanese teen who grows up in America, but whose family is forced to return to Japan.

She pours her heart out in a diary that ends up washed up on a beach in Canada after the 2011 tsunami. T

he woman who finds the diary reads and researches the young girl and her family.

It’s a beautifully written and touching story.

On the business side, I’m really enjoying Boland and Collopy (Editors), Managing as Designinga collection of articles based on a workshop held in 2002 to explore the importance of design as part of management leadership.

Frank Gehry (whose work I love) was among the participants.

Great reading.

Why Does Spin Suck?

Because it’s dishonest.

Business is about relationships and no relationship can thrive without trust.

And because Gini said so.

Where You Can Find Alina Kelly

Earlier this week, Alina emailed me to say she was doing a background check for a writer/science docent they are thinking of hiring for her Research2Reality client and she found Gin and Tonic popsicles!

We can now go from having Spin Sucks wine glasses to making and packaging gin and tonic popsicles.

So amazing!

And speaking of Research2Reality, Alina is working with them to create public awareness of the amazing work Canadian researchers do and how it affects our daily lives.

You can find her work on their YouTube channel, blog, and on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also find her, personally, on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

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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