Gini Dietrich

Top Five Stories for Week Ending Dec. 17, 2010

By: Gini Dietrich | December 17, 2010 | 

Does it feel like an off week to you? I fully realize NO ONE will be working next week, but I didn’t expect it this week. Between final interviews for our chief content officer position (BTW, we are now on the hunt for a chief marketing officer), our social media trends webinar, meetings with potential investors, and a big deadline for Project Jack Bauer today, I looked up and suddenly realized no one was working yesterday. What gives?!

While you ponder that or get ready to rub in my face that you aren’t working again until January, I bring you the top five stories of the week.

5. A Message from a TSA Full Body Scanner. This is completely off-color so if you’re easily offended, I recommend not clicking on the link. But if you like fourth grade humor and body parts, it’s a hilarious view of the airport security measures from the perspective of a scanner. Rusty Speidel? Thanks for sending it to me!

4. The Steve Jobs Theory of Customer Relations. I get that it’s fascinating to see the CEO of a gigantic company respond to customer emails, but I’m not sure the way Steve Jobs handles it is correct.  This Harvard Business Review blog post describes his “nope,” “yep,” “working on it,” “call AT&T” style of email communication as “useful” and “widely reported.” I’m sorry?  I don’t agree. You read it and give me your view.

3. Another Bubble? A couple of weeks ago, I graced you with my Groupon prediction. And now it seems The Economist agrees with me. Sort of. OK. Well, it’s not like they read my prediction and said, “We agree with Gini Dietrich.” But they did write an interesting story about a bubble coming from tech start-ups and that the money piece of it might be right around the corner. Read it, think about it, and come back and tell me whether or not you think this time is going to be different. (Thanks to Howie Goldfarb for sending me this article!)

2. Top Gifts for Entrepreneurs. If you haven’t yet bought my Christmas gift, there are some great ideas in this Washington Post article! I already have 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9 and I don’t drink Red Bull. So lean toward #1.

1. A Digital Christmas. I seriously wish I were this creative. Or maybe I am that creative (my mom thinks so, but I think she’s just being nice), but just don’t know how to use the computer tools to create something brilliant like this. Either way, this is one of those, “Dang! I wish I’d thought of that!” It’s a really creative video that shows what the birth of Christ would be like in today’s Google, Facebook, Foursquare, over-sharing world. You’ll like it! Thanks to Mark Schaefer for posting it on his blog and to Patrick Reyes for posting it on Facebook. You both got my attention!

Happy weekend!

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!

  • A digital Christmas – wow! Powerful, fun, respectful. Love it!

  • patrickreyes

    That was such a fun video! Glad you liked it!

  • sydcon_mktg

    LOL!! That was a great video!! Thanks for sharing that! And if you find someone dishing out #1 on the gift list, tell them Santa said I have been a good girl this year!

    Happy Holidays Gini & everyone at Spin Sucks…as well as to your faithful community here!

  • Haaaa love the Digital Christmas video, definitely very creative and comical. Thanks for sharing!

  • HowieSPM

    I found the Internet v Social Media Christmas video very funny. But I think I irked a few people when I said on Mark’s blog it made me feel a bit less than Human watching it.

    Finger crossed that I finally get a Google Alert that isn’t my own Tweet for once! 8)

  • markwschaefer

    When i saw a tweet that had me and Howie in the same space i was pretty rattled. But it worked out OK. Thanks for the nod my dear friend. Have a great holiday everybody!

  • HowieSPM

    I checked out the Steve Jobs emails. My take is that he does not mingle customer emails with his work/personal. The author seemed to think he would do that which is pretty jacked. Not sure if there is an email for him or he just selects emails that are Dear Apple. But I would be curious to know what his goal is. If its to respond to 5 emails out of 5000 he should write something more. If its to crank out as many responses as possible in say 15 or 20mins I can see the one word responses.

    And of course name another Fortune 100 CEO who responds to any customer email that is from joe and lisa blow off the street vs say a big customer.

  • HowieSPM

    @markwschaefer Phew! In fact did you see she was very clear to people not to #FF us!?

  • Steve Job’s responses in that Harvard article are both hilarious and embarrassing. Part of me thinks it’s cool and even funny (at least I’d laugh if I received those responses from Jobs) that he did respond and essentially did all he needed to: answer the question. But the other customer service/PR part of me is like, “really? You’re going to purposely put forth zero effort to provide a half-way decent or involved response to a customer?”

  • Petya

    Times change. Feelings remain the same. Amazing video! 🙂 Thank you, Gini! 🙂

    Enjoy the weekend as well.

  • FollowtheLawyer

    I actually admire Jobs’ terseness. In a way, it’s a sign of respect for customers because he’s treating them as adults and equals rather than hothouse orchids that might wither without a balmly, wordy, nuanced response. His style is certainly more bracing, but it gets the job done cleanly. There’s no artifice and no room for doubt about his meaning.

    I value that he doesn’t try to be coy, with lazy and empty “stay tuned” and “we’re working on it” responses. He’s very present and authentic in these customer exchanges, and isn’t that what’s always being preached as the holy grail of social media engagement?

  • ginidietrich

    @FollowtheLawyer I totally get where you’re coming from and agree that he doesn’t try to be coy. But I don’t think it’s present and authentic. He comes across as VERY arrogant and a leader who refuses to give up control. That’s different than being honest and transparent in social media. For instance, someone writes in and asks if they’re going to lock a screen on the Apple TV. He responds, “Yep.” They email back to ask if it’s going to be an option on the new TVs. He says, “Nope.” I think CEOs can be present and authentic without being arrogant. That’s what this reeks of to me.

  • ginidietrich

    @Petya Wasn’t that a great video? I showed it to my family, who I visited with over the weekend. Merry Christmas!

  • ginidietrich

    @JMattHicks THANK YOU! That’s exactly what I think, too. I get wanting to be present and approachable, but this seems so freaking arrogant to me. I’d like to think if I ever get to be as big as he is, I’ll still have some humility. If I don’t, I give you permission to smack me.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM I have no problem with him answering emails. What I have the problem with, like I was saying to @FollowtheLawyer , is how he responds. Perhaps he could crank out a ton of responses in 15-20 minutes if they’re all just to yes/no questions.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM @markwschaefer HAHAHAHAAHA!!!

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM Did you get a Google alert that wasn’t your own tweet?

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda That video is definitely one of those things that you think, “Dang! I wish I’d thought to do that!”

  • ginidietrich

    @sydcon_mktg It turns out kenworks57 is passing out Visa $50,000 cards so I’ll add you to the list!

  • ginidietrich

    @patrickreyes I loved the video!

  • ginidietrich

    @JohnnyRusso Wasn’t that video great?

  • FollowtheLawyer

    @ginidietrich But he IS an arrogant control freak, and a rage-aholic to boot — infamously and unapologetically so — which I why I still assert he’s present and authentic. For him to affect a different style in social media than he does in other spheres would be weird, and he’d be ridiculed for it.

    Indeed, his approach would be deadly for pretty much any other company or CEO, but Jobs rebuilt the Apple brand precisely by exerting his own icy, monomaniacal vision, and the fanbois love him for it. They treasure and study his rare, filterless communications.

    You’re absolutely correct. CEOs can be present and authentic without being arrogant, but but humble, honeyed communications are not inherently more honest or genuine.