INTEGRATE 2014: General Session 2 – Gini Dietrich


As a presenter at day one of INTEGRATE 2014, Gini Dietrich was charismatic, insightful, and straight to the point. She won the audience over with her smile, quick quips and train wreck worthy media examples of how not to promote clients to their publics. The correct way being to avoid the “spin zone” and the use of the “sex sells strategy” at any and all costs.

During the presentation, Gini got to the heart of why “spin sucks.” Spin being defined in the following ways: whisper campaigns, astroturfing, or anything else that could be loosely viewed as spin worthy.

Gini encouraged attendees to think with integrity. She stated, “Spin sucks and you cannot afford to be unethical. You have to think about it from a long-term perspective. And if you do, you will win in the end.” Wise words coming from a veteran professional who has no problem telling her clients that her team will not be able to do X for them.

When faced with a difficult situation Gini kept mentioning the phrase, “This is a marathon and not a sprint.” How many times in the IMC field have you tried to figure everything out all at once? Sometimes it is better to enjoy the marathon instead of sprinting to the finish line.

A special thank you to Gini for mentioning my participation in her blog ambassador program for her new book Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age. If you did not read the article she mentioned that went viral on Twitter you can find it here.




                (Pictured: Myself, Gerry Michaels, Gini Dietrich)

 Which lesson from the presentation will you take back and apply to your industry?

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5 Responses to “INTEGRATE 2014: General Session 2 – Gini Dietrich”

  1. Valerie Lee Ater Says:

    First off I loved the analogy of “this is a marathon not a sprint.” How many times I have felt that I have indeed run a marathon when doing an assignment or a project for a course.

    The “Social Media Process” in which one tells a story from both the customer and employee perspective ( as well as the marketing and PR perspective). An example is United revising the “Fly the Friendly Skies” campaign. A memorable campaign yes, however, in the airline industry of today one can question, ” what is it that makes United friendlier?” What is it that the customer view as ‘friendly’ , what is it that the employee views as ‘friendly’ and how can this informative evolve into a successful IMC campaign to benefit the brand, consumer and the employees.

    I further liked the concept of ‘humanization creates kinship’. This was evident in huge previous session w/ David Higdon in the NASCAR as using children.

    As Gini Detrich quoted, ” Getting it right is expensive, getting it first is cheap.” One always wants to be the first one to come up with a concept or launch a product or brand however, in the long run, is it worth the long term affects that “spin” can cause in order to be the first one at ‘the finish line?” Consumer loyalty is garnered by truth not fallacies or underhanded tactics.

  2. Nick Taylor Says:

    Julie – Great Post!!
    What I enjoyed and will take back from Gini’s presentation is how ethics are incredibly important. Most consumers are smart and will catch on to the bull… and if they don’t you will eventually get caught and will then have to issue a retraction to apologize. It is not about asking for forgiveness after the fact, it is about being honest and upfront.

    I have a great interest in media manipulation and how to battle it. What Gini presented is spot on and I love that she is behind and using Spin Sucks. “Sucks” is not a dirty word, it summarizes the issue in one word.

  3. Jerome Brown Says:

    Short term gains versus long term relationships. To me this is the basis for staying away from spin. today organizations have a hard enough time being seen as reputable so when they engage in unethical spin tactics in their marketing or communications materials they are just deepening their grave.

    Relationships take time to build and more time to strengthen. Loyalty only comes from repeated exposure to ethical examples of how an organization deals with not only positive interactions but negative ones as well.

    Lets make a commitment to building strong relationships. 🙂

  4. Rickie Rose Says:

    Gini and I clicked when we found out that we both date Robert Downy Jr. Gini reminded me about how my morals define me and make me who I am. I do not compromise my morals for anyone and anything. Therefore, I expect people and companies to be ethical and honest in their practices. I know it sounds naive, but ethics isn’t something that should be forgotten. It is the rules and laws of journalism. We have speed limits in real life for a reason. Ethics are not different.

  5. INTEGRATE16 Video: Advice for Young Professionals  | WVU IMC Student Blog Says:

    […] from Paul Roetzer, Marcus Sheridan, Scott Cuppari, Elliott Nix, Lee Odden, Bill Oechsler, Gini Dietrich, David Higdon, and so many more. With everything going on this year I didn’t have as much time to […]

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