Time to showcase one of my favorite people in PR – and someone I’m very grateful to count among friends I can turn to for venting and advice when things get difficult: Gini Dietrich. I mean, seriously, who can resist a mind that comes up with a fire ant funeral? Love it!!
She’s simply fantastic – and has an authentic ability to build community that just blows my mind. Where does she find time to do it all?
Here she is, if you haven’t already met her online – head over to her blog at SpinSucks.com when you are done reading this post!
What is the most hilarious PR stunt you’ve ever done?
When I started my business, we had a client that made a fire ant killer. For those of you in the South, you know what a big pain fire ants are for the simple pleasures, such as picnics or just playing in the yard.
We sponsored the Fire Ant Festival in Georgia and held a New Orleans-style fire ant funeral complete with a preacher, mourners, and a casket with a gigantic upside down fire ant in it.
It was, hands down, the funniest thing I have ever seen.
I love, love, LOVE this stunt! My queen-dom for a video!!! Isn’t this a wonderful way to leverage humor to drive visibility?
What are a few specific ways you work smarter, rather than harder?
I have learned how to be incredibly focused. I only respond to emails very first thing each morning. I keep all of the social networks turned off during the day. I maintain a focused to-do list and I am a task master. I have even been known to tell my team to leave me alone when I’m in crunch mode.
PR is growing and changing fast. How do you approach continued learning?
I’m naturally very curious and believe very strongly in continuing one’s education. I read a ton (I mean, a ton…close to 100 blog posts and articles per day, as well as two business books and six to eight fiction per month), I test different things, I take online courses.
It’s ridiculously easy to continue your learning today, particularly with sites such as Coursera or TED.
What intimidates you most about digital PR?
Right now it’s semantic SEO! Search is moving away from keywords and phrases and moving toward who, what, and where a business sells. Which means we have to create content that is topical and not keyword-focused.
It’s fairly new and there aren’t many people talking about it so I’m trying to learn the same I did with this whole digital web stuff: By doing.
What is your biggest PR win?
There have been quite a few during my career, but I would have to say of late it’s that people are beginning to fight against the perception of spin in the PR industry. Just last night, I had two people send me links to articles they’d written about how much spin sucks.
That is a huge win because the perception of Spin Sucks is to change that perception. It makes it worth fighting the fight every day.
Gini Dietrich is CEO of Arment Dietrich and author of Spin Sucks. She is a member of PRSA and served as president of the Chicago chapter in 2007.