I attended Third Tuesday’s recent gathering at the Pilot Tavern in Toronto to promote Spin Sucks, a new book by PR thought leader Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich in Chicago. In a high-energy and entertaining presentation, Dietrich took us through a lot of ‘don’ts’ when it comes to PR, such as:
- Not using sex to sell sandwiches (or anything else that isn’t sex).
- Not using inherently unethical whisper campaigns to discredit a competitor (although, sadly, they tend to work, Dietrich later admitted)
- Not using a crisis to promote your brand (such as Kenneth Cole’s infamous tweet during the Cairo uprising “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available…”)
Instead, Dietrich advises against using spin, as her book’s title not so subtly implies, and communicate honestly and authentically. It seems a bit like a no brainer, but there are still some business leaders out there who expect their PR company to spin their message into ethically murky waters.
This book helps to illustrate why those tactics are not as powerful as good old honest communications. In this new digital age, trust remains hard to earn, but even easier to lose. As Dietrich points out in her book, Warren Buffet said it best: “If you lose money for the firm, I will be forgiving. If you lose reputation, I will be ruthless.”
(posted by Fiona)