Recommended Reading: Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich

Spin Sucks book

With such an overt emphasis on digital, Spin Sucks is a book that will scare the living bejesus out of some in the PR industry. And believe me, that’s a very good thing.

In the book’s opening salvo, Gini Dietrich says: “Officially, the PR industry has been around since 1929, and it has remained pretty much the same for more than 70 years. The digital web has forever changed the way we communicate. It’s changed the way we all do business. And it has forever changed the way we, the PR professionals, perform our jobs.”

Reading this book will be a wake-up call for many communications professionals, and therein lies its massive inherent value. It’s a book that everyone in this industry should read.

The Future of PR

‘Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age’ was borne from the number one PR blog of the same name, which is one of only a small handful I’ve stayed loyal to over the last five years. So I was pretty fired up about getting stuck into its pages. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Having finished it in double-quick time, the lasting impression I have is that even if you’re still clinging to the last vestiges of media relations as being the fulcrum of PR because you’re too scared or intimidated to fully embrace digital, you will emerge from reading this book with a new view on the communications industry and in no doubt whatsoever about how you need to change your outlook.

Spin Sucks is an education in itself for those who are struggling to fully adapt to the worlds of digital marketing, SEO, content marketing and social media. It presents a clear and comprehensive guide to storytelling and genuine relationship building and, as such, is equally as valid to students as it is to seasoned PR professionals.


One thing Gini Dietrich could never be accused of is being preachy. If you want to learn about black hat SEO and keyword stuffing, creating content for the web, content optimisation, dealing with trolls and online reputation management, these and more are explained in Spin Sucks in Gini’s normal conversational and chatty tone. And everything is illustrated with real-life, personal stories that draw you in and gain your trust. The result is a book that’s stupidly easy to read and understand, while being incredibly educational.

What I particularly like about Spin Sucks is that Gini outlines practical advice to achieve the things she advocates. There are snappy, actionable guides to building lasting beneficial relationships with bloggers, creating an online crisis plan, adapting the news release into something that works for the web, and many other activities.

What Gini has done superbly well with this book is to illustrate two of the key tenets of contemporary PR: the art of storytelling and the benefit of creating meaningful relationships.

In the book itself there are so many stories it feels almost like reading a personal notebook rather than a business book. I suspect this comes from having written the Spin Sucks blog for so long. The storytelling within the pages is exemplary and is a lesson to all communications professionals on how to create meaningful content that resonates with the reader.

Relationship Building

It’s been noted many times before by Gini’s army of fans that she’s an expert at making each individual feel special. And the way Spin Sucks has been launched has been in itself an incredible lesson in the power of relationship building from the master.

A few weeks back, Gini set about establishing a private community of ‘ambassadors’, collated from readers of the Spin Sucks blog. She had more than 800 applicants, in itself a glowing tribute to her ability to generate a loyal following.

After selecting a hundred or so, we were invited to a private Facebook group, sent a pre-production digital copy of the book and kept in regular contact as the launch approached. The group was whipped into a frenzy to the point where, on launch date (this past Saturday), ambassadors were posting reviews and tweeting like a bunch of crazies within hours!

What this highlights to me is that Gini’s advice in Spin Sucks really does work. This is not a book of theory; it’s a practical guide to digital communications from one of the world’s leading experts. If the author puts into practice the advice in her new book herself to launch it, you know that advice is going to be good.


For balance, my one criticism of Spin Sucks is that for those of us more seasoned in the ways of social communications and digital marketing, the content within the book isn’t for the most part new or something we can (necessarily) learn from.

But Spin Sucks is written “for business leaders who need to better understand how the industry is changing and what to expect from PR professionals”, rather than those hardened to online communications, so I’m not sure you can really count that as a criticism anyway. Besides which, even to the likes of myself, Spin Sucks is a fantastic reference book that I really enjoyed reading.

In closing, my simple advice is to follow this link to Amazon, right this minute before you forget, and get yourself a copy of ‘Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age’.

If you’re relatively new to PR, it’s a fantastic guide to how to develop your career. If you’ve a little more experience, you’ll be able to learn a lot from Gini Dietrich. And if you’re senior or a business leader, Spin Sucks is a book that could move your company on leaps and bounds.

[Special Offer: if you buy a copy (or copies) of Spin Sucks before Saturday 5th April and email Gini a copy of your receipt, she’ll send you $200 worth of free webinars. I told you she was good…]

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Posted by Paul Sutton

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