Now that we have that out of the way, here’s what this blog post is about:
- Gini’s highly excellent book, Spin Sucks, Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age, available on Amazon and written about on 100 (I’m guessing) blogs and promoted during a seven-week book tour Gini just completed.
- Message Mapping: Why You Need It & How To Do It, my free e-book available right here along with a micro-course putting message mapping into action (you get that from the sidebar of this blog).
Spin Sucks Chapter 1
If you don’t read anything else in Gini’s book, do read chapter one. I’m so impressed with the caliber of the sources, citations, stories, company examples, and roadmap Gini provides in 642 (18%) Kindle pages. It’s so chock full you think you’re already on chapter five.
Up front, Gini shares that a lot of the content she writes about is old hat for public relations professionals like me. I beg to differ in the sense that she is encouraging everyone to tell a story, and in this first chapter, Gini is a masterful storyteller providing relevance with word strength.
What is also impressive about chapter one is a note to media relations professionals trying to earn their worth in salt. Review chapter one of Spin Sucks for tips on how best to prepare a pitch to journalists. If you still don’t see what I’m talking about earned media pros, then please ask me to explain in comments. The formula for the perfect pitch is right there plain as day!
Spin Sucks All The Way Through
It’s not what Gini says or tells you to do that’s special, it’s the approach she’s taken in writing this book. Every chapter is loaded with gems; too many to cite but each equally relevant to Gini’s mastery of the story, storytelling, and #RockHot examples of how companies have floundered in the post social media era. I can only imagine how long it took to research each, comb through comments and reactions and then write about them for your head nod.
Give her book a whirl, and then go understand and implement the biggest takeaway from her book – the consumer controls your brand.
I have recently rebranded as the Message Mapping Master.
This is the evolution of public relations. This is its revolution. We in public relations are never again going to be relegated to the back seat. We are critical to the entire communications spectrum, and I offer to you it begins with message mapping.
In my free download of Message Mapping: Why You Need It And How To Do It http://unbouncepages.com/soulati-free-ebook/ you’ll get a solid understanding of what message mapping is all about and I teach you how to do it yourself with a map template.
What Gini Dietrich says in her book also has relevance to messaging. This is an exact quote and extraction from Spin Sucks, Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age about:
How Communication Has Changed
In the good ol’ days, you’d hire a PR firm or team to help you create your elevator pitch, your overriding messages, and supporting messages. Every person inside your organization was trained to say the exact same thing when talking to anyone about what you do. Your customers believed what you had to say about your product or service because you were the only one telling your story. If your PR team was worth its salt, soon the media—business, trade, consumer, radio, television— were telling the same story you told.
Dietrich, Gini (2014-02-20). Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age (Que Biz-Tech) (Kindle Locations 296-300). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.
(P.S. – Love that feature automagically attributing author and publisher when an annotation is extracted and copied…perfect!)
You Still Need Message Mapping
I have been facilitating and leading a plethora of message mapping sessions for solopreneurs to corporations of late. What I find invariably is that messaging helps the business leaders redefine and affirm their business model and product strategy.
Message Mapping is not merely for public relations teams any longer; it is for the entire leadership and C-suite. It works because I’m asking people to focus for five hours on their company. This is something few do and it’s highly necessary.
Go back to what Gini said…”every person inside your organization was trained to say the exact same thing…” YES. At least that was very true for spokespeople and still can be until you get that consumer equation bumping up against the script.
Regardless of where you are in your business, message mapping is a critical exercise you need a few times – once to launch and another refresher a year or so later.
If there’s a crisis or situation that creates the need for answers, then begin with message mapping.
If something has changed in your company and people are confused about how to position, then do a message map.
If you’re launching a new product and the sales team needs help with its description, then give them the gift of a message map.
Companies should have a corporate map about the company only and then each business unit and sales team can have one for them. Slightly different than a broader corporate message, and in my 20 years doing message mapping, I know from proof it always works.