book club

Spin Sucks - four topics every business owner needs to understand

Karen shared our #wwcbookclub book for April earlier this week and I’m writing about the same book again because there’s just that much to talk about with this book. Plus, we’re so excited for our friend Gini’s book launch! :)

In 2000 I started the Public Relations program at Algonquin College. I was freshly home from Korea, where I’d gone to spend almost a year teaching English after graduating with a BA in Psychology I wasn’t sure what to do with. 

I clearly remember one of the very first things the program coordinator said to us on the day I started this program.

“Public relations is not about being a spin doctor, but that’s what people think it is.”

It’s stuck with me for almost 14 years now because it’s true, people do think that people who work in PR are just “spinning” a story, but that’s really not what well-done PR is about.  Which is why I love reading Gini Dietrich’s blog and her books – she talks about and teaches PR the way it needs to be done so that people can understand it.

 Her lastest book, Spin Sucks, just launched and I was thrilled to get my hands on it early.  Now that I’ve read it (from cover to cover – rare for me!) here are my four reasons I think you should read this book, whether you’re a PR professional or not (though if you ARE a PR professional or student, you should just get it no matter what!)  Ok, they aren’t reasons exactly, they are topics I think all business owners need to understand: 

1)  What’s your media?

Owned, paid, shared, earned, what is the difference and which ones do you need?  Things have changed and you need to understand what kind of content you can have, what you currently do have, and what you want to have.  And while you’re at understanding all of these, what are the right and wrong ways to try to get each kind.

2)   Crisis communications 

I’m a big believer in being prepared and the book helps you know what to do when something bad happens to you or your business, whether it be a big incident or a small one.  No matter how much we’d like to protect ourselves from people saying things about us online we don’t want them to, we unfortunately don’t have the power.  There are some really solid suggestions on how to do deal with that in the book.  I’ll give you a hint on the most important part – don’t try to hide things.

3)   Storytelling 

People love a good story, and your story is the most interesting one of all when it comes to your business.  The book has some really great examples that showcase the importance of storytelling and points you to some of your favourite novels for inspiration.

4)   Google and Search Engine Optimization 

Gini covers the topic in a way that gives you ideas on what to do or not do to help your rankings in search. While I would love to keep writing 300 word posts, I now know that I really should be keeping the posts between 500-800 words or so, and I’ve been putting in a lot of effort to make that happen (and totally nailed it on this post! :).  Understanding how Google ranks your web site is so important and this book really taught me a lot and have brought a lot of things back top of mind for me. 

So there you have it, a bit of a taste for what I think you can learn from this book.  Check it out as soon as possible because if you take advantage before Saturday you get all kinds of awesome extra free stuff - and who doesn’t love free stuff? (answer: not me. *I* love free stuff)



One last note, for our Ottawa and Toronto readers: Gini’s coming to town next week (Karen and I will both be there)! She’ll be inToronto (#3tyyz) on Monday, the 7th and she’s coming to Ottawa (#3tyow) on Tuesday, the 8th.

April #WWCBookClub Twitter Chat

Mark your calendars, because April 24th from 9:00-10:00pm, we’re going to have a chat about #SpinSucks and everything you’ve learned! So, be sure to go buy the book now: PaperbackKindle (affiliate links).  

#WWCBookClub - chatting Lean In & the March book selection!

Last Thursday night, we held the very first Twitter chat of the #WWCBookClub where we discussed Lean In. Here’s a recap:

March Book Selection

Our March book is just as exciting as the February book. This month, we’re going to read Youtility, by Jay Baer (Kindle affiliate link; hardcover affiliate link). Karen saw Jay speak last November, so she knows this book will be useful for everyone in our audience!

We hope you’ll join us in reading Youtility as you find out how to create smart, useful marketing without hype!

You're Invited: #MediaMeshBBC Twitter Chat tonight! Talking about #Enchantment

Tonight is the first Business Book Club Twitter chat where we'll be discussing Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki.

Who: Anyone who's read or is interested in reading the book.
When: 8:00-9:00pm
Where: In your favorite Twitter chat client, though I recommend TweetChat for easier refresh and interaction.

I'll talk to you tonight!

Business Book Club: First Reading Assignment - Enchantment

After the incredible response I received to my proposal to start a Business Book Club, I took the whole list of books that everyone suggested (I confess, I added No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing because I heard of it after my original post about doing this book club), including my list of books and put them all in a spreadsheet, sorted them alphabetically and then used to select a random number. The number was 5 and corresponded to Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki!

I'm really excited to dive into this book. Here's a couple of excerpts from the book description:
Enchantment, as defined by bestselling business guru Guy Kawasaki, is not about manipulating people. It transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes the skeptics and cynics into the believers and the undecided into the loyal. Enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it's more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques.

Kawasaki argues that in business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people. By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions.

This book explains all the tactics you need to prepare and launch an enchantment campaign; to get the most from both push and pull technologies; and to enchant your customers, your employees, and even your boss. It shows how enchantment can turn difficult decisions your way, at times when intangibles mean more than hard facts. It will help you overcome other people's entrenched habits and defy the not-always-wise "wisdom of the crowd."

As Kawasaki writes, "Want to change the world? Change caterpillars into butterflies? This takes more than run-of-the-mill relationships. You need to convince people to dream the same dream that you do." That's a big goal, but one that's possible for all of us.

I don't know about all of you, but I definitely want to learn how to convince people to dream the same dream I do.

Now, you're probably wondering how this is going to work. There's been a tremendous response to the idea of this book club. So much so that I'm going to start off online only and plan for occasional meetups, but perhaps not to discuss every book we read. For now, we'll try to go one book every two months and see if everyone feels it's a good pace. With the holidays coming up, I think we're going to all like this pace this time at least!

Because two months from today is a holiday, I'm going to be generous and give us all a tad more time. Finish reading the book and write about it - your thoughts, impressions, agree, disagree - anything that that sticks out for you. Come back here on January 3rd, 2012 (whoa, that's coming fast!) and I'll host a link up for your posts so we can all share. By that time, I'll have a special spot for the BBC here on The Media Mesh!

Are you ready to launch your enchantment campaign?

Business Book Club - the new BBC

Earlier this year, my friend Becky wrote a post about reading business books. Back when I read that post, I had a list of books I was going to read this year was up to about six, which I'd heard from someone was the ideal number. Fast forward seven months and I haven't finished my first book, Content Rules by C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley.


Because I spend so much time reading content and generating content. So, I need to prioritize and I want to do this with other people! A discussion about non-book clubs sparked this idea and I want to have an online and in-person component so people outside the Ottawa area can participate as well.

What I know I want to do:

1) Read one book every two months.
2) Create a linkup for the online component at the end of reading the book.
3) Meet in person with everyone who's interested here in Ottawa every two months.
4) First meeting will be a little over two months from now in January 2012 (to give us a bit of extra time through the holidays).

What I don't know and want your help with:

1) Are you interested?
2) What would you like to read first?
3) Any other ideas for how this can work?

Just to kick start your thinking, here's a few books from my list that I want to read:

Unmarketing, by Scott Stratten

Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Enchantment, by Guy Kawasaki

Socialnomics, by Eric Qualman

Now, tell me if you're in and what's on your reading list!