Book Review: Spin Sucks

Masters of spin are a dying breed, they can’t be erased fast enough according to ‘new world’ practitioners. Spin Sucks by Public Relations professional, founder of Dietrich Arment and spinsucks.com blogger, Gini Dietrich takes the spin out of communications.

This book reveals and explores the idea that Public Relations is no longer about spinning a message in your favour, it is about being seen and doing business with ‘honest communications’.

Gini Dietrich has successfully attempted to slash the stereotypical perception that all public relations practitioners do is use spin. You can no longer get away with spinning a message as the forever (rapidly) evolving media landscape will find you out.

Spin Sucks is very relevant for practitioners, business owners wanting to improve and understand the how to use Social Media to their advantage, and students who need to understand the communication revolution in an age where digital media takes precedence.

I initially underestimated the content just because of the title. It wasn’t until I’d put the book down after finishing that I realised how much relevant information is packed into 146 pages. However, the volume of words on one page make it harder to read.

The book is separated into 4 parts, firstly sharing your story without ‘sex, extortion, or “truth stretching”’. A whole section is dedicated to understanding how google works, as this is essential in the 24/7 media landscape. The first thing we turn to for anything is google. Dietrich uses many examples of how cutting corners to attain a larger following faster can jeopardise an organisation’s reputation and consequently get them blacklisted by Google.

The listing of tips in bold makes the book great for note taking and emphasising what’s worth remembering. From useful tips and tools to avoid plagiarism, syndication, improving your search engine optimisation (SEO), and dealing with online attackers (trolls); This book covers it all and with depth.

Every single point made was followed by a real-life example, most of the case studies included were recent and therefore very relevant. Gini repeats the same sentence over again, ingraining into the reader that building reputation is ‘a marathon, not a sprint.’

The core of this book is trying to restore what the Public Relations and Communications world is about; having human conversations. Relationships and brand perception matter, poor communications, backtracking, not staying spin-sucks-booktrue and open can ruin you and your business.

‘Devoting a bit of time toward nurturing human relationships is 100 times better than sending your companies news releases to 1000 journalists and not getting a single bite.’

The book is already out of date, it was the day it was published especially as the detailing she uses is very specific. This is due to new social media updates and Google constantly changing their search engine algorithms. I think Dietrich realises this though; The book isn’t trying to keep up but accepting public relations has changed and will always be changing, showing the reader that the best thing to do is adapt.

I would recommend this book, especially for current academic purposes. Gini Dietrich provides endless amounts of advice on how to tackle issues and practice good media relations in the digital age.

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