Spin Sucks Author Talks Shop with RVA Content Strategy

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich

Not even a severe hailstorm (seriously, check out this video Trevor took outside our office–it was no joke) or the threat of tornadoes could keep the crowd away for the May edition of the RVA Content Strategy meetup.

We invited Gini Dietrich, PR pro and author of ‘Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age,’ to share her insights on how to come up with great content– that gets shared.

We learned a lot. Here are a few tips and services that stood out to us.

Use SmartBrief

SmartBrief is one of Gini’s favorite tools to quickly see what’s going on in her industry. Think of it as Google Reader or Feedly, but curated and targeted to exactly what you’re interested in. Gini uses this to keep up with news and trends in the PR and marketing world–it’s a quick way to see what’s shaping the landscape of her profession.

Incorporate current events and pop culture references

When relevant and possible, don’t be afraid to talk about the latest pop culture fad or snafu in the media–they make great analogies and examples of what to do–or what not to do–when it comes to your own strategy. When writing about a current event, be careful not to take a side politically, Gini says. Rather, limit the conversation to that which is relevant to your industry.

Don’t be afraid of the ‘listicle’

Surely you’ve seen the infamous ‘listicle’ post–those BuzzFeed-style articles composed almost entirely of funny GIFs and life truths we can all relate to. And while they may not be everyone’s favorite, we all click them. You can drive clicks to and interest around your content with listicles. Don’t be afraid to use them! Even Gini fought them before she saw how effective they could be.

Scan sent mail and blog comments for topic ideas

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places–even sent email and blog comment sections. Scanning either of them is a great way to compile some topics to write about, says Gini. It makes sense when you think about it. Seeing what others are commenting on or asking questions about is a great indicator of what people are interested in.

If you want more content strategy tips and advice on sourcing it more efficiently, with a touch of wit and humor, be sure to visit Gini’s blog, Spin Sucks. Thanks again to Gini for speaking and to 804RVA for hosting! A huge shout-out to Jamaica House for the delicious coco bread and empanadas (they did not last long) and to Center of the Universe Brewing for the suds. Always a hit!

ICYMI: Here’s the full Google Hangout of Gini speaking at our meeting: YouTube Preview Image