Welcome to the seventh installment of our 6 For 6 Blog Series! This is a series of 6 answers to 6 buzz-worthy questions from leading marketing influencers around the country. This blog features Gini Dietrich, author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round and CEO of Arment Dietrich. Since public relations and professional development are important topics for emerging demand gen marketers, we wanted to share some of Gini’s advice.
1. Was there someone who helped inspire you and shape your career when you were first starting out?
The general manager of the Fleishman-Hillard office where I worked was a huge inspiration to me. I’m very much a feminist, so as much as I’d like to say it was another woman, it was not. He really took me under his wing and taught me things no one else took the time to even notice. I was very, very shy and he broke me out of my shell. He noticed that my nervous habit was to pick my fingernails. So he sent me to get my first manicure ever (which is now a weekly habit to avoid picking them further) to show me the difference it could make to be well put together. I remember him saying, “You are so smart and clients really like working with you, but you undermine your authority when you sit in meetings and bite your nails down as far as they’ll go” —and he was right.
2. Early on in your career, what was your definition of success? Has it changed?
Money has always been really important to me. I have four younger siblings and my dad worked two, full-time jobs so that my mom could stay home with us. We were very, very poor and never had the things the other kids had (including a television!). So my definition of success early on was to make six figures by the time I was 30. It’s gotten less important as the years have gone on–my lifestyle and being able to ride my bike at lunchtime are far more important now.
3. Growing up, what was your dream job? How does your current job compare?
I wanted to be a sports agent! I’d still love that job, or to have my own cooking show on The Food Network. But, I am doing something I love in my current role. My dad always says, “I always thought you’d be a writer and was shocked when you didn’t do that. But here you are…you’ve created a job for yourself inside your company that allows you to write every day”. So, whenever my team suggests I turn my attention away from writing, I always put up a fight.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to emerging female marketers in tech, what would it be?
Don’t let anyone tell you who you are, what you’re supposed to do, or how you’re supposed to act. (Is that three pieces of advice?). Unfortunately, it still feels like a man’s world out there, particularly in tech, and women often don’t get the respect they deserve. Of course, that’s a generalization, but it exists for a reason. The more you stand up for yourself—and for other women—the better off you will be.
5. What’s something essential that gets you through your day?
My bicycle! Seriously, if someone on my team or my husband asks, “Have you been on your bike today?” I know that’s code for “you’re stressed and need to work out some anxiety.” And they’re always right … I haven’t been on my bike yet that day. It’s my exercise, my Zen, and my shrink.
6. Complete the following sentence: ‘If I were a social media platform, I’d be _____’
I’d be Twitter because I’m an introvert and there is nothing I hate more than having a conversation with someone I don’t know. Being Twitter would allow me to meet lots of new people, but never have to make small talk for hours on end.
6 for 6 profile: Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author and lead blogger at Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing In the Round, and also serves as co-host of Inside PR, a weekly podcast about communications and social media.