Did You Know Spin is Dead?

spin city_If you’ve noticed anything when reading this blog, it’s that I love being a part of the Spin Sucks community, which is the blog by Gini Dietrich.

She and her team are on a mission to kill off spin. She even wrote a book on this topic, appropriately titled Spin Sucks. (Different link, BTW.)

Yesterday I came across an article titled, “Spin is Dead“. I had to click on the link and read it, because if it was true, that would mean Gini had achieved her goal!

Alas, this was not the case. However, it was an interesting article in that it focused on Tuesday’s election results and the corresponding coverage/interviews that went with the waiting. In this article, the claim was that in politics, “spin, as an art, has totally jumped the shark”. Even James Carville, probably the most famous political spinner, agreed, and even said “everybody sees through it”.

Are the journalists playing a game because they don’t know what else to do? Have they truly forgotten how to interview and debate? I don’t know.

What I do know is that not “everybody sees through it”.  I say that because I’m looking at the bigger picture – not just politics and journalists.

Question: Did you know spin is dead?

Answer: No.

You didn’t know spin is dead because it’s not. Every day someone makes the mistake of thinking they can pull a fast one. It doesn’t matter what company, brand or politician it is, someone makes the mistake of trying to spin a story or statement in their favor. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a bit of time for the public to realize that what they’ve been told isn’t quite the truth. But when they do find out they’ve been scammed or that an attempt was made to scam them (which I think is worse), boy, do they let you – and everyone – know about it. You’ve seen it happen countless times.

It’s ironic that people always say that the truth comes out. And it does, so why do people still try to spin?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that you can influence a discussion when the topic is “to spin or not to spin”.

  • Ask smart questions (or ones that may seem like you’re being a smart aleck): “If you had to defend this statement in court, could you?” (I’ve asked it! And, it’s a reality check once they realize I’m not joking. Plus, Legal will love you for doing their job for them.)
  • When they want to spin, produce evidence that clearly shows how easy it is to prove the statement(s) aren’t true or are stretched
  • Ask questions that a journalist would ask, probing questions that show how they and/or the public will dig
  • Challenge them to look at the statement from all points of view. If they won’t, then show them.
  • Share examples of what has happened when someone gets caught. If you truly don’t know of any, just perform a search on Google.
  • If they still don’t get it, feel free to pull a clip from the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Colbert Report, in which they prove someone flip-flopped.

Guess what, folks? Spin is NOT dead.

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Susan Cellura is a marketing communications professional with over 20 years of experience. She is a dynamic communications professional and enthusiastic team-builder, with a progressive history of success in designing and implementing communications programs for global organizations. A strategic thinker with the ability to understand the needs of multiple audiences and deliver solutions, Susan is a results-oriented problem-solver with exceptional interpersonal and negotiation abilities. Having worked in a variety of global industries, she has grown business communications in her current position via a strong mixture of strategic resources, including social media.

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