Young PR Pros: Episode #91 – Changing the Definition of Spin Doctor, is it Possible?

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This week, Young PR Pros welcomes new listeners from the FIR podcast network. For our regular listeners you don’t need to change anything, you will still continue to receive new weekly episodes through iTunes or Stitcher.

For those who don’t know, the FIR podcast network, run by internationally acclaimed communicators Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz, is a collection of business podcasts on niche topics that appeal to communicators in different countries around the world. The anchor show, For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report, is the longest running communications podcast, broadcasting business and communications advice for more than a decade. In 2013, Hobson and Holtz expanded their podcast and created a network of a dozen shows, including the popular Canadian social media podcast Inside PR, hosted by Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley.

For our first episode on the podcast network, we discuss the definition of the word spin. Some people see this as a four-letter bad word and want it eliminated from our vocabulary. Others see it as a flexible word with the opportunity to bend and change – or spin if you will – the definition.

Hosts, Kristine D’Arbelles and Julia Kent bring in two experts to weigh in on this debate. The first is Elizabeth Gray-Smith, Social Columnist at iPolitics. We caught up with her earlier this year at the uOPRA Let’s Grow Together conference and asked her how she felt about the word spin – spoiler, she doesn’t think spin needs to be a four-letter bad word.

The second expert is Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and who is no stranger to the podcast, offers her view on the word spin. If you know Gini at all, you can guess what her opinion was. Here is a hint, she runs a blog called Spin Sucks.

As our hosts easily discover, there is no easy right answer. The good news is that having this conversation is important to making our industry a better place. We have come far from the days of Mad Men, but there is still more work to do.

So what can young professionals do today? Be curious and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to stand up to your boss if you are uncomfortable with the task they have given you. Remember, no one gets fired for asking a question. Sometimes that is all it takes, one curious person asking the right question.

What do you think? Do you think we can change the definition? Or should we get rid of the word? Or do you have another solution? We want to hear from you. Share your opinions by writing a comment below, or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or send us an email at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell, or @kentjulia.

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