Not Your Average Internship

By Rebecca Ellis, Guest Contributer and TrizCom PR Intern, Summer 2017

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The word “internship” is one that college students know well. Internships are just as, if not more, important as what you learn inside a classroom. If you’re like me, you’ve spent hours researching companies online and calling everyone you know asking if they know anyone looking for interns. Finding a company that you like and that likes you can be incredibly difficult. Luckily for me – and hopefully lucky for you if you’re reading this, I found TrizCom.

There aren’t many companies that value their interns the way TrizCom does. In fact, value isn’t even the correct word to use. TrizCom invests in their interns. TrizCom selects young professionals who are eager to begin their career and takes them under their wing. They not only teach them, but they shape them and mentor them until they are ready to go out on their own.

TrizCom taught me so many things that helped me succeed throughout my college career. The most important skill I learned from TrizCom is how to write. I’ve taken that with me through all of my classes. Whether it’s a press release, media alert, fact sheet, resume, cover letter, blog post or just a professional email, I learned how to write from TrizCom. From my PR writing class to my business communication class to my women’s studies class, my writing has improved in every aspect.

If there is one word I would use to describe how I felt during my time as an intern at TrizCom, it would be “supported.” TrizCom supports their interns. There was not a day that went by that I didn’t feel like I was a part of the team. There was not a day that went by that I felt like the work I was doing wasn’t important. There was not a day that went by that I wasn’t excited to go to work. Where you have strengths, they let you shine. Where you have weaknesses, they show you how to improve.

When you are a TrizCom intern, you are not a coffee-fetcher. You are not a copy-maker or a phone-answerer. You are a part of the team. You are an employee. You are a creative mind that has valuable input. You are just as important to them as they are to you.

Giving Thanks

TrizCom Public Relations

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Some of you are clients (past, present and future), some associates, some colleagues, and all of you are friends to us at TrizCom. We are all very grateful for you. Brainstorming and creating, helping you tell your stories and sharing your missions – thank you for letting us support you as you have supported us. We want to take a moment to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and share with you what we’re thankful for as we enter this holiday season. We invite you to leave us a comment on any of our social media pages with your own gratitudes! Have a lovely holiday weekend. And thank you.

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Jeff Cheatham, senior account manager – I am thankful to have both a peaceful home life and an office full of wonderful co-workers. As I’ve learned in the past, it’s awfully hard to attain both.

Dana Cobb, director of business development & senior account executive – I am thankful for my family: the ones I was born with, the ones who I chose and the ones who chose me. Every year sees a passing of milestones, relationships changing, kiddos growing, tender moments shared. I am always thankful for the ability to love the ones I’m with, especially during the holidays!

Katie Mudd, account executive – I am grateful for my awesome husband Chris and our two adorable pups Heidi and Coco. Paired with the awesome clients we work with at TrizCom, there’s never a dull moment that isn’t full of adventures – whether it's chowing down on tacos, filling up on barbecue, cuddling adorable pets, chatting up celebrities or checking out the biggest boats!!!

Jennifer Kuenzer, digital specialist – I am thankful for my family and friends, a warm and loving home, and the ability to help (in some capacity) where ever my help may be needed. I am thankful for the wonderful opportunities I’ve had this year to follow my passions, take more chances and to learn new things.

Jo Trizila, president & CEO – Things I’m thankful for: journalists who love our stories, iPhones, email clutter sorting, unsubscribe buttons, productive meetings, call forwarding, above the fold placements, doing the right thing, endorsements, challenging opportunities, grand openings, slow news days, our awesome clients, Taco Charlton, clean mammograms, health insurance, gold, platinum, silver, helping kiddos with cancer, outliving yourself, puppies, safe places, sports protection, pain free backs, children’s theater, celebrity infatuations, powerboats, having the best public relations campaign in DFW, prospects,  the best darn barbecue ribs in the nation, influencer outreach tools, journalists who are on social media and – more over – journalists who are on my personal pages, the diversity of our clients’ brands, data, branding, embargoes, feature stories, partnerships, being named the best PR firm, referrals agency partners and 9.5 years of TrizCom PR....

Looking back on an incredibly busy and, at times, challenging year, I'm most thankful for the campaigns we have launched that truly made a difference.

I’m beyond grateful for having a talented and dedicated team of professionals who have never lost their focus, passion or commitment, and for our many clients who put their trust in our hands – day in and day out.

What’s a Good Spokesperson Worth?

By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Supervisor at TrizCom PR

At TrizCom PR, we get a lot of mileage out of our client spokespersons. Generally, when we onboard a new client and have them fill out our questionnaire, we’re up front in asking who is allowed to speak on behalf of the company. It may not surprise you to know that this role is usually filled by the owner, CEO or president of the organization. However, industry experts can be found at all levels of the C-suite family.

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One of my clients is a nonprofit organization heavily vested in the health care enrollment process. For those still unaware, open enrollment on the health care exchanges began Nov. 1 and ceases Dec. 15. In the run-up to Nov. 1, my client was sought by major news organizations ranging from The Washington Post to Kaiser Health News.

I discovered something along the way.

The calls, emails and requests for an interview with this individual began to accelerate as time went on. It seemed as if health care reporters nationwide were reading the articles in which he was quoted. Needing sources for their own reporting, they sought him out time and time again. The more he was quoted, the more calls for interviews occurred. It got to the point that I felt like an air traffic controller, trying to line up media interview requests the way that planes are slotted for runway landings.

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So what is a good company spokesperson worth? If you classify yourself as an industry expert in the organization you represent, how much ink are you currently getting? What might it mean to your company—and its incremental sales—to have your name mentioned time and time again in media outlets with circulation numbers in the hundreds of thousands?

Organizations should take a good hard look at who represents them. Speaking on behalf of a company as an industry expert can provide you with an implied endorsement that even money can’t necessarily buy.

I should know. I’m still catching up on the last three weeks of coverage my client garnered for his company in the last month.

Still think public relations doesn’t work?

Don't dismiss influencers

By Jennifer Kuenzer, TrizCom PR

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A few years ago, there was a reality show, “All on the Line,” starring fashion insider Joe Zee. Each episode centered on him working with struggling designers getting their failing brands on track. One episode had him helping a well-known designer whose label had all but fallen off the radar. The VP of Marketing was reluctant to listen to his millennial assistant’s idea of calling some popular bloggers to cover their show during Fashion Week. But Joe Zee listened. Where the front row of a fashion show has traditionally been reserved for movie stars and major print publications, Mr. Zee invited three fashion bloggers to sit on the front row. It worked. Those bloggers engaged immediately with their audiences on social channels like Twitter and Instagram. By engaging the bloggers, who in turn engaged their audience, Joe Zee got the designer back on the radar. There’s a new name for bloggers who engage directly with their followers to dish about new brands and products, resulting in higher sales – Influencers.

Influencers are everywhere, noncelebrities who have built massive followings on various social and digital channels based on their ability to genuinely engage their audience. Marketers know that one of the biggest traits of Generation Z is their desire for authenticity; influencers (and microinfluencers – who have less than 100,000 followers) fit that requirement. Because they’re focused on real engagement and communication, they are viewed as experts on whatever brand they are talking about. With traditional talent, you tell the talent what they’re going to say. With influencers, they say it the way they say everything. You get a built-in tone and attitude that was once dictated by the client. That’s the authenticity their audience is looking for. It’s not a traditional endorsement, because it’s so much more than a pose and a smile.

Influencers have quickly become a must-have for brands – some now have followings that are catapulting them to true celebrity status, but there is not yet a “go-to” or “tried and true” marketing strategy for them. Because of the traits that make them so important to consumers and popular with brands – authenticity, trust and direct engagement, the best way to utilize them cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. But as more tools for measuring influencer results are developed, finding the best influencers for your brand will become easier. Connecting organically with a brand and maintaining that authenticity is the foundation of working with influencers, and while the most effective strategies for them in the marketing PR landscape are still being tested, it’s clear they aren’t going anywhere, and finding that perfect fit for a brand can be what takes a campaign over the top.

 

10 PR Breakthrough Tools Businesses Should Absolutely Use

By: Jo Trizila, President & CEO, TrizCom Public Relations

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At TrizCom PR, we use proven, successful best practices with everything we do. This includes using the best, most relevant tools. Tools are supposed to make lives easier, right? But there are a bazillion online tools that swear they’re the best. Since we understand the power of a word-of-mouth promotion and the value of a recommendation, we’re giving you an insight into the way we work to make your life easier. Below find 10 PR tools that we love, we use and we recommend.

Sourcing Earned Media

Trust me when I say that in my 20-plus years doing public relations, I have tried almost every news clipping service available. While a few are better than most, none capture all of our clips. One of these days, someone will develop a comprehensive news clipping company; until that time, we’re left with piecemeal.

Although TrizCom subscribes to some very sophisticated tracking software, there are free options too. Some of my favorite tools and tricks include:

Google Alerts – You can get emails when new results for a topic show up in Google Search. For example, you can get info about news, products or mentions of your name. Using Boolean search terms, select the keywords you want to monitor and select the delivery times. Search results will be emailed to your inbox.

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TalkWalker – Monitor the web for interesting new content about your name, brand, competitors, events or any favorite topic with Talkwalker Alerts. Talkwalker Alerts is an easy and free alerting service that provides email updates of the latest relevant mentions on the web directly to your email inbox or RSS feed reader.

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Mention – Easily monitor over 1 billion sources daily including social media, forums, blogs and the rest of the web. Boolean alerts help you zero in on your brand, competitors and customers for precise market research.

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Measure Interest

Google Trends allows users to measure the interest of a particular search term at a macro or micro level. Users can see how popular (or not) a term is right now or five years ago. Users can filter their results in real time and non-real time. Real time is a sampling of data from the last seven days. Non-real time is a more historical sampling. Users can select a custom date range or a preset date range.

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Design on the Fly

Canva allows the user to easily create beautiful designs and documents. Use Canva's drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics.

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Creating Fun Content

Themed Days – Nowadays, there is a national themed day/awareness day/of the week holiday for everything under the sun. Just this month we see World Vegan Day, National Sandwich Day, World Kindness Day, National Adoption Day and Women's Entrepreneurship Day. These are pretty normal, albeit creative, days. Now here are some off-the-charts odd days – National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, National Candy Day, Use Less Stuff Day and my favorite, Red Lipstick Day (I kid you not)! Basically, if you’re looking for a themed holiday, I can almost bet that you can find a day for it. For a calendar of ideas, go to https://nationaldaycalendar.com.

At TrizCom PR, we love these types of themed days because they give us additional content to write and, more importantly, unique content to weave into a relevant news pitch.

For an example, check out these:

SOLIS MAMMOGRAPHY: Turning 40 - What to Know Before Your First Mammogram - Celebrating National Mammography Day with Knowledge and Empowerment

TACO BUENO: Taco Charlton Talks National Taco Day

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Questions You Didn’t Even Know You Didn’t Know

Answer the Public – We’re all searching for something. The auto suggest results provided by Google and Bing are a goldmine of insight for today’s marketers. As you type, you are presented with an aggregated view of the questions and therefore a hint of the motivations and emotions of the people behind each search query. It’s perhaps one of the best but most underutilized sources of research for content ideas.

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Bolder Writing

The Hemingway app makes your writing bold and clear. It's like a spellchecker but for style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not your prose. Too often, our words are like our thoughts – innumerable and disorganized. Almost any bit of writing could use some cutting. Less is more, etc. The Hemingway Editor will highlight (in yellow and red) where your writing is too dense. Try removing needless words or splitting the sentence into two. Your readers will thank you.

The app also checks readability grade levels, words that can be simpler, passive voice and more.

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Create the Best Optimized Blog Headline

With CoSchedule Blog Post Headline Analyzerusers can write headlines that drive traffic, shares and search results. This tool can be used for blog post titles, email subject lines and social messages.

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Keyword Search

SEMRush is a tool that is specific to finding profitable keywords. We're living in a time when SEO is at the forefront of a successful blog. SEMRush is a program many new and older bloggers are using to optimize their sites, create the content their audience wants and create a better experience for their visitors.

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For more information or to schedule a free one-on-one consultation, please give us a ring at 972-247-1369 or visit www.TrizCom.com.

 

What are you even doing?

By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Supervisor at TrizCom PR

I was in a new business meeting last year with two executives from a company out of Houston, Texas. No strangers to the power of PR, they had engaged a firm on retainer for the past year but just weren’t seeing the results they had hoped for the amount they were spending. One of the executives remarked that the only thing the firm had brought to them in the last month was an opportunity to write an editorial for placement in an industry publication. And they didn’t even offer to write it.

“What type of PR plan are they working from?” I asked. They both looked up. Then they looked at each other. Then they looked back at me. I had the answer I suspected. The company was completely clueless as to what the PR firm was working on. There was no plan submitted – monthly, quarterly or annually. No review of ideas, tactics or strategies delivered on a regular basis. No updates. Just a seat-of-the-pants dart board game in which once in a while they got a hit.

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Who does this? How are they getting away with it? At TrizCom PR, we want our clients to feel comfortable asking this question at any time: What are you even doing? But the way we operate, they never get the chance. We pride ourselves on developing strategic public relations and media outreach campaigns. The length of time they cover varies depending on the client and the type of industry they’re in, but everyone has an idea of what we’re working on together to achieve success.

At TrizCom, we’ve even patented an internal “Monday Morning Check-In” email that gets delivered to our client contacts before our weekly staff meeting at 10 a.m. Why do we do this? Because we want our clients to know what our shared pending items include. We’ll tell you if you have a press release that needs approval, an interview Wednesday at 2 p.m. and an editorial byline opportunity – if you can approve it before the two-week deadline. And we’ll even take the steps to write it, if necessary.

And how about measurement? Does your current firm hold themselves accountable for the results they produce? While there’s no such thing as guaranteeing coverage, we pride ourselves on performing without a safety net, so to speak. And just as you get a regularly updated PR Plan, you’ll get a regularly updated PR Clip Report. For me that means some of my busiest weeks occur at the end of every quarter. But it sure makes annual client retainer renewals easier to sign.

What are we even doing? That’s what we’re doing.

Gen Z

By Ashley Stults, TrizCom PR Intern

Open any magazine or newspaper today and chances are you’ll see an article about millennials. One group, however, is slowly taking over the millennial fixation. Generation Z, the generation born after 1995, is taking the marketing industry by storm.

With Gen Z often being described as “digital natives,” this group grew up with technology and spends a majority of their time online. According to a study conducted by IBM where 15,000 consumers aged 13 to 21 from 16 countries participated, 74 percent of respondents spend their free time online, estimating five hours or more a day, and 73 percent use mobile devices to text and chat socially with family and friends. This study noted that Gen Z is also looking to have in-depth conversations regarding brand relationships, with 42 percent saying they would participate in an online game for a campaign and 43 percent would participate in a product review.

So what does this mean for brands?

1.   Gen Z wants to be engaged.

  • The study found that Gen Z cares about product quality and availability, but participation and engagement is what they truly cherish in a long-term brand relationship.

2.   Be quick.

  • Gen Z doesn’t like to wait. Roughly 50 percent of Gen Z members surveyed said the most important thing to them when shopping is being able to find things fast, and more than 60 percent said they will not use an app or website that is hard to navigate or slow to load.

3.    Walk the walk.

  • Don’t just say you’re a good company; prove it. Gen Z wants to see leaders practicing what they preach and being transparent.

4.   Gen Z is accepting.

  • According to Forbes, Gen Z expects to see diversity in marketing. Take Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, for example. Women of all kinds were featured in the campaign, and it was a hit. Gen Z wants to see acceptance and diversity in a brand’s marketing efforts.

Gen Z has high expectations of brands and expects them to deliver. In an ever-changing marketing culture, brands must adapt to the transparent environment that this powerful generation demands.

Words are Important. I have the best words. Believe me.

By Dana Cobb, TrizCom PR

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Leonard Stein, one of the original founders of Mad-libs, said that the iconic ad-lib inspiration notepad was directly linked to his inability to spell “hyperbole” in a seventh-grade spelling bee. Humiliated and embarrassed beyond words, he ran home to take refuge in the family dictionary, determined to learn the correct spelling and exact meaning of as many words as humanly possible.

Words are important; they are the most valuable tools in spoken language.

Misuse of these words can backfire on the deliverer in monumental ways.

My biggest peeve is the exchange of moot versus mute in conversation. For the record, a moot point can be either an issue open for debate or a matter of no practical value or importance because it’s hypothetical. The word mute means “silent; refraining from speech or utterance,” and the pairing mute point has no canonized meaning in standard English.

Following is a quiz. Take it and see how you score. I scored perfectly because I have the best words.

http://www.playbuzz.com/toddbv10/can-you-correctly-use-these-commonly-misused-words#eightieth4