Event Recap: Heart of Gold 5K Run for the Children Benefiting Heroes for Children and Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer

By Jennifer Kuenzer, TrizCom PR

Team TrizCom, pictured here with Heroes for Children’s Co-founder Larissa Linton (in red)

Team TrizCom, pictured here with Heroes for Children’s Co-founder Larissa Linton (in red)

One of the things I love most about working at TrizCom is our work with nonprofits. Giving back to the community is an important part of Jo’s life that she has built into her business, and the best example of this is when we all come together to support one of our nonprofit clients as a team. We had the opportunity to do that on Saturday at the Heart of Gold 5K Run for the Children Benefiting Heroes for Children (our client) and Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer.

Heroes for Children is a unique nonprofit organization that provides social and financial assistance to families battling childhood cancer. For this event, they partnered with Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer, which raises awareness and funding for pediatric cancer research on a national level. The 2017 Heart of Gold 5K was a blast – fun for the entire family, with a DJ, games, activities and food, as well moments and spaces to remember children affected by cancer, the reason we were all there that day. There was a commemorative balloon release, representing the families of Heroes for Children, right before the big race. I managed to get a few photos from the event on Saturday.

The balloon release! It was moving, seeing how many families have been helped by Heroes for Children and their mission.

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Face painting was a big draw for the kids.

It was packed, and everyone was in great spirits.

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Yes, everyone’s a winner, though there was special recognition and medals awarded to those with the best time in their age groups. It was a race for avid runners (like our own Jeff Cheatham – who achieved a personal best) and, well, the rest of us! My family and I were so proud to be part of Team TrizCom and look forward to next year’s event.

 

Reasons why we give… in honor of North Texas Giving Day on Sept. 14

By Katie Mudd, TrizCom PR

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Fall in North Texas means it’s time for football and philanthropy! Kicking off the season with North Texas Giving Day — Communities Foundation of Texas’ annual 18-hour online giving extravaganza for North Texas on Sept. 14. The day is powered by creative nonprofits, social media activism, area-wide collaboration, and of course North Texans coming together! North Texas Giving Day’s goal is to help build awareness and support for nonprofits in North Texas, while making the act of giving easy for donors.

When you give via NorthTexasGivingDay.org, your donation goes further with bonus funds and prizes. All donations scheduled between September 7th and 13th or made between 6 am and midnight on September 14, 2017 qualify. Your donation triggers opportunities for your nonprofit to win prizes rewarded at random or for the highest number of donors! This year every dollar given up to $10,000 will be multiplied with bonus funds when donors give online through NorthTexasGivingDay.org. Plus, some nonprofits have 1:1 matching funds which means your donation is doubled!

TrizCom is passionate about giving back to our community throughout the year and proudly supports many local nonprofits including Community Council of Dallas, Operation KindnessHeroes for Children and Taylor’s Gift. TrizCom founder and CEO Jo Trizila is a firm believer in the Biblical parable “to whom much has been given, much will be required,” and with that philosophy she empowers the team at TrizCom to provide our time, treasures and talents to give back.

Let us help your business develop a charitable giving and sponsorship strategy that is guaranteed to impact the bottom line through increased sales, improved consumer loyalty and employee morale, and enhanced brand awareness. We believe that helping a cause you care about – and one that is also relevant to your business – can reap tangible and intangible benefits for your public image, your shareholders and your community.

How we help:

- Define the objectives of a giving program or sponsorship – why are you giving back?

- Identify causes that are consistent with your business values.

- Strategic alignment with organizations where the reputation, demographics and goals are compatible with your business interests.

- Integrate charitable donations, corporate sponsorships, employee volunteerism and executive expertise within a well thought out communications plan.

- Determine how to leverage your charitable donation/sponsorship.

- Communicate your charitable donation/sponsorship.

To find out how you can help today, visit www.northtexasgivingday.org, or give us a call at 972-247-1369 to see how we can help develop a charitable giving and sponsorship strategy for 2017 and beyond.

Here’s a highlight of a few of the organizations we will be supporting this North Texas Giving Day!

Operation Kindness

Team TrizCom collected pet food donations for Operation Kindness’ Pet Food Pantry to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Team TrizCom collected pet food donations for Operation Kindness’ Pet Food Pantry to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

North Texas’ original and largest no-kill animal shelter. In 2016, Operation Kindness celebrated their 40th anniversary and their achievement of saving more than 90,000 animals since their inception. Annually the shelter assists more than 5,000 dogs and cats, caring for an average of 300 animals daily with another 100-150 animals in foster homes.

 

Community Council of Dallas

Community Council of Dallas’ Area Agency on Aging Helps North Texas Seniors

Community Council of Dallas’ Area Agency on Aging Helps North Texas Seniors

Since its founding in 1940, the Community Council has identified services that are needed in the community, assessed how best services could be delivered to meet social issues, and mobilized and implemented action plans working in concert with its member agencies and public sector resources. Pervasive issues over time have included juvenile delinquency and welfare; seniors; public health; daycare; and legislative advocacy. The Community Council met these challenges through fact-based research, deploying volunteers, incubating new services and agencies, expanding government programs where appropriate, convening collaborative work and delivering selected direct services.

 

Taylor's Gift

Team TrizCom at the 2016 Outlive Yourself Awards.

Team TrizCom at the 2016 Outlive Yourself Awards.

Taylor’s Gift Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the life-saving effort of increasing organ donor registrations and to financially assisting families touched by organ donation.

Heroes for Children

Team TrizCom participated in the annual Heart of Gold 5K in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. See us there again this year on Sept. 16.

Team TrizCom participated in the annual Heart of Gold 5K in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. See us there again this year on Sept. 16.

Heroes for Children is a unique nonprofit that provide financial and social assistance to families with children battling cancer.

Dear Wonder Woman, Thank You. We’ve Been Waiting for You.

By Rebecca Ellis, TrizCom PR intern

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Movie goers across the nation have been flocking to theaters this summer to watch DC Comic’s newest superhero movie – but there’s something different this time. This time, young girls are filling the seats of the theater in anticipation (some even dressed in costume), excited to witness the first ever, female-led superhero movie.

Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as the titular character and directed by Patty Jenkins, has grossed over $400 million in North American box office sales since premiering in theaters on June 2nd. Critics and audiences everywhere are raving about the first superhero movie that features a female as the leading character, but one question still stands to be asked: Why did this take so long?

Since franchising their iconic characters into movies in 2008, DC Comics and Marvel combined have created a total of 19 male-led superhero movies and one female-led. And while no one is arguing the cinematic quality of The Dark Knight trilogy, the importance of female-led superhero movies should not be underestimated.

Here’s why Wonder Woman is important.

1.      Girls need a STRONG female role model.

Too often, girls are taught that the most important thing they can be is pretty. There is an alarming lack of strong female role models in the media that aren’t entirely characterized by their physical features, and it influences youth. The gender gap in youth participation in sports is, though decreasing, still there. In fact, by the age of 14, girls are twice as likely to drop out of sports than boys. While the country has made significant strides (such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in federally-funded educational programs), there is still no state in the country that has equal participation between genders in high school sports. From intense fighting on the forefront of war to unyielding courage and perseverance, Wonder Woman is teaching young girls that being strong is more important than being pretty (although Gadot does a pretty nice job of being both).

2.      Girls need a SMART female role model.

The dishwasher. Windshield wipers. Disposable diapers. Underwater telescopes. Fire escapes. All of these are inventions created by women. So why do women make up half of the college-educated workforce in the United States, but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce? Encouragement for girls in math and science fields after elementary education is lacking, so much so that the number of girls in engineering and computer science programs is comparably lower than the number of boys. In the film, the knowledge of the Amazons is unmatched, a fact that is proven when Wonder Woman is the only person in a room filled with a political war council that can read Sumerian and decipher essential enemy knowledge. When she stood up and said “Surely someone else in this room knew that” to a room full of dumbstruck men, every girl who has ever remained silent when they knew the answer felt a surge of pride and satisfaction.

3.      Strong, smart GIRLS grow up to be strong, smart WOMEN.

The number of women-owned businesses in the United States increased more than 45 percent between 2007 and 2016, meaning it grew five times the rate of the national average. Companies like TrizCom PR, a Certified Woman Owned Business Corporation, are paving the way for young girls everywhere. In fact, the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in America is African American women. Kids watch. Kids listen. Kids do. Movies like Wonder Woman – that feature a central female character whose accomplishments are reflective of her abilities, not her love interests’ – teach kids that a woman can be just as much of a hero as a man can.

So, thank you Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins, Warner Bros., DC Comics and everyone involved in the creation of Wonder Woman for giving girls their own superhero. It’s about time.

13 Ideas How Businesses Can Help with Hurricane Harvey Relief

Hurricane victims depend on CSR – How your company can help

By: Jo Trizila. CEO & President, TrizCom PR

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When America experiences a disaster such as Hurricane Harvey it is easy for companies to jump onto the donation drive bandwagon without much strategy. On one hand, this is what makes America great, as Americans have always stepped up to the plate to help others. However, without a plan, opportunities can be lost. 

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a not a buzzword anymore, it’s a way of life for many companies. A recent paper published in the Journal of Marketing looked at why companies have CSR programs and what drives companies to act. I encourage every business to look at this report and evaluate their own CSR program outreach. 

Below are some CSR disaster relief ideas that even small businesses can do to help with Hurricane Harvey. The main key is to keep it simple. 

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  1. Don’t forget about social media – the epicenter of all communication. Be smart, compassionate and think before you post. Even if you are not located anywhere near the Texas coast, you can offer a response to the disaster. If your company is interrupted and affected, use social media to announce closings, updates and information as well as your care and concern.
  2. Remember, cash is king during disasters and Hurricane Harvey is no different. Organizations need cash first and foremost. Ask customers to donate to the American Red Cross. Create a Point of Service (POS) and arm employees with the information needed for requests. Some larger companies such as Starbucks or Lowes
  3. Get employees on board and excite and motivate them to donate. You may want to institute an employee Jeans Day/Week in exchange for a donation to a disaster relief organization.
  4. Put a tab on your company Facebook profile for donation requests. Facebook has made it super easy to create an American Red Cross donate button right on your Facebook page. I put the donation button on my personal page last night. Super easy.
  5. Consider a company matching program. For every $1 donated something with be matched. It is quite OK to establish a limit. Examples include Amazon & Whole Foods and 7-Eleven.
  6. Use your location as a collection drop-off for much needed donations. Caveat here: make sure that the requested donations are things that have been requested. For example, since there has been a loud cry for infant formula and diapers for the area evacuation centers, TrizCom PR is hosting an infant formula and diaper donation drive at our office building.
  7. Host a food drive. Last year, TrizCom client, Legacy ER & Urgent Care held a food donation drive at its locations for North Texas food banks after devastating tornadoes and collected over 1,000 cans of nonperishable food.
  8. Host (and promote) a blood drive for employees, customers and families to participate. http://www.carterbloodcare.org/donate-blood/.
  9. Organize a companywide day of service to volunteer at a local nonprofit.
  10. For Texas companies, consider a pet food drive to help the local shelters who are taking pets in from the Gulf Coast. Contact your local shelter and ask how you can help as a company.
  11. Offer an extra office for use. During Hurricane Rita, I worked at the Dallas Regional Chamber. Many evacuees from Rita and from Katrina called DFW home for months. Area businesses offered office space for displaced people – especially independent contractors.  Call your local chamber of commerce and see if they have anything in place.
  12. If you have employees close to the affected area, offer time off to employees to help clean up.
  13. Think of the lesser known charities that help with disaster relief and consider formulating a donation drive to help them. However, first check out Guidestar to confirm that you are donating to a legitimate organization. (https://trust.guidestar.org/helping-in-the-wake-of-hurricane-harvey)
Legacy ER & Urgent Care

Legacy ER & Urgent Care

If anything can be learned from this, have a CSR disaster plan in place, so that when it happens you won’t be starting from ground zero.

The American Red Cross and your local government are there to help. Don’t be afraid to call an expert and ask what is needed, how you can help and the best way to activate.

TrizCom PR offers a wide range of strategic communication and public relation services including charitable giving strategies. Please don’t hesitate to call for a free consultation on how your company might implement a CSR strategy. Feel free to reach out to me directly for more information: Jo@TrizCom.com.

 

Need an Internship This Semester?

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Because if you do, Dallas-based TrizCom PR has a deal for you.
Answer these few questions to help gauge your interest level. Do you…

 

…desire to eat discounted—and possibly free—food at Taco Bueno?
…want to nerd-out at Comic-Con’s FAN EXPO for free?
…like boats?
…have a deep and abiding love for dogs and cats?
…like to eat BBQ?
…enjoy soccer and football?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of the questions above, we’d like to hear from you. 

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For the past five years TrizCom PR has hosted over a dozen special interns in our program and we take pride in making it an experience, not just a job. As a TrizCom intern, not only will you be paid for your time ($10 per hour, 15-20 hours/week), you’ll be an integral part of our firm. School credit available as well as flexible schedules. No exclusion from meetings or client-facing work. You’ll be on the front lines right beside us. You’ll be paired one-on-one with a TrizCom staffer who will be in charge of your growth and instruction. 

We want you to apply your academic knowledge into real-world writing, media relations, marketing and promotions scenarios. Duties may include writing PR materials including press releases, website copy, blog copy, managing PR archives and photo resources, preparing media kits, planning special events or promotions, working with account managers to improve communication efforts, interacting with outside vendors and members of the media, assisting with social media outreach efforts with possible opportunities for filming, interviewing and editing video, and collecting research and assisting TrizCom’s overall marketing and PR campaigns.

Still not convinced? Here’s two things you’ll never do:
1.    Make coffee
2.    Make copies

Hear what other interns have said about us

If interested, send cover letter, resume and writing samples to Katie Mudd: katie@trizcom.com.
 

TrizCom PR: The Ultimate Intern Experience

By Amanda Brown, TrizCom PR Intern

As I head into the last weeks of August, my time at TrizCom PR is coming to an end. In a few short days, I will be saying goodbye to my co-intern, Rebecca; my cozy office; and the entire TrizCom staff. Though I am sad to say goodbye, this internship program has been nothing short of the ultimate experience.

My supervisor, Jeff Cheatham, recently wrote a blog highlighting the TrizCom internship program (if you haven’t read it yet, you should). Now I am writing to share my experience as well as write about why you should become an intern.

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As an intern, my first fear is always the one where I spend my time making coffee runs or just doing grunt work. Well, I am here to tell you that in this internship program, that was not the case.

During my time at TrizCom, I worked closely with Jeff helping him research, write press releases, make pitches and create media lists. Everything I created or assisted with, he gave me credit. If I created a press release or a pitch for a client, Jeff would either say “great job” or tell me what I could have done differently. Here, they want their interns to succeed, and they mean that.

Another great thing about this program and company were all of the “field trips” they let the interns go on. At TrizCom, they wanted us to have the full experience of what an everyday PR professional does. If there was an opportunity to visit a client, they made sure Rebecca and I joined. I was a part of client brainstorm meetings, television interviews and got to go on the set of a client’s photo shoot.

Finally, the best part of this internship is the company culture. At TrizCom, there is no such thing as a “closed” door (unless they are on the phone). Every morning I was greeted with a “hello” or “good morning” and left every night with a “thank you for all of your help” or “we appreciate you.” I never felt or was treated like an intern – more like a junior account executive. The office was always a fun place to be if there was a birthday or special occasion. As an office we took lunch trips, celebrated TrizCom’s ninth birthday and shared stories every Monday about our weekends. The perfect word to describe the company culture would be family.

Even though I am about to leave, I know that this is not actually goodbye. The people I met, the connections I made with the staff and clients, will never be forgotten. To every person at TrizCom, thank you. I had the best summer interning for such a wonderful company. I am leaving not only with a full portfolio filled with material, but appreciation and knowledge of what public relations professionals do. I am excited to see what the future holds for TrizCom, the next interns and me.

So if you are a student or recent graduate looking to grow your knowledge of the PR industry, and work for an awesome company, then look no further. To get the ultimate PR experience, send your resume and cover letter to Katie Mudd. I promise you will not regret it.

A Meaningful Experience

By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Supervisor at TrizCom PR

Excuse me while I take a moment to brag on the Intern Program at TrizCom PR. Headed up by my colleague, Katie Mudd, it’s a culture-driven credit to our organization as a whole. For several years, TrizCom has instituted a semester-oriented program for current university students and recent graduates. We run a five-month program in the spring, a three-month program in the summer and a five-month program in the fall.

I think we’re coming off one of our best classes ever. This summer, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting Rebecca Ellis and Amanda Brown, both of Texas Tech. These two remarkable young ladies have made significant contributions to the earned media wins of our clients, and we’ll be sad to see them go.

So what exactly makes a good intern program?

Many moons ago (I won’t say how many moons), I was in my final semester of college when it dawned on me that I might want to seek an internship to have something to put on my resume other than University of Texas Student Union Marketing Committee. I think I went to one meeting, sat in the back, and then later claimed I ran the whole show. I doubted it would fly when the real job interview process began.

I found a suitable intern program at an Austin-based ad agency (name redacted). I was one of 12 picked to participate, and I can still remember my dad on the phone asking incredulously, “What do you mean it’s unpaid? Can they do that?” I thought I was lucky enough to have landed somewhere. It didn’t take long for me to get a sense of what an internship was like.

On the second day, one of the girls in the program quit because they asked her to sit up front and answer the phones. I was busy working on real-world advertising business such as making copies for a meeting that my bosses had no intention of inviting me to attend. I stayed at it, however, and after the internship ended, they asked me to stay on full time. For minimum wage. Six months later they laid me off, so I got an early taste of what downsizing meant.

Looking back, the internship program at that agency was terrible. And I can say from my experience at TrizCom over the last three years, internships have come a long way. Let me tell you why ours is both different and meaningful. We’re committed to making sure that our interns are valued. If you intern with us, you’ll be in our weekly staff meeting. You’ll be in client meetings. You’ll go to media interviews. You’ll pitch stories. You’ll write talking points. You’ll be an integral part of account planning and PR campaigns. And it’s paid work.

Most of all—you’ll get the credit you earn. We pride ourselves on creating a real-world atmosphere at TrizCom so that you’ll be prepared for real public relations down the road. And that’s if we don’t offer you a job. Our program is specifically designed to promote from within. You show us what you can do, and we have the business to support you as a full-time employee, and you’re in.

Our fall internship program is currently underway, and we’re looking for the next Rebecca Ellis and Amanda Brown. If you desire a place where your opinion and hard work are valued, reach out to Katie Mudd and let her know you want to experience the TrizCom Difference™.

Chicken Little was Ready in Case the Sky Fell. Why Businesses Should Prepare too.

By Karen Carrera, Senior Account Executive, TrizCom PR

Chicken Little gif from giphy.com

Chicken Little gif from giphy.com

Smart phones and social media. Those two things are why every business should have a crisis plan in place. Why? In addition to media exposure, smart phones and social have empowered today’s “citizen journalists,” and the internet can spread a story in seconds. What’s worse, truth doesn’t always seem to matter if the story is interesting and the video compelling.

It’s easy to see why a large airliner, construction company or food distribution company has much more risk and the need for a crisis – or reputation management – plan. But if you are providing any kind of public service, thinking through what might happen and what you’re going to do is a wise decision. You might feel a little like Chicken Little – and sometimes the boss doesn’t want to hear about what might go wrong – but it’s always better to be prepared.

What questions should you ask during this process?

1)      What is the worst that could happen? This exercise will help you understand your weak spots, spell out why you need to be better prepared, and erase the element of surprise when something does go wrong.

2)      When something happens, who should I call? My recommendation is to always have legal and public relations representation on speed dial. That way, when something happens, instead of wasting time thinking through who to call, you know exactly who to call. Also, if the incident spirals than you will have help for both the courtroom jury and the jury of public perception.

3)      Why should I invest in PR and social media? Practitioners will tell you that both social media and PR take time and effort – neither can expect overnight results. When a company calls me out of the blue because they’ve had a crisis event, it’s much harder to get traction if we’re starting with nothing in place. Reputations are made over time, and if you aren’t building good will and engaging with reporters and customers, you leave yourself completely bare.

4)      Do I need legal advice? A lawyer can assess your risk and advise what you need to put in place to show “due diligence.” For example, if you provide an entertainment venue for minors – arcade games, put-put golf, bumper cars – it would be important to make sure that all employees are background checked to ensure you aren’t exposing children to a predator. And if an accusation does come up, you can prove that you have a robust process in place.

5)      How might incidents escalate? Not all do, but there is a huge possibility that once the thread frays, it easily unravels. For example, if an employee claims sexual harassment, many times other employees are emboldened to step forward with similar claims. Now there is a pattern – a story much harder to fight.

Companies that are ill-prepared are always surprisingly shocked when a crisis event occurs. But crises are nearly always predictable – maybe not exact circumstances, but you can hit pretty close to the general topic: contamination, injury or fatality, employee theft, sexual harassment. The list is similar from company to company, depending on the industry. And when you can predict something might happen, you can plan for it as well. And in the end, as unappreciated as Chicken Little was – he was right.