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Meet the Intern: Paige Shaw

Paige Shaw - TC Summer Intern 2014

At Trainer Communications we have been growing by leaps and bounds. Meet our Intern, Paige Shaw who is spending her summer with us in San Francisco. Interested in becoming an intern? We’re hiring!

Name: Paige Shaw

Hometown: San Rafael, CA

School + Major: Princeton University: Majoring in Public Policy and International Relations with a Minor in Technology in Society and Dance

Why did you pick Trainer? Susan Thomas and the entire Trainer team are very friendly and engaging which creates a great atmosphere to work in. I also liked that Trainer was a small enough company so I would be able to be involved with projects from the get-go and really learn what it means to work with a tech PR/Marketing company.

 At which store would you like to max-out your credit card? Urban Outfitters

 What was the last really great book you read? East of Eden by John Steinbeck

 TV show you never miss? Modern Family

 When outside of the office, you can usually find me…In the ballet studio!

What has been the highlight of Trainer? I enjoyed seeing the end-result of the projects and research that I worked on. It’s nice to know that that the work us interns are doing actually contributes to the team in an important way.

What will you miss the most about Trainer? My co-workers of course! They are a very entertaining group.

Key advice for future interns at Trainer Communications?  Ask lots of questions, keep your desktop organized, make a to-do list, and become a pro at Excel and Cision. It will make life a lot easier!

This entry was written by Paige Shaw, posted on August 11, 2014 at 11:40 pm, filed under Giving Back, Internship, Marketing, PR, PR and marketing agency best practices, Trainer Communications. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Forget the 99% — it’s the 10% that’s critical

Forget the 90%

Sorry if the title is misleading, but this is not a social commentary on the Occupy movement. But with all the discussion over the last few years about the 99 percent, I wanted raise a different, but incredibly important insight that’s relevant to anyone who needs to deliver a message.

This week, I attended a workshop held by the geniuses at Rexi Media, a consultancy focused on not only the science behind giving meaningful presentations, but also what spurs us to actually remember them. Based on current research in the cognitive psychology and neurobiology fields, the Rexi team has built an approach to presentation creation and delivery that capitalizes on the way the brain operates. The first step to that approach, however, is a doozy.

Audiences on average only remember 10 percent of what you deliver in a presentation.

At first blush, that statistic was not surprising to me. We all have a sense (and probably some personal experience) that tell us that a lot of content doesn’t “stick” to our audience. But the implications of this insight should drive the way that we create and deliver our presentations much more than I’m seeing today.

Think about a presentation that you’ve delivered recently. What was the 10 percent that you were trying to convey? If you asked one of the members of the audience, do you think they’d repeat back that same message back to you? Sadly, the chances are that the answer is “no.” But it certainly does not have to be that way.

So often, we’re trapped in the mindset of creating presentations quickly and pulling from content we already have or slides we’ve already built, just changing the “talk track” depending on who we’re speaking to. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but unless we’re crystal clear about the core message we’re trying to convey, we don’t stand a chance in making it memorable to our audience. And the chances are, if we’re copying and pasting, we’re not making that message clear to those on the receiving end.

The truth is that competition for our attention at any given moment is growing. To get an audience to remember your product, organization or message, you must capture and maintain their attention first. Rexi Media is an incredible resource for best practices and science-proven methods to achieve that goal – and I’ll never look at PowerPoint the same way again.

This entry was written by Caitlin Haskins, posted on August 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm, filed under Business Strategy, Marketing, PR and marketing agency best practices, Sales, Social Media, Trainer Communications, Uncategorized. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Lucy and the Rise of Big Data


For the first time in more than a decade, I chose the movie, and my man and son came along willingly. I have read the reviews of Lucy, and it is clear which ones are written by men, whose egos get bruised whenever there is an understated allusion that they are in fact not the center and boss of the universe, and by extension the master of us women, children and all innocent victims and animals, regardless of gender or age. (example from Todd something).

I derail. Point is Lucy is the first movie with me in mind as audience. I don’t care if its theories are imperfect and they had to fill trailers with novel violence so our men would be on board (as long as us smart and successful women bought the tickets and popcorn, of course). I am just delighted that someone is exploring the possibility that we may in fact not know anything fully and are actually living our lives in our limited paradigm supported by our agreed upon science and mathematical theories.

I am into Big Data. I’ve been into it long before I knew the latest industry descriptor of what I used to think of as the “Da Vinci brain” and became the director of the new Big Data practice at Trainer Communications. Big Data IS the big brain. It empowers us with god-like intelligence we couldn’t even imagine a hundred years ago, when we relied on printing presses, human speech and horses.

The question my ten-year-old son asked me after the movie was, “Mama, do you want to use 100% of your brain?” Quite profound. According to the movie, I’d be incapable of loving my mortal, time-trapped son as much as I do, so I gave him a percentage I thought would allow me to have access to my human, flawed and frightened self with a boost of incredible intelligence and clarity.

Big Data is the means of compiling all the minutia, the tiny granular bits of every stroke we type, every mouse click, every decision, purchase and connection we make, or don’t make, to provide us humans with unprecedented insight and clarity–the value of which is immeasurable, the impact unknown. But, we do know that a company without a Big Data strategy is already as good as erased.

Sure, it is complicated. And, the cacophony of voices from vendors claiming to be the way, the truth and the light is deafening. But, you can’t deny it. Big Data is not going away. It is not a fad or a trend. Big Data will impact everything you know to be true today. Someday it will be commonplace for your bed to tell you it is time to change the sheets and your kitchen trash can to send you a text when it is at capacity and even order more trash bags for you. And your favorite e-commerce websites will know you better than you know yourself and will almost magically offer you exactly what you need even before you ask.

Please follow me at @AsaFenton and I’ll continue this thread and provide guidance to help you navigate the unknown waters of Big Data. Please also follow @BlueData @MemSQL @Interana @Reflektion @Xangati, and especially

This entry was written by Asa Fenton, posted on August 6, 2014 at 10:20 pm, filed under BigData, Business Strategy, Marketing, PR, PR and marketing agency best practices, Sales. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Client Blog: AppDynamics Funding Round – Coverage

AppDynamics - Jyoti Bansal Founder and CEO

AppDynamics – Jyoti Bansal – Founder and CEO

July 22: We worked with AppDynamics on the strategy, timing, tactics and outreach for their large growth financing round. AppDynamics software monitors web and mobile applications to automatically find and fix problems. Check out the amazing coverage that resulted from Trainer’s media outreach:

@Reuters – Sarah McBride: AppDynamics raises $120 mln, joining billion-dollar valuation club

@ Wall Street Journal – Deborah Gage: AppDynamics Raises $120M, Valued at $1 Billion for Corporate Software

@ VentureBeat – Jordan Novet: AppDynamics picks up $120M in the race to replace old-school monitoring tools

@ Bloomberg News / Businessweek – Olga Kharif: AppDynamics Nabs $120 Million to Join $1 Billion Club

@ Red Herring – Peter Ward: AppDynamics raises $120m at $1bn valuation – Investment Round Up

@ Law360 – Chelsea Naso: AppDynamics Becomes Latest Tech Startup Worth Over $1B

@  GigaOm – Jonathan Vanian: As AppDynamics lands $120 million, its focus shifts to expansion and new products


This entry was written by, posted on July 28, 2014 at 5:23 am, filed under Business Strategy, PR, Press Relations, Trainer Communications, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Are You Ready to Swim with Media Sharks?

shark blog pic

Colin Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”  This is not only true about business, but also about life.  At Trainer Communcations, we understand and live by this advice.  In fact, it is from this concept that our incredibly successful charity and media event SharkTank was developed.

This year marks Trainer’s fourth annual SharkTank event, which will take place October 22nd at the beautiful Hotel Vitale in San Francisco.  The Media SharkTank event gives Silicon Valley technology company executives the opportunity to test their best pitch before an elite panel of media “sharks,” including television anchors/reporters and top-tier business press.  Media pitches are presented to a panel of four prestigious judges from a variety of outlets such as NBC-TV and Bloomberg Businessweek, and each spokesperson receives invaluable feedback to hone their respective media pitch for the future.

media sharktank-image-for-SharkTank1

Although these are “shark-infested waters,” it’s actually as safe as it gets.  SharkTank provides the perfect opportunity to test your pitching skills in the confines of a private hotel suite with immediate expert advice that is specific to you and your company.  Participants receive nonpareil exposure and are able to build relationships with elite reporters as executives learn how to ensure that their pitches end up on top.  Make no mistake, if your company “hooks” the judges, they will likely reach out to you again to pursue a future story!

This unparalleled event has sold out every year, and continues to receive rave reviews from all who attend.  In fact, Trainer’s SharkTank event was named a finalist in the PR News’ PR 2013 Agency Elite awards “Promotion of a Firm” category.

Last, but not least, what’s a shark themed event without a little charity (or in this case a lot of charity).  For the fourth year in a row, all proceeds of this amazing event go to the San Francisco Baykeeper.  So far, Media SharkTank has raised over $32,500 for this incredible charity!  This non-profit organization has advocated for the health and sustainability of San Francisco Bay since 1989 working to, “reverse the environmental degradation of the past and promote new strategies and policies.”

So take the plunge, make a splash, and test your best pitch on several real media “sharks” at the 2014 Media SharkTank on October 22nd!



Ashley Gustafson

This entry was written by Kayla Bongay, posted on July 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm, filed under Media Shark Tank, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

The Brilliant Machine That Could Finally Fix Airport Security

WIRED.COM – By Alex Davies

Fans at a World Cup game at Arena de Baixada stadium in Curitiba, Brazil use the Qylatron to go through security.

Australian fans pumped to see their team take on Spain during the first round of the World Cup were intrigued by the honeycomb-like machine that had replaced the standard manual search process at Arena de Baixada stadium in Curitiba, Brazil. They were less thrilled when the machine spotted the toy kangaroos they were trying to sneak into the match.

That machine is the Qylatron Entry Experience Solution, and it could soon replace a crappy experience of going through security checks at airports and other venues with one that’s faster and less invasive. Instead of having a human poke around in your bag, the machine scans it for a variety of threats in just a few seconds. Searching those Aussies and other soccer fans may prove to be a watershed moment for the system, a successful test of how well it can spot trouble and move people through security, efficiently and with their dignity intact.

The system is the work of Silicon Valley-based Qylur Security Systems, and it consists of five pods that sit around a central sensor. The process is a much closer to being pleasant than having your stuff searched by hand at a stadium or going through the mundane horrors of TSA security. You don’t have to open your bag or let any else touch it. And with five people moving through at once, you’re through security before you have time to really get annoyed. <MORE>


This entry was written by, posted on July 15, 2014 at 12:17 am, filed under Marketing, PR, Security, Trainer Communications. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Trainer Communications Earns “Best Video” Award from PR Daily


Qylur Security Systems Video is a PR Daily Winner, Featured on Huffington Post and a YouTube Hit

June 4: Trainer Communications announced today that Ragan’s PR Daily has honored Trainer Communications with the “Best Video” award in the “Company Overview” category for its work with Qylur Security Systems. The PR Daily Video Awards recognize videos that maximize production values, stretch small budget dollars, craft compelling, dramatic stories, and take full advantage of the powerfully humanizing and personalizing video format.

To view the Qylatron™ Entry Experience Solution award-winning video, click here.

YouTube Preview Image

After seeing the aftermath of the Madrid bombings on CNN in 2004, Dolev was moved to change the security screening experience forever, resulting in her founding of Qylur Security Systems. As the company prepared to emerge from stealth mode in 2013, Qylur challenged Trainer to tell a passionate and emotional story that explained Qylur’s security technology in a simple way. Within two weeks of launching, the video had earned more than 1,000 views on YouTube and The Huffington Post had included it in a feature on Qylur.

Ragan Communications award competitions are the most prestigious in the PR and corporate communications industry. PR Daily judges noted that within the first 30 seconds of the video, viewers were engaged and eager to hear how Qylur could help deter future acts of terrorism. According to PR Daily, “the team at Trainer Communications made the difficult look easy when it created a company overview video for Qylur Security Systems, a homeland security technology company.”

5 Tips for Your New Corporate Video

With the wild popularity of YouTube and the ubiquity of smartphones that shoot high-def video, it seems that almost everyone is a videographer and producer these days. The technology is so user friendly – shoot, edit, share – anyone can produce a video, right? Not Really!

Download the new ProMotion Studios Solution Brief to find out how you can make maximum impact with your new Corporate Video or Animation: 5 Tips for Your New Corporate Video – Solution Brief – F60414

This entry was written by, posted on June 4, 2014 at 9:20 pm, filed under PR, Security, Trainer Communications, Uncategorized, Video, Video Production and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

MetricsMatter(tm) Client Highlights: April & May 2014

Trainer Metrics Matter Speed - @1

News and Coverage Roundup

Sumologic: In The News

May 20: VentureBeat – With another $30M, Sumo Logic will keep tabs on your dataThe data analytics startup has pulled in another $30 million in funding, bringing its total to $80.5 million. It previously raised $30 million in a late 2012 funding round. Sumo Logic provides analysis of log data across a business’s apps, servers, network, and other IT infrastructure: Network World, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Dow Jones – Venture Wire, Tech Republic.

Exablox: Client Coverage

May 1: Review: Exablox OneBlox is a storage admin’s dream – Smoothly scalable, automatically redundant, set-it-and-forget-it NAS from Exablox, rewrites the network storage playbook. By Tim Ferrill – InfoWorld

AppDynamics: As Seen on TV

April 30: Bloomberg TV – A Rags to Riches Story for AppDynamics’ CEOAppDynamics CEO Jyoti Bansal explains how the company helps clients find and fix problems with their web and mobile applications. He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)

TelyLabs: Contributed Articles

May 27: Forbes – Does Tely Labs Threaten George Soros’s 9.4 Million Polycom Share Bet? by Peter Cohan – Contributor

May 24: Entrepreneur – When Launching Your Startup, Consider These 5 Risks by Shreekanth Ravi, Founder – Tely Labs

May 20: InformationWeek/Healthcare – Videoconferencing Connects Hospice Patients, Families by Alison Diana, Senior Editor – InformationWeek

Xangati: Channel Program Intro

April 24: CRN – Xangati, Developer Of Cloud Intelligence Tools, Expanding VAR Programs by Joseph Tsidulko – Senior Editor, CRN.

Venafi: Security Never Sleeps

WSJ: “Google, Microsoft Race to Assess Heartbleed Vulnerability
LA Times: “Heartbleed Bug’ puts Web security at risk.”
Security Week: “Content Distribution Networks Fuel Rising Threat of Digitally Signed Malware”
NWW: “Poorly managed SSH keys pose serious risks for most companies”
CSO: “CryptoLocker’s success will fuel future copycats”
The Economist: “The end of trust”

This entry was written by, posted on May 27, 2014 at 11:37 pm, filed under Marketing, PR, Press Relations, Sales, Social Media, Trainer Communications. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

The company we keep: Mobile solutions tackle early diagnosis, economic growth in developing world

VAF logo

The company we keep: Mobile solutions tackle early diagnosis, economic growth in developing world

By Caitlin Haskins

The gathering looked like many that you would see in San Francisco or the Silicon Valley – a modern, sleek office space with a mixed group of men and women, ages twenty-something to forties. Some wore business casual, others came in jeans and were busy snapping photos with their mobile phones. What set apart this particular group from dozens of others like it happening that week?

Everett, the inventor and engineer from MIT that I’d just met, showed off a device clipped to his iPhone. This small smartphone accessory (that looked a bit like a belt clip) could, he told me, enable a mobile phone to take photos of a patient’s retina. Eventually, it might allow a doctor in the developing world to gauge a patient’s chances of developing diabetes or neurological disorders, even if they lived far from the nearest medical clinic.

Held by the Vodafone Americas Foundation, this reception celebrated finalists for the 2014 Wireless Innovation Project, a competition that promotes innovation and increase implementation of wireless technologies for a better world. The inventors, coders, and entrepreneurs in the room were a day away from presenting their technologies to a panel of judges with the goal of earning part of a $600,000 pot of prize money and the mentorship of Vodafone xone, Vodafone’s global center for innovation in the Silicon Valley.

Trainer’s clients represent an incredible class of companies across enterprise software, security, network infrastructure, storage, and consumer tech industries. Innovation and deep tech are our mainstays. Standing in a room with the brains behind so many incredible mobile tech creations – including a fog-mapping system that will deliver a potable water source to rural populations, a drone that can deliver cell signal in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, and an imaging device that will help doctors better detect and treat cervical cancer – gives a feeling of excitement and hope that is beyond any other in the PR business.

At the Social Innovation Summit in New York, May 28-29, Vodafone will announce the winners of the Wireless Innovation Project and send three teams on their way to making the world a better place through mobile tech. It is such a privilege to work with clients that know the importance of honoring innovation in the community and supporting the incredible tech minds of the future.

photo 1

June Sugiyama, Director of Vodafone Americas Foundation

This entry was written by Kayla Bongay, posted on April 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm, filed under Giving Back, PR, Social Media, Trainer Communications and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

The Modern Professional’s Hamlet Dilemma: To Read or not to Read?

To Read or Not To Read?

Open. Respond. Filter. Delete. Repeat.

Responding to the landslide of emails is a continuous process in our daily routine. Given the sheer volume of emails, one must learn to recognize which emails are worth opening and which are just spam. Jack Shepherd of BuzzFeed noticed this and further investigated this real life phenomenon in his article Is Email Turning Us All Into Spammers?

From evaluating 75 emails, Shepherd determined that 68 percent of messages were spam, 92 percent of which were coming from coworkers. After seeing these numbers, Shepherd posed three thoughts to his readers:  

  1. Before even drafting a message, determine if the email will be relevant to your coworkers in the “To” line.
  2. Today the common habit is to continuously send/receive emails, rather than really dealing with their content.
  3. Having “email free days” in the workplace are not a bad idea.

As I sit here seeing the numbers in my inbox continuously increase in my peripheral vision, I continue to wonder about this modern day dilemma my co-workers and I face as modern PR professionals – a profession that relies heavily on exchanging emails.  And Shepherd’s three points, bring up three of my own:

  1. Just like the common saying of “think before you speak” in this modern day and age, it is also important to “think before you e-mail.”
  2. Our culture thrives on instant gratification. We check our emails right when our phone buzzes because we want to know right away what is going on. But at the same time, instantly checking swallows up a lot of time, sometimes resulting in procrastination of important work. Although, will we ever be able to break this habit when our smart phones are always at our sides?
  3. It’s a great thought to fully cut the cord from emails, but how practical or even possible is that in 2014?

Emails are an unavoidable part of our daily routine. Check, respond, filter, delete, and repeat. It’s a necessary evil. But where is the line between necessary evil and just plain evil? What are your thoughts on e-mail etiquette, volume and best practices? Leave them in the comments or Tweet us at @TrainerComms… and of course you can always email us.

This entry was written by Kayla Bongay, posted on March 28, 2014 at 10:36 pm, filed under Internship, Marketing, PR and marketing agency best practices, Trainer Communications and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

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