Colleagues I work with at my day job at Trainer Communications are constantly proving their business media story-telling expertise and strategic knowledge of journalists’ target audiences, the past couple months few are notable. Starting in September, Trainer clients have gained visibility in digital, print and broadcast media outlets that include The Wall Street Journal, San Jose Mercury News, CNBC, USA TODAY, Bloomberg, Forbes, Fox News, NBC and more.
Clients receiving write-ups and broadcast coverage have included a mix of high tech B2B and B2C vendors serving all industries and markets. Here is a brief lineup of clients earning top spots in the globe’s leading outlets, the related Trainer teams, summaries of and links to the news Trainer helped them to develop, articulate and land:
From the IT security team:
Norse: Featured in USA TODAY and syndicated repeatedly as a result, this security start up was covered for its ability to provide live threat intelligence needed to protect the Internet of Things —http://www.usatoday.com/story/cybertruth/2013/10/15/hackers-taking-control-of-internet-appliances/2986395/
Venafi: Featured in USA TODAY and the San Jose Mercury News, this provider of security solutions that protect trust for enterprise digital communications was featured in stories discussing the impact on security the federal government shutdown had and how NSA-surveillance is impacting the business of security — http://www.usatoday.com/story/cybertruth/2013/10/08/cybersecurity-guidance-wains-due-to-government-shut-down/2944855/; http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24437687/nsa-spying-could-prove-costly-bay-area-and?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com
SpectorSoft: Known for helping companies to detect insider threats that frequently lead to data breaches and fraud, this client was featured in Fox News Small Business Center for research it brought to market along with a new product – http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/entrepreneurs/2013/09/25/inside-job-how-to-prevent-employee-data-breaches/
From the Storage Team:
Virident: Acquired for more than $600 million, this leading provider of Flash storage was featured over 150 times across all news mediums, with a stunning news report in Forbes as well as coverage in Reuters – http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2013/09/13/western-digital-buys-fast-growing-virident-for-685-million/ ; http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/09/us-westerndigital-acquisition-idUSBRE9880I120130909
From the Consumer Team:
OMG Life: This UK-based supplier of precision-based motion-tracking systems and cameras took the consumer-tech world by storm when they popped up on a feature story in CNBC — http://www.cnbc.com/id/101143676
From the Wireless, Telecom and Networking Team:
Qylur: Focused on preventing physical security breaches that lead to terrorist attacks and life-threatening incidents, the startup burst onto the US homeland security radar with multiple business features including video reports in The Wall Street Journal and on Fox Business, as well as a feature story in Bloomberg — http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2781875682001/self-service-security-screening-at-airports/?playlist_id=1671716501001; http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-22/at-the-airport-of-the-future-even-the-security-check-is-self-service; http://live.wsj.com/video/the-self-service-future-of-security/DED7EF31-6D42-4D52-AB54-BE4613609DB5.html#!DED7EF31-6D42-4D52-AB54-BE4613609DB5
Ikanos: This public player (NSADAQ: IKAN) providing advanced broadband semiconductor and software products landed front and center in a conversation with NBC Bay Area news anchor Scott McGrew about the intersection of TV and Internet: http://www.pressheretv.com/over-the-top/
This lineup is just a few of Trainer’s accomplishments over the past couple of months but worth mentioning, as rarely will any strategic communications agency offering integrated AR/PR and marketing have this much high-level business press success across all practice groups in such a short period. I asked Trainer’s founder and CEO Susan Thomas to sum up the success in her own words:
“Most high tech vendors’ attempts to capture executive audience attention through the business press are stalled by communication firms that lack key relationships with top journalists and that don’t know how to develop news into a story that appeals to business audiences,” said Thomas . “We work very hard at every level of the organization to establish relationships with key reporters, stay abreast of trends and stories they care about, and design events that help us to get to know them on a personal level.”
Did I mention, in addition to this brief success history that has taken place over the past few months, since the beginning of the year the Trainer practice groups have landed clients in top-tier business press 95 times … 95 TIMES!
Great work Trainer practice group teams!
Tweet This: Awesome Biz Press #PR Sept. Oct. @TrainerComms @Norse @Venafi @Virident @Ikanos @Solutionary http://www.trainercomm.com/blog/?p=779
This entry was written by PR, Press Relations, Security, Storage, Trainer Communications and tagged Bloomberg, broadcast coverage, business media, CNBC, Forbes, Fox News, Ikanos, NBC, Norse, San Jose Mercury News, Solutionary, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, Venafi, Virident. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Trainer Communications prides itself on “giving back.” Many of us are involved in charities as individuals, and we also support Trainer team philanthropy and charitable events. Oh, and did we mention, we are endurance athletes too? Sit back and watch this 80-second video about Trainer for Tatas – our famous Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Team!
For more information on Trainer for Tatas and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer visit our team page here: bit.ly/16ewRXV
This entry was written by Giving Back, Trainer Communications and tagged Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Charity, community, Giving Back, non-profit work, Team Development, Trainer for Tatas. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
While surfing the internet, I ran across an interesting article about what Generation Y “really wants from work.” Obviously curious, I clicked on the blog and proceeded to read about all of the ridiculous requirements that my generation was requesting, and how hard it could potentially be to find a job that encompassed this. Despite these requirements, within the first minute of reading I realized that I not only agreed with all of these things, but I myself was working at a company that offers me almost all of them.
A Family at Work
According to the post, Generation Y strives to find a work environment that feels like, “a family-like culture at work…a collaborative work environment, work-outings, and hiring like-minded individuals.” This is, as it suggests, probably the number one thing on my mental checklist. If I’m spending most of my day at an office, I want to like the people I am spending each day with. Thankfully, this is exactly what I have come to find at Trainer Communications, one big family where people are capable of laughing with (and at) one another while they complete their day-to-day activities.
Millennials want more out of a job than simply a check every at the end of every month. Yes, we want the money but, more than that, many of us seek out internships as an opportunity to gain knowledge about a career path or industry that we can’t get from a college professor. We want to know our work is important and that we’re making a difference. During my first week as an intern, I was already joining client calls, creating briefing sheets and monthly reports, and planning an entire event for our newest client. I could see the ways that my work was impacting my team and it was so rewarding and motivating to know that I was able to contribute.
The opportunity to speak up
Generation Y has grown up speaking their mind about EVERYTHING. We speak up when it comes to the rights of others, how late we think our curfew should be, what we want for dinner, and just about any other opinions that may cross our mind throughout the day. Have no fear; we will let you know exactly what we think about anything and everything whether you want to hear it or not. That said it’s no wonder that we look for work places that value our outspoken opinions. At Trainer I have found that innovation is always rewarded and encouraged, interns are always asked to speak their mind, and any idea is a good idea (even if it isn’t). Not one meeting has passed where I haven’t been asked to share my opinion about a topic or suggest any ideas that I may have.
So maybe, just possibly, it’s okay that my generation knows what we want because if I hadn’t I don’t know if I would be interning where I am now and loving every second of it.
This entry was written by Internship, Trainer Communications and tagged generationY, internship, PR, Workplace. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
When you start an internship at Trainer Communications, you hit the ground running. Most companies provide a grace period for new employees to get comfortable before starting their actual jobs. My girlfriend works at Cisco and her first week was spent playing dodge ball, going to Dave ‘n Busters and devouring all the free food her new bosses were throwing at all the interns.
But from the very beginning of my time at Trainer Communications, I’ve been working on client projects that always keep me on my toes. Unlike the stereotypical intern, my responsibilities don’t include fetching someone coffee with cream and sugar. I’m given meaningful tasks that are vital to team success and add to the company’s bottom line. Interns at Trainer aren’t the slave labor of the work force. We add value to the company, making us members of the team just like everyone else.
The flip side of starting the real work so early is that you’ll have to adapt quickly for the first couple of weeks. Even when your boss tells you to ask questions when you need help, certain situations can be frightening when you’re out of your element. Being open-minded on new tasks has helped significantly when taking on daunting tasks. I have found catching a team member at certain times can make all the difference in the world, and refusing to ask for help would only be wasting their time as well as my own. It’s fast paced, but it’s a great learning experience geared towards the types of employees Trainer wants: the go-getters who aren’t afraid to jump into something they’re not familiar with.
Trainer happens to be my fourth company, but it’s the first one where I have felt a true connection with everyone. The people here make the experience of working much richer, and while we work hard, the atmosphere of Trainer is one of camaraderie. Every day, jokes between co-workers make their way across the office, and all people contribute. Unlike most companies, it seems, I don’t finish my day and reflect on how the boredom makes me want to pull my hair out. Sometimes days can be fairly busy, but you can always crawl out of your shell and chat with someone that knows how you’re feeling and truly cares. The one thing that remains constant at Trainer is the friendly relationships everyone has. I find these kinds of relationships to be truly valuable, since we all work so close together and continue to have nothing but positive remarks about one another.
Believe it or not, I have found things that I enjoy beyond marketing. I know, I know; with my silver tongue and compelling personality marketing seems a perfect fit. Alas, the fires of my heart burn towards other goals, too. Helping children, the great outdoors, singing ridiculous nonsense words and making silly faces: passions that surprisingly don’t fit that well into the business world. Just try getting your manager to sing a repeat-after-me song about 6 little ducks. These loves fit in well at summer camp however, and I recently spent my first summer ever as a camp counselor at a place called Camp Okizu. It’s a place for children affected by cancer, either in themselves or in a sibling, to come and get away from the stress and struggles of dealing with such a terrible illness at such a young age.
Ok, so I was a camp counselor. What does that have to do with an internship here at Trainer? Well what if I were to tell you that without Trainer, I would have never gotten the opportunity to go to camp at all? Take a minute to collect your thoughts from around the room, because I’m sure that blew your mind.
I don’t just mean that Trainer gave me time off to go volunteer (but I got a full week!). Our own Travis Anderson, an employee here who has been volunteering at Camp Okizu for 6 years, introduced me to the program one day over lunch in the kitchen. He had gotten a week off earlier in the summer to be a counselor and inspired me to give it a shot. Because here at Trainer, everyone shares a strong sense of giving back to the community. Trainer for Ta-Ta’s, an initiative started by our own Caitlin Scott, is the flagship of Trainer’s community service and is currently 60% finished in its goal of raising $10,000 towards breast cancer research.
But what if breast cancer isn’t your charity of choice? Does Trainer just say tough ta-tas? (yes, that was the absolute “breast” joke I could think of.) Not at all!
Trainer sponsors a number of charities and community service organizations such as Bay Keeper, with the proceeds of our Media SharkTank, or long-time team member Ross Perich’s annual ride for Leukemia, and many other worthwhile causes. Whether that’s getting a few days off to go volunteer at a summer camp, a mention of the charity on the website or at an event, or internal promotion of the organization through our employees, Trainer really tries to help you help the world to be a better place.
Like many of my fellow interns before me, I have never blogged before (for fun that is). Yes, I have thought about it, even created my own blog, but I have never been able to actually go through with the entire process. Despite this, Trainer Communications has asked that we share our intern experiences with all of you! So here we go, these are my thoughts and experiences thus far:
It’s that time of year! Those few months of the year stuffed to the brim with ice cream cones, road trips, fireworks, hiking, the beach and frappuccinos. This summer however, I decided to take a different approach to how I would spend my time off from college. After emailing back and forth with Trainer Communications, I finally scored an interview and headed down to their Pleasanton headquarters. Coming into the office for my first interview with Trainer, I will admit, I was nervous. However, I had done this before. Only one summer prior I had sat in this very position and interviewed for another job, so I knew this was something I could do.
Six resumes, five interviews, three long days of waiting, and one glorious email later, it was mine, and I couldn’t have been more excited to start. Walking into the office that first day I knew that I had made the right decision and spending my entire summer in this place wouldn’t be too bad, and I was right! Most walls here are covered head to foot in whiteboard and doused in notes and creative babble. Personally, I thrive on energy and being around people, and the office has PLENTY of that and surely no lack of creativity either. It is obvious that workers here enjoy their jobs and are kind, engaging and caring — all of which have made this a great experience thus far.
What has made this internship such a unique experience? Before this job I had envisioned an internship as merely an opportunity to help out around an office, but now I realize how much of a help we have the opportunity to be and that we provided invaluable assistance. Trainer Communications’ interns are a real asset to the company; we are not viewed as a burden or someone to complete office chores. Day-to-day, my role is constantly changing and this keeps me on my toes.
Besides learning about public relations and business in general, I have also had the opportunity to learn about the security industry and develop extremely diverse views on it. Before my second week was over, I had already been placed in charge of a major project for one of our newest clients! This unwavering trust and advantageous experience has made me enjoy being here each and every day. The education and irreplaceable knowledge I have gained about this industry will travel with me long after the summer ends and I return to college.
All my best,
As we get into Spring, it is appropriate to assess how we are doing with our New Year’s resolutions. One of mine was to really get out there, try new groups, meet at least one or two new people at each event and expand my circle of contacts for both personal and professional growth to benefit Trainer Communications. For many, this is easy. However, the biggest question I’ve faced when I go to these events by myself is, how do I start the conversation – how can I master “the art of schmoozing”?
After multiple networking events, here are two important tips of the trade I have adopted:
1) PAY ATTENTION to everyone and everything around you.
Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. The best example of an amazing schmoozer is Susan RoAne. I was at an event with Susan and she introduced me to quite a few new people during our hour of networking. One tip she gave me was to, “pick the noisiest group of 3 or more people who are having fun, talking and laughing. Stand in the periphery. Give agreeable body language (smile, nod, open stance). When someone glances your way, say something and give your name if that feels appropriate. Then you can step into the conversation.”
2) Offer a genuine compliment to start the dialog.
One thing that is often overlooked, but is just as important as starting the conversation, is knowing how and when to move on! It’s important to understand that the other person is there to meet people too so if the conversation is going well don’t take up too much of their time. Get their card and agree to meet elsewhere to finish the conversation.
Here’s an example of what you can say to quit the conversation for another time and place: “I’ve really enjoyed meeting you! I need to run to another meeting, but would you be interested in meeting for coffee sometime? I would be very interested to find out more about XYZ.”
If the conversation isn’t going well, or you feel you’re not getting what you want from the conversation, you can use the same script above, but omit the invitation for coffee and wish them well at the event instead.
The key to effective business and personal networking is to find people that have a mutual interest and that you want to meet again. Follow the above two schmoozing tips and you will soon be confident in making useful new contacts and will enjoy the process.
- Michelle Reingold, Senior Account Manager, Trainer Communications
This entry was written by Business Strategy, Sales, Trainer Communications and tagged communication, events, how to work a room, networking, Sales, Susan RoAne. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Recently the team at Trainer Communications had the good fortune to host a panel of talented sales executives and sales trainers from some of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley. Our objective was to find out if marketing and PR really matter in sales situations. And, if so, what matters most versus what is least useful? The panel consisting of Mark Musselman, Senior Director of Sales, of Sumo Logic (@SumoLogic), Carl Wright, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations of Coraid (@coraid); Eric Siegel, Borderless Security Sales for Cisco Systems (@CiscoSystems) and Chip Doyle, Franchise Owner of Sandler Sales Training (@chipsell) provided some excellent food for thought!
We started with a softball question – “Does media relations or analyst relations really matter when you are working with a prospect?” Our panelists unanimously answered – yes, but with a caveat – the PR or AR deliverable must be “the right one” to make an impact. All these sales hot shots believe that an analyst report from a credible firm, an affirming nod from a Gartner analyst (or better yet, a report from Gartner) can make a big difference in the sales process. They also all felt strongly that customer case studies, particularly those that have specific ROI metrics included, were very helpful in working with prospects. One panelist said that if the case study wasn’t balanced (mentioned challenges), it wasn’t credible and wouldn’t help much. So far, no big surprises…but wait…
A couple of the panelists suggested that the more complex the sale, the less marketing can do to help them – and the more the sales person had to do. They agreed that with simple products, marketing practically sells the product without sales. All of the panelists agreed that the selling process is much different for selling enterprise solutions, for example, versus selling SMB products and services. In an enterprise sale, prospects look at every type of validation including social media, collateral, media coverage, analyst reports, and many other types of marketing. In an SMB sale, the validation process is much quicker and much less rigorous.
One panelist cautioned that Twitter is an awesome sales tool, but not the way you would hope. He watches his competitors on Twitter and they invariably tweet (aka: brag) about the appointments they have set up with key prospects. That executive simply watches these sales guys’ twitter feeds and sets up meetings with the same prospects, knowing full well they likely have an RFP for a product he can sell. Note to the sales guys: not everything belongs on social media.
When asked what press helps the sales process the most, one panelist told us that the Wall Street Journal plays especially well on what he called the “money coast” – meaning the East Coast. They all agreed that awards were good – but no one could come up with the “holy grail” award.
At the end of the session, the team challenged the panelists to list their top marketing and public relations programs that deliver the most impact in a sales cycle, which resulted in the following list:
This entry was written by Business Strategy, Marketing, PR, Sales, Trainer Communications and tagged Analyst Relations, Marketing, PR, Sales. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
OK, I admit it, I just love the oldies – and the song title “Love the One Your With” is the perfect expression of a strategy for ensuring your client satisfaction is “crazy good.” Recently, I was reminded in a talk with Jack Kane that clients come because they are invited and they stay because they are appreciated.
It seems so simple, make sure you are constantly making offers and helping your existing clients, because we all know it is much easier to keep existing clients happy than selling brand new clients. Yet, most of us don’t really have time to sit down and map out a strategy.
In a recent client loss audit, we set out to understand why clients were no longer with Trainer, with a goal of once again improving our client retention. We found some interesting things that helped us develop some account strategies that may be of use to you in your customer nurturing strategies.
Trainer’s best practices for “crazy good” client satisfaction include:
We’ve even created a calendar with ticklers for each of these items so that we remember to love our clients. Now that’s amore!
This entry was written by Business Strategy, Marketing, PR, PR and marketing agency best practices, Trainer Communications and tagged business development best practices, business leadership, client retention strategy, client satisfaction, executive strategy, PR and marketing agency best practices. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Thanks to everyone who participated in Trainer’s 2012 Media SharkTank! The media pitching frenzy was a great success. Some pitches were so successful they secured media coverage. All participants left the tank with firsthand advice on how to fine-tune their business press pitches, and the media received great stories to look forward to in 2013. Take a look at what top press from Forbes, Bloomberg and NBC News see looming in 2013. As always, let us know what you think!
If you didn’t get a chance to pitch in the tank last year, have no fear. We are already preparing for Media SharkTank 2013…Do you have what it takes to swim with the sharks?