Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

BOOK REVIEW: Mastering online and offline techniques to network successfully

Dave Delaney’s “New Business Networking: How to Effectively Grow Your Business Network Using Online and Offline” takes readers through many of the tools available to all of us today to effectively network online and offline. Mr. Delaney shares how cold calls, meetings over coffee and conferences – like BarCamps – work hand in hand with online methods […]

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Podcast: Is it safe to run in the dark?

David Tominsky, a technical recruiter and runner from Iowa, and myself  are discussing the merits of safety issues of running in the dark. Audio not playing or can’t listen right now? Try the transcript below. Hi there, Christoph Trappe here, MyFitnessTips.org and I’ve had plenty of discussions recently about when to run and if you read […]

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Content Strategy: Answer audience questions publicly

One of the many techniques to come up with ideas for blog posts or website articles is to respond to audience questions publicly. Somebody asks a question, answer them directly, but then also share the answer with others on your website and other channels. We know that different audience members prefer different channels of communication. Some […]

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Taking an off day can make you stronger

I read somewhere – probably on Twitter – that the hardest part about exercising is to get started. Once you’ve started, the hardest part is to stop. For myself – remember everything on this site is my personal experience 🙂 – taking an off day can be a challenge. I love to go to the […]

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Storytelling Techniques are Scalable

Is it easier for smaller or larger organizations to share their stories in a timely manner? Are authentic storytelling techniques scaleable? The answer is yes. A single person can share stories – a lot of stories. The more people are added to the mix, the amount of stories keeps growing – in theory at least. […]

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PODCAST: More Meals Per Day Make Dieting Easier

This podcast discusses how I’ve changed my diet from 2-3 daily big meals to 6-8 much smaller meals. Audio not playing or can’t listen right now? Try the transcript right now. (Transcribed through Fiverr.) Today’s podcast we’re talking about the number of meals we should be eating each day. I used to eat maybe two or […]

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Book Review: Business secrets of the Trappist Monks can help us be authentic

August Turak’s Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity (Columbia Business School Publishing) discusses the enormity of the business of storytelling, the importance of building authentic communities and organizations having large missions. Millions of dollars are spent each year by people going to the movies, buying books and going […]

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The difficulty of running in unfamiliar places

I didn’t used to call myself a runner, but have now logged months where I’ve run 80 miles. So maybe I am a runner now, though, a slow one. I often go anywhere from 6-8 miles and the longest distance as of March 31, 2014, ever has been 11.6 miles. I have some favorite routes at […]

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Video interviews help tell stories

Recording interviews of people who are part of stories that brand or traditional journalists are working on sharing opens up the options for content distribution. Even if you’ve haven’t shot video before, cameras continue to get easier and easier to use – even for the novice user. Small devices shoot great quality video today and […]

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We Have to Stop Thinking of Food as a Reward

Christoph

April 25, 2014

My Fitness Tips

I had some of the best workouts ever this week. I lost around 4 pounds, my pants are fitting better and I’m now going to reward myself by going out to eat a big dinner. I see food as a reward. But, isn’t the 1,800-calorie meal going to undercut my week-long success? Keep in mind, […]

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Blogging Topics: Writing Tips for Bloggers and Others

Christoph

April 21, 2014

Spotlights

Erin Becker is a writer, editor and writing coach in Iowa’s Creative Corridor and blogs about writing-related topics at betterwritingnow.com. What a cool URL, by the way. We talked with her about her blog and how she manages it. Question:Why did you decide to start this blog? Erin:I started blogging while I was still living […]

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Picking a gym made easy

Christoph

April 18, 2014

My Fitness Tips

Picking a gym can take time and sometimes it can be a bit of luck picking a gym that works for you. Some questions that you might want to consider as you are working on picking a gym: What’s nearby where you spend most of the rest of your time? For example, is there a […]

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Social media and offline connect more seamlessly

Christoph

April 14, 2014

Social media

Social media, blogs and other digital channels continue to connect more seamlessly to offline channels. That’s especially true for brands and people who use social media and offline in an effective and meaningful way. People offline expand on snippets they read on Facebook and other social networks. Sometimes, people expand on updates they’ve heard about […]

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Sharing your lunch and run on social media without driving others crazy

Christoph

April 11, 2014

My Fitness Tips

The things we post to social media (Twitter, Facebook, who knows what’s next), define us. If we talk about fitness around the clock, our networks eventually will connect fitness to us – especially when they see us offline, too. (They will probably bring up offline what they saw online.) “Christoph is now a runner and […]

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Blogging Topics: Self Growth

Christoph

April 7, 2014

Spotlights

Eric Ungs, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, based communicator, blogs about self growth at his Unless You Care Project site. He answered some questions for us. We hope that his answers help you in your own blogging – and perhaps self growth – adventures. Question: You started a blog on intentional self growth. How come? What prompted it? […]

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BOOK REVIEW: “Big Data Marketing” is About Relationships

Lisa Arthur’s “Big Data Marketing: Engage Your Customers More Effectively and Drive Value“ is not just for marketing professionals. Big Data is a topic that involves many throughout organizations, which is an important fact to remember when trying to use Big Data in a purposeful way. The better people – not just marketers – work together, […]

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WordCamp Las Vegas 2013: WordPress for Beginners – A session based on audience need

WordPress for Beginners: Overview My session at WordCamp in Las Vegas: WordPress for Beginners.This 35-minute session is geared toward beginners who are in the early stages of setting up their WordPress-powered site. The session talks about how I have used WordPress to start my own news startup EasternIowaNews.com and used WordPress at United Way of […]

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PODCAST: Why Personalized Content Isn’t Possible Yet

This podcast talks about how people care about what they care about. People read what they want to read. Some technologies exist to serve personalized content, but not across the board. Another problem: Not all relevant content is created and shared publicly. This podcast discusses the topic. Audio not playing or can’t listen right now? […]

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Blogging Topics: Media Relations Training

Brad Phillips offers media relations training and public speaking tips, ranging from how to handle interview answers to live analysis of real-life incidents. His site is helpful, useful and authentic. He answered some questions for us to share some of his expertise with us. Question: How did you decide to start the site? Brad: I started the […]

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When is the best time to workout? I go in the mornings

Christoph

March 14, 2014

My Fitness Tips

The best time to workout depends on each person’s individual situation and the best time to workout for me has changed as my life situations have changed. Growing up in Germany I played football and lifted weights after school. During the summer break, I would sleep in and head to the workout facilities around noonish […]

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Vault Startup School: Living Authentically and Publicly

I was invited to talk about digital branding and authentic storytelling at the weekly startup school luncheon in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. You can find the overview notes and my slides below. Overview from meetup.com: Have lunch with Christoph Trappe at Vault on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, to hear his latest insights from his new digital branding projectfocused on […]

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Questions for story development: Specificity helps identify stories

Asking yourself – or somebody else – a specific question can help you come up with a story idea. Stories help us tell organizations’ and brands’ stories. Stories, in turn, help us connect with people who care about what we do and can increase customer bases. Why do I need a story in the first […]

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Watching what you eat: Some restaurants make counting calories easy

I love to eat, which got me to 330 pounds in the first place. Counting calories wasn’t on my list of things to do at all. Until I looked at pictures of myself. Ouch. Gross. I look like that? How can I get that changed? My diet included counting calories and starting to exercise. Still, […]

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PODCAST: Questions can be taken many ways

Asking questions in the best possible way can help journalists, brand journalists and content marketers tell better stories. But, asking them in a less than perfect way can impact the interview and fact-finding process, too. This podcast discusses what’s at stake. [audio http://www.kidsandtech.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Asking-Questions-2014.m4a] Audio not playing or can’t listen right now? Read a transcript below. Hi […]

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Blogging Topics: Selfie YouTube Videos Share Knowledge

Christoph

March 5, 2014

Strategies

Dave Langston started posting short selfie YouTube videos when he started working on home improvement projects. The short videos show him talking to his phone while he shares something he has learned and thinks is worth sharing with a wider audience. Question: What prompted you to start the selfie videos? Dave: Well you know what they say, […]

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Great Stories Paint a Picture with Words

It’s easier said than done: Paint a picture with words. We all want to write that attention-grabbing intro and see our content spread – because it’s so engaging, people cannot not share it. When it works, it works. We know. The audience knows. “Hey, (whomever is nearby) take a look at this…” When we paint […]

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Timing of messages important

The timing of the Cedar Rapids Curling Club’s billboard was excellent in February 2014. The organization ran this billboard in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as the Winter Olympics were happening in Sochi, Russia. U.S. television viewers were shown many hours of live coverage of curling competitions. I know I was aware of them going on. Sometimes […]

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BOOK REVIEW: “Adversaries into Allies” A Good Read for Storytellers, Content Marketers

Christoph

February 27, 2014

Books, Product reviews

Bob Burg’s Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion is an insightful read that I would suggest to storytellers, content marketers and others who interact with people in situations that can potentially be less than positive. Mr. Burg does a masterful job explaining how all of us live our lives and see […]

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BLOGGING TOPICS: A Blog About Pets

Christoph

February 25, 2014

Spotlights

Bella Vasta blogs on her house and pet sitting site. Her email signature identifies her as the pack leader and she has now answered a few questions for us to share her blogging knowledge with all of us. Question: How did you decide to start the blog as part of your business site? Bella: I decided to […]

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Your Stories Spread When Others Share on Social Media

Christoph

February 24, 2014

Social media

Get that brand on social media. Update that Facebook page. Tweet away, but let’s analyze when our Tweets can have the most impact. Share on social media! It’s easy to over-analyze, use social media as a traditional promotional channel or forget about updating it altogether. And don’t get me wrong, I love social media, I […]

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Pickels – My favorite no-calorie snack

Christoph

February 21, 2014

My Fitness Tips

I’ve found the days when I’m the busiest to be the easiest when it comes to calorie-intake control. Yes, when I’m busy I will also get hungry at some point, but I also won’t think of eating as much. A no-calorie snack also helps get through the day. Many times, it was a good day […]

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PODCAST: Don’t Forget About The Channels You Don’t Use

It can be easy to forget about the channels that we don’t use personally. If we read everything on a smartphone and everyone around us does the same, it’s easy to start thinking that everyone does the same. That’s not always true and many different people use different devices, technology and channels. This podcast discusses […]

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Blogging Topics: Remembering the Victims of Unsolved Homicides

Christoph

February 19, 2014

Spotlights

Authentic stories take many forms and not all are positive. Stories are a reflection of the communities we live in and crimes – among them solved and unsolved homicides – are unfortunately part of our communities. Alice de Sturler runs the unsolved homicides site Defrosting Cold Cases and answered a few questions for us to share the stories behind […]

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We want structure, but creativity and stories sometimes happen in an unstructured manner

Christoph

February 17, 2014

Creativity, Strategies

Some of you want structure. Structure for everything. To create something new, we need to have a process. Step 1 at this time. Then Step 2. Step 3. This meeting only has a minute left. You know what I mean, right? There’s a reason for structure. Use it! But not everything happens in a structured […]

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Book review: “Startup Boards” an excellent overview of boards and board members

Christoph

February 15, 2014

Books, Product reviews

“Startup Boards: Getting the Most Out of Your Board of Directors” by Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani is an educational read that I would recommend to new entrepeneurs who are building their company and at some point will start having a Board of Directors. In addition, the book can be educational to new nonprofit managers […]

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PODCAST: Getting others to say no to desserts for you

Christoph

February 14, 2014

My Fitness Tips

When others started declining foods for me to people around us, I knew I’ve changed my behavior and eating habits. People had noticed. This podcast discusses how others decline treats and other higher-calorie foods that don’t fit into my diet for me.

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"Get Real: Telling Authentic Stories for Long-term Success" discusses why you, your organization and anyone really should consider sharing authentic stories with each other ... READ MORE

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