Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Listening to consumers/audience members: How do we do that?

Christoph

November 2, 2013

Customer service

Many companies receive emails, Tweets, or messages through company websites. Sometimes, the consumer/audience member has a question. Sometimes they find a mistake or a user issue on the company’s website. How we respond to those messages shows how well we listen to those voluntary contacts from the public and that can make a big difference […]

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Social Media: Add value and be part of the community

Christoph

November 1, 2013

Social media

Written in September 2013. The date is important because, depending on when you read this, there probably will be new networks, some of the current ones might not be around, others might evolve. I was recently reading a book written in 2007, and it mentioned MySpace and how marketers should pay attention to it. I’m […]

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Social media offline: What are the rules?

Christoph

October 31, 2013

Social media

Should I post this to social media? Is that OK to say? We sometimes – I hope all the time – ask ourself this before posting something to any of our social channels. Oftentimes, we feel connected to what we said. These are our thoughts. Our life experiences. Where we’ve been. What we thought of […]

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How to mix social media and traditional media

Social media and traditional media need to be a part of any business’ communications strategy. They work hand in hand and can complement each other. Let’s look at how communication professionals used to work with traditional media and in some cases still do. 1) Organization has an idea for a newsworthy event. 2) A news […]

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Peer-to-Peer Problem Solving at the American Marketing Association Conference

I was invited to participate in two hours of peer-to-peer problem solving at the 2013 American Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Conference in Arlington, VA. I was one of 24 finalists for the association’s Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Award. And while I didn’t end up receiving the award, I was invited to help problem solve issues […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Mack Collier’s “Think Like a Rock Star”

Christoph

July 13, 2013

Books

I read Mack Collier’s “Think Like a Rock Star“ in 2013. Why did you read this book? I attended Nick Westergaard’s Social Brand Forum in Coralville in October 2012. And since I registered early Nick sent me a free copy of Mack’s book. Mack also spoke at the conference and runs #Blogchat – where bloggers […]

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Defining your brand voice

Christoph

July 1, 2013

Strategies

As more and more brands tweet, Facebook, blog and publish their stories and content on various other old and new channels, it’s also important that you think about your brand’s voice. Your brand voice is how you sound when you write tweets, respond to Facebook questions, respond to emails and how your blog posts are […]

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How To Use LinkedIn Professionally

LinkedIn can get lost in the social media network discussion. Yes, it’s not the firehose of updates Twitter is and there are no baby pictures a la Facebook. But there is value. For me, it’s hardly ever related to an update posted by somebody. Though, I do like to know when friends or acquaintances have […]

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From Germany to Iowa

Christoph

May 1, 2013

Books, Stories

Note: This was part of a book about German American history, traditions, festivals and recipes that Penfield Books of Iowa City  published in 2013. Published here with the writer’s permission. By Mary Sharp Christoph Trappe was sixteen years old when he left Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1995 and moved half a world away to go to high […]

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Book Review: “Idea-Links – the new creativity” by Jim Link

Christoph

April 13, 2013

Books

Q: Why did you read this book? Julie Zielinski, the VP of marketing and strategy at the EDC, recommended the book to me. I like to think of myself as a creative professional, but I never put much thought into where that creativity comes from or how and why I get a creative idea at […]

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Good stories have automatic details

Christoph

April 1, 2013

Stories, Training

During storytelling sessions in 2013 I’ve caught myself referring back to stories I wrote between 2003 and 2007 while working for The Gazette. One of those was a look at traffic tickets. Overall, I learned that if people fought their ticket there was a 50-50 chance that their fine was reduced or the ticket was dismissed. […]

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Where do ideas come from?

Christoph

March 1, 2013

Strategies

Where do ideas for blog posts, columns, videos – anything creative really – come from? The short answer: Anywhere. That’s probably not very helpful, so let me expand on that. It’s important to keep an open mind, listen, and to some level, keep thinking about experiences. A good rule of thumb: If you catch yourself […]

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Multiple channels of advertising still important

Christoph

October 9, 2012

Advertising

Over the weekend I signed up to attend Diversity Focus’ Annual Meeting on Thursday. The sticker on the Corridor Business Journal, which arrived at my home on Saturday, prompted me to do this. Interestingly, this was not the first time that I heard about the event: I saw an invitation through the mail. A volleyball […]

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The news in 20 years

I hope that digital news (and in turn the dissemination of authentic stories) in 20 years is smarter than it is today. Here’s what I mean by that: I hope that there will be a device that pushes to me only the information that I really want. So for example, I want to know what’s […]

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What’s it like to live in a place where a murder was committed?

Christoph

October 28, 2006

Stories

This article first published in The Gazette in 2006 and is republished here with permission by The Gazette Company. Publication Name: THE GAZETTE Publication Date: 10/28/2006 Edition: F Section: A Page: 1 Headline: They live where murders were committed. Some witness strange things. But they are NOT SPOOKED Byline: Christoph Trappe Source: The Gazette Body: […]

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