Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

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


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 […]

Read More

Social Media: Add value and be part of the community


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 […]

Read More

Social media offline: What are the rules?


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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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


July 13, 2013


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 […]

Read More

Defining your brand voice


July 1, 2013


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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

From Germany to Iowa


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 […]

Read More

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


April 13, 2013


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 […]

Read More

Good stories have automatic details


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. […]

Read More

Where do ideas come from?


March 1, 2013


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 […]

Read More

Multiple channels of advertising still important


October 9, 2012


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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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


October 28, 2006


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: […]

Read More


book now

hire your next marketing keynote

My Authentic Storytelling Book

book cover crop

"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


My customer service book

My next book on customer relations is now available on Amazon: Click here to get it.


Content marketing for hospitals

content marketing for hospitals

Confirmed talks


Altoona, Iowa
May 19, 2017


Berlin, Germany
June 29, 2017

Raleigh, NC
Aug. 22, 2017


book now

Speaking feedback

feedback from Montana keynote

Updates in your inbox! No spam!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Top twitter accounts to follow for marketing




Top healthcare influencer

hit top 99

Top 10 Content Marketer

on Klout 2016



top 25 most interesting social media blog

Official PayPal Seal