PR Agency Makes Capitol Splash

Things were hopping this week at TrendyMinds, an advertising and PR agency based in Indianapolis, as Tuesday it announced that its founder, Trevor Yager, had been invited to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Jan. 27. The agency was highlighted for its achievements as a small business and for its community efforts.

So how does a small agency from middle America get a call from the White House? According to TrendyMinds principal Vicki Bohlsen, a few months ago Yager was in Washington, D.C., attending a National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce event. While there, Yager was telling someone he met about his agency’s record growth last year.

Last Wednesday, Yager was contacted by that person and asked to submit information on the agency’s growth and other achievements. “We felt good about what we wrote,” says Bohlsen, adding that they had no idea of what was to transpire. By Friday, Yager was tapped as a guest at the State of the Union speech, and would sit near Michelle Obama.

So this week, after sending out a press release of the news, Yager, Bohlsen and the staff were giving interviews, not trying to get them. Local media, bloggers, magazines, PR trades and gay media all called for the story.

Most was positive, said Bohlsen, but there were some blips. The gay blog Queerty, for example, ran a photo of Yager with the headline, "Michelle's Token Gay Guest for the State of the Union."

The big question was, would Obama call out Yager and TrendyMinds in his speech? Alas, he did not, but it was a week to remember, nevertheless.

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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