Julie Gaier, TRG Marketing PostedWednesday, February 19, 2020 Q You are an Emmy-Award winning journalist. Can you expand on that? Where did you work? What kind of stories did you cover? A I spent about 20 years in television news, and 16 of those were as a general assignment reporter. I worked mostly in the Midwest, with most of my time in St. Louis. When you’re general assignment, you pretty much cover everything. There’s crime of course, to report on, investigative pieces. The president would come to town. One of my favorites was Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev visiting from the former Soviet Union. I covered Sammy Sosa and McGwire and the Major League Baseball homerun race, the NHL and NFL playoffs and, not to mention, just these great everyday stories about human nature, about people, incredible people, and the communities where they live. The Emmy Award was for live spot news. I was covering a fire at a high-rise senior apartment complex in downtown St. Louis. To me it was always really thrilling to be live because you get to describe the scene. You get to talk with people about what was happening, and there’s really nothing better in the moment. There are other awards and honors and things like that. It was really – it just kind of comes with the territory. It’s not something you think about. It’s not why you work in the business. I always wanted to just simply report on stories that would impact people Q Most people think being a TV reporter is glamorous. But I’m willing to bet there were a few situations you found yourself in where you were like WTH! A On more than one occasion for sure. When you start out in smaller TV news markets, you must do everything. You’re videotaping your own story. You’re setting up the tripod. You must write that story. You must edit that story, and then you do it again every day. It’s incredibly hot sometimes. It’s frigid. It’s raining. I mean there’s no hiding from the elements, and really there’s no resting on your laurels because as soon as you’re finished for the day and everyone is slapping you on the back for a great live shot, you’re already thinking about what you have to work on next. News is in constant motion even more so now because of the internet and social media. I started in this business in January 1989 and I “retired” from TV in August of 2005. We didn’t have to compete with the internet as much as we do today. It was just really coming on when I left. Q Explain your history with CSIA. A The firm was hired because of our experience with trade associations and because we work with other professional services firms, some of them engineering firms. Having that kind of background helps us understand the mindset of the CSIA members. I’ve been with CSIA for 9 years. But the firm’s relationship goes back to maybe a year or so earlier and that launched with an in-depth research project focused on what end users want. Q You help CSIA members with media opportunities. Can you expand on that a little bit? A Yeah. That’s really the focus of my work for CSIA. I target the vertical publications, you know, the ones that end users are reading and following online and in print. There are nine top industries for CSIA members. Food and beverage being No. 1, of course. But we also work with water and wastewater, and oil and gas, and packaging and handling, and aerospace and life sciences and more. We look at the publications with the most opportunities for system integrators … I develop relationships with these editors and writers. Some of them are looking for maybe just one or two articles a year or there are those who need a steady content. Sometimes we get requests that come in each month. You know, there’s such a variety of opportunities for CSIA members, and some may involve writing 1,500 words for an article with a 3- to 6-month lead time or it can be more low-hanging fruit where maybe you answer 5 to 10 questions by email … Q Why should CSIA members, or any company for that matter, care about getting published? A Well No. 1, editors want to hear from system integrators. They’re eager to have them share their expertise because end users are the ones who are reading their publications, looking for solutions and services to curb those challenges. When you’re quoted in an article … that’s free advertisement for your company and really a benefit of CSIA membership. Once you’re published, it’s not done. I mean your content can be repurposed in many ways. You can share it in your company social media, post it on your company website and include it in the next company e-newsletter. Another great benefit of this is you’re building credibility with articles and trade media. We’ve been helping CSIA members do this for years. What I also like to say is, “What’s stopping you from jumping in? Join us.” Q You’ve been working in the industry for several years. What has changed, and what do you see trending? A What’s amazing, how the pace of change has quickened. As we get older, it seems to go faster, right? In years past, businesses didn’t have as much to consider when it came to marketing. But in 2020, there are so many options, and it can be a bit mind-boggling for company leaders to digest, really determine what’s best for their business. What’s trending? Here are a couple of areas to consider. Look at how companies like Amazon and Uber have changed what customers expect from business. Everybody is forced to raise their game, whether it’s a better website, improved customer service. Think about the company that’s now offering to fuel up your car anytime anywhere thanks to an app. You don’t even have to be there. It’s only available in a couple of states now. But boy, that’s going to change because more people are going to want that. Q What’s the best part of your job? A I just love meeting people. I love talking to people about how we can help them. My favorite experiences with CSIA are when members will reach out and say they’re so pleased with the recent placement. “You know, we got 10 sales leads from that or my company president was so impressed.” Q What makes you optimistic about the future of the automation industry? A Well, simply consider all the industrial technologies. You know, robotics, the cloud, industrial internet of things and artificial intelligence. They’re all driving growth, along with new instrumentation and control products and services, right? What makes me excited is that one of the big opportunities right now is how to help customers of CSIA members understand that this data, this information is out there and it’s relevant and useful. Some system integrators have said that if they can position themselves as the experts on the data with very clear insight and analysis that’s beneficial to the customer, then they can show that customer the value of what they can deliver. Q If you could go back in time and have a cocktail with your younger self, what advice would you give her? A I would say never give up on curiosity because you will be a lifelong learner. Isn’t that great that you can learn something new every day? Then on a lighter note, I would say start practicing yoga in your 20s and never quit no matter what!