Trixieland

words about words

The Hunchback of PR


Many of you have heard that I am leaving Microsoft after 8 wonderful years and beginning a new adventure at Edelman Digital. Edelman is the biggest (and most kick-ass) private public relations agency in the world. There are 52 offices around the world and it was named Agency of the Decade by Adweek. The Digital teams (40 locations — need to start plotting now how to finagle visits to the Paris, Sao Paulo and Singapore offices) are basically the new hotness of what is already pretty damn hot, and I am beyond excited to join them.

There will be some adjustments. In 8 years at Big Bill’s Ranch I never paid for health care. Not a dime. Not even a copay on a prescription. Dealing with normal insurance will be a tough change. Also, I will be commuting from Redmond to Seattle each day; losing hours of family time. I am planning to use that time to have a torrid affair with my Kindle, iPod, and DS. It will take some time to acclimate, but change is good. I consider making co-pays and riding the bus to be a totally worthwhile tradeoff for happiness, enthusiasm and new horizons.

So here’s what’s nagging at me in the wee small hours of the morning. PR is full of pretty people. I’m not talking “Microsoft Hot”, where the bar is unreasonably low, but actual real-world attractiveness. Think about it from a business perspective: all studies show that people are more inclined to listen to, be influenced by, and purchase from attractive folks. So if you hired a PR firm to pimp your business you’d hire pretty people, right? My soon-to-be colleagues at Edelman are all good-looking. Every single one. Every day. It’s not just a matter of being well-groomed and dressed. They have symmetrical features and shiny hair. Flawless skin, bright eyes and low body fat.

And I’m well… Microsoft Hot. Or at least I was before this last baby.

So, while I’m thrilled that they have chosen me to join their ranks, I am slightly curious. Do my years of experience with one of their major clients outweigh my meh face and out of shape bod? Are they planning on keeping me in the bell tower where no one can see my frizzy hair?  Worse yet, are they going to strip me down on my first day and Sharpie my areas of improvement like a sorority nightmare?!

I guess we’ll find out at the end of the month when Quasi leaves the cathedral and walks into the sunlight for the first time in 8 years.

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17 thoughts on “The Hunchback of PR

  1. So first of all, I can think of at least one marine who would take issue with your self-assessment, and I’m informed that it’s often not wise to argue with marines.

    Now, I took a moment to check out the Edelman Digital web site, and in the section where they describe themselves, the only part they bring out with boldface is that they’re “some of the most approachable people on the planet”. So, *I’m* just some random guy on the internet — what does it mean that I *know* to mention the opinion of that marine? That I’ve seen videos of your baby? That I’m reading a blog post about this anxiety you’re having to begin with? That I can respond to it like I’m doing, with no technical, policy, or social barriers preventing it?

    Near as I can figure, you’ve got that whole “approachable” thing pretty well nailed. If that’s the main attribute that firm wants to emphasize, as the bolded text on that web site seems to indicate, I’m really not sure you should be too worried. (And since they’re a well-regarded communications firm, I’m going to just take it on faith that their web site is actually communicating exactly what they intend it to communicate.)

  2. Hello my dear! I didn’t know you were leaving the big fish and I thought I was “up on thing” in the community lol. Yes I fail…I know.

    But let me just say something to you and to Edelman Digital if they’re listening. You are a beautiful woman! And I’m not talking about symmetrical shapes or 24-hour fitness abs.

    Your beauty comes in what all PR places should try to have an abundant supply in…and that’s people who listen, who communicate and who don’t have an ounce of bullshit in them.

    You are beautiful in what you’ve done with your time at Microsoft. You’ve been directly responsible for creating several independent branches of community that when combined rival those of every big media site on the planet.

    That was YOUR work my dear…the work of a beautiful woman who through every criticism or ridiculous public perception of her, stood right in front of it and did her job. You laughed and no doubt cried at times but your dedication and resolve never waivered. You were always TriXie.

    I’m not just saying this because of how much you’ve meant to me and my place in the gaming community…but I’m saying this because I’ve witnessed so much of what you’ve done for everyone else and for Microsoft.

    I’d take one TriXie over a thousand PR Barbies any day of the week because I know you’re not concerned about how your hair shines in the sunlight or how your butt moves in a skirt etc…you’re concerned about how to maximize the task at hand..the job at hand…how to kick ass and take names at the end.

    If I were a mad scientist looking to create an ideal PR person, your DNA is the first strand I’d pick from. So much of the “relation” has been lost these days when it comes to PR but that is one of your best attributes. You relate…you know what the word “relation” is all about. You’ll forever be the Queen of building a community brand.

    In closing, I wouldn’t worry about the lack of physical beauty that anyone might say you have. If they want results and a PR person who isn’t going to mind getting her hands dirty with their product and fighting to maximize their ROI, then they’d be stupid to look any place else but towards you my dear.

    You may not be what some see as beautiful but I guarantee they’ll see plenty of beautiful in your results.

    Edelman Digital is lucky to have you…you’re a catch TriXie..both professionally and personally. So you go in there and do what you do…turn that mutha out!

    Good luck…

    Luv ya,

    -Deacon 😉

  3. Kerbob97 on said:

    Pshhh.

    Edelman wouldn’t have stolen you away if they didn’t think you had the chops. Besides, Barbies lose their gloss after a month or two. Speaking as a dad of a daughter, I would much rather have you as a role model to point my daughter towards than some “pretty face”. Which goes to my next point.

    CONFIDENCE!

    You have it, you’ve earned it, and you deserve it! /Jack Handy

    Seriously though. You did more with the PR equivalent of spit and baling wire than a herd of PR firms could do. You created icons and celebrities in the gaming community, and I still brag about being an Xbox Ambassador. (I refuse to change my tag, even if I no longer have the free time to be on as much as I used to.)

    Add in a Marine who loves you, (and you should know better than to doubt a Marine’s taste by now), and babytrixie who thinks you are the prettiest mommy ever?

    Go forth and strut your stuff Gaming Diva!

  4. Ok, so here is my sad sad mournful comment. Get ready. I’m kind of hurt that you are leaving Microsoft because well, I asked you a question and you always answered them. You were more than a gamer who makes the bucks and gets paid to be nice to people. It’s actually who you are. Your family, your gamer baby everything you guys have done made me stay on the Xbox Live a little more because well, to tell you the truth the children telling me that I was to old was getting rather annoying grrr :-(.

    Anyways, you are an inspiration to alot of people not just gamers. I started following your tweets because you were just funny and you were blocking stupid guys that didn’t believe you could hahahaha. You are down right cooler then the other side of the pillow. Inspiration, caring, friend, what all humans should be. You inspire people, companies, and my little sister who now works at Ensemble Studios because you gave her the feeling of she “Can” as a female. As for me though, I know this isn’t goodbye it’s more like me saying to you oh Please Trixie don’t cut off my review copies that Edelmen sends me from Microsoft to spite your little brother comment lmfao. ((((Love you sis and may all your endeavors grow ever more.))))

  5. Christa, your crazy, I am so impressed with what you have done with your life. Your going to rock their world!

  6. Well, most times, change is good. It’s pretty adventurous to “leave the nest” to try something new. I had a similar experience when i left corporate IT to come work for a game company. There are still a bunch of things I miss about my old job. A whole bunch of wonderful people i miss also. Sometimes, you have to leave comfort and complacency to achieve those bigger goals and dreams in life. Long story short, congrats, good luck, and keep an open mind about the new experiences (like insurance co-pays n such..). Thank you for so many years of dedicated service in your position as community manager for MSoft. God Bless!

    – Wayne-Z

  7. Brains trumps beauty any day of the week! (You don’t see them hiring Paris Hilton do you?)

  8. Siobhan O'Neill on said:

    I guarantee you that there are plenty of us in the not-hot category, myself included, who totally identify with your 2am episode with what The Whatifs. The day I walked into my office for the first time I was like, “did I just stumble into a talent agency?” Really. And two and a half years of stress-related cortisol overproduction and parking my ever-expanding ass in an Aeron chair for twelve hours a day later, that has really not gotten a whole lot better. The best I can say is, in the immortal words of Frank Zappa, I Is What I Are. Take that, Establishment.

    Ever since I arrived here fresh off the Silicon Valley South Startup boat, I’ve thought that this place needed to loosen its tie a little. I think you’re going to be good for us.

    With love, one of your new colleagues in the LA office.

  9. I hadn’t realised that you were leaving MS entirely, I just thought you were shifting from Xbox to another department/section/whatever.

    I’m saddened by that news, but I’m also happy and excited for you at the same time.

    As someone who helped me feel part of the 360 community, I know you’ll do amazing things with Edelman Digital.

    As for the whole looks thing? I totally know where you’re coming from, and it’s not just a PR thing, it’s in quite a few job placements.

    While I’m not suggesting you look anything like that picture in your post (you ripped that from my Facebook, right?), the only thing that really matters (cliché warning) is what is on the inside.

    Anyone that focuses on only one part of you, while ignoring the rest of the package that makes up the TriXie360 that I know, isn’t worth the time of day.

    Good luck in the future Trixie 🙂

  10. Trixie,

    Just read this, wow! You’ll do great. I’ve worked with PR agencies in my job and I think I’ve only ever met one of them in person! Maybe that’s different for you but all the meetings were over the phone so I never knew what they looked like. Anyways, that doesn’t matter, Microsoft Hot is pretty hot to us geeks 🙂

    Good luck and please keep us up to date on everything. I know babytrixie almost as well as my own kids.

    Bill (aka porcelein4hed)

  11. You have always been one of the most beautiful people inside and out. Change is scary but needed sometimes and I know you are going to be absolutely wonderful in your new position. I’m glad I’ve gotten the pleasure of knowing you (from a distance). : )

  12. Trixie,
    I just wanted to say good luck in your new job. I have always enjoyed listening to you on the podcast, and I’ll miss your sense of humor. I am sure you will do well, and I give you my best wishes.

  13. Oswald Beolcke on said:

    All the while Xbox was going on about the Kinect, I kept asking my wife, where’s Trixie? And who is this other lady taking up Trixie’s space?! I see Larry, but no Trixie.

    I’m sad you are nolonger on Xbox or with MS. But I’m so glad I thought to look for you on the Web.

    Me and my wife Lisa love you and I can’t wait to share your Blog with her when she gets home. You’re a cutie with brains. I know you will do well where ever you are.

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