Andrea Trapani
Senior Vice President - Identity Marketing & Public Relations

Andrea Bogos Trapani is Senior Vice President of Bingham Farms-based Identity. Identity is an integrated public relations firm driving strategic communications programs for a diverse portfolio of clients across the United States. Comprised of a unified team of discipline specialists, the company provides strategy, counsel and execution in the areas of branding, media relations, marketing, social media and creative design. Identity was founded in 1998 and is based in Bingham Farms, Mich. For more information, visit Identity Marketing & Public Relations.

A media relations specialist, Trapani has worked with clients in both the business-to-business and business to consumer spaces within a wide variety of sectors, including financial, legal and technology. She works with companies both locally and nationally to drive their brand awareness campaigns through a mix of high-profile strategic media coverage, in addition to integrated marketing and digital media initiatives.

In her role as Senior Vice President, in addition to the management of her clients, Trapani is actively involved in the strategic planning of the firm with Identity's leadership team. As a leader, she serves as a mentor to the agency's fully integrated team of marketing, public relations, design and new media experts.

Prior to joining Identity, Trapani worked for The Detroit News, The Oakland Press and the Kalamazoo Gazette. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Western Michigan University.

Guiding a Corporate Rebrand From Start to Finish

This past January, the Identity team took on the challenge of launching three (yes, three!) new brands in five days. With specialists in brand experience, creative, media relations and marketing, and social media, Identity leads companies through every step of the rebranding process — whether it involves refreshing a company’s brand image, launching an entirely new brand to the market, or uniting multiple business units under one cohesive brand, we’ve done it all.

One of the successful brand launches included the rebranding of Michigan Mutual Inc., formerly First Preferred Mortgage Co. First Preferred, one of Michigan’s largest mortgage lenders, engaged Identity in 2011 with a branding and marketing challenge: to unite their two ...

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The Power of the Handwritten Note

When is the last time you received a handwritten note? Do you even remember?

It might have been as a thank you note from the gift you gave at the last shower or wedding you attended. It might have been in response to those slippers you gave your mother for her birthday. Or, it might have been Aunt Edna’s Christmas letter scribbled out on three pages of spiral paper and focused completely on her bad hip. Whenever it was, chances are it’s been a while.

Do you remember how you felt when you saw that one envelope in your pile of mail that looked different? The envelope was addressed by hand — not by a machine. The stamp was real — not a bulk-mailing permit. And when you opened it, you saw that someone took the time to put pen ...

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Why Being “On Call” and Aware is a Must in the Social World

Have you ever had that moment of panic when you had a deadline to send an email or document and you couldn’t log in to a program? Your heart is beating 100 miles an hour with anxiety, there’s sweat dripping down the side of your face, and unnecessary words are flying out of your mouth because you know the username and password you entered is correct.

Recently, I needed to prepare an e-newsletter to send the following morning, but I couldn’t log in to my MailChimp account. I sent a tweet to the company’s Twitter handle at 8:30 p.m. Someone responded within an hour, and my issue was resolved.

As a social media professional who counsels clients on the importance of immediacy in the social world, it was both reassuring and ...

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Event Planning: Plan Your Next Big Event Like it’s Your “Big Day”

As a former event and wedding planner, I can tell you that a paper invitation, an impersonalized email blast, and one placement is not going to cut it for your next company event.

Sure, your event may not be quite as special as your wedding day, but there is no better feeling than working hard to plan an event and seeing it go off without a hitch.

How do you get there? How do you make it special, unique, and generate excitement?

Here are 11 easy steps you can take for your next company event that I have found helpful when planning weddings:

1. Establish a budget with your company or client. This is important so you stay on track, whether you’re dealing with a $500 budget or a $500,000 budget. Keep in ...

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Clogging the Creative Process With Fear


When faced with a new creative challenge, new product development or even a brand refresh, many people clog their own process with fear-based thinking. They start with “what is safe” and “let’s not go too overboard” and usually end up with “the same old thing.”

Going out on a limb is never an easy step to take, but it’s actually much safer than being like every other company around you.

Every business has competition, even if it’s not exactly like what they do — there is always some other thing that is vying for attention. To be successful in a market, or successful in your project, start by removing all filters and expectations. Don’t list out the ...

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Internal Communications — Everybody’s Doing It (or Should Be).

When discussing internal communications programs with business owners and decision makers, two questions always come up. What types of companies need to have an internal communications strategy in place? And, why is internal communications important?

Internal Communications For All

All companies. That’s the short answer to this common question. It doesn’t matter if you’re in an office of five or 500. Some level of communication from company leadership to employees is critical. For the five-person firm, this could be as simple as a weekly lunch to discuss how various projects are going and provide any updates on company direction.

For larger and/or geographically dispersed organizations, an effective ...

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Why You Must Understand Brand Strategy to Understand Your Customers

My philosophy on brand strategy has always been simple: Listen to what your market wants, and then give it to them.

It sounds too easy to be true, but it is the most effective way to get your brand strategy back on track and working for you. Many companies spend a lot of time and money developing a product or a service, then try to shove it down the market’s throat, hoping to make people want what they are trying to sell. Turning that strategy around and actually understanding what is needed ahead of time, what the market defines as valuable, and the best way to deliver that message increases the chance of success.

“But we know our market, we know what they want,” you may have just said ...

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Mobile “Friendly” Site vs. Mobile Site? Is there a Difference?

In the last two years, mobile traffic has increased 162.73% globally. Such a rapid increase could indicate mobile Internet access will overtake desktop Internet traffic by the year 2014.

To put this number into perspective, between the years 2000 and 2011, worldwide Internet use grew 528.1%, meaning the growth rate for Internet usage over 11 years was 48% compared to mobile Internet use growth of a whopping 81% in merely two years.

So why the big growth? With many people accessing the Internet to view websites, a shift in what information people are accessing and how they are ...

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What to do when your social media lead leaves the company?

This year has brought a lot of change within the social media world. Some of the most respected names in the industry have announced their departure from big brands. There have even been some changes here in the Detroit social media community.

Transitions are never easy. However, changes in the social media space often bring new complications to the table. In many cases, the individuals behind successful social media programs are often very visible ...

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5 Ways to Get Media Attention When Competition is High

In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to gaining media attention and building relationships with key journalists. It can be even harder when you’re up against hundreds of exhibitors at a trade show, event, or conference.

We all know the old-fashioned, traditional way to harness media attention during an event is to develop a press kit and do pre-event pitching. However, by applying a little creativity, you can find better ways to stand out in the crowd when you’re competing for media attention. Below are a few ideas that have helped generate positive results for companies we work with:

  1. Create a fun-filled media survival kit/care package and send it out a ...

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Why You Must Have Consistent Colors Across All Brand Touch Points

In a recent post, we wrote about driving brand consistency and the challenges of keeping harmonious color throughout your entire brand in print. But, how do we achieve consistency when presenting digitally?

Compared to print, a digital screen uses an entirely different process of displaying colors called RGB, meaning everything displayed on a screen is comprised of various levels of red, green, and blue light. Print depicts colors using cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

Fortunately, your brand’s Pantone colors give us a starting point, and just like how there is a translation of Pantone to CMYK, there is also a conversion to RGB. However, they share the same problem of not being a perfect match (it can be very close, but not exact).


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Congratulations! You’re in the News — Now What?

We all know that great feeling when we see our name or our company’s name in print or on TV. In that moment, we think of all of the important people reading or watching with us — and the deep impact the story could have — but do we know who’s really paying attention?

While the total amount of information we take in is at an all time high, deciphering what media the average person will consume in a day has become similar to throwing darts — not knowing exactly where they’ll hit.

That’s why targeted follow up is the single most important step in maximizing media coverage: identifying who would benefit from seeing the coverage and finding the best delivery vehicle to get it in front of them.

Every ...

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How to Create a Social Media Program with Multiple Contributors

Lately, many of our early-stage social media discussions with companies have revolved around one particular topic:

“We really want to create a program, but are unsure if we can sustain it. We’re already so busy, which makes it very, very hard to convince individuals inside the company to add something else to their plate. What are our options?”

This is a hard topic to tackle and a common problem for companies in both the B2C and B2B space. While getting involved in the social media space can look very attractive, the barriers to entry can often be higher than expected. More importantly, there can often be push back from employees when they’re told, “Now, you have to blog on a regular basis.” What good is all ...

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How to Manage Brand Consistency & Overcome Branding Challenges – Part 1

Any company focused on delivering a consistent brand experience develops and maintains a set of brand standards that help regulate its exposure. The most basic concept of branding involves communicating the essence of an organization through every touch point with its audience. Each time people interact with that brand, they experience the unique look, feel, and sound of the brand. While campaigns may change and the brand may evolve over time, the image and tone ought to remain consistent.

To that end, companies have recently had to develop brand standards to detail the intricacies of logo placement, color palettes, and approved usages. In this technological, Web and mobile age, the planning of such standards must take into account more complex outlets and ...

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Three Ways to Leverage Messaging in Your Next Corporate Meeting

Corporate annual meetings are a great opportunity for executives to share important messages that are part of their overall communications strategy. All too often, companies look at these meetings as solely an opportunity to update their employees about goals, numbers, and the fiscal focus for the year ahead, while communications is left in the dust. That unfortunate, shortsighted approach creates a visible missed opportunity that will leave a gaping hole in the internal communications program for the year ahead.

Here are some simple tips for executives to think about before the next corporate meeting:

• Think beyond the numbers: When addressing revenue goals, it is pertinent to think beyond the ...

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You, Sir, Are No Nigerian Prince — Email Marketing Guidelines You Must Follow

Let’s do a quick run down: Kodak Imaging Network fined $32,000, YesMail fined $50,000, Jumpstart fined $900,000, and ValueClick fined $2.9 million.

What did these successful, upstanding companies do to get hit with these fines?

They sent spam.

We all get spam email. “Buy this, enlarge that, etc.” It’s to the point where it seems like spammers can do whatever they want. While there will always be rogue Nigerian princes out there, the United States does have laws mandating what is and what isn’t legal for email solicitation. This law is called the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. CAN-SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act.

Following ...

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Three Key Elements That Might Be Missing From Your Social Media Policies

It’s common for companies to develop and issue HR handbooks that detail acceptable and unacceptable work behavior or Internet usage. Unfortunately, many of these documents do not provide clear direction as to how employees should be representing themselves or the brand, especially when communicating online with friends, family, colleagues, clients, and vendors through social networks or posting information and media online.

If you’ve already addressed this issue and drafted a social media policy for your company, you’re way ahead of the curve. But, there may be a few key points missing from your document that might be worth exploring.

For those companies that have not created a social media policy just yet, don’t worry. ...

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Important Reminders When Choosing Imagery for Holiday Cards

Important Reminders When Choosing Imagery for Holiday Cards

The holidays are upon us. As companies begin creating custom holiday cards to send to their clients/customers, vendors, and other business partners, it’s important to keep in mind that there should be the right balance between looking like a holiday greeting and not offending recipients who are of different faiths.

How can you approach this task with tact and respect to avoid offending anyone who will receive one of your company holiday cards? A simple way to avoid unintentionally upsetting anyone is to have a strong understanding of what holiday imagery is associated with a specific faith. Some are obvious — most people know that “Merry Christmas” is related to Christianity.

However, images we may think of as ...

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Finding the Right Metrics to Prove Online PR Results

Not too long ago, PR pros were convinced that the only effective way of proving results was through counting clips of media coverage and/or AVEs (advertising value equivalents). Don’t get me wrong — showing PR results through positive and quality media coverage will forever remain valuable. It’s important to show that awareness has been raised about the company or a specific initiative, and it’s great for comparing against competitors (and share of voice), but media/blog coverage can and should be complemented by other important metrics — particularly if social media and other online efforts are part of your PR strategy. 

In my daily work and reading, I continuously find varying opinions on ...

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Netflix Trips on Its Brand’s Strength, But Can it Stand Up Again?

The answer — it’s quite possible.

You may have read at some point over the past few weeks about the slow unfolding of Netflix’s new brand direction and subsequent blow-up. The company raised its rates by 60 percent and created two separate companies (Quikster and Netflix). Public backlash was immediate, and the damage control ultimately led to a near reversal of the changes (save for the rate increase).

The result? Customers are leaving in droves, some estimate 700,000 or more this quarter. The stock is dropping, and the company doesn’t look like it can stop the fall. Or can it?

Netflix lost sight of its brand’s real strength at some point along the way. The company delivered the message that rates were ...

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