GETTING TO KNOW // Media Maven Tracey Zeeck

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For those of us who thought being a Media Maven meant being an open book to the public — enlighten yourself to the backstory of the original Tracey Zeeck of Bumbershoot PR.

When you were little you thought you would grow up to be a _____________ . 

I always wanted to have my own Italian-American restaurant. I would even make little menus and seat my family and everything. My mom comes from Sicilian and Calabiran immigrants, and that culture has always been part of our world. Of course, I also wanted to be a detective and play keyboards in a new wave all-girl band.

Favorite color:

Really vivid colors in nature do it for me. Bright blue skies. Deep green wet grass. Shocking pink sunsets. Red-orange leaves in the fall. Fleeting intensity, I guess.   Is that a color?

Favorite Band:

My first concert was Willie Nelson in the 70s. The last time I saw him was at Red Rocks outside of Denver a couple years ago, and I became pretty emotional at the thought of how this one man has provided the soundtrack for my entire life. I’ve never met him, but I feel like if I did, we’d ‘get’ each other. He’s a modern folk philosopher and his songs are simple and touching.

It was at this stage of your life you decided Communications / Publicity was your JAM:

I have a very chaotic brain, and it sometimes works to my advantage. I fell into PR, though. I wanted to be an art teacher, I thought. But teaching was too hard (Pausing here to thank all teachers. You don’t get paid enough and your work is among the hardest I’ve ever experienced.) Then I thought I’d be a fine art major. I realized I wasn’t good enough to make a living at that. So I finished college late, with a piecemeal graphic design degree. I am not at all talented in that respect. But I am definitely a fan of good design. I somehow ended up as a copywriter for a group of radio stations. So I started to ‘design’ with my words, I guess. Then a promotion into the marketing department there led to my eventual understanding of the communications process, and how to maybe redirect public opinion. At some point in this process, I evolved into knowing what people like and how to make win-win situations for clients and publics. I’m happy when my people are happy. That’s probably why I am good at what I do. I’m also crazy when my people are wronged, which drives my competitive side.

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Number one thing you see people (CLIENT OR PRO angle) do wrong in
Communications / Public Relations:

You start to go off in the wrong direction when you lose your real voice. With clients and employees – and anyone really – we stress the importance of being proud of who you really are. And telling *that* story.
If your true story isn’t good enough to share, you’re doing it wrong.

A Personal Hero of yours:

My mom. She was married very young, never went to college, and had SIX kids when she finally figured out how to leave our father… which probably saved her life, if not some of ours. She went on to work three jobs
to have enough money to feed and clothe the four of us who were still at home at that time.

Beautiful Photos provided by QUIT.

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