American University (AU) alumna Chryssa Zizos, (SOC/ MA ’95), is launching a new company in 2018 leveraging communicative training software for entry-level employees and mid-level managers.
Zizos, who has established entrepreneurial success as Live Wire Media Relations LLC founder, President and CEO, will split her time between Live Wire and a new venture starting in January 2018. Zizos, who also teaches Public Speaking at American University School of Communication, is a Washington Business Journal Women Who Mean Business alum and past 40 Under 40 honoree.
Her new company’s product is designed for entry-level employees and mid-level managers, whereas Live Wire's media training and other offerings are built more for executives. The software will use artificial intelligence and algorithms to tailor communications training to each user, provide real-time feedback and report data to employers.
LiveWire, a 20-year-old agency that works with Fortune 500 companies and names like The Carlyle Group and Bechtel, is expanding into digital and social media and will bring on WJLA Virginia Bureau Chief Jeff Goldberg as a vice president. SOC Public Communication Director Pallavi Kumar sat down to learn more about Zizos’ next move.
PK: Tell us why you are starting this new company?
CZ: As the workforce becomes more competitive and businesses prioritize professional development, demand for communicative training has grown exponentially. The landscape is shifting, and we must constantly reinvent ourselves as a firm. Our training has always been one of Live Wire’s most successful services, and we’re adjusting to make it more accessible to meet those market demands.
PK: How will this software revolutionize communication management?
CZ: This is training we typically provide to C-level executives and thought leaders at the forefront of their respective industries, but the foundation and principles of the programs are universally applicable. Entry-level employees, mid-level managers and their companies all stand to benefit from learning techniques that improve communicative abilities. Communication management is the keystone of professional development, and this training will strengthen employees, their companies and the workforce as a whole.
PK: You are using artificial intelligence and algorithms to customize the training - how did you research these technologies and learn how to apply them?
CZ: I’ve become a student of emerging technologies over the past year. The increasing role of technology in our society and industry is inevitable, and an understanding of that innovation is essential to leveraging its capabilities. We’re working with firms that have practical experience with these technologies, and utilizing their expertise to develop a product that is engaging, responds to users and facilitates rapid results.
PK: Between Live Wire Marisa Relations, this new firm and teaching public speaking, how do find the time to manage all these aspects of your life?
CZ: Don’t forget my two kids! Live Wire will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in January, and is humming under the careful watch of my fantastic team – which now includes former WJLA Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Jeff Goldberg. Sharing my experiences with students and developing their communicative skills has always been a passion of mine. When you’re passionate about things – be it a business, product or profession – it truly doesn’t ever feel like work.