The Curator News Feed: February 27, 2015

"Sliced Oranges" by Caitlin Regan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

"Sliced Oranges" by Caitlin Regan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Cheers to another successful work week, everyone! Here's a roundup the trendiest news on the web this week, some things that caught our eye, and a killer client read. 

8 Beliefs That Limit Your Leadership Potential, LinkedIn, "Stereotypes aside, why would each individual take a very different course of action when they all wanted the same result? The answer lies in what possibilities we allow ourselves, and our realm of possibilities are a direct function of our belief systems."

Christopher Guest Channels Best in Show for Brilliantly Bizarre PetSmart Ads, ADWEEK, "The brand, with agency GSD&M, hired the writer, actor and filmmaker to direct a set of commercials in his signature mockumentary style, under the slogan "Partners in Pethood." The results are, unsurprisingly, great."

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Lady Gaga Killinnnn' It, Gawker, Impressed. - Anna

‘Lego Movie’ Picks Up Tweets Not Trophies at Academy Awards, Bloomberg, "Everyone can connect with Legos" -- love this, even though I had to mute the TV when the not so awesome song started. - Chelsey

Kendall Jenner Had NYFW’s Most-Liked Instagram, NY Mag, An analysis of NYFW by Instagram numbers because if you didn't Instagram it, it didn't happen. - Brooke

Hello Kitty Fans, Prepare to Freak Out Over This Plane, Popsugar

Lawmaker with lavish decor billed private planes, concerts, AP The Big Story, A reminder to always be mindful of what you share on social media: The AP used Instagram geolocation data to show that Rep. Aaron Schock has spent taxpayer and campaign funds on private planes owned by some of his biggest donors. Not great, especially when you're already facing an ethics inquiry and have an office modeled after Downton Abbey. - Paul

Netflix Uses One Brilliant Tweet to Show Why You Should Be Afraid of Comcast, ADWEEK

'House of Cards' campaign posters inspired by famous presidential slogans,  Mashable, "Democracy is so overrated." It's February 27th! Welcome to the Underwood administration. - Ann Marie

 

Client Reads

Retail Therapy: It's the week for eating out, Huntington Beach Independent

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Should Schedule Your To-Dos: The Eisenhower Matrix + Outlook, Part 2

I have to say upfront that I take no credit for this idea. One of the best blog posts I read all year in 2014 was Eric Barker’s How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m. I’ll spoil it for you: You need to schedule your whole to-do list.

The gist is, if you have a to-do list, that’s great, but ultimately flawed. The problem, as anyone with a to-do list knows, is that it only addresses the what with no regard for how long. By not putting a set time against each of your tasks, you risk not finishing them, or not leaving enough time to finish the most-important ones first.

As it turns out, this strategy jibes pretty well with the Eisenhower Matrix, which I wrote about last year. Here it is, as a reminder:

Now, imagine that four-square grid shaped into four individual cubes, each with varying heights, which we’ll say represent time:

This is a better way to think about your day. The height of your bars will vary—these are just here for example’s sake—but this is the general picture. Most people will want to dedicate the bulk of their time to important-but-not-urgent matters, and set aside a chunk of time each day for urgent stuff. Some days that’ll all go out the window.

But that’s just a visualization. How this works practically is in two simple steps:

  1. Check your to-do list.
  2. Schedule time for each item.

I keep everything in Outlook. Every morning, I check email and load up my Tasks list. Then, I go through the list and schedule time for each thing I need to do. By the time I’m ready to start my day, my Outlook calendar looks something like this:

Don't worry, this is just an example—I didn't really work on Valentine's Day.

Don't worry, this is just an example—I didn't really work on Valentine's Day.

A few notes on this:

  • I do my best to strategically place “urgent items” times—first thing in the morning, right after meetings (we’ve all had those emails come in the middle of meetings), and at the end of the day, before I head home. If there’s nothing urgent, I go back to my not urgent/important list.
  • The most important thing for me is to stick to the stop times. If I end up with extra time, great, but the way I stay on task is to drop what I’m doing when the clock says stop.
  • Obviously, that last point is the goal but isn’t always realistic. There are going to be days when the urgent/important runs rampant and blows out your whole calendar. This is just a guide.

The upshot to all this is that you end up with a more realistic expectation of what you can get done each day. Even on days when urgent/important matters blow up your plan, you’ll have a sense of how much extra time you need to put in, or what you need to shift around later in the week.

I highly recommend that you try this out, and most importantly, make it your own. Tweak it to fit your needs; add an extra dimension if you want; and use apps and tools in your own inbox to auto-tag items and make things easier. 

Like it/hate it? Tweet us and let us know: @CuratorPR

Life After House of Cards Season Three

We go back to Washington D.C. this weekend after a year of waiting for House of Cards season three to arrive! If this is the first you’re hearing this, I’m assuming it’s because you’ve been in a hole watching seasons one and two. The nature of binge watching a show has become almost “normal” rather than “lazy” idea over the past years as the TV landscape has become more digital. Rather than watching a movie at night, couples are watching 1-2 okay maybe 3 episodes of a new show at night. 

I’m thankful for Netflix and Hulu to allow such binge watching and save me the boxed dvd prices and lost storage space to hold them once I’m finished. There’s a good chance you may finish House of Cards Season Three in one day, so here are some other Curator recommended binge worthy shows for your enjoyment:

"I've found myself watching 1-2 episodes of Sons of Anarchy a night. I'm sad to say that my viewing has almost come to a close with now on Season 7 but also looking forward to normal dreams again." -Brooke

"I just finished binging through Ray Donovon (Showtime) and am deciding on a new show to start. Really wanting to finish out Sons of Anarchy or start True Detective -- I feel like I need to limit myself to one at a time though. Open to suggestions! If you have some, holler @c_allodi" -Chelsey

"Just House of Cards. That is my only binge-worthy addiction." -Ann Marie

"My wife makes the non-sports TV decisions. Lately it's been Flipping Out, which I actually like, and The Real Housewives of New York, which I imagine is on all the time in at least three circles of hell." -Paul

"I can't stop watching How to Get Away With Murder! Can't wait for new episodes at the end of the month!" -Noelle

"Well, I know I'm kind-of late in the game on this one, but I just started New Girl. It's hilarious! And then there are shows I'm always trying to finish: OITNB, OTH, PLL, Scandal, Revenge, Arthur... the list goes on. Too many shows, too little time." -Anna

"I'm not binge watching anything right now. Girls just started again, so we'll see how long I last this season. You can only see Lena Dunham naked so many times…" -Jennifer

"We were on a homeland kick for a few weeks but just finished the last season. It got good again. Excited for Downton Abby. We offset that high brow experience from Sunday nights with a train wreck on Monday nights in the Bachelor. Got to keep things even." -Scott

The Curator Newsfeed: February 20, 2015

"avocado" by Darya Pino is licensed under CC BY 2.0

"avocado" by Darya Pino is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Welcome to the first February 20th, 2015 you've ever experienced. This week, we've got some great articles to highlight - bringing you the best and the worst of this week's happenings on the internet, as well as some client coverage.

25 EDITORS TO FOLLOW ON SNAPCHAT DURING FASHION WEEK, Fashionista, "While by no means mainstream, more and more fashion editors are using Snapchat stories to document their busy days."

Second Cycle - How a longstanding laundromat found its true purpose as a neighborhood gathering place, The Distance. For many of us, the coffee shop is our neighborhood's "third place" — where the community gathers outside of work and home. But what if the community needs something else? I love this story about an entrepreneur who realized one community needed a better laundromat far more than a coffee shop. - Ann Marie

If Jon Stewart taught us anything, it’s that objectivity needs to die, A.V. Club. Here's probably the best Jon Stewart retrospective you'll read on his legacy and the hole he leaves as he steps away from The Daily Show. - Paul

Who do we blame when a robot threatens to kill people? Fusion, A guy in Amsterdam was forced to shut down a Twitter bot that inadvertently threatened to kill someone, and now we're at a point we have to start seriously considering who's to blame when robots break the law. Recommended reading prior to watching the destruction in Avengers: Age of Ultron this spring. - Paul

This Just In: Rebecca Minkoff Named Essie’s First Global Color Designer, Style, Excited to see what this partnership brings. Love me some Mink! - Chelsey

See New Illustrations of Alice in Wonderland by Rifle Paper Co.Vanity FairI'm a huge Rifle Paper fan and can't wait to add Anna Bond's latest child lit interpretation to my collection! - Jennifer

Love @RebeccaMinkoff? Help design the next bag. Submit photos that inspire you using hashtag #RMxNordstrom, Twitter, Have you heard? Nordstom and Rebecca Minkoff are taking design inspiration for their next collab via hashtag content submitted by customers. Interested to see the outcome! - Brooke

Don't Call Me Oscar, Tumblr, "One child's journey through the best picture nominees."

Pike Place Market Is Building a New Wing (Filled With Great Food), Seattle Met, Pike Place plans to grow. - Chelsey

OLW-14-0801_c5i2fi.jpg

Coca-Cola Spreads Happiness Online With Emoji Web Addresses, ADWEEK, Don't underestimate the power of emojis. - Brooke

Client Reads

Spotlight Torrance 02.15 - Torrance Art Museum - Torrance CitiCABLE - Hosted by Julie Chan, YouTube, The Del Amo Fashion Center transformation was featured on Spotlight Torrance. Check out all the updates happening at the center. - Noelle

Whole Foods Market Brewery Dinner: Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Merlot Mommy, Next Brewery Dinner on February 26 - get excited! - Anna

Simon Youth Foundation Seeks Local Applicants for Scholarship Program, SouthSound Talk, "For a 16th straight year, Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, is proud to support deserving students in the Seattle community through the Simon Youth Scholarship Program."



4 Social Media Tactics Your Brand Should Steal From Taylor Swift

Yep, this is a blog post about Taylor Swift, from a 31-year-old dude.

It sounds weird, but stick with me, because Taylor Swift consistently kills it on social media, and there’s a lot for a large brand to take away from it. In her most recent, highly publicized interaction, she helped advise a young fan on how to deal with a breakup (and curated a playlist for her).

This isn’t the first time she’s done something like this. In fact, she does it all the time. Here are the main things she does that you should copy:

1. Listen—i.e. listen

For starters, she had to know this person’s post existed. That’s not easy, because there is an ocean of posts about Taylor Swift on any given social network. 

I’m assuming she has at least a small team of social media managers that surface this type of stuff for her. That’s an extremely important point—she cares. She wants to know this stuff exists. She wants to interact with it. In other words, there’s literal listening, and there’s listening, as in, I-actually-care-about-what-you’re-talking-about.

Do both.

2. Define your voice and speak authentically

It’s a little easier for Taylor Swift to define a “voice” because she’s an actual person. It might be a bit harder for a brand, but approach it like this: If your brand were a physical human being, what would s/he look/talk/sound/be like? Develop that, and make sure when it comes time to speak up, you sound like an human being—not a bot or a press release.

3. Talk, don’t broadcast

This is a hugely overlooked point that ties back to No. 1. Really look at the interaction T-Swift had with this fan. She’s talking to a single person over the course of multiple comments. It’s not exactly the type of strategy you employ if you’re going for the most reach or engagement.

4. Recognize that it’s not all about you

Let's talk about what Taylor Swift didn't do: She didn't make this an opportunity to say, "Sorry about your breakup, Kasey. Here's a playlist, which includes a few tracks off my new album 1989, available in stores now!"

I can't help but think that's what a lot of brands would have done in a case like this. That's a huge misstep because by doing that, you're trading a one-time call-to-action for long-term dedication. This girl got a message from Taylor Swift (!), and to top it all off, it was a legit, sincere message that she won't ever forget. If she wasn't already, she's now a Taylor Swift fan for life.

T-Swift recognized that she didn't need any call-to-action or sales pitch. The fact that her message was coming from Taylor Swift herself was all the sell she needed. Think about that next time you converse with someone on social media. Do you need to say "buy my thing"? Or is your profile picture and brand name the thing?

Behind the Scenes: Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta

As part of our work with the Villa Group, a collection of beachfront luxury resorts throughout Mexico, we organize FAM (which stands for “familiarization”) trips so members of the media can experience all they have to offer.

Typically, we work with the Islands of Loreto, their newest resort known for its “million-star” sky, but we kicked off the New Year with a new adventure - a trip to Puerto Vallarta.

The purpose of this press trip was to display the vibrant new look and feel of Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta, which recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation boasting vivid colors, elaborate textures and Mexican pop culture-inspired rooms.

Untitled.png

The suites meld bold pinks, turquoises and indigo, popping against white walls and Frida Kahlo-inspired touches. It’s the perfect blend of traditional Mexican charm and modern style. Needless to say, it’s spot on for vacation mode!

In addition to the suites, other areas that received makeovers were the new resort entrance, which now showcases intricate fountains, and the free-form pool, which provides the ideal spot to lounge and relax.

Untitled.png

The group of journalists who attended came to the resort a number of years ago, but noticed the changes instantly and were impressed with the improvements. We discussed the new look and feel of the resort as we dined on traditional Mexican fare at El Patron restaurant. 

El Patron is just one of the dining options available to guests at Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta. There’s also La Trattoria, which specializes in authentic Italian food, and The Market restaurant, which serves a buffet breakfast and carefully prepared seafood and international cuisine for lunch and dinner. They even have themed nights, ranging from Mexican fiesta to a Decades show. We were treated to an open-air opera performance, with the lights of the city reflecting off the Bay of Banderas in the background.

During our FAM trips, we love to let our media guests get a feel for the cultural and adventure offerings of the destination itself, in addition to the resort. One of the most memorable parts of this trip was our whale-watching excursion, led by a biologist from Ecotours de México. On our excursion, we encountered more than 15 different Humpback whales, who were putting on a show for us as they breached and slapped the surface of the water with their pectoral fins. We even eavesdropped on them singing underwater!

What’s also great about Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta is its prime location, just minutes from the airport, and the Malecón – the heart and soul of the city. We explored this seaside promenade after our whale encounter, and came across a variety of art sculptures overlooking the bay (the one pictured below is called “Searching for Reason” by Sergio Bustamante), and checked out the Old Town Farmers Market-Tianguis Cultural, a “producer-only” market.

After walking around the city, surrounded by culture, art and vibrant hues, the colorful upgrade to Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta made perfect sense. It is a reflection of a community that celebrates living life to the fullest.

While brief, we were able to offer our special guests a taste of the region and hospitality of the area. The great part of wrapping up a FAM trip is hearing about the experience from another person’s perspective. Check out some of the stories below, with others expected soon!

•    Huffington Post
•    Examiner
•    WatchBoom

Questions about FAM Trips? Tweet us @CuratorPR!

The Curator News Feed: February 13, 2015

Yo. Curator cat here. It's Friday the 13th, so thought I'd mix things up a bit and share the news feed. Check out what's trending on the web this week, as well as some awesome client coverage.

30+ Fashion Mags, Editors, and It-Girls to Follow on Snapchat Before NYFW, Racked - NY fashion week begins this week! And if you're sick of the same instagrams over and over like I am, use snapchat to get a different perspective! - Brooke

The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Social Media, Fast Company - The people doing the most innovative things with social media are the ones who are doing their own thing. That's the one big takeaway from this. - Paul

Add Tweetable Quotes in WordPress Blog Posts, Spin Sucks - Something to try next time you blog: Add a pull quote to get more shares. - Paul

Ford pranks dudes by setting them up on a blind date with a stunt driver, Mashable - Well played Ford, their reactions are hilarious. - Brooke

The Blonde Salad at Harvard, Women's Wear Daily - As part of a new luxury marketing course, Harvard Business School is digging into the (big) business of personal style blogger Chiara Ferragni. Appearances, content, advertising and a shoe line = $7 million in revenue. Hat tip to Brooke for sharing. - Ann Marie

Find That Spark Again With These Valentine's Day Cards for Agencies and Clients, ADWEEK - These are funny. - Chelsey

Client Coverage

Date night attire for Valentine’s Day, Fox 5 San Diego - Date night looks for Valentine's Day, from Fashion Valley - Noelle

Whole Foods Market Opening Stores In Calgary, Edmonton, Huffington Post - Good news for organic food worshippers: Whole Foods Market announced today plans to open three new locations in Western Canada.

Whole Foods marks arrival with loan to yogurt maker, Times Colonist - Artisan yogurt maker benefits from Whole Foods Market's Local Producer Loan Program. - Ann Marie

Livermore Premium Outlets Gets Rebranded (Again), Livermore Patch - Livermore Premium Outlets was rebranded this week and will now be known as San Francisco Premium Outlets - Chelsey

Whole Foods Market and Instacart Offer New Affordable, Fast Option for Valentine’s Floral Delivery, PDX Food Press - Instacart and Whole Foods Market are making Valentine's Day a little easier - Chelsey

There’s plenty that’s new and hip about Oahu, Daily Telegraph - Oahu is the hip place to travel and shop! - Chelsey

 

 

4 Things Social Media Brand Managers Should Do Every Day

Here's something a lot of marketers and social media experts don't want you to know: Anyone can build up and manage a brand on social media. Here's something any of them will tell you: It's not easy.

Building and maintaining a successful brand takes work. A lot of it is repetitive and sometimes monotonous. It's a lot like working out to get in shape: You do the same thing forever, and sometimes you'll look back and feel like you've only achieved minimal results. The really great brand managers are the ones who keep going, even after that.

So what does it take to get started down that road? Here are four things we recommend for brand managers to focus on every day.

1. Publish content

When you're just starting a brand on any social network, this is the backbone of your activity. Don't let it take up your whole day, though. Take advantage of one of the many social-network scheduling tools available for cheap, or free. At Curator, we really love Buffer

2. Be social

One of the reasons we advocate using a social scheduling tool is because it frees you up to spend time interacting with other accounts. Most days, I'll schedule posts first thing in the morning, and then spend the rest of the day responding to mentions and doing keyword searches to see what else is out there that the brands I manage can help with.

3. Measure your progress

Even if you're starting from scratch, set time-bound goals for the accounts you're running—they don't even have to be realistic or well-thought-out—and measure your progress against them every day. The process of doing that will force you to think about what you're actually on these networks for. For example: If you're falling short of your goal, why? You figuring that out, every day, will make you a better brand manager.

4. Do your homework

A.k.a. read. If you don't have a lot of time in your day, make a goal to read at least two things: One related to your brand's industry or area of focus, and one related to social media. Don't worry if something you read turns out to be useless. By the end of a work week, you'll have ingested 10 articles; one or two are bound to be useful.

Bonus: How to get all this done in less than an hour each day

Here's a sample schedule you can use to knock all this out quickly—we know how busy it is managing a brand.

  • 15 minutes: Find content and schedule it to post
  • 20 minutes (intermittent throughout the day): Interact with other accounts
  • 10 minutes: Measure your progress
  • 10 minutes: Read two posts related to your industry and social media

TOTAL: 55 minutes (These will fluctuate, and you'll find on some days you don't even need that much time.)

Now go out there and do work.

The Curator News Feed: February 6, 2015

After a devastating defeat last weekend, the Curator team is back to our normal weekly roundups. We still love our Hawks, just a little sad...that's all. On a lighter note, here's this week's exciting news gathered from around the world wide web.

Athleta Is Getting In the Designer Collaboration Game In a Big Way, Self - " We love our designer collaborations here at SELF, they're an exciting way to bring seemingly disparate brands together and for us to access designer labels that may otherwise be out of range. Athleta certainly knows their way to our hearts, because they just announced their first ever designer collaboration, and the label they chose to partner with is good."

Jimmy Fallon, Chris Pratt, And Chris Evans Photobomb Surprised Fans And It’s Perfect, Buzzfeed - "Photobombs can be slightly annoying, except when the people barging into the photo are Jimmy Fallon, Captain America, and Star-Lord."

The Art of Eating Well, Seattle Business Mag - "Early success, early failure, followed by a relatively swift and steady recovery. In Union’s wake, Stowell created new spaces, 10 of them, all deep within Seattle’s rich tapestry of residential neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, Belltown, Queen Anne, Green Lake, Ballard, Madrona."

How to Quickly Cook Pasta in a Frying Pan - CHOW Tip, YouTube - Get ready to have your freaking minds blown and save some water in the process. Hat-tip to my mother-and-law's friend on Facebook for this one. - Paul

Win a Wedding at Theo Chocolate Factory, Seattle Met - "No golden ticket necessary."

Graphing the Grammys: How 2015's Record of the Year Nominees Stack Up, Rolling Stone

Jimmy Fallon Re-Created The “Fresh Prince” Theme Song And It Was Better Than The Original, Buzzfeed - Because this is too awesome not to share. - Noelle

The Inside Story Behind McDonald's Big Game Giveaway, AD AGE - AdAge shares a fascinating story on how the McDonald's Big Game Giveaway came together on social. Four agencies, Twitter and the client holed up in an office in the midst of a blizzard -- and it's as crazy as it sounds. - Ann Marie



The Curator News Feed: January 30, 2015

Being in Seattle, much of our news feed this week is dedicated to our beloved Seahawks. We've also included a few trending links from around the web, plus some client highlights from this week. But most importantly, Go Hawks!

The Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl XLIX Hashtag Glossary, Seahawks

A guide to hashtags for one of the biggest events to happen on social media is just what we needed. Thanks Seahawks! - Brooke

Marshawn Lynch finally participates in press conference ... for Skittles, USA Today Sports "Breaking: Marshawn Lynch finally talked to the media. FINALLY. But why now? Because it was a Skittles press conference, of course. And we all know how much the Seahawks running back loves Skittles."

Sherman among Seahawks to defend media-shy Marshawn Lynch, King 5 "One of the loudest voices on the Seattle Seahawks defiantly defended the quietest."

Love the show of teammate support here. - Emily

Where Does It Come From? MMQB

Excellence is a habit. Few people exemplify that more than our quarterback. You don't become great by accident. And you can't sustain success on accident. I love this stuff. - Scott

Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski Play "Mortal Kombat X" With Conan O'Brien, YouTube

Not as inspiring as Russell Wilson, but certainly funny! - Jennifer

He should be the next bachelor. - Chelsey

What if the Seahawks were a startup? Drafting an executive team from a lineup of football leadersGeekwire

Fellow PR people, be warned. Marshawn Lynch could be coming after our jobs soon. The folks at GeekWire think he's excellent in staying on message. - Ann Marie

Here's What It Would Look Like If Disney Princesses Had Realistic Hair, Hello Giggles "I know, I KNOW. Disney princesses are not real. They are fictional, and fun, and that’s why we loved them so much when we were kids —it’s even why we are still enamored by them as adults. No part of me is authentically jealous that every single time Ariel emerged from the ocean, her hair stayed perfectly bouncy, as though she just paid major bucks for a blow out. Nor do I REALLY care if Pocahontas’ locks stay perfectly swept behind her shoulders as she stands against a roar of wind and vibrant leaves."

#Sleevebucks, Tumblr "Cheerfully doodling on your favourite caffeinated mermaid since 2014."

HelloSponsor Connects Brands With Local Events Looking For Sponsorships, TechCrunch

An interesting concept. - Chelsey

Client Reads

Warehouse-priced shoe retailer DSW to open in Kennewick’s Columbia Center mall, Tri-City Herald