The Curator News Feed: April 24, 2015

Is it really almost May - where does the time go? We must be having too much fun. If you want to join in on the fun, feel free to check out our latest news roundup below. This week, we've included some of our favorite reads, as well as some awesome client reads.

Brands Need to Tread Lightly With Twitter's New DM Feature, ADWEEK

Mashable’s community-first Instagram strategy is paying off, DIGIDAY, Here's a look at how Mashable runs its Instagram account (which has quadrupled in size in the last year) - Paul

#EatSeattle and #SeattleFood, Keridwyn Deller, Seattle food lovers unite! - Chelsey

PANDORA, Facebook, So sweet, Pandora! - Chelsey

Dropbox’s Collaborative Note-Taking Service, Dropbox Notes, Heads Into Beta Testing, TechCrunch

Leandra Medine Is Now A Hilarious Beauty Vlogger, Refinery 29, Anything directed by Toast is a win in my book! - Chelsey

73 Questions, Vogue, Vogue's 73 Questions videos may not be new, but they are fun and entertaining. Plus I love how the interview style is spontaneous and fast-paced. - Jennifer

Chipotle delivery is happening. Life has never been more complete, Mashable, This just made my day. - Anna

Client Coverage

Earth Day: How to Plant Succulents, NESTNOSHPOSH

More Of The New Brands Coming To Downtown's Premium Outlets Expansion, Vegas Chatter

Coachella fashion 101 with Bianca Rae, KESQ

Stylist shares maternity fashion picks for any occasion, KING

glassybaby ‘Light the Bridge’ Event | Seattle, NESTOSHPOSH

Lilly Pulitzer for Target: Much Ado About Nothing on the Shelves

Image source: Glitter & Grills

Image source: Glitter & Grills

Lilly Pulitzer is not simply a brand, people. It’s a sun-drenched, poolside lifestyle. So when Target announced its latest design partnership with the iconic American resort wear brand back in January, the news made quite a splash.

The Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection would be the latest upscale collection offered to shoppers at a more affordable price point. Previous designers to work with Target included Philip Lim, Zac Posen, Jason Wu and Missoni. 

I’ve never owned a Lilly piece in my life, but I’ve always thought the prints were fun (in moderation). I wasn’t planning to be part of the Lilly Pulitzer for Target frenzy, when the collection launched in stores on April 19, but curiosity got the best of me. Here’s my minute-by-minute account of the retail launch. 

Sunday, April 19

7:50 a.m. After a big family celebration, my whole family is sleeping in. With one eye open, I check Facebook. I see a friend in St. Louis lamenting about coming home empty-handed from the Lilly launch at Target. 

7:51 a.m. My curiosity is piqued. St. Louis is 2 hours ahead. My neighborhood Target doesn’t even open for a whole 9 minutes. And heck, no one in Seattle even knows what Lilly Pulitzer is! 

7:55 a.m. I grab my keys and head out the door.

8:10 a.m. I pull into the Target parking lot. No crowds. Just one woman slowly walking toward the door, wearing camo sweat pants and carrying her recycled shopping bags. 

8:11 a.m. I gloat to myself thinking I will get ALL. THE. LILLY.

Not so fast. As I enter the store, I see about 10 women zooming through the (otherwise empty) store with carts overflowing with impossibly bright items. If there was a limit on items per customer, no one told these women. It is roughly 12 minutes after the store has opened and they have all but picked the store clean. I walk to the women’s department and the are three dresses left on the rack, all hanging from an XXL hanger. I turn around and see four women standing at the one, small Lily display in the children’s section. I head over to listen to their conversation. Each of the women is holding items that seem to be the wrong size for their needs. But they clutch them tightly, knowing that the moment they put them down someone else will snatch them up.

“I’ll just buy this size 5, I guess,” says one woman holding the cutest white eyelet tank top.

“How old is your daughter?” asks another woman?

“15 months."

The group sees a clerk walking down the aisle and asks him if there is any inventory in the back. He literally laughs. I wander over to house wares — all Lilly items are gone. In cosmetics, there is an end-aisle display with about 4 beach towels, quite a few cosmetic bags and sad number of accessories. I find a few things (I didn’t need, but feel compelled to buy) and then head out. 

I’m in the car and on my way home at 9 am and my own Lilly Pulitzer for Target frenzy is over. And with reports of the collection being sold out in store and online after 1 hour, it's pretty much over for everyone. The Lilly buzz is all over the news and trending on social media. There’s no doubt this collection was a boost for both Target and Lilly Pulitzer. But, frankly, it seemed like a bust for shoppers. 

How I Keep Up With Social Media Industry News

One of my most important jobs as the Social Media Strategist at Curator is to keep up with what’s going on in the social media industry. It’s an easy thing to overlook, because the task is essentially to read a lot of links on the internet. But it’s also crucial to keep our company and clients informed of the latest innovations and changes to the platforms we use—and the ones we may use some day.

The challenge for me is there is an absolute ton of news out there, and it multiplies exponentially every day. If I don’t stay focused, it can be easy to end up arbitrarily clicking my way through an internet rabbit hole that doesn’t lead to any gained knowledge for me or Curator. So I rely on a few tried and true tactics to stay on top of things in a timely manner.

For starters, I trust that my network will deliver the big news to me.

When someone launches a new social network, or when a change happens to one of the existing ones, I don’t worry about how I’m going to find that news. I’ve spent years building up a network of social media experts, and I know that when the ALL-CAPS-headline stuff goes down, the information will find me.

You don’t need years to develop your network (though it will get better over time as you tweak it to your specifications)—you can subscribe to my social media list on Twitter. Even better, go check out their lists and subscribe to those. A good follow-up to that would be to follow Magic Recs, which sends you DM alerts when people in your network follow someone new or share a particular piece of content.

I schedule time to read about the social industry, and I set a limit on that time.

Like I said, there is a ton of news out there. There is no way to read it all. I put a cap on how long I spend looking for social media news—usually only 15 minutes or so—and I’m absolutely brutal with deciding what’s interesting and what’s not. I use headline view in Feedly and pick out a few stories each morning that pique my interest—everything else gets marked as read.

I’m equally brutal with the blogs I subscribe to—I shuffle things in and out of my RSS subscriptions all the time—and I don’t worry about what I’m not subscribed to. Read what you like, read what keeps you informed, read what inspires you—that’s my attitude.

One last thing: I have a bear-minimum threshold for how much I read each day: One link. If that link sucks, oh well. I treat reading like working out: better to have done a bit of it than none at all.

I bundle social-industry reading with other tasks.

I’m fortunate to be tasked with curating content for Curator’s social media feeds, which means I can do that and knock out my social-industry reading at the same time. When that’s not enough, or when what I’m curating isn’t related to the social industry, I look for the “holes” in my day when I can get a quick read in: On the bus, between meetings, etc. 

I write to myself.

One of my perpetual regrets is that I don’t dedicate enough time to my personal blog, particularly since I spend a lot of time writing to myself. There’s an old saying from someone, somewhere, that if you want to learn something really well, teach it. Writing to myself is my version of that. I’ll write about anything from “what happened in social media this week,” to “how do you do this new thing that Facebook just rolled out,” to “here are a few ways I think one of our clients could use this cool new social network that just debuted.”

Ninety percent of what I write will never see the light of day. That’s OK. I consider it practice—the other 10 percent is game-time stuff. And just like with sports, there’s a hell of a lot more time spent in practice than in a game situation that counts.

Lastly, I ask stupid questions.

One of the intimidating things about a public social network like Twitter (well, my profile is public at least) is that if you ask a question, it’s out there for the whole world to see. It’s a huge opportunity to look like a complete idiot. I don’t care. I’ll tweet dumb stuff that I’m curious about to people who will probably never respond to me because sometimes they do

Even if someone doesn’t respond, someone else might—that’s the beauty of an open network like Twitter. 

In summary, here’s how I stay updated on social media news:

  • Develop a great network that will find the big news for me.
  • Schedule a window of time to read about the industry, and stay within that window.
  • Bundle reading with other tasks, like content curation.
  • Summarize the news I find in notes to myself.

Do you have any surefire ways of staying up-to-date with social media news? Tweet me your tips: @paulbalcerak

The Curator News Feed: April 17, 2015

As we admire the beautiful photography from Curator's very own Chelsey Allodi, we wanted to take a minute to highlight some trending articles we saw this week, as well as some killer client coverage. Check it out below.

A ‘Darker Narrative’ of Print’s Future From Clay Shirky, The New York Times, Every time I read an article like this it reinforces the rapid need for us to get smarter, as an agency and industry, on how we quantify and qualify results for our clients. The easy metric of impressions for media relations is becoming more difficult to define. Big name media outlets are achieving significantly less reach. Demonstrating the aggregate effect of building a fan base of consumers for your clients over multiple platforms - online and off - is where we have to be. - Scott

How One Big Breakup Involves Macklemore, The Mayor And The Mariners Moose, Seattle Refined, Lots of clever brand campaigns bubbling up for Earth Day -- digging this one for Seattle Goodwill. - Chelsey

The Secret Psychology of Snapchat, Slideshare, This is the best Snapchat overview I've found. Great to bookmark and share later with clients/internally/etc. - Paul 

WHY I'M A FAN OF NIKE'S NEW AD CAMPAIGN, Fashionista, Nike's #betterforit campaign shifts brand from anthemic to authentic. - Ann Marie

Client Coverage

What to wear for a date? Check out Lookbook Live, LA Times, The Los Angeles Times gave a great preview of LOOKBOOK Live happening this weekend at The Shops at Mission Viejo. - Noelle

New retail in O.C.: Sprint-RadioShack, Camp pop-up shop, Nordstrom Rack, H&M and more, OC Register, More LOOKBOOK Live coverage in the OC Register. - Noelle

Swoon Beauty Lip Gloss Toss at Sephora; Glamour x GQ in Mission Viejo, LA Racked

Las Vegas Premium Outlets-North expansion nears completion; five shops open at Container Park, Vegas INC, One month out from Las Vegas North Premium Outlets expansion celebration. - Chelsey



Travel Tuesday Inspiration

Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to explore new places and fill my soul with a little bit of adventure. I love immersing myself in different cultures and experiencing local offerings, sights and traditions.

If you’re currently in “explore mode” like me, here are some of my favorite #TravelTuesday quotes for inspiration:

And if you’re looking for a picture perfect getaway, check out the Villa Group family of resorts throughout Mexico. You especially will not be disappointed in Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto if you aspire to focus your vacation on equal amounts adventure and relaxation.

What are your favorite travel quotes and destinations? Tweet us @CuratorPR!

April Fool's Day 2015

Today in a hashtag is #trustissues. 

Yes, I'm talking about good 'ol April Fool's Day. The one day a year where everyone becomes distrusting and skeptical of one another until the clock strikes midnight again. Despite the fear of being tricked and embarrassed, I find that there is also a lot of anticipation around what crazy things brands and celebrities will try to pull. 

There's always the creatives who make us go "awww" or provide a good laugh. And then there are those that make us go, "Wait, why? Oh no. Did that really seem like a good idea?"

This year, true to form we've seen a mix and the day isn't over yet! Here are some of the April Fool's jokes the Curator team has been sharing around the office today:

Probably should've thought this one through a bit more: Seahawks star apologizes following outrage over April Fool’s prank 

Whole Foods Market debuts its tattoo parlors

Barney's gives it to the dogs with #LickedinBarneys: Beastly Bites: Introducing Freds’ New Menu For Dogs and Licked In Barneys: Epic Late Night Shopping Spree Takes A Turn For The Soggy

Virgin moves to Branson, Missouri 

Bauble Bar introduces its same-day carrier pigeon delivery via Instagram

Photo Credit: Bauble Bar Instagram - https://instagram.com/p/07wkh3r_xT/

Photo Credit: Bauble Bar Instagram - https://instagram.com/p/07wkh3r_xT/

Kanye (parody account) gets us good with his Tweet

Miss Cleo helping with Benefit Cosmetics Beauty calls 

Tinder and Uber joined faux-forces in an eerily real-seeming concept to combine services

The Therapy Dogs at Children's Healthcare Atlanta stole our hearts and their Twitter feed today

Photo Credit: Children's Healthcare Atlanta Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/childrensatl

Photo Credit: Children's Healthcare Atlanta Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/childrensatl

And then there were these 29 people who just couldn't handle today

Tweet us your favorites @CuratorPR!




Seattle Foodie Pop-Ups on the Rise

Seattle is undoubtedly a foodie city. We boast the talent of household-name chefs such as Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell, and Renee Erickson. We have magazines, newspaper sections, and blogs focused on dining around the city. With so many established food options however, competition for up-and-coming restaurateurs is high.

"Chef Rucker" by stu_spivak is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

"Chef Rucker" by stu_spivak is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

"seafood pasta" by Cooking Etc. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

"seafood pasta" by Cooking Etc. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

And then there’s the location issue.  Not everyone with a creative food vision can necessarily afford a storefront establishment or have the resources to operate a full restaurant. These culinary masterminds must get creative in finding ways to present their food to the public. The solution? Pop ups.

Pop ups are temporary shops or restaurants designed to create intrigue, demand, and limited-time public exposure for a product, brand, or food. They are often launched inside other businesses in collaboration with that business owner. On the food front, chefs will often cook in the kitchens of established restaurants and add their food to a designated pop up menu offered at limited times.

"KCI_2590" by Kurman Communications is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Many previous restaurant pop ups in Seattle generated enough demand as temporary businesses to expand into permanent establishments. The brand new Gnocchi Bar in Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square’s Kraken Congee, opening Spring 2015, are among new restaurants that started as pop ups. Mmmhmm Coffee operated as a pop up for most of 2014 before forming a permanent partnership with Ballard’s Hilliard’s Brewery. Rachel Coyle of Coyle’s Bakeshop sold handmade pastries and treats from a pop up at Fremont’s cookbook shop Book Larder until settling into her brick-and-mortar location in Greenwood in March 2015.

Exploring these pop ups can be a great way to support exotic and creative foods from up-and-coming chefs in the city. Here’s a roundup of current and upcoming local pop ups. Act fast!

Rodeo Donuts at Cupcake Royale in Ballard: Cupcake Royale’s pastry chef Nicki Kerbs is experimenting with a new pastry medium, selling brioche donuts at the Ballard location starting at 7am daily.

Twitter: @RodeoDonut

Facebook: facebook.com/RodeoDonut

Instagram: instagram.com/rodeodonut/

Rind House at Bellini Italian Bistro downtown: Sheri LeVigne of Melrose Market’s Calf and Kid cheese shop will be previewing her new restaurant at a one-night dinner on April 13, 2015.

Tumble Swede Nordic dinner at Bloom: A collaborative prix-fix dinner from Bloom’s chef Jason Harris and Old Ballard Liquor Co from April 17-19.

Twitter: @TumbleSwede

Facebook: facebook.com/tumbleswede

Café Juanita at Lark in Capitol Hill: James Beard Award-winning chef Holly Smith of Kirkland’s revered Café Juanita was hesitant to halt business during the Kirkland location’s renovation, so she moved her restaurant to Capitol Hill and serves a modified menu four nights a week. Smith recently announced the pop up will be open on this side of the city through June, so make your reservations!

Twitter: @CafeJuanitaWA

Facebook: facebook.com/CafeJuanitaWa

Instagram: @cafejuanitaw

The Curator News Feed: March 27, 2015

Welcome to the weekend, everyone. 

Protect the brand or die trying: inside a fake social media crisis, The Verge, This is cool: There's now a social media crisis simulator for brands. This is probably the nerdiest thing I want to do, alongside the space shuttle simulator (again) at The Museum of Flight. - Paul

Instagram's Newest App Will Change The Way You Post, Refinery 29, Instanews! - Chelsey

How Vox.com approaches publishing on Facebook, Vox Marketing, If you're interested in using social media to drive web traffic, this case study from Vox is a great read. They say Facebook can drive up to 40% of traffic to their site. - Paul

Gnocchi Bar Secures New Restaurant Space on Capitol Hill, Gnocchi Bar Seattle, Calling all gnocchi lovers -- Gnocchi Bar in Cap Hill is open as of tonight! YUM - Chelsey

Someone Transformed The Starbucks Logo Into Different Movie Characters (Photos), Elite Daily, These are cool. Also, that's Batgirl, not Catwoman. - Paul 

Arsenic And California Wine: Do You Need To Worry? Forbes, Well this is problematic... - Anna

35 JAW-DROPPING PHOTOS FROM VILLA DEL PALMAR BEACH RESORT AND SPA AND THE ISLANDS OF LORETO, MEXICO, City and Style Living, Gorgeous photos of Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto from City Style and Living Magazine. - Noelle

2015 James Beard finalists: Seattle gets little love, Seattle Times, A few of our local faves receive nods from 2015 James Beard Awards. - Jennifer

THE FASHION INDUSTRY FINDS A COOL, CREATIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE GARMENT DISTRICT, Fashionista

Ad of the Day: OPI Brilliantly Creates a Whole Alphabet From Drops of Nail Polish, ADWEEK

11 Starbucks Hacks for Coffee Lovers, Huffington Post

Space Invaders, Slate 

 

Client Coverage

Whole Foods Features Northwest Brews with ’10 and Friends’, 425 Business

Whole Foods Market Cambie and Robson, Fabulously Frugal Vancouver

Easter Fashion for Kids, Fox 5 San Diego, A fun segment showcasing children's Easter fashions, just in time for the holiday! We got to showcase a new retailer to Fashion Valley too - Kitson

 

Three "Lunch" Stops in Pioneer Square

Curator’s HQ sits in the middle of Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. We moved here four years ago and the energy is an inspiring backdrop for the work we do every day. 

Whether it's the porchetta sandwich from Salumi or a kimchi quesadilla from Marination Mobile, we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to lunch spots near the office. That said, when I break away from my desk at the noon hour lately, it’s not the restaurants that get me excited, but rather Pioneer Square’s emerging retail scene. 

A recent New York Times article shared a few of these neighborhood gems. I wanted to add three more to the list. 

Drygoods Design

Perhaps the most beautiful (aka Instagram-able) shop in Pioneer Square right now is Drygoods Design. It sits directly across Occidental Pedestrian Mall from THE most Instagram-able restaurant in Seattle, London Plane. This airy, light-filled shop offers an amazing collection of fabrics, irresistible gifts, artsy cards, and a gorgeous studio space where you can drop in for open studio time or take a class. I’m the girl who got a “C” in sewing, but I still love to visit this shop. My last purchase here was a stack of birthday cards that are so beautiful that I’d just a soon hang them on my wall.

Velouria 

This independent boutique specializes in independently made clothing, jewelry and accessories made in the U.S. and Canada. For a small shop, they have an amazing collection of unique jewelry. I visit the shop at least once a week, try on about a hundred pieces, and have never once left empty-handed. My latest purchases —both gifts, included a delicate, gold infinity knot ring by Favor and this expressive piece by The Artist and the Alchemist. 

E. Smith Mercantile

Frankly, this hybrid boutique and bar confused me at first. The front of the store, “The Merc”, features shelves stocked with American-made denim next to artisan toothpicks next to fancy shave cream next to cardamom bitters. In their own words, "We offer a curated collection of adventures, delights and wild imaginings...” Wild, indeed! Once I fully embraced the weird, I find I am now drawn to it. What will I find there next? My latest purchases were three air plants and a few ceramic and wood planters. If you visit, don't miss the the Back Bar, with a fabulous cocktail menu and a star-studded guest bartender series, that really draws the crowds. The city is buzzing (pun intended) with news that Murray Stenson will tend bar on Sunday and Monday nights 

Do you have a favorite "lunch" spot in your neighborhood? Tweet @amricard with your suggestions. 

The Curator News Feed: March 20, 2014

Cherry Blossoms by Jeff Kubina licensed under CC 2.0

Hope everyone had a great week! We've rounded up some exciting things happening on the web this week, including a hilarious act by Will Ferrell, as well as some awesome client highlights. Take a look below! 

Social Media’s Elusive Goal: Return On Investment, Women's Wear Daily, Return On Investment, Likes vs. Engagement, this article hits the two biggest debates in social media and gives you good reason why you should put your money into it. - Brooke

No, Will Ferrell Isn't Little Debbie's New Spokesman, but the Brand Appreciates the Offer, ADWEEK, "Last night Will Ferrell boasted a new job—Little Debbie's spokesperson—during a weird yet charming segment on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. As it turns out, the brand was just as surprised as anyone else to learn about their supposed new hire."


From Skid Row To Rome: The Story Of An Unusual Running Club, NPR, A running club in LA's Skid Row will participate in the Rome Marathon on Sunday. This story is incredible. - Ann Marie

A Critical Cinematic Study of the 2015 Seattle Mariners Commercials, SB Nation, In honor of this year's Mariners commercials, which are, frankly, the best in years, here's a really, really, really, really in-depth analysis of all four. - Paul

Will marc by marc jacobs bite the dust? Nylon, Farewell Marc by Marc Jacobs (tear). - Chelsey

Infographic: Here's Just How Freakishly Obsessed People Get With March Madness, ADWEEK, Crazy. Also feeling bad for all those Iowa St. fans... ouch. - Anna

 

Client Reads

Why the rush of Chinese tourists to the Seattle area is a boon for North Bend and Tulalip, Puget Sound Business Journal, Client Coverage for Seattle and North Bend Premium Outlets - Jennifer

Whole Foods’ mobile pop-up grocery expands in Portland, Portland Business Journal, Molly the Trolley is back! Portland's mobile grocer has expanded hours and new locations. - Ann Marie