Advancing the Story that “Together, We Save Lives.”

 Photo by Kate Hudson

Photo by Kate Hudson

Last week, I supported our client, The Safariland Group, at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show and Conference (“SHOT Show”) in Las Vegas – the industry’s largest conference and trade show.

For the past few months, we’ve been working with our client team to prepare to announce new products and strategic partnerships. All of this planning was focused on the company’s motto that, “Together, We Save Lives.”

As a result, The Safariland Group announced 17 new products and partnerships from the all-new Safariland Armor collection to the next generation of body-worn camera technology.

The most meaningful experience, for me, was witnessing a ceremony to honor new inductees into the SAVES Club, a special designation for individuals from law enforcement and military that experienced a life-threating event in which their armor or gear from The Safariland Group contributed to saving their lives.

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This presentation involved hearing the stories of the inductees, including two U.S. police officers and an international tactical operations unit. I was impressed and moved by the casual way each shared their experience and the gratitude expressed for the body armor and shields that allowed them to survive.

To date, The Safariland Group SAVES Club includes over 1,930 officers saved. Ultimately, the SAVES Club personifies “Together, We Save Lives.”

Explore some of these stories like Britt Sweeney – Save #1,704 or Matt Hanlin – Save #1,792.

Until next time,

Kate 

Seattle vs. New England: Which Town Boasts More Brand Marketing Swagger?

A Letter from Seattle

Dear lovable New England Chowdah-heads,

We’re going to take a look at a few Seattle brands that are cranking it all the way to 12 ahead of the big game. But first, we’ve got some news for you, New England. There’s a little local company down the street from Curator’s offices called Amazon.com. They crunched a few numbers recently and found that Seattle fans love their team more than New England loves its Patriots. What?! How can that be? Well, first they looked at site searches, then they sliced and diced customer purchases. What Amazon discovered is that items from the Seattle Seahawks Fan Shop on Amazon sold more than 8 times the average NFL team, while the Patriots sold at just 2.5 times the average team. 

Ok, ok. I can understand that you might be leery of Amazon’s bias. They sure were quick to jump on the #deflategate bandwagon. 

Let’s take a look at some other Seattle-based brands and see how they’re participating in this Seahawks frenzy. Everyone knows Boston is famous for tea parties and Seattle loves its coffee. Starbucks, an official partner of the Seahawks, calls the coffee-drinking fans the “Legion of Brew.” This interesting partnership delivered exclusive Seahawks content via the official Seahawks mobile app, when L.O.B.s were sipping lattes inside a Starbucks location. The baristas’ shirts were pretty cool, too. 

 Image source: Starbucks

Image source: Starbucks

Here in Jet City, both Delta (the team’s official airline partner) and Seattle-based Alaska Airlines want to be known as the Seahawks' biggest supporters. Personally, I like the local guys. At Alaska Airlines, Russell Wilson is the carrier’s Chief Football Officer. Anyone flying from Seattle wearing a #3 Hawks jersey gets to board their flight early. #GoHawks.

Speaking of travel, Expedia employees created an amazing 10-story shrine to Beast Mode completely out of construction paper displayed in the windows at HQ.

 Image source: MyNorthwest/Dara  Khosrowhshahi

Image source: MyNorthwest/Dara Khosrowhshahi

Around here, when a brand or businesses uses its building to pay tribute to the team, we call that #Hawkitechture. Go ahead. Scroll through the #Hawkitechture hash tag on Instagram. I’ll wait here. It might take a while. There are just sooooo many. 

When it comes to personal branding, we at Curator have to tip our hats to the #12Pets. Some of those pets have an amazing content strategy. We can't decide who is more creative — @barkleysircharles and his 306K Instagram followers or @Meowshawn_Lynch and his 2,500 Twitter followers. 

You may have heard that recreational marijuana is legal here. We wondered if an industry so young would be ready to jump into the action. Sure enough! A hard-working marijuana dispensary is working round the clock to roll 12,000 joints in honor of the big game. This special Seahawks blend is marketed as the 12th Pack. 

But don’t worry. If that kind of green isn’t your thing, area grocers can hook you up with some fan-friendly organic produce. 

One final note from our local mythical creature brand, Sasquatch. He has made the most mesmerizing 12th Vine. Seriously. I challenge you to look away. 

With that, we’ll hand it over to you, Boston. We’re waiting to be impressed by your marketers' Patriot Pride. 

Disruption vs. Assimilation

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For years in the marketing world we've talked about effective campaigns as those that have the ability to be disruptive. I read an article in the New York Times recently on marketing through Facebook that talked about, among other things, seeking to create a "thumbstopper," which is an ad that is so arresting it stops the user from mindlessly scrolling through their feed. I get it. And I can appreciate the thinking. But, I disagree. The world we live in is deafening with marketing messages and people are being hit from a multitude of channels and grassroots executions. Creating something that stops someone in their digital or real world tracks can make sense on the surface. There is value in disruption, but only if the objective is an impression. If the objective is ultimately true, sustained engagement with a brand or a sale at the cash register—and, of course it always is—then the ultimate measure of effectiveness should not be disruption, but assimilation.

The most effective campaigns should create marketing that actually understands the customer's pain point and delivers a helpful solution. The marketing should assimilate that brand into their consumer's life.

The Real Housewives of Orange County are disruptive. They create a hell of a lot of talk value and it's hard to change the channel when they're on. But there's nothing there beyond an impression. No value. It's a car accident on the side of the road. Shock value is a short-term hit. Seeking disruption in marketing is the same thing. I believe it's about developing programs that are creative enough to capture an individual's attention, but lives in a place where they see immediate value so as to assimilate the brand into their lives. It's what we hang our hat on at Curator.

Agree or disagree? Hit me up on Twitter @battishill or @curatorpr and let's talk.

A Three-Piece Typography Starter Kit

Being that most of our written communication is comprised of type, I think it behooves just about everybody to get a little basic break down of typography. Understanding just a few principles can really help you to make your presentations, agendas or your family's holiday update letter to feel more professional and to look nicer. It's not just about looking sleek: paying attention to your type can actually help you to get your points across more clearly. Better still, everything I'm going to talk about you can do in Microsoft Word. Best of all, I won't even get all completely technical type-nerdy on you.

My starter kit for killer typography boils down to just three umbrella rules: 1. Be Context Aware 2. Create Contrast 3. Go Simple So ditch the 12-point Times New Roman and let's try something fun!

1. Be Context Aware The most important thing to recognize in selecting a font is how it will be used and what message the words in that font will impart. Consider the level of impact you want each item to have, what sort of mood you want to convey. This infographic section has a pretty simple breakdown of different categories of fonts (or typefaces, if you do want to get technical).

typebymood

 

Another thing to be aware of is readability. Always make sure to set body copy in a legible, clean font. Serif fonts are generally easier to read for lengthy bodies of text, which explains why most books are set in serif fonts. However, for any broken-up text boxes or block-text the length of – oh-let's-just-say – a cover letter, a crisp sans serif can also make a legible and engaging impact. Furthermore, people tend to err on the side of picking fonts that are larger than necessary. Twelve-point is kind of a default in Word, but when printing, I almost never print body copy at more than 10-point, frequently going as small as 7-point or 8-point (it helps to add a bit of space between lines to increase legibility). If your body text is that small, you probably don't need huge headings either–just enough difference to be understood as different types of information. The rules are a little different on screen though; things need to be a bit bigger, which usually means using type that that's about the size you would normally expect to use anyway.

2. Go Simple There are loads of resource sites (Check out Font Squirrel, Google Fonts, and The League of Moveable Type for starts.) where you can get free fonts that range from highly practical and useful additions to your library, to exciting-and-fun fonts that can look a bit ridiculous if overused. Don't overdo it; be sparing with all the crazy-cool decorative fonts to punch up the overall feel of whatever you're making. Think of decorative fonts like neon: a great fashion accent, but it takes a real fashionista with a wild streak to pull off a whole outfit. For example, the largest headers or the title work well with creative fonts being that they are short and surrounded by extra space, but I wouldn't recommend applying them to subheadings–that can get overpowering and illegible (and for the love of Eric Gill, never set paragraphs in script).

The key point of maintaining simplicity is to limit yourself to two or (as needed) three typefaces in a document. One to two of these should typically be very utilitarian and legible, while the other can be a little more expressive in terms of mood. If you don't know what to think about a particular font, search up some reviews. Designers are typically very vocal online, sharing resources and opinions steadily.

3. Create Contrast

The last step is to consider how to create variety in your document. It's helpful to establish something of a hierarchy of information. Different parts are assigned different levels of importance or relate to different elements. The best way to differentiate and help readers quickly ascertain what relationships exist between different pieces of written information is to use different fonts. Think of all the different types of information you might have: headers, subheaders, body, contact info, captions, quotes, time schedules– it's a lot of different things. But didn't I just caution against using more than 2-3 typefaces? Well, sure, but it's all about how you treat them.

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/03/graphic-content-typonine/?_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=design&_r=0

A single typeface, particularly a good one, has a lot of breadth. You can use it in all capitals or small caps; italic or bold. Many typefaces have ultra-light or ultra-black weights in their indexes. Capitalize on them! As always, size and scale are other ways to create contrast within a document, but if you can treat the scale with more subtlety and work different weights and complimentary type pairings instead, you'll find you have a more sophisticated final product. When choosing your typefaces, the trick is too make sure that they not only aren't too similar,  but that they also compliment each other. Usually, pairing a sans serif and a serif will work in your favor, but there are some handy pairing guides (herehere, and also here) that I've enjoyed and made use of to help you start. It's a commonly held belief that typography is such a utilitarian element of communication that it doesn't necessarily need to be original so much as it needs to be good. So feel free to seek out and employ precedents. A final helpful way to create contrast is to find different ways of breaking up text. Use columns or pull quotes to add variety to your reader's flow. As we all know, nobody really likes to look at long monotonous documents so the more points of interest, the easier to engage people with content(cue the guffaws at my ultimate failure to provide such things in this post).

Now if you've made it this far, you're basically qualified to take on my internship (That's everything: my entire design BA in a blog post). If you're nerdy enough to still be curious, check this out because it will make you smarter and cooler almost immediately. I wish you all Garamondspeed in your future day-to-day typographic endeavors.

Brands Honor Dads for Father’s Day

If your dad is anything like mine, he’s your hero, counselor, protector, supporter and advisor. With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, it’s only fitting that we take a look at how brands are pulling on our heartstrings in honor of dear ole’ dad.

WestJet Father's Day Surprise

On the heels of last year’s Santa Surprise, WestJet pulled off the ultimate Father’s Day reunion, fit to make a grown man cry. The airline partnered with the Ronald McDonald House to surprise Saskatoon resident Marc Grimard, whose youngest son Joel was staying in Edmonton with his wife for treatment of congenital heart disease.

The campaign is emotional and shows WestJet’s human side. Check out the full feel-good video here and sampling of social media props, below.

Tweets

Fruit of the Loom’s GIF Registry

Fruit of the Loom went for a more comical approach with its Father’s Day GIF Registry, a microsite containing animated GIF “vouchers” for the simple things Dads want, like unlimited remote control use or naptime, anytime. The idea is a brilliant way to bring those traditional kid-produced coupons (you know, the ones that are usually good for doing the dishes or cleaning up bedrooms) into the digital age, and can be shared easily on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and via email.

Fruit of the Loom

Dove Men+Care’s “Real Dad Moments”

Much like its “Real Beauty Sketches” aimed at women, Dove challenges the stereotypical images of dads with its “Real Dad Moments” video, depicting a series of fathers as caregivers helping their children get through emotional highs and lows, like making it across the monkey bars or being stuck roadside with a flat tire. The digital campaign also encourages users to submit their own #RealDadMoments via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The message is sweet and simple.

dove-dads-video

American Greetings “Dad Casting”

American Greetings recently received kudos for its “World’s Toughest Job” campaign, a Mother’s Day video (with more than 20 million views to-date) in which real people were interviewed for a grueling position with zero pay, unveiling at the end that the description is that of a mother’s job. Referenced in our Curator News Feed from last week, the sequel called “Dad Casting” shows real actors auditioning for the role of father, following the theme that there is no script for being a good dad. People can use the hashtag #worldstoughestjob to give the dad in their life a online standing ovation via social media.

Dad Casting

Is there a Father’s Day campaign you saw this year that you really loved? Tweet us and tell us about it at @CuratorPR! And Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there, including mine!

Brands Play April Fools' Tricks Too

April 1 is the one day a year when seeing isn’t necessarily believing, especially in the online world of branding and marketing. More and more, brands are playing practical April Fools' jokes on the public with fake product launches, random press announcements and zany social media posts in an effort to set the Internet ablaze and get consumers talking. While a farce, the pranks can build brand buzz and brand affinity among consumers if executed with enough tongue-in-cheek flare. Check out our curated list of some of the most eye-catching April Fools' Day pranks from this year:

FRITO-LAY NORTH AMERICA CHEETEAU

Cheetos

Love Cheetos so much that you want to smell like the orange snack food? Frito-Lay’s press release announced the entry of brand mascot Chester Cheetah into the perfume space. The press release slapped on the extra cheese, calling the perfume Cheeteau by Chester and describing it as “a prestige fragrance that celebrates the irreverent, intriguing and playful nature of the iconic feline with a scent bold enough to excite and delight.” The release was accompanied by a YouTube video, which has received 1 million views to-date. Cheeteau’s integrated “campaign” included a giveaway of 100 bottles of Cheeteau on Twitter. Fans who Tweeted a cheesy selfie with the hashtag #CheesySelfie could enter to win the perfume.

Domino's

Domino’s

Pizza lovers everywhere were disappointed to hear that the world’s first edible pizza box was simply an April Fools' joke from Domino’s UK. Billed as the world’s first in “snackaging,” the “Edibox“ was borne through surveys that revealed that customers “crave extra crust once they've finished their meal.” And the best part of the Edibox? It’s eco-friendly of course.

American Eagle Outfitters

American Eagle Outfitters

What started out as a prank looks like it’s actually coming to fruition. American Eagle Outfitters announced a new line of matching outfits for dogs and their human parents dubbed American Beagle Outfitters. The joke included a “dogumentary” lamenting the current selection of duds for dogs. Intended to raise money for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) through the sale of gift cards, the retailer pulled our tails with a website full of canine couture. However, after receiving an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response, AE is now planning to actually launch a limited edition collection for pooches this fall.

Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market

Even some Curator clients got into the jokester spirit this year. Whole Foods Market in Cambie, Vancouver played a practical prank on shoppers by posting “parking tickets” on 15 lucky shoppers’ cars. Hope the shoppers read the fine print – the citation stated that the shoppers would receive a $10 gift card for posing with the ticket and posting it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #WFMcambie.

hoffin

Google

Google is known for its April Fools' pranks (anyone remember Google Nose?), and this year was no exception. Included in the surprising suite of jokes up its sleeve was Google Maps' video (which received 9.5 million views as of this morning) advertising an augmented reality Pokémon game run through the Google Maps app that allows users to scroll across Google Maps using their smartphones to catch different specific of Pokémon by tapping on their icons.

Google’s blog post stated: “We value employees who are risk-taking and detail-oriented, have deep technical knowledge, and can navigate through tall grass to capture wild creatures. It turns out that these skills have a lot in common with another profession—that of the Pokémon Master. With that in mind, we’ve worked with Pokémon and Nintendo to develop a new training tool to help people hone their Pokémon-capturing abilities using Google Maps.”

For Gmail, April 1 brought the introduction of the “Gmail Shelfie” or sharable selfie, which allows you and your loved ones to replace your old Gmail background with a glorious photo of your face.  According to the company’s blog post, “Gmail Shelfie is built on the idea that you shouldn’t be selfish with your selfie. With just a few clicks, your mom, your aunt, or that girl you have a crush on can set your Shelfie as their Gmail theme so they can enjoy checking, reading, and writing emails while seeing your friendly face in the background.”

But perhaps my personal favorite Google rollout was Google+ Auto Awesome, which allows you to take those selfies one step further with a celebrity photobomb. Want David Hasselhoff to join you on a hike or a leisurely stroll on the beach?  Auto Awesome Photobombs makes that happen.

Do you have a favorite prank from this year? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

Event 101

As two PR and social media pros, it’s basically our business to attend events on a reoccurring basis. Not to mention we do our fair share of playing host on behalf of our clients. Appetizer and cocktail tastings are the fun part of event planning, but they aren't the only things that lead to a successful event. To make your next event better than the last, we have pulled from own experiences creating social events from cocktail hour to the after-party. Who doesn’t want their event to be the one you'll never forget? Provide Information. From the first invitation to the execution at the event, it’s important to provide your guests with the information they want and need. Especially for events with a social component, making sure there is signage with the appropriate handles and hashtags you’d like used saves everyone the trouble of asking, using the wrong one, or worse, not engaging at all.

During the holiday season we helped coordinate two Holiday Preview Events for Macy’s in both Seattle and Portland. A local blogger hosted each event, but we provided guests a list of the attendees, complete with everyone’s blog name and social handles, so they could easily find one another.

 

In February we helped coordinate a Valentine’s Day Twitter Tasting for Whole Foods Market  -- each guest had their own menu that outlined the courses that would be covered as well as clear signage with the event hashtag.

 

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Choose The Right Hashtag. Choosing your hashtag is almost as important as choosing your venue these days. The hashtag is the vessel for your event on social media, giving you full access to the post-soiree feedback  from attendees. Not every hashtag needs to be branded, but it does need to be relevant to your event or subject. If your event is part of a series, think of a unified hashtag you can build upon for each event. The most important tip for your hashtag? Keep it simple and easy so your attendees don't misinterpret, which can often cause a misspelled hashtag.

Tangible Takeaway. Everyone loves a swag bag, but even if you can’t provide a take-home gift, it’s good to have a little something that your guests can leave with, and reminds them of the event or brand after the fact – and that’s always the goal, right?

Seattle Bloggers Unite recently hosted its Spring Social Meetup and had a nametag station so every guest could make their own adorable nametag. They also had an incredible gift bag for everyone, filled with products from a number of local businesses.

 

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Reward Social Activity. Asking your guests to share on social media is the perfect opportunity to build relationships. Why not reward their action with surprise acts of kindness? During your event, surprise guests with tweets gifting them extra drink tickets or gift cards for your service! The unexpected gesture will be appreciated and possibly lead to a few more social shares.

Remember, You're the Host/Hostess. Just like if you were having people over to your home, remember, it’s your responsibility to make people feel welcome and guide them through the event. Whether that's making introductions between guests, leading a demo, moderating a panel, or directing people through an activity, you should make sure there is a kind of flow to the event to keep people from feeling uncomfortable or bored.

At the Seattle Refined Launch Party, KOMO TV's Steve Pool played emcee for the night, giving some structure to what was a very social event.

 

Have a great event tip or want to chat with us about our favorite events? Tweet at us @C_Allodi and @Brookeandersen

The Selfie Obsession

Yup, it’s official. It’s a selfie world, and we’re all just living in it. The evolution of the selfie in popular culture over the last year particularly has been a whirlwind. First, the word “selfie” became Oxford Dictionary's 2013 Word of the Year, allowing duck-face experts everywhere to rejoice in the official addition of the word to the English language. (By the way, if you haven’t caught on by now, selfie is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media.”)

Next, there was the #SELFIE song, cooked up by the NYC DJ duo The Chainsmokers as an homage to the present Era of Instagram. It has been invading the airwaves, perfectly capturing the self-centered social media-obsessed society we live in these days. You can read more about the song here.

And then there was the selfie heard ‘round the world. On the eve of the 2014 Oscars earlier this month, host Ellen DeGeneres orchestrated the most epic selfie of all with a group of A-list actors including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and more. The super-sized selfie, which Ellen shared via Twitter, reportedly “broke” the social media platform, becoming the most retweeted post of all time, with more than 3 million retweets to-date.

Photo Credit: @TheEllenShow

 

The Oscars selfie ploy garnered some coveted airtime for Samsung, a major sponsor of the 86th annual Academy Awards. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 was featured prominently on camera as Bradley Cooper, seen in the foreground, was filmed holding the phone as the stars huddled in for the shot.

But Samsung (which also had another successful selfie moment in their #TogetherWeRise campaign) is not the only brand getting in on the selfie train. Companies like Target, AXE and GoPro have all gotten into the mix with some kind of selfie campaign that still stays true to their brand identity, while plugging into the word of the hour. When a cultural phenomenon like the selfie aligns with a brand’s core image and can offer fans a compelling way to engage, that’s when the conversation clicks.

For example, AXE’s #AXESelfie Challenge campaign encouraged user-generated content by prompting fans to take a funny selfie with an AXE product and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #AXESelfie for a chance to win a year’s worth of AXE goods. According to an inforgraphic for the Shorty Awards, of the brand’s seven social media campaigns in 2013, the #AXESelfie Challenge garnered the most engagement.

Purina’s Beggin’ Strips brand of dog treats even got furry friends into the selfie craze with the #BegginSelfie campaign, encouraging pet owners to share photos of their dog’s selfies to be featured in their #SelfieSunday roundup on Twitter.

Photo Credit: @Beggin

 

Here at Curator, integrating our brands naturally into social conversation in ways that are authentic to their brand identity is important.

Here are some quick tips for brands that want to dabble in the selfie space:

-- Display your brand’s strong points but don’t exaggerate or misrepresent them. Customers will find out and call you out on it. -- Don’t take jabs at the competition. No one likes a hater. -- Focus on the “insta” in Instagram. Provide content as you go and avoid too many #latergrams. The beauty of social media is sharing a message in real-time. -- Use social media dashboards to direct social media traffic back to your website. -- Dare to be different to stand out above competing messages, but don’t stray too far from your brand’s true voice. -- Keep photos of actual people in your selfies relevant to your brand and your brand’s mission. -- Don’t over-post. Like that annoying friend in your Instagram feed that ONLY posts photos of herself, too many selfies can alienate your followers.

We’d love to help incorporate your brands into this cultural phenomenon, but first, let us take a selfie…

CuratorSelfies

Nordstrom Styles a Conversation with Designer Preview Event

Seattle is home to several curator brands – organizations that create products, services or experiences that stand up to the conversation of the marketplace. These brands curate and participate in the conversation, whether that’s happening on the street, through social media posts and updates or unfolding in the media. Nordstrom is a fantastic example of a curator brand. Just last week, our office was chatting about Nordstrom’s decision to integrate Pinterest with its in-store shopping experience. The brand made news when it gave a nod to the conversations and activity happening among the more than 4.5 million followers on Pinterest. Now, shoppers in 13 Nordstrom locations will see Pinterest icons, noting “most pinned” products. We loved this idea.

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the Nordstrom Designer Preview. Each year, Nordstrom showcases top designers’ Fall collections in a highly produced runway event benefiting the Seattle Art Museum. As I sipped my Glamourtini and soaked in the sunset view from the Pier 91 location, I marveled at how Nordstrom had carefully scripted the evening to provide participants opportunities to create conversations around their brand. Before the models took to the runway, they invited Lawren Howell, Vogue’s West Coast Fashion Editor, to share 5 highlights from the Fall runway shows in London, Paris, Milan and New York. Did you know that coats are the new handbag? Neither did I, but I felt an urge to reach for my phone and tweet out some newly learned fashion nuggets. They even provided me with a hashtag to do so -- #NordstromxVoguePromos.

Gorgeous Gucci on the runway.

After the show, guests were invited to browse the Pop-Up Store, and try on looks straight from the runway. Snap a selfie in that amazing coat with feathers? Yes, please! While I didn’t see any Pinterest icons throughout the evening, Nordstrom produced a flawless event that inspired me to share my experience not just with my friends at the event, but to post my favorite looks on Facebook and Instagram, tweet news of my great seat (row 1!) to friends and family and make a Vine of the fabulous people watching. Friends who weren’t even in the same state commented on my favorite Gucci dress. My mom, who had joined me a few years ago, messaged me that hoped to come back next year. And a few people even ooh’d and ahhh’d over my sweet row 1 seat (row 1!). Thanks for sparking such a fun conversation, Nordstrom.

Curator News Feed: July 12, 2013

Curator has been quite busy this week: Ann Marie and Chelsey were back and forth from California for client events and meetings. Noelle is currently exploring the grounds of another client, Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto with journalists in Mexico. And back at the homestead, the office has been setting its sights on not only back to school, but holiday initiatives for our wonderful clients. Phew! Amongst all the productivity, we still found time to produce some pretty interesting links. So without further ado: the Curator News Feed for July 12th.

"#Fireworks don't fly. (On planes)" via TSA's Instagram account

Marketing Agencies Will Disappear in 10 Years Study Says, PR Daily. Shocking headline. Interesting content. Glad we’re already doing the content marketing and “PR thinking” thing… – Dan

How To Become More Unstoppable Every Day, Fast Company. This is a feel good story about a girl who pushed outside what she thought her limits were and went for it, not to break some crazy world record or become the best at it, but for her own happiness. Her most recent project was to learn to dance in a year, all while holding a full-time job. My favorite line from her is on her site, here: "This isn't a story about dancing, though. It's about having a dream and not knowing how to get there—but starting anyway. Maybe you're a musician dreaming of writing an original song. You;re an entrepreneur dying to start your first venture. You're an athlete but you just haven't left the chair yet." – Maria

TSA's Gun Policy: Confiscate It, Instagram ItCNN Money. It's the reason we arrive at the airport hours before our flight even boards. We all dread it: TSA security. Well, now you can follow your favorite airport gatekeepers on Instagram. The account already has 40,000+ followers with only 11 pictures posted since it joined June 27. No doubt these pictures are alarming--a stun gun disguised as a cigarette holder, grenades, throwing knives, loaded pistols. Reading some of the comments, the account is already pretty controversial. What do you think; does TSA's Instragram account make you feel more safe in the air, or otherwise?  – Megan

32 Tricks You Can Do With Wolfram Alpha…, BusinessInsider. Wolfram Alpha, if you're not familiar, is kind of a nerdy Google that came out a few years ago. Whereas Google is almost entirely focused on searching for links, Wolfram Alpha is a search engine that's focused on answers. Take the first tip on this list: You can input the names of Subway sandwiches and the toppings you want to include on those sandwiches, and instantly find out an approximation of how many calories will end up in the sandwich you build. Crazy. – Paul

The Number Facebook Doesn't Want You To See, BuzzFeed. Here's an uncomfortable truth: None of your Facebook friends care about your updates. Oh, they see them; they just don't care. That's the gist of this article by BuzzFeed, which points out that while most Facebook posts "reach" hundreds or thousands of people, that reach doesn't often translate into interaction. I've found a lot more success posting in Groups and Lists with fewer people, but a narrower focus. That way, my friends who like social media, for instance, see my social-media-news updates, and those posts get a lot more feedback. – Paul

The Pixar TheoryJon Negroni. Ever thought Pixar movies were connected? You were right. This article will blow your mind. Special thanks to former Curator, Lisa Kennelly, for sharing this on her Facebook page and possibly changing my life. – Chelsey

pixar.com

The 7 Types of Hashtag Abusers, NY Mag. Hashtags are everywhere and they're a great tool, but it's also important to keep your hashtag usage in check. Don't be afraid to admit, are you one of these hashtag users? – Brooke

3D Printing, Shapeways.com. As 3d printing has become more accessible, it's still remained a bit out of reach for people who just want to tinker and not drop a few grand in equipment. I ran across a great writeup on the new eBay app that lets you print stuff called Exact, which looked rather interesting, yet seems to be more about customizing existing models. Then in the comments ran across the really interesting site which lets you actually upload your designs, both 2d or 3d if you have the know-how, and get models printed and shipped to your door. Check it out if you've been kicking around a product idea or two, it looks really well polished with a solid community around it. – Shawn

The World's Most Active Twitter City? You Won't Guess It, Forbes. A fun article in Forbes this week that revealed the results of which city in the world is the most active on Twitter. Think the no. one spot would go to New York, Tokyo, or maybe London? Well, guess again. Read the article to find out which city ranked at the top. Funny enough, San Francisco (where Twitter is headquartered) was not even ranked amongst the top 20 most active Twitter cities. – Annie

Wax Dummy for Coupons, Design Taxi. We’ve all seen business beat the street with a stack of coupons to bring in customers, but I’ve never seen a company mix the coupon offer with their service in quite so clever (yet slightly disgusting) of a way. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so I’ll just tell you the business is a waxing studio and the person handing out the coupons was wearing them. It’s proof that nothing gets people’s attention like a good mix of curiosity and schadenfreude. – Matthew