Drumroll Please: Introducing Curator’s Newest Clients

You may have seen us tooting the horns of our newest clients on social media, but we wanted to officially share Curator’s amazing new lineup of clients, including Pyramid Breweries, Washington Shoe Company and Utrip. Get to know these brands, the work they do and how we are supporting them!  

We are toasting with Pyramid Breweries after the Pacific Northwest brewery signed an AOR (agency of record) for Curator to manage the brand’s overall communication and public relations strategy, including the launch of a fresh brand aesthetic this spring. We are pretty excited for this partnership, and it doesn’t hurt that their Apricot Ale is an office favorite.

We recently became the AOR for Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Planet Foundation, two of three Whole Foods Market foundations. Whole Kids Foundation supports schools and inspires families to improve children’s nutrition, while Whole Planet Foundation funds microcredit loans in communities where Whole Foods Market sources products. We will build media and influencer relationships for both organizations while managing public relations strategy around multiple fundraising campaigns and events. We are honored to partner with organizations doing such important and impactful work.

We also extended our contract with Seattle-based apparel company, Ably, following a successful Kickstarter brand launch campaign which garnered more than $500K from 4,900 backers, as well as 119 million social and earned media impressions. Ably apparel, the first of its kind to market, is activated with proprietary technology called Filium, allowing it to be stain and odor resistant, as well as ecologically friendly. If you’re an athlete, parent, messy eater or just someone struggling to find time to shower, this clothing line was made for you.

Utrip, a virtual concierge service that creates day-by-day itineraries according to your interests, budget and travel plans, hired us in January to drive media outreach to business, technology, trade and consumer publications, as well as social media engagement. As much as our team loves to travel, this company is a natural fit.

If you’re a Seattleite, fashionable and functional rain boots are a non-negotiable and Washington Shoe Company is our go-to. The company extended its contract with us after we successfully increased brand recognition through local media and social influencer collaborations. Our focus is on seasonal, consumer-centric media and influencer relations.

We initiated work with Orchard Nursery & Florist in the Bay Area to reposition Orchard as a product and knowledge destination for young gardeners, redesigning the company’s website and debuting a new blog platform to inspire readers, while building a strong sense of community. Orchard has recently expanded the scope of work to include local media outreach. It’s just an added bonus that we get to look at stunning photos of flowers and greenery, while learning some tips from professionals on how to keep air plants alive, because contrary to what their name might indicate, they need more than air.

After a company game night filled with laughing out loud (true story), we teamed up with Sway, a party game created by two Seattle-based entrepreneurs. Sway hired us as the brand’s AOR to promote the game locally and nationally, introducing Sway to the party game industry.

For more information on these brands, check out their websites, social channels or our weekly newsfeed!

Successful Super Bowl Ads Generate a Reaction

Curator’s Scott Battishill joined some of the industry’s most successful and accomplished advertisers and marketers last week for the American Advertising Federation’s 2016 Chalk Talk. The panel spent the evening going over spots from #SB50, sharing their opinions on what worked, what didn’t, which made an impact and which were duds.

The overall sentiment was that companies have to take a stand, make a splash, or do something crazy to stand out in such a loud, crowded marketplace.

To put it bluntly, neutrality sucks and it’s not going to get brands anywhere.

Some brands seemed to put out ads just for the sake of having an ad. They wasted $5+ million and didn’t take advantage of the stage they were on. The spots that everyone forgot about were the spots that didn’t have brand recognition, connect with the viewer, or strongly tie into social, which is where the conversation would continue long after the Lombardi trophy was awarded.

When a brand is competing for attention, they have to be the Donald Trump: loud, crazy, controversial and memorable. Brands who are safe, boring, neutral – the Jeb Bush of commercials – are forgotten. When there is so much going on in the viewer’s life – a game to watch, a beer to drink, a friend to talk to – it’s easy for a brand to get lost in the commotion. Spots that stood out made viewers stop, listen, react and respond.

So the take away here isn’t, “What’s the formula for a successful Super Bowl commercial?” The take away is brands will never get anywhere sitting in the middle. Whether good or bad, some reaction is better than no reaction. Either way, people are still talking about your brand and [hopefully] remembering your product.

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For Chalk Talk 2016, Scott was joined by Mary Knight, Principal and ECD of Hydrogen; Ronan O’Mahony, Director of Brand & Advertising at T-Mobile; Cal McAllister, Co-Founder and CEO of Wexley School for Girls; and Troy McCall, Freelance Creative Director. The event was moderated by Chris Copacino, Account Director at copacino+fujikado.

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 

Organization: A true sink-or-swim test

 Photo by  @stephaniekirk4

Staying organized will make or break a career in PR. That being said, organization isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. Written notes on the corner of a piece of paper might work for one person, while the person to their left may need everything saved on their computer and synced to the cloud.

Unfortunately, trial and error is often the best way to find out what works. I say unfortunately because of the last word of this method: error. It takes awhile for people to figure out what works best for them, and sometimes you try organization styles that don’t work. I’m a prime example of this.

As a recent graduate, my gig at Curator is my first non-internship job. I quickly found that while I was hyper-organized in school with a planner that was bursting at the seams, that method of organization did not work for me here.

I began a quest of testing out different ways to stay organized from handwritten sticky notes and typed thoughts saved in Word to calendar reminders. The result? A combination of these tricks evolved into my ideal organizational system.

If I take an unexpected call from the media, I take handwritten notes on a piece of paper and then transfer those notes into a notebook once I hang up. The act of re-writing my notes allows me to soak up and remember the conversation, and identify if there are holes or remaining questions. Anything with a due date goes on the monthly calendar that is pinned in front of my desk. Finally, I have my work email and calendar synced to my phone so I can check anything at day or night.

This may seem excessive, or seem like a few extra steps, but it’s what works for me! I’d love to hear what works best for you! Comment below with your best organization tips.

 

 

How My Internship Was Much More Than “Just Getting Coffee”

How My Internship Was Much More Than “Just Getting Coffee”

When I arrived in the office on the first day of my internship with Curator, I was ready to embrace the industry I was passionate about, but I also felt nervous. About to begin my junior year at the University of Washington, I had reached the point in my collegiate career where things tend to get a bit more “serious.”

17 Things I Learned As An Intern At Curator PR

Anna Tremblay is one of Curator's interns for summer 2015. To learn more about Curator's internship program, click here.

My days as an intern are quickly coming to a close and I can confidently say that I learned something new each day at Curator. Not only did I learn things that I can add to my PR skill set, but also to my life skill set.

I have decided to share some of the greatest lessons I have learned with those who have yet to work with this talented group of people.

So without further ado, here are some of the things I have learned from the Curators this summer:

  1. Time management is key.
  2. Proofread, then proofread again .
  3. Hard work pays off.
  4. An interesting pitch is a good pitch.
  5. Make people care about the client— this may often require thinking outside of the box.
  6. Social media is one of your greatest tools in PR.
  7. There are an infinite number of websites and apps to help you effectively use social media channels—find them and use them often.
  8. Getting to know your co-workers is not only fun but also important—happy hour is a great way to do so.
  9. Celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small.
  10. Celebrate your co-workers wins. Everyone deserves a pat on the back sometimes.
  11. Get an outside opinion. Sometime the best thing to do is get a fresh perspective.
  12. There is a huge difference between an amazing social media presence and a just-OK social media presence.
  13. Identifying influencers is glorified social media stalking (I always knew those skills would come in handy one day).
  14. Your media list can be your Achilles heel; to avoid this, make sure it is always current, full of awesome contacts and even better notes.
  15. There is nothing wrong with asking for help or asking questions.
  16. Taking time to meet face to face will always be more productive than email.

And last, but definitely not least:

17. Nothing is as dangerous in communications as assuming your own message.

The Curators are an eclectic team of individuals who each bring their own niche skill set to create the best possible outcome for their clients. I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of this team for the summer. The amounts of things I have learned far outnumber those listed above, and some I will never be able to put into words.

I want to end this by thanking Anna, Paul, Jennifer, Brooke, Noelle, Kate, Chelsey, Ann Marie and Scott. Each of you contributed in giving me a better experience than I could have ever asked for. You are all awesome.

4 PR Skills I've Learned from Interning at Curator (that Have Nothing to Do with Coffee)

Audrey Klacker is one of Curator's 2015 summer interns. To learn more about Curator's internship program or apply for a Fall 2015 internship, click here

With August right around the corner (scary, I know), I have been reflecting on my time at Curator so far. I’m about halfway through my internship here, and I could write a never-ending list of all the things I’ve learned—from how to hyperlink, to what’s going on in the life of Russell Wilson. But there are a few important things that stand out. 

You are only as strong as your media list

I was introduced to the concept of media lists on my very first day. Media lists are the foundation of public relations. It is so important to be able to put together a current list of contacts in any given region. Without good media lists you won’t get very far in the PR industry. 

You can never take enough notes

Taking detailed notes is a must. You might think you will remember something from a meeting or an email, but taking good notes will save you when you overestimate your memory. You never know when you might need that little tidbit of information later on. 

Research is key

PR involves a lot of research. You have to know your client and the audience your working with, which often means learning about many different topics. The trick is knowing how to research effectively and efficiently with the time you have. You could literally spend days researching any one thing because there is so much information on the internet, but it's the quality of your research that matters. 

Don't ever stop learning

Lastly, I’ve leaned that I still have a lot left to learn. PR is always changing and there are so many aspects that I still have to grasp. I’m soaking up as much information as I can while I am here, but I know I have a long road ahead of me.

PR Challenges — As Told by an Intern

Anna Tremblay is one of Curator's interns for summer 2015. To learn more about Curator's internship program, click here.

As a public relations student who is getting ready to start my final year of school, my time is slowly ticking away before I leave the safety of school for the hustle of the PR world. In the short time that I have worked at Curator I have learned that there are definitely some challenges that people in the PR industry face.

Some of these are felt on a day-to-day basis and others are more gradual. Either way, I think it would be a mistake to not prepare myself for some of the challenges I will face in the PR-world, as I get closer to graduation.  

Ch-ch-ch-changes

One of the challenges that I feel is most daunting, but at the same time most exciting, is that the PR industry is constantly changing. During my time in the industry, there will inevitably be even more changes occurring. Preparing for changes isn’t an especially easy task, but I can prepare by viewing them as an invitation for new innovation and creativity. Simply put, PR will definitely never get boring.

Time management

You know, that thing that they have supposedly been drilling into your brain since you were in middle school?  Yeah well I thought I was pretty much an expert at it, and then I started working at Curator.

Okay, lets rewind. One of my favorite things about my internship is that I get to work on several different accounts, and I have a nice variety of tasks to perform every day. But with this there has to be a component of time management. When is it okay to stop working on one account and start another? How do I stop in the middle of one task and start something else?  

Working at Curator has been a huge step in my time-management growth process, and it’s something I’ll continue to develop at school next year.

Overcoming fear

Last of the things on my to-master-before-graduation list is to become a bit more fearless. Sitting in a brainstorm meeting and not-sharing my ideas because I’m afraid they might be stupid is not beneficial for anyone. Who knows—that idea I didn’t share that one time could have made the difference for the clients.

Speaking up and sharing ideas will only be step toward my main goal of giving every client 110%. This will be arguably the hardest of the three to work on. Creativity is something that is highly encouraged at Curator—another one of the millions of reasons why I am so happy I got this amazing opportunity. Slowly, I am learning that there is no such thing as a stupid idea.

I am having so much fun learning about all things PR from the Curators. I am excited to see where the industry goes and how I will get to play a role in it after graduation. 

4 Top Reasons I Want a Career in PR

Audrey Klacker is one of Curator's 2015 summer interns. To learn more about Curator's internship program, click here

Growing up you are always asked about the future; what career you want, what college you’re going to attend, how you’re going to get there, etc.  Well, after a couple years of flip flopping between possible career paths, around the age of 13 I figured out I wanted to pursue a career in the communications field, and later that developed into a more precise path of public relations.

There are a lot of things I love about PR, but these are the top reasons I’m choosing a career in the PR industry:

The positivity

From the people you work with, to interactions on social channels, there is an air of positivity in the PR profession. Working in PR, people all want the same thing, and that’s to have a positive impact. I love being able to get creative and think strategically about how to help a client put their best foot forward.  Even the smallest thing, like seeing someone tweet about what you pitched to him or her, is very satisfying.

You never stop learning

I can honestly say I have learned at least one new thing every day I have worked at Curator (usually it’s much more than one). You learn things you never thought you would be knowledgeable about. In PR you always have to be aware of what’s going on in the world, big or small, which means doing your research and keeping up-to-date on media/culture.  

Everyone can benefit from PR

There’s not a brand or company that can’t benefit from the magic of PR. This means as a PR professional, there are endless opportunities to work toward something you’re passionate about. You love fashion? Work for a clothing brand. You like music? Work with a record label. You want to help people? Promote a non-profit. The ability to merge one of my passions and PR is a huge reason I am drawn to the industry.

It’s always changing

When I tell people I want a career in PR, the usual response is “So, what do you actually do?” Ummm, everything! That’s a tough question to answer because no two days in the PR world are the same. You are always working with different people, different projects, and different stories. There are so many possibilities and ways to thrive. PR is fast-paced and exciting. I love the variety. 

Social Media’s ROI is the Same as a Billboard

 " Billboard  003" by  Roberto Nieves  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0

"Billboard 003" by Roberto Nieves is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Brooke shared a great link this week about how brands have, and continue to, struggle with tying their social media efforts and spending to return on investment. It’s a great post, and you should check it out, but it’s also a really frustrating one.

It’s frustrating because there seems to be a double standard when it comes to paid and earned media. Most mid- to large-sized brands have, at some point, purchased a billboard or radio ad, and felt good about it because it delivered them X amount of impressions. How do we get those impressions? Who knows. It’s an assumed based on, X amount of people drive by there every day, and that data comes from some traffic study done some number of years ago.

With earned social media, we know exactly how many people have seen an ad—that’s what branded social media posts are—how many of them chose to interact with it, and we can even take steps to roughly, but still pretty accurately, quantify how much actual revenue the ad generated.

Why, then, is earned media held to such a stricter proof of ROI than traditional paid media?

I’m not saying that social media shouldn’t be held to a strict proof of ROI. But I am asking why it seems so inherently easy to consider an ad buy of X impressions a success, while a social campaign with the same number of impressions would just as easily be looked upon with suspicion because it couldn’t prove a direct tie to business results.

I’m also not simply saying this isn’t fair—my point is that if you’re struggling to understand what social media can contribute to your business, you should ask yourself if you can draw an A-to-B line from your paid media efforts to your business’ bottom line as well. Because an Instagram post costs a hell of a lot less than space on a billboard, and in a lot of cases, it’s driving the same return: eyeballs.

Realistically, until we come to a Minority Report-style world where consumers’ every movements are tracked, there’s always going to be some level of educated guesswork with ROI. But it makes the most business sense to measure the effectiveness of all media efforts—paid, earned, traditional, non-traditional—against the question, “What does this do for the business?” and treat all answers equally.