Summer Intern Roll Call: Audrey Marlatt

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Hey everyone! My name is Audrey. This fall, I will be going into my senior year at the University of Oregon where I am studying Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration. As an aspiring public relations professional, I look forward to honing on my verbal and writing skills in any way I can. With this being my first internship, I could not be more excited to work alongside and learn from the talented team here at Curator. I am very interested in the development of company client relations and how they are maintained as well as social media and digital marketing. By the end of the summer I look forward to bringing all the PR tools I acquire here and implementing them in my studies at Oregon.

Though I was born in Georgia, I have spent most of my life in Washington until I moved to Eugene, Oregon for college. Why Eugene, you ask? It’s not like the weather is any better, nor is it in an incredibly populated city, so why? No one could have convinced me to leave the PNW, but I wanted a change from Washington and the experience of attending a bigger school- hence the University of Oregon. At the U of O, I am involved in a variety of clubs and campus organizations. Currently, I am the Employer Engagement Team Lead of the LCB Career Ambassador team, UO PRSSA Photographer and Website Designer, UO Dance Team Photographer, and Chi Omega sorority Marketing Director.

As an intern at Curator, I’m looking forward to finally stepping out of the classroom and applying what I learned, like my writing and pitching skills. When I’m not working, I’m most likely yelling “Go Ducks” at people on the street, taking my camera out on new adventures, dancing to Beyonce’s “Love on Top,” or making gourmet Kraft mac-n-cheese.

-Audrey

Curator Newsfeed: June 2018

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Do the warmth of the summer months have you trying to make your weekends not consist of  binging the newest trending Netflix series? Get up and venture out for some local shopping, or stop in to your favorite restaurant for a cold brew and good company. Be sure to check out our client coverage from June so you can see how to explore the summertime shopping scene, discover new food finds, and even travel tips to utilize the next time you fly!

Wear What When June 11–18, Seattle Met

Seattle Company Creates Collagen-Infused Clothing, KING5

Summer Fashion with The Shops at Mission Viejo, Fashion By Vicky

Chef Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye Hosts “Give Bees A Chance” Dinner This Sunday, Austin Food Magazine

Tips and tricks for creating a perfect outdoor space for your summer gathering, KING5

Pyramid Brewing Introduces a New Innovation Brewer at Seattle Brewery, Washington Beer Blog

Brea Mall - Summer Shopping! Part 1, CCMASONRLLY

Brea Mall - Great Eats at Nordstrom Cafe! Part 2, CCMASONRLLY

Baby Gifting at the Santa Rosa Plaza, Whiskey & Lace

Father’s Day Gift Guide | 2018, Raspberry Glow

Father’s Day Gift Guide and a Seahawks Jersey Giveaway, Champagne & Shimmer

Palomino Celebrates Father’s Day, FOX19 Now

These 165,000-Pound Columns Will Heft a 38-Story Tower 85 Feet Off the Ground, Popular Mechanics

5 Upgrades for a More Comfortable Plane Ride, Seattle Times

Fourth of July Shopping from The Shops at Mission Viejo, Me and Mr. Jones

Summer Intern Insights

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Hey everyone! My name is Solana Tanabe and I have had the pleasure of interning with the Curator team this past quarter. Next week I will be graduating from Seattle University with a degree in Strategic Communication with a specialization in Global Awareness and minor in Interdisciplinary Art- Arts Leadership- it’s quite a mouthful, I know. Telling stories and performing has been something I’ve been deeply passionate about since I was young. My storytelling journey began in classical ballet and since then has taken on many different formats.

I came to Curator in April with a few public relations and communications focused internships in both nonprofit and agency settings under my belt, looking to add more agency experience to my resume. I am so thankful for the Curator team for letting me be a part of their clients’ stories and helping me develop my personal communication style along the way.

As my undergraduate experience is coming to an end, so is my time here at Curator. But before I go, I wanted to share five skills and insights I gained this past quarter.

Researching Media & Building Media Lists

Media lists are a huge part of PR. Knowing this, finding the right journalist for your story and building out long lists can be a test of patience. Many times over the course of my internship I researched journalists and publications for our clients to share their stories with by paying close attention to beats their articles covered and the topics their publications covered, in addition to taking notes on the stories they wrote on.

Last month, for example, I developed a media list of print publications covering fashion, business, and technology in five major U.S. cities with an accompanying list of influencer recommendations in those same cities. Cision was literally my best friend for this project, but I also used Google and Instagram to search for journalists and influencers. Because the media landscape is always changing, maximizing your search capabilities to include all the platforms available to you will help you reach larger audiences and also collect contact information.

Tracking Coverage

Another task I frequently performed was tracking media coverage for clients. Tracking the number of impressions your outreach efforts have received are a key way of evaluating the success of your campaign. In creating monthly recap reports I learned that it is important to be exact with these numbers, and from there how to calculate total impressions. With newer forms of media like Instagram stories, gathering the true number this can be a little tricky but once you figure out that number it’s simple math.

Writing, writing, and more writing

I have been able to author a variety of written materials during my internship and can confidently say I’m a better writer because of it. One assignments I received in my first week was a blog for Smile Brands on flossing tips and tools. Since then I have written on a variety of dental topics, and I’ve come away with a clearer writing style and advanced grammar mechanics. I might be a more consistent flosser, too.

I also learned that not all pieces of writing should be crafted equally and that being able to tailor your writing so that it fits whatever platform you’re writing for will make your writing more compelling. Specific things I learned were; that social media copy has to be short and attention grabbing, always adhere to AP style in press releases and media alerts, and to make blog writing more conversational.

Pitching to Media

One of the tasks I enjoyed most was pitching to media. The process of writing and delivering a pitch can sometimes be a detailed and long process. You have to accept the fact you’ll mostly get responses that tell you no, or no responses at all, but when you do hear a yes and secure coverage for your client, it is so rewarding! I recently pitched a story on the role of technology in today’s dating culture for Curator’s client Three Day Rule to KUOW. I heard back recently that they agreed to the story and will be sharing the story on air soon!

Social Media Management

If you follow Curator’s Twitter, for the past three months you’ve likely read my tweets. I got to share all the work our awesome clients are doing and also learned how to maintain relationships with them and their publics online. The social media sphere moves very fast which requires social media managers to create attention-grabbing content. Since posts only allow so many characters, one major takeaway I learned was to condense messages by writing short, attention-grabbing messages and incorporating emojis to engage with followers. Within all this, I got to play around with posting frequencies and different time to post to increase the number of impressions Curator’s were receiving.

Agencies can be fast-paced environments, but, in my opinion, are totally worth it for developing your communication skills. If you’re a college student reading this and are in the market for an internship, I obviously recommend Curator, but would suggest that you consider an experience in an agency setting. Your work will play an important role in the day to day operation of the agency, and I don’t mean that you’ll be running to grab everyone’s coffee order. You’ll get to produce resume-worthy work, make professional connections, and have fun at the same time. My final thoughts on having a successful agency experience are:

  1. Don’t be afraid to be ask questions. You’re here to learn after all!
  2. Speak up when you need guidance or would like to work on a specific project or task you aren’t currently assigned. The worst your supervisor can say is no, but I guarantee they’ll be willing to give you a chance to try.
  3. And of course, be yourself! Why? Because everyone else is already taken :) Plus, this is a great way to make meaningful connections with others in the office and begin to make a presence for yourself professionally.

Thank you Curator for all the memories. I look forward to taking this experience into my professional career and beyond.

Curator Newsfeed: May 2018

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“Who run the world? Girls!” And what better way to celebrate our favorite women (Psst! Moms!) than with pre-summer essentials? That’s right! It’s time to show our appreciation for our day ones by equipping them with summer must-haves, such as trendy beach bags from Abercrombie, swimsuits from Everything But Water, or seasonal scents from Bath & Body Works. If you have a mom that is anything like ours, she also appreciates fun mother-daughter dates or nights out on the town with her closest gal pals. Surprise your mom by taking her to a local paint and sip night or with a gift card to one of our go-to summer establishments, such as Palomino’s or Stanley & Seafort’s. For additional appreciation inspiration, be sure to check our most recent client coverage! Remember, every day can be Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide with the Santa Rosa Plaza, Whiskey & Lace

Mother’s Day Gift Guide, Raspberry Glow

Q + A: Brenda Arianpour, Gray

Tinder Not Working Out? Three Day Rule Blends Algorithms with Matchmakers, Expands to Seattle, GeekWire

Skanska Releases Plans for Apartment Tower on Fourth Avenue in Belltown, Curbed Seattle

This Mother’s Day Spoil Yourself, Champagne + Shimmer

Free Dental Services Offered in Burbank on Sunday, Los Angeles Times

Office Market Set for Continued Growth in 2018, According to JLL Report, The Registry

9 Things to Do with Your Mom for Mother’s Day in Northern Nevada, Reno Gazette Journal

Stoneridge Mall Welcoming New, Renovated Stores, Pleasanton Weekly

Pyramid Brewing Co. Launches New IPA, KGW8

Tri-City Things To Do for May 11-20, Tri-City Herald

These Mother-Daughter Duos Are Food Industry Power Players, Refinery 29

Cocktails with Stanley & Seafort’s, King 5

Valiant Women Luncheon with The Shops at Mission Viejo, Fashion by Vicky

5 Local Beers to Try During Seattle Beer Week, Seattle Times

Palomino’s 3 Course Meal Deal, Fox 19

A Different Take On Summer Dining in Tacoma, Travel Tacoma & Pierce County

Busy Bees: 6 Ways to Enjoy Our Favorite Pollinator in Austin, Austin Monthly

Memorial Day Style Guide, Style by Lolly

Kevin Fink and Austin Chefs Join Forces with Whole Kids to Give Bees a Chance, Austin Food Magazine

Columbia Center Announces Arrival of 3 New Businesses, Tri-Cities Business News

Must List: Folklife Festival, SIFF ShortsFest, Pets in the Park, Seattle Magazine

Buki Proposes Collagen for Next-Gen Fabric, Women’s Wear Daily

Tacoma Mall Plans to Raze Sears to Make Way for New Shops, Movie Theater, Puget Sound Business Journal

From the Archives: Look at Northgate Mall in the 1950s, When It Was An Outdoor Shopping Center, The Seattle Times

Soft Surroundings Opens Friday at Shops at Mission Viejo, OC Register

Father’s Day Guide: Gifts for Dad to Keep Him in Style!, Gabo Style

Give Bees a Chance, Milligan Movement

Seattle Summer Favorites

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Memorial Day weekend symbolizes the opening of summer in the Pacific Northwest! Any Washington native or newcomer to the city knows that summer in Seattle is the best time of the year. For a few months we get to trade gray skies and rain for sunny weather and lingering sunsets. It is our time to SHINE, and maybe get a tan.

To celebrate the onset of summer, we are sharing some of our favorite summer activities in Seattle, in order from free to most expensive.

Go to the beach! Being surrounded by rivers, lakes and Puget Sound we have plenty of beach options. Each body of water will vary in warmth with the Sound and rivers being colder, the closest options being the shores of Alki Beach, Lake Union and Lake Washington. Bring towels, sunscreen and snacks and soak up some vitamin sea (get it?).

Want to be on the water, but not in it? Rent a paddleboard or kayak at Moss Bay on Lake Union! Paddleboard rentals are $18 an hour, single kayaks are $16 an hour and double kayaks are $24 an hour. Then paddle your way around Lake Union, through the Montlake Cut to Lake Washington or the Arboretum. 

Take a trip to space, or at least the top of the Space Needle. Recently refurbished, the new glass wall observational deck that is almost done with construction is a great way to take in the sights of Seattle. Pricing begins at $17 for children aged 5-12, and then moves to $26 for ages 13-64, and drops to $22 for seniors 65+. With a 360-degree view you can see every part of Seattle and it’s beauty. Perfect for views of the sunset or a photo opportunity, you can stay as long as you like (until they close). 

Group bike-ride anyone? Alki Beach, one of Seattle’s only sandy beaches, has a surrey rental company! What is a surrey? It is a multiple person bike/carriage. You can rent two and four person surreys at Alki Beach Wheel Fun Rentals for $25 and $35 an hour respectively. Offering a variety of other rental options, we suggest you try these fun bikes at least once this summer! Grab your family or friends and pedal to your hearts content. Stop by Marination on Harbor Ave SW for Hawaiian-Korean cuisine that is made only better by views of downtown Seattle.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all summer activities in Seattle. Please get outside and experience as much as you can this summer. We know we will! Follow along our Instagram at @curatorpr for our summer fun. 

Curator Newsfeed: April 2018

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Stuck in a rut? If the answer is yes, then we only have one thing to say: Treat yo’ self! You deserve it! This spring, unleash your inner foodie by cracking open one of Pyramid Brewery’s new Outburst Berry Tart IPAs or splurging on a gourmet burger from The Counter at Stoneridge Shopping Center! More of a shopaholic? Find great deals while shopping at Macy’s Backstage or your local Anthropologie! For the complete insider’s guide to this season’s must-haves, check out our list below!

Ritzy Fashion Retailer to Open First West Coast Store in Palo Alto, The Mercury News

Stanford Style Saturday, Style by Lolly

East Coast Institution Mamoun’s Falafel Expanding with 8 NorCal Locations, Eater San Francisco

Dining at the Counter, Raspberry Glow

First New Jeffrey Store in 19 Years Comes to Stanford Shopping Center, San Francisco Chronical

The Trip Your Luggage Takes Without You, USA Today

Simon Will Re-Do Brea Mall Sears, Orange County Business Journal

Brea Mall’s Sears Store Closes, To Be Replaced with New Homes and Shops, The Orange County Register

Spring Dinner Party with Macy’s Backstage, A Well Crafted Party

Fashion Friday: Kicking That Cabin Fever This Spring, KTVA

Let Macy’s Backstage Dress You for Spring, Whisky + Sunshine

Wedding Favors Your Guests Actually Want, Pacific Weddings

Pyramid Brewing Co. Debuts Outburst Berry Tart IPA, The Beer Connoisseur

Mother’s Day Gift Guide w/Brea Mall 2018, My Styled Life

Preparing for Baby with The Shops at Mission Viejo, Me & Mr. Jones

Curator Newsfeed: March 2018

As famed actor Robin Williams once said “Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s party!’” And we couldn’t agree more! With the long awaited arrival of spring finally here, we’re ready to say “sayonara” to our winter coats and embrace the great outdoors! However, before dashing out of the house to capture those Instagram worthy Golden Hour pics (Gas Works, anyone?), be sure to check out our most recent client coverage on Easter, seasonal fashion trends, mouthwatering new menus, and all things spring!  

Dentists Drill into Consumer Services: Extended Hours, Insurance Plans, and MoreBizjournals.com

Open & Shut: A Second Summit Tea Shop and a New Marijuana RetailerAnchorage Daily News

Simon Announces ‘Complete Re-Imagining’ of Northgate MallBizjournals.com

Northgate Mall Plans Huge Overhaul with Housing, Offices as North Seattle TransformsThe Seattle Times

Shopping Spring Trends at Meadowood MallHello Darling Blog

Transit-Oriented Redevelopment Planned for Northgate Mall PropertyCurbed Seattle  

Monarch Dental Explains Aligners for AdultsKATV.com

In Geneva, Extreme Luxury Takes the FloorThe New York Times

Delta Unveils New Uniforms to Seattle-based CrewsKing5.com

The Easter Bunny Has Hopped Over to the Columbia Center MallKEPRTV.com

Pyramid Brewing Reveals Their New Spring BrewsKing5.com

Easter Bunny at The Shops at Mission ViejoPersonally Styled

Skanska’s 2 + U Towers Carve Out Pedestrian and Creative SpaceCurbed Seattle

665,000 Square Foot 2 + U Building in Downtown Seattle Brings Unique Design to the Urban CoreThe Registry

Northgate Mall Redevelopment to Include Hundreds of Residential Units, 500K SF of Office SpaceBisnow.com

Four Ideas to Make the Biggest Impact in Your Bathroom RemodelDoitfor.com

Spring Fashion and the Easter Bunny ExperienceChampagne + Shimmer

Easter Bunny 2018, Raspberry Glow

Last-Minute Treats for the Easter BasketThe Seattle Times

Brea Mall-Spring FashionCcmasonrlly.com

Celebrating Spring with the Perfect Cocktail, KGW.com

Things to Do in Seattle, 3/29/18 & BeyondFresh Jess

#FindYourPyramid with Pyramid BrewingShaylyn Rae

Spring Things: Fashion Trends Spotted in Sonoma StoresSonoma Magazine

Large-Scale Changes Are Coming to Seattle’s Evolving Northgate NeighborhoodThe Registry

A Lesson for Our Leaders: Looking Back Is No Way to Plan for the FutureCivic Skunk Works

Spring Fashion TrendsFOX31 Denver

Palomino Showcases Their Spring MenuFox19.com

Our Secrets Summarized: Influencer Marketing

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Throughout March, we shared new content each week in our spring blog series on influencer marketing! Topics provided insights and how-to based on our experiences, ranging from the power of blog ambassadors to working with influencers to amplify an event.

We started the conversation with FAQs on influencer marketing. Some of our clients have had questions about influencer relations and if it’s the right move for their company, so we felt this was the perfect place to begin the series. In week two, we shared our experience helping brands use Instagram to connect with important audiences. Beyond traditional press coverage, Instagram is a powerful way to engage with the right people at the right time.

At the beginning of 2017, Curator initiated a pilot blogger ambassador program with Simon Property Group, a global leader in premier shopping, dining, and entertainment centers. Our third blog post highlighted the power of blog ambassadors and the meaningful results and deep relationships that are cultivated through long-term ambassador programs. Lastly, we showcased working with influencers to amplify an event strategy through our PR program with Ollie Quinn, an independent Canadian-based eyewear company, as it made its foray into the United States with Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood as its launch market.

At the recent blogger conference, Style Summit, we heard from influencers and retailers on both the pain points and opportunities for collaboration between bloggers and brands. More and more brands are tracking trends through the lens of influencers. Localization and representation were key themes in the panelists’ commentary and small group discussions.

At Curator that rings true for our team as localized digital marketing is a renewed focus in 2018 through our work with micro influencers market-by-market on the West Coast. Moreover, we’re diversifying and deepening our influencer relationships this year to include better representation across gender and race. As we work with our blogger and Instagram influencer partners in the coming months, we expect to return to these ideas on the blog.  

If you’re hungry to read more, keep checking back on our blog for what’s new or explore the below resources that our team turns to for an industry perspective on best practices and news on influencer marketing.

This is the fifth and final post in our spring series on influencer marketing. If you missed our earlier posts, take a read for a crash course in influencer marketingusing Instagram to connect with audiencesthe power of blog ambassadors and amplifying an event strategy with influencers.

Working with Influencers to Amplify your Event Strategy

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Ollie Quinn, an independent Canadian-based eyewear company, was looking to make its foray into the United States and chose Seattle’s trendy Capitol Hill neighborhood as its launch market. Ollie Quinn engaged Curator to create a dynamic launch experience that reflected its brand attributes, maximize exposure with the right crowd of local influencers, and educate consumers about Ollie Quinn’s approach to modern, locally-inspired design, collaboration within the community, carefully sourced materials, fair pricing and inclusive experiences.

We developed a launch strategy that positioned Ollie Quinn as a top player in the local consumer fashion and accessories category. By executing a grand opening campaign that won the hearts and minds of key influencers and local tastemakers, Curator created awareness  among consumers and the local community, and encouraged them to experience Ollie Quinn for themselves.

We also connected Ollie Quinn with an intentional set of local social media influencers and tastemakers to ignite conversation during the week of the grand opening event to expand around the idea of #CreateYourOwnVision, a hashtag already living on Ollie Quinn’s owned properties. Seattle is a city that thrives on individuality and this extension was designed to give a snapshot into the personal brands and unique visions of a diverse set of stylish and talented Seattleites: From fashionistas to stylish moms, creatives and everyday adventure enthusiasts who appreciate modernity, a passion for design and craftsmanship, and affordable luxuries. To take it a step further, we embarked on paid relationships with these influencers and asked that they chronicle (on Instagram) their approach to creating their personal brands, of course while wearing Ollie Quinn, as well as host #CreateYourOwnVision contests for followers.

For the store’s grand opening, we kicked up the fanfare by partnering with some of Seattle’s favorite brands for an influencer party to welcome Ollie Quinn to the neighborhood. The event was attended by approximately 50 of Seattle’s top fashion and lifestyle bloggers and influencers, who thoroughly enjoyed an evening of sips, photos and fun. Additionally, we secured more than 160 social media posts from our paid partners and influencers at the event that garnered nearly 3.1 million impressions, secured blog posts, as well as traditional media coverage in trade and lifestyle publications, that totaled 8.8 million media impressions, and created lasting community and influencer partnerships that continue to be leveraged by Ollie Quinn.

This is the fourth post in our spring series on influencer marketing. If you missed our earlier posts, take a read for a crash course in influencer marketingusing Instagram to connect with audiences and the power of blog ambassadors

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The Power of Blog Ambassadors

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At the beginning of 2017, Curator initiated a pilot blogger ambassador program with Simon Property Group, a global leader in premier shopping, dining, and entertainment centers.

After seeing promising results from earlier one-off and ad hoc blogger activity, Curator proposed a strategy that paired one local blogger with a Simon shopping center in their area for a yearlong partnership. Before rolling this program out broadly, Simon wanted to test the blog ambassador concept on key shopping centers in the West Region, including Stanford Shopping Center, Brea Mall and Northgate Mall. We conducted in-depth research to identify blogger partners that aligned with each center’s key shopper demographic and had the right mix of followers and proven follower engagement. For some centers, the right partner was a mom blogger with credibility with local families. For others, it was a lifestyle blogger that inspires fashion-forward shoppers. For example, Stanford Shopping Center joined forces with the Bay Area’s incredible boss lady and mom, Jeanne Chan of Shop Sweet Things, to celebrate the holidays with family Santa photos and Jeanne’s gift guide recommendations. Additionally, Santa Rosa Plaza partnered with the gorgeous Sonoma County blogger, Erika Altes of Whiskey and Lace, to showcase chic back-to-school fashions for her and her preschooler.

The single-blogger ambassador model helped each center achieve longer-term exposure across the blogger partners’ digital channels throughout the year. Blogger partners became informal spokespeople for the centers, as opposed to the short-lived blitz of seasonal or initiative-based arrangements. Each blogger obtained an in-depth understanding of Simon’s brand and each shopping destination’s overall offerings. Ultimately, the content allowed Simon to promote its centers as more than shopping malls, but also lifestyle destinations that encompass shopping, dining and entertainment.

In total, these blogger partnerships yielded nearly 200 pieces of content and millions of impressions in 2017. Beyond these results, as part of our work as a lifestyle PR agency, the blogger ambassador program allowed Simon to cultivate deeper relationships with bloggers and their digital communities.

Some highlights of the yearlong blogger ambassador program include:

·       Long-term partnerships maximized budget as many bloggers offered package rates due to the depth and length of the engagement. 

·       Simon was able to repurpose the beautiful images from blogger ambassadors for the social media channels at each shopping center to cross promote and fully leverage the content developed. Looking ahead, there are additional opportunities for this visual content with dedicated Instagram campaigns and email marketing.

·       Events co-hosted with blogger partners can draw larger and fresh audiences. It also made event programming more interesting with bloggers serving as entertainers and emcees. This is a great experiential marketing tactic to incentivize attendance. 

·       While our partners created beautiful images in 2017, we’re working with ambassadors now to add more video into the mix. For example, Instagram stories are an important extension of Instagram posts and blog posts that enjoy astonishing engagement.

This is the third in our spring series on influencer marketing. If you missed our earlier posts, take a read for a crash course in influencer marketing and using Instagram to connect with audiences.