Things We Learned In 2014

I find “year in review” and end-of-year list posts to be completely useless and kind-of lazy, and I thought this (not my idea) was a much better way to frame the past year: Things We Learned. I like it because there’s value in looking at what we’ve learned. It can help us move forward and get better.

Here’s what the Curator staff is taking into 2015:

Chelsey, Senior Account Executive

The importance of planning — planning for client projects and planning to make sure you have a healthy work/life balance. It felt like 2014 flew by and by the end of the year it becomes a mad dash to fit everything in! I will be buying a giant 2015 calendar and using it to map out everything from client activities and milestones, to birthdays and social activities to give myself time to prioritize and stay organized when theres a million things happening at once. 

Paul, Social Media Strategist

About three-quarters of the way through the year, I stopped relying on a to-do list to complete my tasks and switched to scheduling everything. It’s totally changed how I work. The difference is that a to-do list is a list of things I need to do; a schedule assigns a window of time to each of those things. 

Now, my to-do list—yes, I still use one—is weighted, like a checking account. I have X amount of hours in a day, and these tasks take X amount of time. The upshot is I’m (or, I feel) more productive, and more aware of any extra time I have to give to other people/projects/etc.

I still need to get better at it—I need to schedule on a weekly basis, and then plan each day as I go—but I feel more in control of my time and my life than I probably ever have before.

Brooke Andersen, Social Media Specialist

Earlier in 2014, I got the privilege of traveling to Austin, TX for SXSW with our client Whole Foods Market. The whole week was filled with inspiring learnings that I wrote a whole blog post on it. But one thing that stood out was to “be a human being.” This seems really vague but being a human being in the social media space is meant to embrace the imperfections of iPhone photography, predictive text spelling mistakes and impromptu content opportunities. Not everything is meant to live and breathe by an editorial calendar!  

http://www.curatorpr.com/blog/social-media/6-lessons-from-my-week-at-sxsw

Scott, Principal and Founder

I cut my teeth in a PR environment where I prided myself on being able to create solely earned media programs that could live on their own without any other discipline's support.  This year, we added more programs that included paid media to support the earned strategy. It made them better.  I loved it's ability to extend reach and measurability.  Can't wait for 2015.

Noelle, Senior Account Executive

One significant thing I learned in 2014, that applies to career and beyond, is to go with your gut. It's often spot-on.

Ann Marie, Senior Vice President / Group Account Director

The one thing I reminded myself this year (I won’t say “learned” because this is a lifelong battle) is that when life pulls you in many directions, you need to step back, take a breath and prioritize. Focus on doing a few things — the things that will have the most impact — and do them well.

Anna, Assistant Account Executive

The importance of setting goals for yourself. I’ve learned that in order to achieve a desired result, I've needed to set achievable goals. When you know the direction you want to take yourself, it’s easy to work backward to map out the steps.