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.
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.
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…
January marked our four-year anniversary. And in that time I could not be more proud of the clients we’ve been blessed to work with and the campaigns we’ve created. But neither – though extremely close – match the thing I think we’ve done best here.
Just last month we won Best of Show at the PRSA Totem Awards for the campaign we created for Domino’s Pizza. That was wonderful and so fun to share with our client. We partnered with FOOD & WINE Magazine to create and produce their first Latin American food and wine festival; attracting some of the nation’s most celebrated chefs and sold out venues. We got to go to Mexico every few weeks, eat incredible food and drink incredible wine and call it work. We get to create grassroots, social, PR, thought-leadership and advertising campaigns for a client with whom we enjoy personally and share their mission-based values: Whole Foods Market. I have had the pleasure of calling Simon Property Group a client for more than a decade and what a joy it is to work with a client that also becomes a long-term friend. And the list goes on. But all those things stem out of the thing we placed the largest amount of focus at the start of the company.
The culture we have created at Curator is “the thing.” It binds us and guides us. It’s predictable and egalitarian. Every year I write a Vision Document that I share with our team members. The overarching vision never changes, but the areas of focus each year, based on market and internal issues, change. For the first three years I made the number one priority of focus on culture. I believe you can’t create culture in reverse – meaning, you can’t place the focus of running your business all about the product or service, and then, once you create a critical mass of team members, attempt to enact a forced culture. When Curator was just two people, we were defining and living by the culture we were attempting to create for the long-term. At times it was awkward, when we did things better suited for a team of people, but we knew it had to start early and be engrained in our DNA as a company. Now that we have a full team of wonderful people – here in Seattle and in San Diego – our culture permeates in all things. We have coffee together every morning with no agenda. We have happy hour together each Friday. We have a summer event each year with just our team members and a family holiday event each year with our significant others. But even more than just the fun overt culture things, our culture dictates our performance standards and the way we give feedback. The way we communicate with clients and the focus we put on creative and execution. Everything matters. And our culture defines it all.
We had Richard Tait, the creator of Cranium and now founder of Golazo, in our office recently. Richard is one of the most inspiring and talented people you’ll ever meet. And given his massive success for building incredible companies I asked him to share his take on culture with our team members. He said, incredible cultures act like families. They have traditions and rituals and they focus on something bigger than themselves.
I believe that is what we’ve created here. And because of that, everything else is possible. To our culture, Curators! Well done.
Posted in Culture
Here at Curator, we wear many hats every day, but the one we probably wear most is media relations. Pitching traditional media and bloggers is something we do on a daily basis, and the success of our campaigns usually hinges on the breadth and depth of the coverage we are able to secure.
Some of us pitch the same people on a more regular basis, while other times we need to explore a different market or just expand our contact list for a new client. The art of the pitch is something probably hundreds of bloggers, media and PR professionals have written about over the years, but I believe it is ever changing. While their might be a lot of universal “don’ts,” I don’t believe there is one singular “right” way either.
With so many brands and companies pining for the media’s attention, the importance of building relationships and establishing a good rapport is much greater. Every email and phone call should be thought of as that one shot to get it right, because let’s be honest, if the first point of contact turns them off, the next email is likely to end up in the Trash folder before it’s even opened, or worse, the person asks to be removed from “the list.”
So, that all said, instead of using this post to share just my own learning’s, I went straight to the source, or rather, sources. I reached out to a handful of bloggers, media and peers to get a wide perspective on what, today, seems to be working and not working when it comes to pitching.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first, shall we? If you’re guilty of doing any of the following, stop it right now!
I laugh when I get those e-mails that begin Dear <insert name> or Hello Mommy Blogger. It may take a few extra minutes (or in the case of a mass mailing, an hour), but using my name and personalizing the e-mail goes a LONG way. - Zippy Sandler, Champagne Living, @zipporahs
I dislike interns that aren’t communicating with each other, with the owner. I once received the same proposal, word for word, 5 different times from 5 different interns from a handbag line that I already had a relationship with, specifically with the owners. Frustrated, I put them on the back burner. It also sucks, for lack of a better word, when you build a relationship with a particular brands PR girl and after a year or 2, say she moves on to another job and all of a sudden you never hear from the company again. It’s like, hello? Where’s the courtesy email? When you spend time advertising, building a relationship and then your contact leaves so you’re dropped is a tad unprofessional, annoying. – Vanessa Grannis, Shopping Saving & Sequins, @ShopSaveSequins
PR people assuming I write about baby and toddler items just because I’m a mom (I don’t). Lengthy old school press releases; e-mails with a one-line personalized intro, 3-5 quick bullet points, then a call to action if I’m interested at the end is all you need. Also: please lose the “we can send high res images upon request.” line. – Marlynn Schotland, Urban Bliss Life, @UrbanBlissLife
One of the challenges that I face with a lot of PR reps that prospect me is that they ask for my services, whether it be reposting, styling, or writing about product and they expect us bloggers to do it for free. This is one of the biggest challenges that us bloggers that particularly don’t have thousands and thousands of followers face on a daily basis. – Bay Area fashion blogger
We would have to say of all the PR pitches we receive, our number one pet peeve would have to be press releases that are made out to sound like invitations. “Join us,” “We welcome you to experience,” only to read to the bottom where ticket prices are listed. – Jeremy & Adrian, The Food Gays, @FoodGays
My biggest pet peeve is when I get what I know is a blanket pitch about something that has absolutely nothing to do with my beat or something that doesn’t relate to Seattle at all. As a city magazine, I really don’t cover anything that isn’t Seattle-related and it starts to really grate on my nerves when my inbox is filled with meaningless pitches. It just wastes everyone’s time! – Ali Brownrigg, Style Editor of Seattle Mag and Editor of Seattle Bride Magazine, @Ali_Brownrigg
Pitches that are totally 2009 – like this one I got the other day: “Being able to give prizes to your readers is definitely one of the perks of being a blogger. It’s a super fun way to create excitement on your blog and interact with your visitors.” And these people wanted me to turn around a giveaway and facilitate prizing in about 20 hours!? This leads to my next pet peeve: assuming I have nothing to do and no editorial planned and want to jump at the last minute to promote someone else’s contest (please retweet, etc.) – Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit, YoYoMama, @yoyomamadotca
Now, if you’re already doing any of the below, give yourself a high-five right now. These are the things people have found success with, and are also preferences heard straight from the horses mouth.
I want original content that helps my blog stand out and remains true to my brand voice, so if a PR company is excited about new ways of presenting their product to my audiences, it usually makes for a more long-term relationship and we build that trust working together on fun, unique customized campaigns. I like it when PR people are honestly excited about the brand they are pitching. It’s very obvious when they’re not, and that makes it hard for me as a blogger to get excited about it. -– Marlynn Schotland, Urban Bliss Life, @UrbanBlissLife
I really like when PR firms and brands take the time to see if my blog is a fit for their pitch. Though I am a lifestyle blogger, there are clear things I write (or don’t write about.) – Jess Estrada, Fresh Jess, @JessEstrada
I really like it when I can tell that a company or brand has actually read my blog and wants to work on creative ways to reach my readers. My best sponsored content ends up being content that works with my blog and subject area– not just a brand feature. – Jenni Bost, A Well Crafted Party, @jennibost
Use social media. I literally stalk writer’s twitter to see what they’re up to and what they’re interested in. And some magazines, like Cosmo stream their weekly pitch meetings on the Internet, so I like to try and watch. – Ani Istanboulian, Account Executive at Dog and a Duck
I love it when a brand or rep spells out exactly what is expected. Yes, I still write in my own voice, but if I know that you want the words “Lovely Lollies” linked, I’m more than happy to do that…just let me know. Send me your client list; if I’m working on something that might be a great fit, I can let you know. You may be looking for the same thing at the same time. – Zippy Sandler, Champagne Living, @zipporahs
My #1 tip probably is to be personable and customize pitches for people based on your relationship with them. On top of that is work really hard to build relationships with them. – Sarah Goehri, Account Executive at Porter Novelli Seattle
It’s easy to get lazy, but a little research often leads to long –term and brand advocates, not even because they love the brand, but more so because they get along with you. – Jenny Savage, Account Executive, Webber Shandwick
LOVE it when a brand or rep wants to develop a relationship, and not just a “will you do this for me” (from PR) or “will you send something to me” (from blogger). Some of my dearest friends have come from PR/blogger relationships. An e-mail that says, “Hi, how are you doing (no agenda)” works WONDERS. I may have something in the works and have TOTALLY forgotten that you represent brand that would be a great fit for my cruise article and I am instantly reminded to ask if you’d have something that you’d like included. – Zippy Sandler, Champagne Living, @zipporahs
Developing a relationship always makes pitching easier. Try to personalize each pitch and then send thank you notes after the story runs. – Kelley Tarzian, Media Relations Manager for Macy’s
I think the list for both do’s and don’ts could go on and on, but these are some great reminders and lessons for those new to the pitching game. My final two cents on the matter is: when in doubt, make a friendly introduction and ask what that person’s preference is. They’ll probably be relieved you’re asking and it will save you both time and energy, which we all know is sensitive to begin with.
Have a great success story, or learned something the hard way? Share the knowledge with us at @CuratorPR.
It’s not often that working on a client’s business can completely shift your perspective on life. I mean completely shift how you make decisions on a day to day basis. I’ve worked on behalf of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Montinore Estate wineries, and yet I still just drink beer. I’ve created countless campaigns for Microsoft, but every screen I surround myself with originated in Cupertino.
So, my advice to any creative that finds themselves with an opportunity to work with Whole Foods Market is to re-watch that scene in the Matrix where Mr. Fishburne offers up the red pill or the blue pill. Albeit a nerdy metaphor, do spend time with that choice. Because it will affect more than just you.
If you choose to bypass the blissful ignorance of what you put into your mouth everyday, you’ll find yourself saying words like sodium tripolyphosphate around a perfectly delightful shrimp cocktail. People’s brows will furrow, they’ll stop their dipping and laughing, and you’ll remember those words aren’t much for small talk at parties.
Your mother-in-law will have to make special trips to the grocery store when you visit because you muttered some off-handed comment about rBGH the last time you visited. As if you really needed to seek out another reason to frustrate her? Of course not, she never decided to come shadow you at work now did she?
Your wife will grow tired of hearing about TBHQ after she realizes it has nothing to do with frozen yogurt. And it’ll get even better when you have to drive by those classic golden arches because of that word. Effectively kicking out the last leg on the stool of sanity you both just want to sit on during those long car trips with your hostage 3 year old. An American classic that you’ve always known to be unhealthy, but have never realized the exact makeup of why, will become a mere mirage in the distance to you – but not to those little eyes in the car seat.
Or, you could just choose to eat blissfully unaware. Learning about how the food you eat gets produced will be complicated, messy, and certainly not as tasty as those chicken nuggets. So, keep trusting labels that tout “whole grain” or “all natural” to be as meaningful as they’re designed to appear. And I wouldn’t take that job working for Whole Foods, and certainly don’t Google any of the words I mentioned earlier.
Because you can’t turn back once you’ve been ruined.
Want to learn more? Check out Eat As Promised, a natural foods campaign we helped Whole Foods build. And if you want to go even deeper to see what’s in your food, visit http://www.fooducate.com/ and http://www.purefoodkids.org/
Posted in Food
This week officially kicked off the Curator March Blog Challenge! If you haven’t already, check out what we’ve been posting about. But first, have a gander at the things we’ve been reading as of late: sly tattoo parlors and social media for dogs, among others… happy Friday!
Meet the people who would leave Earth and take a one-way trip to Mars, Gizmodo. Would you take a one way trip to Mars? For the people in this short documentary, the answer is yes. definitely thought provoking and to me, profoundly sad. But, if these people do get a chance to live on Mars, I hope it’s everything they dreamed it would be. — Megan
Tattoo Artists Challenged To Fill In QR Code & Scan For Job Interview, PSFK. QR codes for the masses have generally proved to be a pointless, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used in interesting ways to reach a smaller audience. The brilliance of this ad is that the average person doesn’t really need to scan the code to be intrigued by it, and those who do scan are just the folks the studio wants — Matthew
Uber Cab Confessions, GQ. “There’s something about the anonymity that makes you want to talk to a stranger. We’re in the digital age, but people seem to crave old-fashioned human interaction wherever they can get it.” The title caught my attention first, but the great writing kept me reading. Uber Cab Confessions feels like it could be a really entertaining, also scary series. — Chelsey
Collar Creates Social Timelines Out Of Canine Activity, PSFK. Throwing social media to the dogs! Why shouldn’t our canines have a device to translate all of their daily activity into a sharable, social network? I’m seriously looking into this… — Chelsey
Jawbone Brings Health Tracking to… Coffee?, Mashable. We’re Jawbone wearers and believers here at Curator (thanks, Boss!) and now the health tracking company can assist you in keeping tabs on your caffeine intake thanks to its new app. Not sleeping well? You might want to tap that app and, depending upon what you learn, consider nixing that afternoon latte. — Jennifer
The perfect Instagram photo: textured, bright, and blue, Tech Hive. Hello from Austin, TX! This week I have the honor to be traveling with our client Whole Foods Market for a Digital Marketing Summit followed by SXSWi. Before the South By madness begins we received some insight from analytics vendor Curalate. Here’s an older article that shared some of their learnings about what Instagrams perform best. I’ll definitely be using these tips on my personal account while in Austin! — Brooke
Dove Pulls NJ ‘Arm Pit’ Billboard in Wake of Criticism, Entrepreneur. Interesting development on Dove’s Advanced Care campaign. I’ve been very impressed with the company’s past advertisements and marketing tactics, but not surprisingly this time around residents of New Jersey weren’t too thrilled with Dove referred to the state the “Armpit of America” in a billboard ad. This is a great example of the importance of keeping your audience in mind with every piece of communication you put out. But, in true Dove fashion, they pulled the billboard and are donating the space to a charitable organization in New Jersey. Still love this company! — Annie
McDonald’s heralds the ‘lastest step in the evolution of the Happy Meal’ with Free Fruit Fridays…, The Drum. I’m all for increasing opportunities throughout the day to help kids make healthy choices. This is an interesting story on McDonald’s in the UK pushing fruit to the Happy Meal crowd with Free Fruit Fridays. In France, the fast food giant had success with Crunchy Wednesdays. — Ann Marie
Posted in Friday Links
Remember when you got your first smart phone, how excited you were to start downloading apps? You probably can’t imagine going back to an old calculator style phone. Sure, flip phones and Blackberries still work for your basic “phone” functions, but apps opened up a whole new world of productivity and entertainment.
Like smart phones did for cell phones, new browsers have brought innovation to the browsing experience by integrating apps and extensions that take them far beyond their basic function. The funny thing, however, is that most of us have been using internet browsers longer than cell phones, yet some people still treat their browsers like Netscape Navigator.
If you want to get more out of your browser – and out of your day – check out this list of must-have Chrome extensions. If you’re still an IE, Safari or vanilla Chrome user, get ready to have you mind blown.
I’m admittedly an Evernote fanatic. I use it to organize everything from work projects to home renovations, and to remember everything from business contacts to where I parked. At its core it’s a cloud-based notebook, but add to that its range of integrated tools and it becomes a must have; to wit, Evernote Web Clipper. This handy tool lets you pull great content you find on the web into your Evernote in a range of formats. You can tag and organize right from the Clipper, and the text stays searchable, so it’s always easy to find what you saved even if you only remember one or two words from the page.
This simple URL shortener is perfect for crunching those long links into just a few characters. Just click from any webpage to turn a lengthy link into a mini URL or even a QR code. It’s perfect for social media or when you need to share an obnoxiously long URL (e.g., google directions, which can easily exceed 400 characters).
If you’ve ever tried to print a webpage for a meeting, you know that the printed version usually ends up about eight pages long with about 80% of each page wasted on ads or unrelated content. Most people end up just resorting to a screen capture, but that poses a problem if the content you want doesn’t all fit on one screen. For a more elegant solution, try Printfriendly, an ingenious extension that pulls webpage content into an editable web tool. Each element is separated into removable blocks, allowing you to keep just the content you want in the size you want. The final product is a clean, readable PDF that can be saved, emailed or printed right from the web tool. Plus, unlike a screen capture, the text is preserved so it remains selectable and searchable.
Reading online articles it sometimes a little like trying to listen to someone tell a story in a crowed bar. All the “related” stories, links, photos, share buttons, banners, embedded Twitter feeds, – it’s all just noise that interferes with the overall enjoyment of reading. If the afore mentioned Web Clipper wasn’t enough to make you drop what you’re doing and go download Evernote, maybe this will convince you. Evernote Clearly strips out all the unrelated distractions, leaving you with clean, quiet content. With a few clicks you can change the theme and font size, print it with room for notes, or save it to your Evernote for future reading.
Okay, enough about productivity, let’s talk about entertainment! There are a lot of practical applications for this extensions, but the one I use it for is Netflix. Hola is a VPN proxy service that essentially lets you trick a website into thinking you are in a different country. This is extremely helpful, because not all “Netflixes” (or Hulus, etc.) are created equal. Due to regional copyright rules, your selection of shows and movies will vary based on what country you are logged in from. For example, the second half of Breaking Bad season five didn’t hit the US version of Netflix until Feb 24, while those in the UK got to watch the new episodes each Sunday after they aired. Like the show Community? Canada has every season. Surprisingly unavailable in Canada is Space Teens, but they have a lot of other great content. Hola is simple to use, just click the country you want to log in from and enjoy the rest of the internet.
So, there are my top Chrome extensions. If I missed an essential tool that you love, let me know at @robinsonpost.
Posted in Productivity
I am a Curator. We have a kick-ass office culture here and deliver excellent results for our dynamic, lifestyle clients. Part of this success involves expertly ‘curating’ things, both tangible and intangible, like compelling conversations, creative content and beyond. And at Curator, we believe that there are no shortcuts to delivering the best.
I am lower-case curator, too. What I mean is, I ‘curate’ my closet, my fridge, and my status updates to be the most unique ‘me,’ collected and borne from far and wide: whether it’s that one-of-a-kind pair of sandals from last summer’s overseas trip or that certain brand of yogurt only found at that one place. I collect these things deliberately. I don’t want to settle. I mentioned in my last post that I recently moved. I ‘curated’ a collection of pieces for my new apartment, picking out each one-by-one with great care to create a space that I love coming home to, and makes me happy. Isn’t that what life is all about? It got me thinking, the things I learned while curating things for my new digs can also be applied to the workplace. I thought I’d share my tips with you.
Never settle – Apartment hunting is exhausting. You get to that point where you’re on the brink of giving up, or just settling for what’s easy, rather than waiting for the perfect place. We all know it takes a lot of leg work, research, comparisons, and planning. I almost ended up signing a lease for a house that I knew in my heart wasn’t ultimately what I had been dreaming of. Instead, I pressed on and eventually ended up getting a place I absolutely love. In the business world, sometimes it can be tempting to take the easy road; never, ever, do it. Your lack of caring shows, and neither you nor your client will be truly satisfied.
Elbow grease is key – To furnish my bedroom, I needed to find a piece of furniture that would fit and look just right for the space next to my closet. There’s a heater near the floor and a knob halfway up the wall, so the piece had to fit specific dimensions. I went to home furnishing stores all up and down Seattle and the Eastside, but couldn’t find anything that I was happy with. Instead, I found this refinished, custom antique sofa table online that just so happened to have the perfect measurements for that awkward spot in my room. Someone was selling it out of their home in a small town about an hour away. I drove there in the rain one Sunday, loaded up the heavy thing in my barely-big-enough car and took it home. The long drive to the middle of nowhere and extra elbow grease pale in comparison to how great it looks in my room and how many compliments I’ve gotten on it. I’m not trying to brag, but it’s a cool table. On the job, elbow grease goes a long way, and will make the difference between a mediocre project and a stellar project.
Think independently – Long story short, I found myself building my own IKEA bed at 10pm on a Tuesday night. At that point, there was no going back. It was either build the bed or sleep on the floor. I’ve built several pieces of IKEA furniture in my day, but never alone. The manual even has a picture of one person working alone with a big ‘X’ over it. But, I was determined to defy the nay-sayers. And, an hour (or two) later, I had built the bed on my own. It was a nice little feeling of accomplishment. At Curator, we talk about being game-changers. While brainstorming and teams are essential, there are times when thinking independently will lead you to a brilliant idea and an end result you can be truly proud to share with the world.
Posted in Culture
People love bacon. Ok, maybe not all people, but the ones who like bacon…they really like bacon. My 9 year old is one of those people. Last year I asked him what he wanted to bring to school for a birthday treat. I told him he could bring anything. He picked bacon. Serious bacon love.
Enthusiasm for the tasty pork product sparked a full-blown marketing frenzy. There are the famous bacon donuts, candied bacon martinis, and if your food isn’t flavorful enough, just sprinkle it with Bacon Salt. With such popularity, there was bound to be a bacon backlash.
But backlash or not, there’s a heck of a lot of bacon conversation out there.
At Curator, we talk with our clients about the importance of creating an experience that stands up to the conversation in the marketplace. We look for opportunities to help brands curate and participate in the right conversations, wherever they exist. Sometimes, it’s difficult for a brand to uncover those conversations and takes time to earn a seat at the table. In other cases, these conversations are happening right in front of you, just waiting for you to add your voice. The team at Curator loves working with our clients to navigate either of these situations.
Recently, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the Triple A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, introduced its 2014 uniform lineup. A microsite at www.smellthechange.com showed off five new looks, including a bacon-themed ensemble for Saturday home games. As the site explains, this uniform has “a bacon strip logo on the cap, a fresh ‘Pigs’ jersey design emblazoned across the chest as well as the first-of-its-kind bacon-style piping down both legs of the pants.” Fans can purchase swag, including a scratch and sniff t-shirt that lasts up to 15 washes.
Over the past week, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, and their new uniforms, have received cheers and jeers – and a huge amount of coverage — from the sports world and Peter King’s MMQB to foodies at Huffington Post Taste.
Frankly, I love what the Iron Pigs’ marketing team did. They recognized a wacky cultural phenomenon that was relevant to their brand and jumped into the fun with both feet. At the end of the day, Minor League Baseball promotions are about capturing attention, getting butts in seats, and providing people with entertainment.
Curious to see how they’re standing up to the bacon conversation? Search “@ironpigs” on Twitter. Here’s a snapshot of the humorous, bacon-fueled Twitter war raging between the famous Durham Bulls and the Iron Pigs. And the #smellthechange hashtag is slowly gaining steam.
I had never heard of the Iron Pigs before last week. Will I become a long-term fan? Not likely, but I’m following them on Twitter and just forked over $28 for a bacon-themed ball cap for a soon-to-be 10 year old. Want your own? Go here.
Three MiLB-related Twitter Accounts to Watch:
@IronPigs – Follow along and see if the Iron Pigs can live up to the hype.
@durhambulls – “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains.” Plus, the team does a great job engaging with its fans.
@bensbiz – Seek inspiration from the quirky world of minor league promotions teams.
Disclosure statement: I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan and a bacon purist.
Being a good social media brand manager is all about establishing effective habits and keeping up with them. The latter part can get tricky when you’re juggling multiple accounts across multiple brands and working to churn out quality content every day.
But remember: The brands you’re managing are only as sharp as you. It’s important to take time every so often to assess the way you do things, fix anything that’s broken and look for new ways to optimize.
It’s with that in mind that I gathered up these three links, which I’ve found very helpful. If you’re pressed for time, no worries—you can get through these in 15 minutes or less.
5 Ways To Combine Twitter Scheduling With Real-Time Activities – For those of you managing multiple brands or posting at odd times of the day, scheduling could be a lifesaver. But scheduling doesn’t just mean “set it and forget it.” This post from Social Media Examiner has some great tips on how to make scheduling a part of what you do without it becoming the whole thing.
The Complete Guide To Using Social Media For Customer Service – The title speaks for itself, but what you need to know is that includes a ton of useful links to studies, statistics and other information. Bookmark it for the next time you get a question about the ROI of social media.
6 Ways A Social Media Analyst Approaches Data – If there’s one aspect of social media that can turn into a gigantic time-suck, it’s data analysis. I don’t know about you guys, but I love getting lost in a good Excel spreadsheet. This post offers practical advice on how to get the most out of the time you spend with your data.
Posted in Social Media
I love to see people’s reactions when I have to explain that I don’t drink coffee. First comes the look of shock, judgment and confusion, followed by a variation of questions like, “Why? How? Are you human? What’s wrong with you? I don’t understand.” The truth is, I’ve never actually tried coffee, but if around it too long I get a headache from the smell and it’s just never been too appealing to me. This year I did challenge myself to order a mocha from Starbucks, which to me tasted like a ruined cup of hot chocolate, so I here I am back to my non-coffee drinking ways.
For anyone trying to drink less coffee, or give it up completely, I thought I’d share some of my tips for getting through the day without it.
Heat It Up
I read somewhere years ago that having a hot beverage in the morning helps with productivity. Holding something hot in your hands and feeling the steam hit you when you take a sip aids with alertness. Especially here in Seattle, when the mornings are cold and often wet, it just feels right to drink something warm. I used to hate tea, but after a summer working in London, my coworkers converted me. I love black tea with a little milk and sugar, or my recent go-to: any of the Yogi Teas. My personal favorites are Detox and Green Tea Ginger. The Yogi Teas are great because they taste awesome on their own, plus each bag has a cute fortune on the tag!
Water is your best friend. We all know that we should be drinking eight glasses a day, but if you’re like me, sometimes it’s easier said than done. I do better using a smaller glass because I finish it faster and have to refill more, versus using a big daunting mug and eyeing it on my desk all day. Bonus, more refills means more trips to the water supply also helping you get up and walk around a bit.
Juice and Smoothies
I love starting my morning with a fresh juice. I try to use my juicer at home or make a smoothie before I leave, but when I’m crunched for time, I usually hit up the trusty Starbucks across the street. I love the Evolution Fresh juices. If you’re a picky juice consumer, I recommend Super Greens or Defense Up – they’re much sweeter and don’t taste like the Earth, like the Essential Greens does. Another favorite from Starbucks is their smoothie. I get the orange mango smoothie and ask them to add Green Tea Matcha powder. This makes the smoothie green, but doesn’t affect the taste at all. Sometimes I even add Chia Seeds when I’m back in the office for extra energy. If you’re unfamiliar with the Chia Seed craze, it’s a super food that you can mix in things like yogurt, smoothies, or anything wet because they turn gelatinous, and helps with hydration and energy.
It’s been reported that having snacks throughout the day helps with productivity and can give you the boost you need to finish the day as strong as you started. Eating something citrusy, like an orange will help with that afternoon crash. Smelling it alone will perk you up a bit. Other great snacks for a little energy boost are apples (ask Paul how he eats an apple, it will blow your mind!), dried fruits and nuts, popcorn, hummus, more juice or a smoothie, yogurt and dark chocolate. For more healthy snack ideas, check out this great list. And if you love something sweet in the afternoon, I am obsessed with the Brookside dark chocolate covered berries. My favorites are Açai and Goji Berry.
Take a Lap
It may be surprising, but sitting all day is a total energy suck. I never noticed how sedentary my days could be until I really started tracking my daily movement with our awesome Jawbone UP bands. I’ve set mine to buzz me if I haven’t taken any steps in over an hour. This is a super helpful reminder and gets me to be more conscious of my activity during the day. Even if it’s to go outside for a few minutes for some fresh air, the act of taking a physical break helps tremendously. This is also something I learned while in London, because I was forced to take a lunch and to go take a break and walk around outside. At first it felt weird because I was so used to the days of putting my head down, working through lunch and never really noticing that hours would pass before I ever left my desk. It’s easy to fall into this habit, we all do, so whether you have something to monitor your physical activity, or you set a little calendar reminder, I strongly suggest finding a way to remind yourself to get up, move around and get that blood flowing for that natural energy. Your body will thank you.
I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for coffee substitutes, or ways to get through the day without that dreaded afternoon crash! Find me on Twitter @c_allodi and let me know your best tip!