The Tillamook Ice Cream Tour Comes to LA

As a kid there was no better feeling than the moment you caught sight of the ice cream truck rolling down your street on a warm summer day. Yesterday we had the opportunity to experience that same childhood joy at simplething’s new location in Westwood where the brand new Tillamook Ice Cream Truck popped up for the day. From 11am-3pm the Tillamook team handed out more than 700 free samples including Oregon Strawberry, Old Fashioned Vanilla and new White Chocolate Raspberry Yum. If you haven’t had a chance to try Tillamook Ice Cream, the Tour will be in the Los Angeles area over the next few days and we highly recommend a visit. Click here for locations.

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Check out the links below for more Tillamook Ice Cream Tour coverage:

Los Angeles Times
LA Weekly
Zagat LA

10 Highlights from the Design Love Fest Social Media Workshop

A few weeks ago, I attended a social media workshop hosted by the lovely Bri Emery of designlovefest at her impeccably designed The Unique Space studio. During the two-hour workshop, Bri shared valuable tricks she’s learned along the way to help grow your following and promote your business in an organic way on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

The workshop was geared towards small business owners, freelancers and bloggers but most of her tips can apply to clients as well as personal social media channels. Below are a few highlights that I hope you find helpful.

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Overall Tips & Tricks

  1. Bri attributes her natural tendency for being a “Shareoholic” to her success. People like to know that brands/people are human. Get personal. Show behind the scene content. People love the process.
  2. Create a brand that people know from your pictures and content.
  3. Go out and live your life. The best content comes from travel, restaurants, farmers markets, parties, walking around L.A., etc.
  4. Keep your copy as short as possible and use bitly to create shortened links.
  5. Balance promoting your brand vs. supporting others.
  6. Tailor your content based on what your followers respond to.
  7. You have to love social media for the best results.
  8. Ask yourself “How can you involve your audience?”
  9. Stay interesting and know what’s going on in your industry.
  10. Post quality photos! A few tips:
  • Snap, snap, snap until the composition is right
  • Lighting is key
  • Shoot multiple angles

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(All images by designlovefest)

These highlights only scratch the surface of what you can learn from this workshop. For anyone interested in learning more, you’re in luck! Bri recently announced two more social media workshops have been added to the schedule for Saturday, May 10. Get more info here.

Cheers,

Dyan

Soda Pop’s Spring Inspirations

Live inspired. It’s easier said than done, but it’s a mantra we love for 2014. Spring is traditionally a time of renewal and growth, so we wanted to share a few things that we’re drawing inspiration from as we gear up for a busy and exciting season.

SPPR Spring Inspiration

1. Moon Juice – It’s no secret that the SPPR ladies love pressed juice. This Silverlake juicery has become our local mainstay. Healthy body = Healthy mind.

2. Darling Magazine – The tagline says it all “The art of being a lady”. These magazines are amazing and the new Spring issue just hit shelves!

3. Art – Los Angeles is an art lover’s mecca. Museums, walls at coffee shops and flea markets are just a few places to spot some amazing work. This illustration is from a local LA-based design studio, Dear Hancock.

4. Ace Hotel Downtown LA – If you haven’t been to an Ace, make plans to stop by this spring. A brand new location opened up in downtown LA and we’re in love. Complete with a rooftop lounge, a Stumptown lobby espresso bar, and impeccable design (think old Hollywood meets modern minimalism); there’s really something for everyone.

5. Flowers! – What would spring be without flowers? Get outside, go for a walk off the beaten path and always stop to smell the flowers. This lovely arrangement is from a local floral design shop, Moon Canyon Flowers – definitely worth following on Instagram.

For more Soda Pop spring inspirations check out our Pinterest page!

The Secret Sauce: Making a Career Transition

We’re pleased to announce the addition of Rebecca de Haro as the newest member of the Soda Pop PR team. Rebecca (Becky) joins us with several years of events and marketing experience, having previously worked with brands like UCLA, Whole Foods and Dell. We thought you might enjoy Becky’s story about making a career transition in her late twenties, leaving her events position of five years to pursue a passion for hospitality PR, starting with an internship here.BlogImage

Willingly leaving a stable job in a weak job market may not sound like a step towards a happy ending. In my case, it actually paid off. I can credit a move to Los Angeles in my early twenties for turning me into a foodie and devoted cook. The bustling food scene here led to a new passion for exploring chefs, restaurants and cooking, which grew with each passing year. I suddenly found myself daydreaming about melding my interests and skills into a profession. I studied public relations in college so I felt I had a foundation to build on, but would anyone hire me when I’d never set foot in a PR agency before? I quickly discovered that the answer was “no,” so I had to get creative.

TIP: Talk to someone who has the job you want. Through my events job I met a woman who owned a hospitality PR agency with several well-known chefs and restaurants as clients. I asked her to lunch to pick her brain about the industry and left our meeting with recommendations and inspiration. The tips below helped me get the ball rolling:

  • Create a website – Showcase your important digital, creative and writing skills with a simple website. Here you can write a compelling bio about yourself and your experience, include examples of past work, awards, honors, etc. and share the site with potential employers and/or clients. There are plenty of free templates like WordPress and About.me that can help you get started.
  • Research – Look for companies you would want to work for. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so you’ll be familiar with their projects and alerted to job and internship opportunities. It was in this way that I found an internship at Soda Pop.
  • Intern – If you don’t have the experience to land a paying gig in your desired field, you can try your hand at an internship. Unpaid and/or paid internships can be a great way to get your foot in the door and gain the necessary experience while demonstrating your work ethic.

TIP: Exceed expectations. Internships aren’t glamorous; they weed out the crowd of people who want a job. If you want a job, be prepared to go the extra mile and make an impression. At nearly thirty years old, I wasn’t the typical intern, but Soda Pop valued my unique situation and gave me a shot at making my dream a reality.

Building the courage to leave a job I didn’t love to take an unpaid internship in a new field was terrifying, but the thought of never trying scared me even more. Now it’s my job to talk about cheese, and what could be better than that?

-Becky

P.S., We’re currently seeking our next Soda Pop PR intern! Check out the job description here.

SPPR Seeking Social Media Savvy Intern

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Soda Pop Public Relations is now hiring a part-time* intern with a passion for food, wine and social media. We’re a boutique firm located in Hollywood with a creative approach to campaigns, events and launches for food, beverage, hospitality and lifestyle clients. If you fit the description below and share our philosophy – work smart, have fun, eat well and do it all over again tomorrow – then we’d love to hear from you.

The desired candidate will be enthusiastic, professional and fun and will have:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge and experience in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, WordPress, Vine, etc.
  • Ability to conceptualize creative and innovative strategies
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Ability to work on a deadline and effectively multi-task
  • Knowledge of print and digital media, particularly food, beverage and lifestyle publications
  • Strong writing and grammar skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Adobe Photoshop experience (preferred but not a deal breaker)

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Develop social media campaigns and promotions for clients
  • Assist with media relations, including pitching, researching media contacts and monitoring client coverage
  • Generate project and creative briefs to illustrate the elements of a project, including objectives, strategies, target audience and execution details
  • Create content and content calendars for client social media channels and blogs
  • Ensure that conference, action, monthly and time reports are completed in a timely manner
  • Write, edit and proofread press releases, media alerts, fact sheets, pitches and more
  • Office administrative duties

*Needed 2-3 days per week. Hours are flexible; however, intern must be available a minimum of 10 hours per week during office hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Internship is unpaid.

Think you have the secret sauce? Tell us why you would make the best Soda Pop intern in 140 characters or less and send along your resume and cover letter to: carley@sodapop-pr.com

5 Questions Featuring Our Newly Engaged Kelly Phelan

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here at Soda Pop we love love, so we couldn’t be happier for our very own Kelly Phelan on her recent engagement to college sweetheart, Andrew Johnston. Bring on the champagne, dancing and (gluten-free) cake because we’re in full-on wedding mode. Check out Kelly’s proposal story and tips for planning a wedding from across the country below.

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1. Your proposal was really special. Can you share the highlights?

First, it was a total surprise. I have never been so shocked in my life. My fiancé had been planning it for months and even gave the ring to my Dad for safekeeping when he was visiting LA. The proposal was so special to me because it was in my hometown of Washington D.C. and my family was involved. While we were touring downtown my fiancé had made a reservation for us to go up to the rooftop of the beautiful Hay-Adams Hotel across from the White House. On the private balcony we could view everything from the Washington Monument to the Jefferson. In the midst of this stunning view he popped the question and we were congratulated with champagne.  After calling our friends and his family we headed to a celebratory dinner he had planned at Cork Wine Bar where we shared the good news with my best friends and family. It was perfect from beginning to end =)

2. Describe your wedding style in five words.

Country Chic, Romantic, Sophisticated, Classic

3. What advice do you have for couples who are planning a cross-country wedding?

Enlist the help of family and friends who live in the city where you will be married. Their first-hand experience listening to bands, tasting food etc. is invaluable.

Do as much as you can when you are home. When I went home for Christmas we had appointments booked almost every day. It was exhausting but worth it!

Stay organized and get things done as early as possible. Because you are farther away from vendors etc. things may take longer to get done. I am finding Real Simple Wedding’s timeline checklist extremely helpful.

4. What catering advice do you have for other gluten free foodies planning weddings?

Make sure to start talking to the caterer and chef early so they have ample time to create and/or alter a menu that fits your needs.

Be specific about menu items and the types of foods you are looking for. You can even suggest recipes to inspire the chef from your favorite online recipe blogs.

Usually gluten free cakes are more expensive. To save money, have the chef create a gluten free cake topper for you and your fiancé and traditional cupcakes for guests.

5. Name 3 must-play songs for the reception.

I’ll Be – Edwin McCain

Shout! (My fiancé would kill me if I didn’t put this one on here!)

A song played by my new husband on guitar!

Photography Tips & Tricks to Know Before Your Next Instagram Post

Smart phones have made photographers in all of us. To help you create compelling images that will get you more love on Instagram, we’re sharing some insider secrets from our resident photographer, Carley (@seathroughmyeyes).

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LIGHTING

Lighting is one of the most important elements in photography. Diffused natural light is ideal. You’ll get the best light one-hour after sunrise and one-hour before sunset. This is what photogs call the #magichour or #goldenhour. Avoid harsh yellow and fluorescent light at all costs.

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Apps are great for applying different filters that can adjust the exposure, contrast, and levels of brightness. My favorites are Picfx and Afterlight.

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COMPOSITION

Pay attention to the whole frame. While you’re focusing on your museum-worthy latte art, make sure there isn’t a barista #photobombing in the background. (Unless of course you want your photos to end up here.)  Also, having a good backdrop can make all the difference. Marble countertops are a food-photographers best friend. Don’t have any handy? Pull out your wooden cutting board. Or, my little secret… keep some white poster board close by. White is always a flattering background.

Another good tip is the age-old “rule of thirds” – i.e. never place your subject directly in the middle of the shot, but rather move it a third of the way over in the frame.

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I like using Squaregram to frame images with a white border, or you can try SquareadyV to frame videos with a white border.

ANGLES

A ¾ angle down at the subject is one of the most flattering angles. Another favorite is the birds-eye-view angle, which shoots straight down from above (great for food shots). While those two angles are great, don’t be afraid to play around with different perspectives!

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Waterlogue — A genius new app that transforms your photo into a watercolor painting. Download here.

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All in all, it comes down to defining your aesthetic. Find out what you like and don’t like. At Soda Pop, we get inspiration from:

If you aren’t following us yet… head over to Instagram and find us @sodapoppr.

Happy Photographing!

Carley

P.S. Also, check out a previous blog post on our 10 favorite photo-editing apps here.