Katy From BookBar Taught Me…

The power in being able to form proper sentences.

Several of our guest speakers were honest about the reality of working with other people: they don’t care in the ways that we want them to (or in worse cases, not at all). For Katy, working with publicists is one of the hardest parts of her job because they are managing multiple authors and are just starting to learn how to navigate their field. I aim to do better than that, as I want to go into publishing and public relations. Editing your writing and having others that you trust do the same is what is going to help you most in the long run. I will take this into consideration when I write the rest of my Instagram captions and ask my friends to read over them to see if they are too long, too short, interesting, etc.


Everyone is going to be hormonal.

Katy talked about how she used to work with hormonal middle schoolers, now it’s just hormonal authors. I resonated with this because I decided to not try to be a teacher right away because I want to see if I can find something I like in the field of publishing and writing. This does not mean that I will always be working with people who know how to communicate effectively or that do not let their emotions get the best of them. Hormones or not, this means that I should work on my own communication skills to be able to manage a bunch of people and accounts that represent a certain brand.

https://giphy.com/embed/D12CsrRNv7gL6via GIPHY

Connecting to your audience is important.

Katy talked about running the BookBar’s Instagram account and how people respond well to posts of their favorite bartenders. People want to see what they are reading and to share tidbits of their lives like birthdays. This gives the page an authenticity that might otherwise be lost in their posts about events and specials at the Bar. This has taught me to not limit myself in terms of posting. It also shows that not businesses are just there to get a buck out of you—customers develop real relationships with people through things like BookBar. I will use this advice for the Collaborative Digital Media Campaign as I think about how to cater to my audience and receive the fictional grant.


Things I wish I had asked Katy:

I can’t remember if she had talked about it, but I would love to have heard about how she started her career and what advice she would give to people looking to pursue the same path. I would love to do something similar so it would be great to hear more about her perspective on this topic.


Beyond the Garden: Guest Speaker Notes and Thoughts

Written by: Katy McDonald

As we begin thinking about finishing up the quarter, it’s time to reflect on the many guest speakers we’ve had and how they’ve contributed to our knowledge of writing in digital media. For me, Kat Kramer from the Denver BookBar store really intrigued me in how she used social media to promote events and to publicize new and local authors.

Personally, I was curious about how I could apply her expertise to my own endeavors in planning outreach programs for literacy in the south Denver communities. She gave some amazing advice about performing needs assessments, writing press packets, and asking organizations for help in promoting and providing resources for community events.

BookBar’s Twitter site features content as well as event promotions!

In terms of my plan for my social media account, Kat had some talking points about how she mixes the company’s personal events with literary content that may be of interest to the audience. This was especially present on their Twitter (see above) that featured articles from literary blogs as well as promotion for upcoming events at the BookBar. I really liked this idea because it’s something that I haven’t done yet on my page. While I have been making educational stories that my audience can watch, I find that the engagement with these stories are very low. Stories are hard to market well, but I think they’re important so I will continue to do them but also add on informational content into my regular stream of photos. My pictures get a lot more interaction, so I think this will be a good way to cross-promote like Kat mentioned, but within my very own page. A post that might work well could be a post that tells others to look at my highlights and stories, just to get people to see that I am posting them regularly. I think it would be fun to also feature drawings or text about plants because I am starting to run out of personal content like photos of my succulents to post.

Pro tip from Kat Kramer at BookBar Denver: Have a friend or someone trusted that you know read over your proposals and other writing before you send it off! It can make a world of a difference!

With those ideas in mind, I think that Kat’s advice will also be very useful for our digital media campaigns. She spoke a lot about writing proposals and spreading her event info to publishers and others interested in the event she was planning. She also suggested that press packets/releases are useful tools for promoting one’s events. I think that through this project I will try to focus in creating an effective proposal and press release that captures the purpose of the group’s vision. Kat also gave pointers on how she structures her press releases and press packets, so I will also keep this in mind by including photos and other multimodal aids to help convey our message. A lot of Kat’s work as well as ours in this digital media campaign involves finding a gap in one’s community or environment and creating events/projects that will successfully fill those spaces. Once we have chosen our group’s topic, it will be important to use our knowledge of the audience’s interests to create a campaign that fulfills the needs of our targeted group. Overall, I hope that using Kat’s ideas and expertise will help my group create an amazing digital media campaign!

Reflecting on the Mischief Collection

I thought it was such a great experience hearing what Tory Pittarelli had to say about her growing business that revolves around social media. Her visions have evolved so much since she first created her Instagram page. Her Instagram was initially intended for posting lifestyle content (if I remember correctly), but then she became interested in creating jewelry. I find it inspirational how she didn’t let past ideas keep her from forming something much greater and ultimately creating a business that she loves and thrives on. Nowadays, many businesses reach their audience through social media, and Tory has figured out how to utilize certain platforms to her advantage and build a mischief profilebusiness on her very own. A website is her main method of displaying the products she has to offer, but Instagram is what she engages with the most and gains many of her customers.

Looking at the Instagram profile of The Mischief Collection, it is evident that there is plenty of consistency and overall appeal. The bio is very neat with the use of bullet points, and the heart emoji bullet points provide an extra appeal to how the page looks. In addition, the product website is clearly displayed at the end to funnel followers towards actually buying the products rather than only getting overviews of the jewelry through the well crafted posts. Speaking of the posts, there is a consistent color scheme that makes the page attractive, but the posts themselves aren’t too consistent. This is a good thing because it allows Tory to be herself and gives her brand personality.

After being presented with the Instagram of The Mischief Collection, there are several things that stood out to me for creating a more appealing account myself. Consistency of appearance is certainly an aspect to keep in mind. Although the colors of my posts are hard to keep consistent due to video game covers being all kinds of colors, it is important that the types of images I post remain familiar to my audience. In addition, having an icreative-visual-contentntriguing bio is crucial to grabbing people’s attention, so improving my bio may be a good step to take. Something I have noticed myself, that Tory also focuses on, is displaying personality and enthusiasm throughout posts. Whether it be dedicating an entire post to a more personal subject (rather than displaying jewelry) or using a more personal tone within captions, Tory does a great job of providing a better connection with her audience, and I plan on utilizing this strategy as well so that the game reviews do not become bland.

When it comes to the final collaborative project, the strategy I plan on using from The Mischief Collection is to be concise. Tory’s bio is very concise in the sense that it describes her businesses in a few bullet points. Also, in the posts strictly displaying a new product she efficiently describes that a certain product is being sold or that a sale is going on. On the website, products are shown in a clear and simple fashion which will help when displaying the product or service for the project.
mischief website.PNG

Mischievous Tory Pittarelli

Over the course of the guest speakers in this class I didn’t realize just how many applications and purposes that social media can serve in both personal and professional realms. When Tory came to our class to discuss her use of media in running her own business I had no idea that I would take so much from what she said (having no business of my own or intention to use social media in this way)

One of the biggest things that she touched on in her discussion that really stuck with me was the high value that she places on the ability to be raw and real within social media use. She highlighted a woman with a similar jewelry business to her own that is very open about her struggles with mental health issues.

This really resonated with me, especially coming from Tory as someone who is using social media so heavily for her profession and business rather than just personal use. It was interesting to think about how the personal connection is still so relevant in business, even without a face-to-face connection.

Going forward in my use of social media, both in terms of the project and personally, I feel that I will be more inclined to keep the thought of the value of genuine human experience and perception in the way I post and the image that I choose to express! I might focus on speaking more plainly and truthfully, exactly as I would in a real life conversation. Or posting about issues or topics that are very important to me.


Tory started the Mischief Collective with a broad sweeping inclusion of many of her interests and passions. She was able to incorporate her love for travel, music, jewelry, and friendship into one place.

By starting with this broad inclusion of all of these wonderful aspects of who she was Tory was able to have the freedom to explore what she wanted. Over time she was able to single in on jewelry making as the passion to fuel her business, which she runs entirely using these online platforms. She curated her own business around her interests.

There are many places in life that I would love to apply that technique of beginning broad and focusing inward. I especially think that will be applicable when creating our Collaborative Digital Campaigns. As a group we are starting with a larger concept or issue that we want to tackle. It is only after having a larger grasp of why it’s important and what we hope to accomplish with this idea that we will be able to break it down into the pieces of the proposal, website, and presentation.

Working with others

Despite Tory running her business and social media platforms solo she created the idea of the Mischief Collective with personal connection as a key platform. Even she needs help from other apprentices that she brings in. I think this shows the importance of collaboration. Even in a case where Tory runs most everything self-sufficiently she still needs help too! The only lingering question that I have for Tory is about what the candles she’s planning on adding are going to smell like!

Making Up the Science

From the moment Debbie walked into our classroom, I was intrigued. She did not fit the image I had in my mind of what a chemistry professor should look like.

kansas city smoke GIF by Polyvinyl Records

Something that struck me about Debbie was how little she was concerned with the public opinions of others. Debbie is not only an anomaly because she is a woman in STEM, but she also publicly discusses some of the challenges and backlash she has faced. I was inspired by how forthcoming and honest Debbie was when talking about her own personal hardships in the workforce and online. She is a feminine mother in a historically male-dominated field.

Debbie’s Twitter Bio

Something that is really important to me is female empowerment and representation. A couple days ago, Nike released a new video advertisement about being a female athlete and the different stereotypes and names that female athletes get called.

Debbie also discussed how she faced criticism after she posted her chemistry make-up photos on her Twitter from different artists, random followers, and chemistry accounts. What I have taken away is how Debbie has continued to post her make-up photos, share her own work, and defend her posts on Twitter.

The advice from Debbie that I will be using for my project is about perseverance and authenticity. When doing the project, I will need to maintain my own authenticity and vision throughout the entire process. My project will be something that I will need to be fully connected to and believe in. On the other hand, I do believe that vulnerability and sharing hardship can also be a way to show devotion and authenticity. Being confident in what I post, and defending the content I am posting will help me develop a platform that I enjoy and feel comfortable using.

Debbie also includes a nice mix of academic, make up, and personal posts which keeps her feed engaging and exciting. She can also cater to many different interests by posting a variety of links, photos, videos and tweets. This is something that I need to do more of through posting Boomerangs, videos or even different types of photos.

addicted fun GIF

I think this can also be valuable in the Collaborative Digital Campaign. Our proposals and plans will need to show a sense of creativity but also desire to develop the product fully. Our passions and interests should shine through on our projects and someone should be able to tell how much we care about and how we will pursue these goals.

I am excited to use these tips and see how they can help my social media and collaborative digital campaign. Seeing posts like these on an account that is accessible run by someone we have met has made me realize that these goals and tips are feasible. Going forward, I will be implementing these on my own accounts and seeing how it takes me forward.

Writing in Big Data

As a Political Science major slowly realizing I don’t want to spend my life working anywhere near politics, I was instantly captivated by Andy, who worked on a masters in Political Science only to end up in the tech industry. In my mind Tech and Political Science are worlds away. When I think of skills needed to make it in the tech industry, writing is probably the last thing I would ever think of, but Andy exemplifies how strong writing skills are indispensable in any professional setting.


While I still don’t understand Andy’s job, I was able to learn a great deal from speaking with him. I think his job is so hard to understand because he acts as the intermediary between two types of people who themselves struggle to understand one another: tech and business. In a sense, Andy acts as a translator between two worlds, which I find incredibly fascinating.

As far as writing in a professional setting, Andy made one point that really stuck with me: the simple importance of proofreading.

I must admit, I am no shining star when it comes to proofreading. My social media project has certainly had its fair share of typos. This blog post is probably chalk full of typos too. However, after Andy mentioned the importance of proofreading I actually started to notice typo’s far more often and how much it can detract from a writer’s credibility. For example, here is an email I received just the other day.

I not so sure this is the best company for LSAT prep classes anymore. In the future I will aim to spend the shockingly tedious 5 minutes to proofread. Even when it’s just a short email or an instagram post, typos severely damage an author’s credibility.

Moving forward with the collaborative writing project, Andy had great advice on how to work in a group. Translating between tech and business certainly requires an incredible degree of collaboration, and the most valuable advice Andy provided for accomplishing this has been harped on all quarter: know your audience. Understanding the backgrounds and skill sets that your co-workers have is imperative to productivity. While working on the collaborative project it is going to be essential to understand my partners’ skill sets, as well as my own, in order for everyone to contribute effectively.

I guess my only lingering question for Andy is what do you do for living? Seriously. I still don’t get it, at all.

Well, hopefully I fixed all the typos.

The Mischief Collective

I feel that at a young age, we are continuously being told to find what we are good at and then at 18 years old we are told to make a decision about the rest of our lives and stick to it . Listening to Tory and her story about making her own box, really made me realize that in this day and age, there has been a push back and people are making their own paths and doing what they want to do rather than sticking to the decisions they made when they were fresh out of high school.

Tory Pittarelli’s visit to our class was very insightful because it gave me reassurance that whatever I decide to do today will not prohibit me from changing my mind later on or finding something that I am good at later in my life. Or in this case, changing my theme of my instagram page slightly.IMG_2382

Tory’s instagram is beautiful and I really appreciate that she told us that although Instagram is not her main focus, that she does put time and effort into using it to help her business.

Visually, The Mischief Collective draws you in and keeps you looking at the Instagram page. But throughout the page there are post that don’t necessarily look the same as others but Tory said that keeping her page super trendy and updated is never really the goal. She gave great advice when saying that posting what you want to post is the best and that being able to send a message out and being authentic with your posts is good. With this in mind this post in particular really caught my eye, especially because Tory herself is not Native American.

For the rest of this project I feel that keeping myself present in the posts will be my main goal. Instagram has become a job at this point but I feel that Tory has opened my eyes and made me realize that yes it can be work but it can help your business (or in this case, my class project.)



A Helpful Visit from Kat

This past week, we had a guest speaker who works for a very unique book store. This book store is called BookBar and combines a bookstore and a bar (hence the name) to make their store unique and more versatile.

Real Housewives GIF - Housewives Real GIFs

Kat discussed her job and all the parts of the BookBar that she is in charge of and oversees. She does most of the marketing for BookBar by using cross-promotion between facebook, instagram, and twitter. Along with BookBar’s own social media accounts, they market through local news outlets as well. Her duties also force her to write quite a bit through email as she contacts potential guest readers. Kat mentioned that this may be the most challenging part of her day to day duties because it requires so much responsibility and effort on her side of the emailing.

Image result for email meme

She has to double check that each email was sent, received, and understood by both parties. Hearing about how BookBar uses social media made me reflect on how I have been using my social media account, @awellnessproject. Questions lingered in my mind like am I doing everything I can for my account? How can I use this new information to make my account even better?

Cross-promotion plays a major role in any social media account that has a purpose. It allows different groups of people to see the same content and allows for a much bigger audience. This bigger audience helps promote and maybe even increase popularity to your store, site, or social media account. This idea of cross-promotion has been a hard one for me to grasp and actually do. I have not mentioned my account on any other social media account I own. After hearing how helpful and important it is to the BookBar, I think this would be a great thing for me to try. It would force me to step outside of my comfort zone and embrace this account with all I have, but I know it would be worth it and help me gain more followers. Moving forward, I hope to put the name of my wellness account in the bio of my personal Instagram.

My personal Instagram Bio that will soon include a link to a wellness project

Another thing I plan to do moving forward is to be even more personal in my posts. Kat talked about how their more personal posts gain more traction than the others and that their customers and follower base love to see emotion and who may be behind the posts.

A personal photo on my story.

This is important so followers can relate more to me and get to know the voice behind my account. This way they will hopefully feel a stronger connection if they know who I am and what I stand for.

Along with moving forward on my individual social media project, we are starting to move forward with our final group project too. Kat provided great insight and advice for not only my social media project, but for this upcoming project too. As she was talking, she stressed how important marketing was to BookBar and how she is successful when she markets. She mentioned how it was important to target an audience and to think through any marketing strategies fully before moving forward with a project. I have taken marketing classes before and have learned about targeting, but it was great to hear from someone who actually uses those strategies and to see that they are used in real life and why they are so important. I will definitely take these strategies and advice into consideration as I work through this final project, especially targeting my audience. All my thanks to Kat for showing me more about the real world and providing me with great advice that I can apply to both my social media project and my digital media campaign.

Tory Pittarelli and The Mischief Collective

Tory Pittarelli is most known for being the founder of The Mischief Collective, a lifestyle brand that creates beautiful, handmade jewelry. In 2014, Pittarelli designed a blog that cultivated everything from her favorite music, to her recognizable jewelry. Her business continues to be built off of passion, and a collection of friends aspirations. What was once a dream, turned in to the everyday job that she loves to do.

After learning about the background of The Mischief Collective, Pittarelli began to discuss the companies presence on social media. Instagram has become a fantastic tool for Pittarelli to use for connecting with her clients, and other silversmiths around the country. With the use of The Mischief Collectives infamous logo as their Instagrams’ profile picture, the brand has made themselves easily recognizable for users who are interested in handmade jewelry. The suitcase logo is not the only familiar aspect of the companies Instagram. The hashtag #showusyourmischeif has become a popular trend among their followers to interact with the company. Similarly, I have found it essential to use hashtags that relate to the health and wellness world. As stated in Blog Post 2, I will continue to use my personal hashtags to build consistency, and maybe even a following off of #EatsByWhit, just like The Mischief Collective.

The Mischief Collective promotes their hashtag on their website in hopes to connect with their community

The Mischief Collective prides themselves in being an authentic company, on and off social media. Instagram tends to be the highlight reel of people’s lives, the good times are always announced and the bad times are often disguised. Pittarelli emphasized the importance of authenticity within her company. She was mainly inspired by other jewelers who are strong advocates for being real with their community.

Some of her Instagram posts stray way from photos of her jewelry. One scroll and find inspirational quotes or intense opinions from The Mischief Collective surrounding controversial subjects. Authenticity from a company is hard to find, and when it is expressed is when it truly makes a difference.

Pitarelli taught me that being real and vulnerable on Instagram is hard to do. You think about what others might have to say about your opinion, and the responses are nerve-racking, but ultimately, not everyone is going to agree with you, and that is okay. Pittarelli inspired me to be more real and authentic on Instagram. In the last few weeks of the quarter, I am going to make a conscious effort to post more “real talk” on my page to see if I can build more personal engagement with my followers.

The last bit of information that stood out to me from Pitarelli’s visit to our class was the importance of keeping your followers involved. Jewelry making is foreign to many, but The Mischief Collective does an excellent job of bringing their followers along the way. Pitarelli mentioned that her community loves to see the behind the scenes work of the jewelry they are posting, so she tries to post timelapse videos of the process. She also mentioned that by filming herself, she holds herself accountable and on track. When thinking about my own account, I am planning on implementing tutorials for my followers to grab a better understanding of some recipes. I can also hold myself accountable to create new content that would be enjoyable for myself and others.

Tory Pitarelli has a passion for authenticity and creativity. She has built a business that maintains a reputation that many do not have. I am inspired by her calm and natural way of going about a startup business. By turning her hobby into a job, she sticks to her roots of passion and brings smiles to her costumers through maintaining an interactive social media account. I hope to one day see her online business turn into a popular store in Denver.

I will be visiting ​​BookBar. Soon.

As week eight approaches and our guest speakers for WRIT 2701 die down, I have started to reflect on what valuable skills and information I have learned from each speaker. All the speakers have been so different from one another, therefore, it was very hard to choose just one to write about. After thinking about which person I admired and learned the most from, I came up with Kat from BookBar.

When I started looking through BookBar’s social media accounts last week, I was immediately excited that we were going to have Kat as a guest in our class. I have loved reading since I could, well, read. I have always wanted to work at a book store or be a part of the communications team for a creative storefront like the BookBar, so getting the inside scoop about this business will hopefully prove to be very helpful in my future goals.

Kat began by talking about what exactly BookBar was and how they run their store. She is in charge of organizing events, running the social media accounts, posting on the BookBar blog, etc… She is pretty hands-on with her business and it was inspiring to see how much she likes her job.

After she talked about how she runs the BookBar social media, I was able to pick up a few tips about how to approach my social media project differntly:

1.Promote other accounts.

Kat mentioned how she gives bloggers books to review. After they write an article she will promote their posts on the BookBar blog. This allows both blogs to receive more followers and traction than they would otherwise.

Cross-promotion on Instagram is something that I can definitely utilize through my Instagram stories. Follow for follow, like for like!

2. Sync my posts.

Whenever Kat posts about BookBar on Facebook, the same picture or paragraph automatically posts to Twitter. This is a great way to be on multiple sites without having to spend tons of time managing them.

I could definitely benefit from syncing my Instagram to my Facebook. I have a lot of friends and family on facebook that I think would like to read my blog posts and Instagram posts.

3.Post personal captions.

Kat talked about how she likes when her captions have a certain voice- engaging, consistent, and personal. She wants her followers to know what to expect and be excited to read and look at her content.

I think that making my captions a little longer and more personal seems like a good way to switch up my content and make it a little more interesting.

Moving on to the collaborative digital campaign, one tip that Kat gave about keeping your voice consistent was something to definitely transfer over to this project.

When multiple people are writing a proposal it is important to make sure to keep the language and ‘voice’ consistent throughout. Kat mentioned that she applies this consistency to her posts- the way they look and the captions.

Here are a few example of consistent Instagram feeds:

You can see how keeping a consistent theme can be more pleasing to the eye. This tip can transfer into many other areas of writing and media: for example, captions and proposal writing.

Canavor, 2012

Overall, Kat’s advice and insight into her own business was really helpful. I will definitely be visiting the BookBar as soon as I can. I am also hoping to start reviewing books from the BookBar- Utilizing some of that cross-promotion action in real life!

Happy reading!

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