Photo Friday: Summer Lovin’

Oh, the hot, hazy days of summer! While many of us moan and groan about the humidity (and the frizzy hair that comes with it), we can’t help but love summer: drinks on the patio, fun fashions and, of course, a drastic increase in shirtless hunks

Today’s Photo Friday rounds up a few of our favourite (summery) things, which are sure to be eye-candy once the temperature dips below zero. 

Photo Friday: Frump-less Floral

Floral need not mean frumpy, à la grandma’s plastic-covered
couch. In fact, it has been one of the spring’s hottest runaway trends. Enjoy in today’s Photo Friday.

Rave: Pinterest

True story: one of our moms recently asked, “have you heard of this Pinterest thing everyone is talking about?” An official sign that the social sharing website has exploded from a core of early adopters to the mainstream. Pinterest is the hottest new tool we’re all raving about on the fourth floor (accompanied, of course, by a tiny bit of ranting). 

Pinterest is an amazing visual medium you can use to promote your brand, products or services. Users benefit from browsing and re-pinning images to share with their network: new sources of inspiration, cool products, funny images, and generally wonderful things. It’s a form of passive window shopping that helps build buzz and reach new consumers. Here’s our PR perspective on how to best use it.

Ah, the randomness of the Pinterest homepage.

Add something interesting to the conversation

Give users a reason to follow your boards and like your pins by offering interesting images and well-curated boards. No one wants to see a re-posting of all the products offered on your website: boring!

We recommend pinning images that feature your products in interesting ways and speak to your target audience’s interests. Furniture brand? Pin images of beautiful interiors showcasing your products. Cosmetics? Try pinning different looks and using the description box to outline the products used. Food products? Pin photos of dishes using your ingredients, with links to your website where recipes are posted.

Evaluate if it’s the best way to engage with your audience

When devising a social media strategy, only take on as much as you can actively manage. Whether deciding to start a blog, Facebook page, Tumblr, Twitter account or Pinterest board, only do it if you are willing to dedicate time to monitoring and updating your account. If you invite your customers to interact via social media, but fail to engage with them or actively participate, then there’s no reason to be there and your customers will see that.

Inspiration: Nina Garcia. Project Runway judge, Marie Claire fashion director, author and overall superwoman, Nina Garcia’s Pinterest boards are an inspiration for all. Updated daily, not only do her boards consistently post interesting images to her 280,000+ followers, but the account moderator constantly replies to user comments and adds her perspective on the images. Smart lady.

What Fall 2012 look is Nina discussing with followers? Click here to find out.

Give credit where credit is due

Here’s where the rant comes in – there’s a LOT of debate on whether Pinterest violates copyrights, and we definitely get it. Imagine being a graphic artist, fashion designer, photographer or creative talent and seeing your work re-pinned all over the Internet without a nod to you, the original creator. Even worse, many blogs pull images from Pinterest and then credit the “pinner”, rather than the original poster. It can take a lot of clicks to actually find the original source of the material, if at all. It’s vital that everyone, but especially people pinning on behalf of a brand, remember Pinterest etiquette and always properly credit sources.

A pin with proper credit.

Overall, we love it and can’t wait to see the site grow. There’s a lot of potential to promote your brand/work, reach new audiences, and actively engage with new people. 

Favourite Boards

Here are some of our favourite “pinners” we think you should follow:

fieldguided – Anabela’s boards are just like her incredible blog: dreamy, pretty and full of cats!

eastsidebride – She may not do cupcakes, but this blogger’s boards are full of food, clothing and wedding inspiration.

allied – This Toronto-based publicist (and former rock-iteer) is a prolific pinner. From DIY to great gift ideas to inspirational quotes, she’s got everything you need on her boards.

Media, Darling: Linda Luong

Linda Luong is the Editor-in-Chief of Where Toronto, Where Muskoka and Essential Toronto magazines, where she started seven years ago as an assistant editor. Prior to that, she worked at a children’s publication with Metroland and at as a reporter. She is an avid pinner on Pinterest, Etsy shopper (her latest purchase was a Queen of a Quite a Lot print), magazine junkie, pink enthusiast, and has never come across a lemon dessert she could resist.  

Image courtesy of Edwin dela Cruz.

Twitter: @linda_luong

What was your favourite class in high school? Why?
Biology. I took it all the way through high school just so I could do dissection at the end of the year. Plus it made me feel smart talking about osmosis, cell division and homeostasis.

How did you get your start as an editor?
At as a reporter during 9/11. It was the best on-the-job experience working in a busy newsroom, juggling multiple stories, deadlines, trying to stay on top of every new development.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
A baker. I am always baking something in my spare time – I’ve perfected peanut butter cupcakes recently, and my coconut cream cake and double chocolate brownies are often requested by my family and friends for gatherings.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Email. It lets me digest the information in my own time and percolate potential tie-ins to upcoming editorial content. And if it’s a product pitch, please provide pictures – it helps to have a visual to go along with the message, especially if you’re going to reference a particular physical element.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are
no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Really understand a publication and its mandate and audience before pitching something. I get a lot of pitches for products and services that are great, but as our publications are for visitors, some things will just not apply to our readers.

Respect deadlines. If you promise to send information, images or samples for a photoshoot by a certain date, then please do. There’s nothing worse or more annoying than having to scramble to find something else to include in an issue at the last minute because something you were expecting didn’t come in on time.

Be realistic in your pitches – don’t over promise. Please don’t promise me an interview with somebody if you haven’t spoken to their people yet and gotten the go-ahead, or please don’t tell me that a product will be in stores by my publication date just to get it in, if it won’t be in stores until a few weeks after that.

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise – I’m a morning person.

Hermès’ Un Jardin Sur Le Toit.

Yes, please! Especially if they’re peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.



Shower or bath?

Officially, I say Scent of a Woman. Privately, I confess that it’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Life and John Slattery from Mad Men.

First job?
Selling shoes at Naturalizer. I had never seen so much support hose in my life before that job.


My grandma. She raised six kids on her own after being widowed at a young age, and at 85, she can still touch her toes with ease!