How I do my job using just the contents of my purse


I’ve always admired Philly-based visual marketing firm Curalate‘s #MarketingMix Instagram feature that takes followers inside the bags of industry professionals.

The idea is pretty simple: marketers upload photos of the content of their bags that help them get their jobs done. The visual web experts at Curalate add the banner, a filter and a description of your work, and the internet handles the rest.

It’s fascinating to me how photos of wallets and devices and the occasional pack of gum can tell you so much about a person’s job. So I was pretty excited when, after just a few tweets with Curalate, I found myself holed up in a phone booth at my coworking space artfully arranging the contents of my purse to share with the world.

Here’s the result, and the description that appeared with the photo:

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"I'm the Community Manager for @Billy_Penn, which only just launched in October. We're a small team of five working out of the @PipelinePhilly coworking space, so I don't have a workspace of my own. My bag has pretty much replaced my desk, and I can't function with a messy desk. I'm organized to the point of obsessive, and I like bright colors — because they're cheerful and because they're easier to find inside a large bag. I don't like to have lots of stuff floating around my bag, so I look for bags that come with lots of pockets, and supplement those with smaller totes, like the clear travel toiletries bag. My phone gets way more use than my laptop or iPad, and apps are organized by color because it increases my productivity. I carry a charger because my phone rarely makes it through a day, and I always keep a Thunderbolt cable on me (which I purchased last-minute ahead of an event). I either have a dozen pens or zero pens at any given time, and two whiteboard markers because they keep disappearing from my classroom. I keep a Moleskin notebook on me because it's small enough to not weigh things down but large enough to take real notes. I still encounter people who see me taking notes on my phone and assuming I'm not working, so a notebook helps with that. My job is to make sure Billy Penn is connecting with our audience, and really listening to them and responding. There are a lot of variables there, so organizing my stuff is a small piece of my day-to-day that I can actually control." – Shannon McDonald (@sacmcdonald), Community Manager at @Billy_Penn | #MarketingMix

A post shared by Curalate (@curalate) on

What I love almost as much as the overall concept of the #MarketingMix feature is that there was no hesitation on Curalate’s part to feature my stuff, even though my job title doesn’t fit the traditional role of “marketer.”

My roots are in journalism, but I’m a firm believer that no one knows your content better than you, and it’s therefore up to you to promote it. I teach my journalism students to tweet and share the stories they report, and I spend my days at Billy Penn connecting with readers, partners, sponsors and the occasional disgruntled person.

Careers are much more about the work you do than the title that’s on your card. I think Curalate’s #MarketingMix feature is smart way to represent that.


Published by

Shannon Wink

Shannon Wink is a Philadelphian and experienced reporter, editor, community manager and content marketer.

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