The project: Based on the success of this summer’s widely shared Potato experiment for Inc.com, I created a social influencer qualification workshop. The program is two parts. In the first, I teach brands the top tricks that today’s “sinfluencers” AKA fake influencers are using to inflate their numbers and engagement. In the second, I show how to screen potential influencers using several different metrics tools–most free. I also share leading-edge list-building platforms, data-scraping tools still in beta, and other tools that allow brands to quickly and definitively sift through the millions of fake influencers to find the few real ones.
An old but great photo, from one of the all-time most relaxing work moments.
This is a manatee trainer on Isla Mujeres. I spent an afternoon with her, feeding lettuce and melons to manatees. We created a fun little video which became my first Yahoo Travel feature. Amazing that it’s one of the only pieces still live after the Yahoo magazines shut down. (Albeit with broken images.)
Created The Playboy Scout – the brand’s first mobile content product. Identified content pillars and modified Playboy editorial voice for mobile distribution. Worked with VP Digital and the mobile division director to develop the product and launch it. The launch was successful enough to merit doubling the volume/frequency of original content, and pushing to an online page as well.
Created content for The Playboy Scout for three years – including sourcing photos and other assets.
For three years, Lena Katz served as staff travel correspondent for JustLuxe.com and additionally oversaw strategic content partnerships for the company. Secured ongoing content syndication partnerships with ABCNews.com, HuffingtonPost, The Daily Meal and Yahoo—amplifying content reach by up to 2000% (depending whether articles hit home page on partner sites).
Additionally, generated sponsor leads and collaborative partnerships with brands in travel, food and lifestyle verticals. Reworked Instagram feed and doubled followers/engagement in a 3-month stint of managing the channel.
Hired as a travel expert for Celebrations, Lena Katz ended up as a recurring expert for 1800FLOWERS wedding show I Do Over. Secured wedding packages (fee-based tradeout) and set up content partnerships (Web and email-based) between 1800FLOWERS/Celebrations, WEtv and brand partners such as the Bahamas.
Brand positioning, strategic partnerships and commercial business development are the three priorities for Variable Content’s consulting work with London-based art platform Artfinder. This exciting startup is a leading online marketplace for original art, looking to establish a US base in Miami.
In initial phase, introduced the brand to notable art community figures in the city, to hospitality and restaurant brands, national retailers and beverage partners.
Created a full-season program of ancillary content for the full WEtv slate interactive. Wrote and produced features, galleries and social content for My Fair Wedding, Downsized, I Do Over, Amsale Girls, Big Easy Brides, Braxton Family Values and I Do Over
Lena Katz has contributed to more than 20 national consumer publications including USA Today, Entrepreneur, South China Morning Post, Forbes, NBC News, Yahoo Travel, Monocle and Robb Report. She had a dating column in the LA Times, was a featured regular contributor to Brides Magazine and edited two LA books for Zagat. She contributes to travel trade publications for Northstar Media and travAlliancemedia.
Launched new AOL destinations product in 12 markets, was a key contributor to AOL Los Angeles (dining, shopping, entertainment verticals) and edited “City’s Best” annual feature in LA. (Contributing Editor)
As the founding editor of LAX Magazine, the official custom magazine for Los Angeles World Airports, created the mission statement and editorial guidelines for the magazine, as well as the site architecture and vertical content mandates. Created the template for event guide, dining section and front-of-book. Secured and wrote celebrity profiles. Oversaw freelance writers and photographers locally nad nationally. Worked directly with leadership and board at LAWA to ensure content standards and brand messaging compliance.
Worked with Orbitz internal marketing and content staff to launch the Orbitz travel blog. Wrote four regional sections of the blog for 2 ½ years – worked with a network of 500+ hotel communications teams, DMOs, airlines, trade professionals, tour operators and PR agencies to source industry news, trends, holiday specials, property opening and renovation news, and destination information.
Also launched Trip.com sister site, working with 50 destinations locally and 50 globally to create original content for 100 destination guides. Was a frequent contributor to sister publication Away.com, including oversight of multiple Best Of rankings, including Best All-Inclusives and Best Overall Resorts.
Worked with section editor and managing editor of ABCNews.com for three years as an ongoing content partner – delivering weekly slideshows and features for the Travel section and crossover lifestyle verticals. Much of this content but not all was originally housed on JustLuxe. During different points in the relationship, this content was also distributed onto GMA.com and Yahoo.
Crafted 50 original destination pieces for publication on Embratur’s official site and in branded content pieces for the North American markets. Was responsible for working with Embratur’s agency to pitch topics, locations in Brazil, and Brazilian products to feature. Pieces were written to be “evergreen” and able to post as blogs, in newsletters, or in destination content library.
Launched new core content section, Cruising 101, for an Onboard.com product rollout. Worked with internal editors to ideate sections and SEO questions. Researched, wrote copy, linked to external resources and sourced images for 8 sections. Reworked 20 port guides and all the cruise line information pages for Carnival, Holland America and Princess. Wrote corresponding features for Carnival’s in-room magazine Fun Ashore, liaising with executives in Carnival’s internal Retail, F+B and other divisions.
Produced digital and social videos, supplementing original footage with destination stock footage and sourced assets. Video formats included Top 5, themed super-cuts, activity highlights.
Created and executed a 12-part blog campaign showcasing the Volkswagen Toureg “clean diesel” SUV, which was just hitting the United States market. Secured Away.com as the media partner, with homepage every day and regular promotion on the Orbitz blog. Total views 2.75 MM + Twitter and Facebook promotion on Orbitz social channels.
The theme was Finding Larry McMurtry (the iconic author of Lonesome Dove), and the roadtrip followed a route of locations mentioned in his books. Southwest roadside attractions, national parks and cities not traditionally thought of as “touristy”: Mesa, AZ; Abilene, TX; Las Cruces, NM.
Secured series talent, hosts and experts as casting consultant, and associate produced one series while this multimedia production company was under its former Berman-Braun shingle. (Shows/digital properties include Junk Gypsies, Purple Clover and the premium YouTube channel Tasted.)
Created and produced a blog/content marketing campaign to support Suzuki Kizashi’s transcontinental road trip “The Hard Way” from Russia to LA, and on to the Detroit Auto Show. Wrote and photographed a 10-part blog series that was posted on Suzuki’s site and promoted daily on social channels, (11MM impressions). The trip was featured on MadeMan and Autobytel, as well as an ABC News segment on winter travel.
Scouted and secured host talent for HGTV, working directly with internal programming executive team. Saw project through to pilot on HGTV and development on uLive – in partnership with Johlt Productions.
The merger of two legacy local index sites created DexYP –a massive yet misunderstood platform on which hundreds of thousands of small businesses rely to create their footprint in the digital world. A revamped content mandate focused on creating optimized, keyword-rich content in 10 key cities.
The goal is to become a resource for small businesses and potential customers alike – connecting them, answering questions too local for Wiki to address and too category-specific for Google. Across core verticals including home, auto, medical, pets and personal safety, Variable Content worked with DexYP to create a refreshed and relatable brand voice and build an incomparable local market intelligence resource. More than 300 optimized Q+A documents and 1000 local information sub-pages supported the $600 million merger.
Visitors to the Caribbean are ever-eager to dive or snorkel with sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and other famous sea life. Whether tiny or enormous, slow-moving or slick and predatory, indigenous marine animals are fascinating to observe, especially in their own natural environment.
The official Brazil Tourism website has a new English-language blog, intended as a comprehensive resource for English-speaking travelers looking for Brazil travel information— beyond Rio de Janeiro. I developed the topic outline and wrote core content for this initiative.
Get your smartphone shots published–and monetized.
My top digital photo tips were included in a piece for Contently’s digital magazine “The Freelancer.” Reporter Tim Beyers shared my knowledge garnered from years of contributing to AOL, Yahoo, USA Today and more. The featured photos in the story were from multiple automotive and travel campaigns. Contently features work from a Suzuki influencer campaign. Photos there and on this page were published by Away.com for a Volkswagen campaign (then licensed later by USA Today).