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Katherine Kotaw
Storyteller, Writer and CEO of KOTAW Content Marketing. Author of Globe and Mail Book of the Year which turned me into a Lifetime Movie Heroine. My favorite author is Dr. Seuss and my Pit Bull is my Brand Ambassador.
Storyteller, Writer and CEO of KOTAW Content Marketing. Author of Globe and Mail Book of the Year which turned me into a Lifetime Movie Heroine. My favorite author is Dr. Seuss and my Pit Bull is my Brand Ambassador.

Katherine's posts

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#KOTAWesome news! My daughter +Brijana Prooker is now an official +HelloGiggles contributor, and I'm thrilled to share her beautiful, brilliant essay on how the furry members of the #KOTAWGirlGang help her stay hopeful in this scary political climate.

✨Brijana writes:✨

In between empowering conversations while wearing my “Women’s rights are human rights” +Tory Burch tee or my “Nasty Woman” shirt that supports +Planned Parenthood, I’m angry, scared, and in mourning.

I’m disabled from a rare combination of extremely painful autoimmune diseases, and every day is a struggle.

Undoubtedly that struggle will worsen with a president who mocks the disabled and has already signed an executive order to begin the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act.

I’m disgusted that I can’t go online without being inundated with a sickening concoction of hateful bigotry and ignorant attempts to normalize abuse.

And as the daughter of a journalist (aka my mom who tells me I learned to read by peering over her shoulder at the Detroit Free Press and New York Times), I’m horrified to feel I can no longer trust the news.

But then my sweet Pit Bull, Ivy, crawls up on the couch with me.

She nuzzles me until she dries my tears and snuggles her velvety body against me, until my pulse slows to match her peaceful, gentle snores.

And my heart feels warm.

Ivy gives my life purpose.

I couldn’t love her any more had I carried her in my own womb. Taking care of her and making her feel as happy and loved as she makes me feel — every second of every day — propels me to wake up each morning.

Which means I can’t give in to apocalyptic fears. The world is still good because Ivy is in it.

READ ON for more #inspiration on finding HOPE in times of crisis:

#autoimmunedisease #feminism #womensmarch #womensrights #nastywoman #disabilitymarch #disabilityrights #chronicpainawareness #girlpower #womenempowerment #pussyhatproject #pussygrabsback #spoonie #adoptdontshop #animallover #doglover #catlover

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How to Create a Brand of Generosity in the New Year

New #PitBullsAndPersonalBranding article on the +KOTAW Content Marketing  blog, written by my daughter +Brijana Prooker.
Inspired by the +STAND UP FOR PITS FOUNDATION  —particularly +rebecca corry's #StandUpForPits Hollywood event — this piece centers around creating a brand of generosity, one that makes the world a better place. 💗💗💗

My daughter Bri writes:
"Dogs, kindness and magic. Those 3 words are all I need to describe my experience going to Stand Up For Pits Hollywood with my sister Kelsey.
The show was incredible. Kaley Cuoco did a wonderful job hosting and her kind-hearted nature shone through in every word she said.

Rebecca was laugh-out-loud hilarious, telling stories of Angel and shuffling around the stage like her velvet hippo who “had Motown on a constant loop in her head”.
Her video tribute to Angel brought tears to our eyes. And there was something beautiful in seeing Kaley, mere feet away from us, crying too — along with Rebecca and an entire packed room.

Yes there is still so much work to be done. Pit Bulls continue to be gravely misunderstood and horrifically discriminated against. BSL is unconscionable and, along with dog fighting, must cease to exist.

But every person in that sold-out room loved Pit Bulls, passionately and unconditionally. And seeing and feeling that is something Kelsey and I will carry in our hearts forever.
After the show, Rebecca found Kelsey and me and gave us big hugs, thanking us for being there.
And we thought, Rebecca was definitely not hugging everyone there. She has said time and time again that she loves dogs but hates people. So why did we stand out?
We would like to think it’s because the KOTAW Girl Gang’s brand epitomizes true generosity.
We’re not fan girls; we’ve never tried to suck up to Rebecca or anyone else on social media or in real life.
We genuinely love Pit Bulls, fiercely admire the work Rebecca does to stand up for pits and are determined to spend our lives standing up for pits too, as well as advocating for pet adoption.

And we don’t do this to impress anyone or for any kind of recognition; we do it out of love for Ivy (KOTAW's Brand Ambassador) and her “type” and on behalf of our other rescues, LuLU and Doosis.
Read more on the KOTAW blog -- then tell me, what are YOU doing in 2017 to spread kindness and make the world a better place? I'd love to hear your story!

#PitBullLove   #PitBullsAreLove   #PersonalBranding   #AdoptDontShop   #kindness   #generosity   #contentmarketing  

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Be Brave in the new year!

Happy New Year! 🎉✨🎉

Love this #inspirationalquote  from Mindy Kaling: "You need the tiniest but of bravery. People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you're succeeding. People do not get scared when you're failing."

Here's to bravely taking risks and accomplishing our dreams!

#entrepreneur   #followyourdreams   #BeBrave   #inspirational   #MindyKaling   #HappyNewYear  

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Break Free From Your Personal Branding Corset

Branding Lessons Inspired by One of the KOTAW Girl Gang's Favorite Classic Christmas Films, Meet Me in St. Louis! 🎄

When watching Mr. Rogers and Barney with my daughters became more than I could bear (I lasted a dozen episodes in the cardigan-clad gentleman’s “Neighborhood” and 10 minutes with the purple dinosaur’s “Friends”), I introduced them to movie musicals.

✨We danced on imaginary rooftops with Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, swung suitcases confidently with Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music and sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis.✨

Join the #KOTAWGirlGang in our holiday-themed nostalgia and find out how to improve your brand's marketing strategy #ontheblog !

#personalbranding #branding #marketingstrategy #HolidayInspiration #HolidayStory   #MeetMeInStLouis   #JudyGarland  

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KOTAWesome news: I've been turned into a cartoon to talk brand storytelling as a guest on The Blog Chronicles Podcast!

Topics include:

1. How my daughters -- and +KOTAW Content Marketing  biz partners! -- +Brijana Prooker  and +Kelsey Prooker and I have incorporated Pit Bull advocacy into our brand. We are the creators
of #PitBullsAndPersonalBranding , a campaign (headed by Ivy, KOTAW's Pit Bull Brand Ambassador!) to rebrand Pit Bulls as the sweet and loving dogs they are. 🐶💖

2. How to distinguish your brand from all the others. Spoiler alert: #storytelling  is key.✨

3. As an entrepreneur, how to find the work/life balance that works for you!

4. How the #KOTAWGirlGang   is using our platform to help abused women and families find the strength and hope to leave their abusers.

5. The best strategies for writing your own blogs and leaving comments on other publications that make your brand STAND OUT!

⚡️_So have a listen or read the transcript to find out how you can use digital storytelling to boost your biz!_⚡️

Then please come back here and leave your thoughts!

#storytellingforbusiness   #brandstorytelling   #brandstory   #contentmarketing   #personalbranding   #entrepreneur   #entrepreneurinspiration   #podcast   #womeninbusiness  

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Thankful, Throwback Thursday: Remembering My First Thanksgiving Here on Google Plus

This blog is very special because it was written 3 years ago when my daughters and I had just formed +KOTAW Content Marketing together and I had newly found a community here on Google Plus.

It's also special because it tells the tale of how my daughters and spend Thanksgiving.

It’s a stress-free day spent cooking and baking our favorite foods, walking dogs and watching old movies.

Sometimes we eat our holiday meal at 6 p.m., sometimes at midnight and sometimes we just wrap up everything we make and save it for another day.

Sometimes we set the table with my mom’s Irish linens and English bone china but, not infrequently, we dine in the living room, a paper plate propped on our knees.

There are only two constants in our Thanksgiving celebrations: laughter and gratitude. We always — always — laugh.

And give thanks for the remarkable opportunities our seemingly stark circumstances afforded us.

Instead of bemoaning choices taken away from us, we cheer the new ones we’ve given ourselves.

This is an especially important lesson and reminder this Thanksgiving, when so many of us are wondering what the results of the 2016 election will bring.

READ on to learn why your life is not limited by circumstances or the choices others make for you.

Your life -- and #personalbrand -- is defined by the circumstances and choices you create for yourself.

#ThankfulThursday   #ThrowbackThursday   #Thanksgiving   #OntheBlog   #Gratitude   #Thankful   #Inspirational   #PersonalBranding   #EntrepreneurInspiration  

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Happy Thanksgiving Today and Happy Gilmore Girls Revival Tomorrow!

So much to be thankful for!

Today, my daughters, best friends and +KOTAW Content Marketing biz partners are baking and laughing together (and sharing goodies with our Pit Bull Ivy, Poodle Doodle LuLU and Kitten-Cat Doosis!)🐶🐩😽💖💕

And tomorrow the #KOTAWGirlGang   is already looking forward to Thanksgiving leftovers and watching the #GirlmoreGirlsRevival together!

We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving weekend, and are so very #thankful  for #KOTAWesome  friends like you! ❤️🌻🍂🍁

#HappyThanksgiving   #Gratitude   #GilmoreGirls   #Thanksgiving  

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Sisters -- and KOTAW GirlGang members! -- Bri and Kelsey give you their best tips on how to use Twitter to tell your brand's story.

Listen to my daughters tell you how the +KOTAW Content Marketing Team has used Twitter to spread the Pit Bull Love for our Pit Bulls And Personal Branding passion project, how we've earned celebrity support, and how YOU can use storytelling to gain new, genuinely interested Twitter followers who will fall in love with your brand.

✨Special bonus: All 3 furry members of the #KOTAWGirlGang  🐶🐱🐨 (either in sight or sound!) make cameo appearances in this video!✨

PS: The process of making this video is what convinced Bri to finally join Twitter, so seeing as she inspired herself, you should definitely watch, share and get inspired too!

#TwitterTips   #brandstorytelling   #brandstory   #creativemarketing  

cc +Brijana Prooker and +Kelsey Prooker 

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Polka Dot Pumpkins!

Anyone who knows me knows I've never met a polka dot I didn't like.

So you can only imagine my delight when I found these polka dot confetti pumpkins from +Brit + Co!

My daughters (and #KOTAWGirlGang  members!) bought our pumpkins over the weekend (as well as pumpkins for all 3 furry members of the +KOTAW Content Marketing team: Our Pit Bull Brand Ambassador Ivy, our tap dancing Poodle Doodle LuLU and our magical kitten-cat fairy Doosis!)

Guess which one of us is going to be adding colorful polka dots to her pumpkin?!

PS: If you love these polka dot confetti pumpkins as much as I do, you can PIN them here:

#Halloween   #Pumpkin   #FallDecor   #DIY   #Autumn   #LiveColorfully  

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How To Use Twitter To Tell Your Brand Story: The Digital Portfolio Method!

Twitter is arguably the “easiest” social media platform to use. You only have to come up with (at most) 140 characters — and you don’t really even have to do that.

You can click “retweet” in a second of your time and absolutely zero thought. You can look at what the so-called “influencers” are sharing and mindlessly reshare everything they share without ever reading a single word in the articles your tweets say you endorse.

You don’t even have to be on Twitter to use it. You can automate your posts from Facebook and Instagram to go to Twitter or create a whole year’s worth of automated tweets in a single day.

But if this is all you do, don’t expect any member of the #KOTAWGirlGang   to follow you!


In a year’s time, if you were to scroll through all your tweets from the past 365 days, would they make you smile, warm your heart, make you laugh, remind you of your successes and happy conversations, enliven your sense of style and aesthetics?

Or would they just be a bunch of boring, meaningless links?

Aim for the former.

The KOTAW Girl Gang method of using Twitter involves thinking of your Twitter account as your portfolio — not as a bunch of random tweets destined to get lost in the abyss.

That means that anyone should be able to click on your Twitter page at any moment in time, scroll down your feed for up to 30 seconds, and get an idea of who you are and what your brand story is.

To celebrate all 3 (non-furry!) members of the KOTAW Girl Gang now being on Twitter, we're giving away our TOP 3 TIPS on how to use Twitter as a portfolio for your brand story.

Read on to get our best tips for standing out on Twitter -- and earning new, genuinely interested followers!

#twittertips   #twittermarketing   #brandstory   #brandstorytelling   #contentmarketing   #marketing   #Twitter  
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