Articles + Talks

Chatting about Porochista Khakpour’s Brown Album with Porochista Khakpour

I’ve loved Porochista Khakpour’s writing ever since I picked up her book Sons and Other Flammable Objects. I remember doing a double take when I saw her name—what a magnificent name! Weighty and kind of grand, just like mine. I’d never seen a name like mine on any book (outside of the Middle East History or Politics section) at my local bookstore. But this? This was a name like mine on a work of FICTION.

I devoured Sons and Other Flammable Objects and have loved reading Porochista ever since. Which is why I was so excited with she reached out to me on Twitter (it’s not a complete hellsite) to ask if I’d like to be in a convo with her about her new book, The Brown Album.

Hanging out in the “Green Room” before the convo.

Originally, we were planning to hold this conversation at my beloved Powell’s City of Books in Portland, but due to COVID-19, we had to move the conversation to an online platform. Massive thanks are due to Town Hall Seattle for hosting our conversation, with many thanks to Candace and Josh for making sure we were set up and running!

Make sure to pick up a copy of Porochista’s The Brown Album when you have a chance. It’s a wonderful collection of her essays and is a wonderful read!

I had so much fun chatting with Porochista about her book. If you have an extra hour or so, give it a listen–she does a reading from her book, we talk some trash, and we also get real about growing up Iranian-American. My favorite part was definitely the audience questions!

Check out the conversation on Facebook or watch it on YouTube:

Getting Settled in My New Home

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Image via Dave Bassett.

I recently moved to be closer to my job in Eugene. The summer was a hectic one, but I’m finally settled and looking to get comfy in my new town.

In an effort to make a big new city feel smaller, I’ve been attending lots of networking events to meet people and learn new things. That’s difficult work to do as an introvert, but Lane county is such a friendly place that it’s already making a difference.

I’ve been haunting the Eugene Chamber of Commerce a bit–in September, I attended their Women Business Leaders lunch to hear Celeste Edman from Lunar Logic talk about mentorship. She gave a fantastic talk, focusing on the fact that mentorship isn’t just about the person being mentored, and that you can have more than one mentor.

Yesterday was a big day for me: I gave a lunchtime talk on content marketing for the Emerald Marketing Association! Content marketing is such a buzzword in the marketing industry, and so many still don’t know much about it, so I went over the basics, talked about a few must-haves to get started, and gave a few resources that have helped me in my content marketing education.

The talk was a blast and the Q&A session lasted almost as long as my presentation! The audience was fantastic! Their questions were wonderful.

I have to thank the EMA for such a welcoming and wonderful experience. And a huge thanks to Dave Bassett for photographing the event!

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It was an absolutely amazing experience, and I look forward to working with the EMA again sometime soon.

EDIT: Check out the write-up of my presentation at the EMA blog!

Social media education is important in high school

Fatemeh Fakhraie teaching students about social media

Photo by Devin Simpson.

Last week, I had the pleasure of talking to about 300 sophomores at West Albany High School about how their use of social media would change after they left high school.

We use social media to communicate and stay in touch with friends and family, and to express ourselves online. But many high schoolers aren’t aware that after they leave high school, social media will take on a new facet. Universities and employers will begin using social media to investigate prospective students and hires to ensure they’ll represent the school or company well.

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Doing what I do best

fatemeh talking about social media

Blabbing about Instagram is definitely my favorite thing to do.

Yesterday, I repped brass Media while giving a presentation about using social media for business to North Salem High School’s Future Business Leaders of America student group. It was a lot of fun, and so exciting to see the next generation of those interested in business!

Photo by Devin Simpson for brass Media. 

Millennials in the Experience Economy and the Workplace

Talking about millennials is so hot right now.

Once the calender turns to September, it seems like the rest of the year melts away. I can’t believe it’s getting close to the end of October! I’ve been battling a cold for a few weeks, which definitely makes the days seem to run together, but I’ve also been doing and writing a lot of fun stuff lately.

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A new year and a new look

There’s something about getting back to work after time off in November and December that makes January a really long slog. It doesn’t help that the month is usually five weeks long, either.

But I’ve been keeping plenty busy. We’re preparing for a busy year ahead at brass Media, and I’ve been writing up a storm. I helped my coworker Kayla with a piece for CU Insight about how to vet a new social media platform and wrote a piece for Credit Union Times on which social media platforms younger demographics are migrating to and how to market to them there:

You’re going to need to rethink your social strategy when it comes to teens or young adults. The truth is, they’re not going to be as engaged on Facebook as their parents or older peers. If you want to reach them, you’ll need to go where they are.

We’re also gearing up for more webinars at brass. Kayla and I will be hosting one in February on how to monitor your brand online, with helpful tips on RSS feeds, Twitter searches, and Google Alerts.

I’ve been as busy on Instagram as ever, writing a piece about what not to do on Instagram. I also kicked off the month with a theme week, highlighting religious buildings I’ve had the privilege to visit during my travels. I’m planning to continue my theme weeks in 2014, so be sure to follow me on IG if you haven’t already!

You’ll also notice that I’ve revamped my website. I decided to greet the new year with a new (digital) look, and so I’ve chosen a different theme that still captures my love of minimalism. You’ll also notice my colorful new social media icons! They’re from the very talented Mohammed al Yousfi, and I downloaded them here. With a little help from WordPress, I set them up myself.

What do you think?

What I’ve been doing all month

October has been a busy month so far. It seems like the calendar just melts away once we get to September, doesn’t it?

I’ve been up to plenty this month. I spent the first weekend of the month in San Jose, having a great time with friends and family. Since then, I’ve been writing up a storm.

I published my first piece for CUInsight.com, a website that looks at everything important to credit unions. This includes marketing, obviously, and my piece touched about how important blogging is for financial organizations (and every business, really):

Think about it: if all you’re doing is tweeting your Instagram photos and Facebooking your Pinterest boards, you’re not really getting anywhere. Think of a blog like a central hub; social media serves as the planes, trains, and automobiles that get readers to your building. If you only send members to content in other places, no one has a reason to visit you.

brass Magazine’s Winter 2013 issue is out, and I wrote about how important social media is to the job hunt, including strategies on how to use certain channels to help you when you’re looking for a new place to work :

We’ve all seen the social media fails resulting in fired employees. Obviously, cussing out the boss or posting pictures that would make grandma blush is a bad idea. But if you use it correctly, social media can be your stepping stone to a new (or better) job.

And while I’m on the topic of social media and financial organizations, brass Media’s third webinar is next week! Kayla Byers and I will be talking about how important Twitter can be for financial institutions, and different ways to use it.

I’ve also been taking a free online course from Google on how to use Analytics. Sign up and take it at your own leisure if you’re looking for some in-depth information on using Google Analytics. Also, if you’d really like a special certificate when you pass! I got mine today!

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My thoughts on #WhiteHouseIftar

At Racialicious, I give my thoughts about the #WhiteHouseIftar debate:

There are two ways of effecting change and they are both necessary. One way is working from the inside, as attendees of these events attempt, and another way is from the outside, by principled boycotts. Civil rights leaders use both of these tactics to advance dialogue and access to power structures; the American Muslim community must use both these tactics together to accomplish the same.

Read the whole thing here.

June at brass Media

May and June have really flown by–it’s hard to believe July is in just two weeks!

Time flies when you’re having fun, and I’ve been hard at work. Our first-ever webinar was a great success and I had a blast doing it, so I’m working on another one for July! Stay tuned for details about that.

Our latest whitepaper came out today! It talks about the importance of local businesses (particularly credit unions) getting involved with local schools, and has some excellent tips that will take you from sending your first email to presenting in the classroom. You can check it out here.

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And be sure to take a look at my blog post about social media best practices! It’s a great place to start if you’re trying to get your bearings on any social media network. Plus, I’ve been doing a monthly spotlight on credit unions with the best social media practices–check out the series here.