A journalist since 2003, Sam Eichblatt began her career at design and culture focused outlets such as HOME, Art Quarterly and Monocle Magazine. Her work now spans writing for design-focused publications such as Dwell and Curbed, to conceiving and producing a range of brand content for Alt Group, creative studio based in her native New Zealand, which also works globally. Sam explains that her passion for storytelling lies in finding a genuine, intriguing narrative by connecting with the people around it. "I’m interested in people, and I create content about subjects that interest me, but none of those subjects — architecture, design and food — exists outside of a broader context of community, society, culture or sustainability, so there are multiple themes and touch-points that spark connection with an audience."
As so much of Sam's editorial work took place around the design industry, she developed a knack for telling its stories to a broader audience. Landing a role at Alt Group, a creative agency in her native New Zealand, Sam was able to apply her journalistic background to the development of content strategy for the very brands she had been covering. Alt Group needed someone based in New York, who could write about architecture and design but also had a network of strong relationships.
As a result, Sam found her way into developing content strategies for brands in the design, architecture and food spaces. Sam brought a journalistic approach with an aim to uncover the distinctive voice behind every brand and by doing so to create content that is meaningful, honest and genuinely engaging. "As a journalist, I didn’t connect with people because they had status or could do something for me, I connected because they did interesting work and I wanted to shine a light on it, and people respond well to that."
Eichblatt's vast experience in editorial as well as content strategy has given her insight into what makes content marketing so important and why clients struggle with it. "Whether it’s an Instagram post or a billboard, clients need to be clear on what they need the content for before they commission it, and they need to be in control. This includes having fair contracts with content producers," Eichblatt said. “Some of the tools, technology and media I work with has changed, and the end product can be a website, a magazine or a short film, but the work of interpreting a brief and making something is exactly the same. And more often than not, I’m still writing ideas on a piece of paper!"
"The beauty of working with good people is that they just roll with it and turn unpredictability into gold."
With all the different media integrated into the variety of work she does, Eichblatt enjoys being out and about. "I love being out in the field, whether doing architectural site visits, interviewing chefs and independent food producers, or literally being out in a field, gathering firewood in the rain, like I was last weekend while producing a film for a chef client." It is a career that has taken her around the world including stints in some of the most vibrant cities like Auckland, London and currently New York. So how does Eichblatt find inspiration today? "People themselves are endlessly entertaining, interesting and impossible to pigeonhole. The world is rich with crazy stories."