My 5 Favorite Things: Stephanie Dunn

By Shayne Benowitz

How did Stephanie Dunn land her gig as the Director of New Media for the ever-on-trend TARA, Ink. public relations firm? She was discovered by her boss on Twitter last fall and officially joined the team in October 2011. The Miami-born, Palm Beach-raised auburn haired beauty was working as a freelance writer covering everything from luxury South Florida hotels to award-winning children’s books and even writing lifestyle articles for various magazines. Solidifying her status as a force in Miami’s social media scene, she recently spoke on a panel at Social Media Week in February. Here, she shares with Société Perrier the perks of tweeting for TARA, Ink., her favorite local trend and how she unplugs.

1. Favorites on Twitter: Recently, James Deen has been cracking me up. He’s this wholesome-looking 26-year-old who also happens to be a porn star! For the best Miami scoop, I have to give it to Billy Corben. He either doesn’t sleep or tweets telekinetically. For social media trends, you can’t go wrong with Mashable, and for addictive, time-wasting tweets, PaperMag.com is the best.

2. Favorite Perks of Tweeting for TARA, Ink.: Organizing tweetups, live-tweeting events, and staying on top of cultural trends. Miami tweetups are in a class of their own. Much like everything else in this city, they’re an excuse to party. Themes range from poolside trunk shows at the Shelborne South Beach to cocktails and networking at the Mandarin Oriental. Live-tweeting events always secures you the best seat in the house, whether it’s front row at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim or the best table at the most buzzed-about new restaurant. When you’re monitoring social media for hours at a time, you watch news break and develop. You’re always in the know. You basically become a cocktail conversation savant.

3. Favorite Miami Trend: Miami is catching up to cities like New York and L.A. in terms of pop-ups — pop-up restaurants, pop-up bars, pop-up fashion boutiques, pop-up nail bars, pop-up art galleries, even a pop-up public park. I’m hoping this trend explodes even more in the coming year because the experience is always better when you know they’re going to disappear in a few months. They’re like flings for foodies and fashionistas.

4. Favorite Sunday Ritual: In the morning, I take my rescue mutt Marty McFly to Blanche Dog Park in Coconut Grove. Afternoon brunch is a must, and I hardly stray from Eating House. I’ve developed a borderline perverse addiction to their Cap’n Crunch Pancakes, their candied bacon, and their jar of s’mores. In the evening, I transform my kitchen into a disaster area cooking healthy food for the week — usually something containing an obscene amount of kale — to atone for the weekend’s culinary sins. Come nighttime, it’s just me and whatever book I’m reading. No phone, no computer. That’s my rule. Sometimes you just need to unplug.

5. Favorite Local Escape: Stiltsville. If you’re looking to escape anything, a house built in the middle of the ocean is a good start. My friend is one of the seven remaining leaseholders (his grandfather built the A-frame house back in the early ’60s), so whenever I need to disappear for awhile, I can always boat a mile offshore to the edge of Biscayne Bay and spend a night surrounded by nothing but water.