Today we're so excited to highlight Krista Ulatowski, MPH, RDN! Krista's company, KUcumber Nutrition Communications, specializes in public relations, social media, marketing and communications for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, health and wellness professionals, and food and beverage companies.
She's also one of Healthy Bytes' marketing gurus, and we hope you find her as inspiring as we do!
Healthy Bytes: Hello Krista! Why did you get started in nutrition and become a dietitian?
Krista Ulatowski: Several years ago, I was on a fabulous gourmet food tour that wove through downtown Seattle. I was joined that day by my one and only wonderful mom; we dined on bites of duck, mussels, gelato and more, wrapping up the tour at the infamous Pike Brewing Company. Our tour guide at the brewery was a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Mom and I sipped on our IPAs, discussing my career path. She was well aware that I wasn’t thrilled with my day job as a “tech PR gal” and that I was looking to make my next move.
“You’re always reading about food and health. Why don’t you look into what it would take to go back to school and study nutrition?” she asked.
Yes. It was right there in front of me. There were many avenues that were open to dietitians; even perfecting the chemistry of brewing. I wanted to tie my communications career together with a new focus on health and wellness. I enrolled in my first chemistry course – one of many – the very next day.
It's inspiring that you found your passion and acted on it right away! We know you put a lot of careful planning in to all aspects of your business. What makes KUcumber Nutrition special?
I specialize in nutrition communications, food and beverage marketing, and social media. I am boutique firm – I am small enough to really be there for my clients. I love working with clients who are in “start-up” mode - it’s exciting to be creative on their behalf and carve a “marketing path to success.” I have more than 15 years of advertising and public relations agency experience, having worked on major grocery, healthcare, medical device, and food and beverage accounts. I have managed product launches, events and media.
What excites me most? Writing that creative, attention-grabbing pitch that gets results. Seeing my clients’ names in print. Helping my clients advance their businesses, whether that’s securing more clients for themselves, landing that golden speaking opportunity, reaching sales goals, and more.
As you're working with your clients, what tool do you rely on every day?
I’d be lost without my iPhone, although I admit I have one “old school” tool that I’d also be lost without: I’m still very much a “pen and paper calendar” kind of gal. My to-do list and all of my appointments are scribbled (I mean, written very neatly and in an organized manner) into my bright orange daily planner. It goes everywhere that I do! If it doesn’t get written down, it doesn’t happen!
Yeah, we feel the same way. Is there a specific piece of advice you'd give a new dietitian?
I’d encourage new RDNs to keep career options open – there are endless opportunities to venture out on your own if you have entrepreneurial blood in you! I’d also suggest joining the Nutrition Entrepreneurs dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to connect with like-minded dietitians. I’m biased, of course, as I am the organization’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, but I can’t say enough about the networking and business opportunities that group has afforded me.
Yes, that's a great group! What's the most fascinating thing you’ve learned as an RD?
That coffee is good for us! No, wait, coffee is bad for us! Kidding aside, the changing nature of dietetics and nutrition fascinates me. Let the chips fall where they may; I won’t be giving up my daily latté anytime soon.
What change you are excited about in the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I recently wrote a piece for Ventures (the Nutrition Entrepreneurs newsletter) entitled, “Rigatoni Bolognese, Please” – in which I highlighted how embracing our inner flexitarian can be used to our advantage. I personally thrive on helping other RDNs strive to establish, change or create stellar nutrition businesses; I also get giddy learning about new food products, new beverages, and new food and health technologies (such as Healthy Bytes) that arrive on the market daily!