latest news and notes from dovetail

Wednesday
Jan272016

making 2016 our best year yet!

Over the holidays, many of us have time to relax and reflect or spend time with loved ones, which helps to put the challenges of our daily lives into perspective. Then suddenly, the new year starts up again, and we’re back to the daily grind! After a few quick, crowded trips to the gym to dust off that membership and a few days of hitting the snooze button, we blink and we’re already a fraction of the way through the new year.

That’s usually about the time when the New Year’s resolutions start to get forgotten, too. Did you know that January 17 has been designated “Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day” because it is the most common date to give up on them? Only 40 percent of resolutions are still successful after six months, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania. That opportunity to start fresh can be quickly overlooked!

This year I’m trying a different approach – I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions. Instead I’m working on a few sustainable, achievable goals and intentions. Here is a compilation of ideas for how to keep the momentum going throughout the year:  

  1. Aim for intentions instead of resolutions! The word “intention” has an inherently positive connotation rather than the negative connotation attached to fixing a problem or conflict with a resolution. Make an ongoing effort to strive for positive motivation and momentum this year.
  2. Make it simple. Choose just one word to focus on. Check out #OneWord365 or this article for inspiration and instructions.
  3. Hold yourself accountable by making it public. Tell family, tell friends, tell coworkers or post it on social media!
  4. Schedule periodic check-ins to keep yourself on track. Rather than using technology to procrastinate in 2016, use one of these goal-tracking and habit-forming apps to help you out. Whether it is monthly, quarterly or on summer vacation, set a reminder to follow-up!
  5. Encourage yourself to stick with your intentions by rewarding yourself for incremental milestones. 

Wishing you all a fantastic 2016 from dovetail solutions!

Wednesday
Dec162015

it's that time of year...

With fall lingering so sweetly behind and winter starting its full swing, the NFL is the forefront of conversations everywhere. Now that each team has had its fair share of games, let's talk Super Bowl predictions.

Since dovetail solutions is based in Denver, we will go ahead and start with our home team – the Denver Broncos. And hey, why wouldn’t we as they recently came away with a win against the then-undefeated New England Patriots. With that, the Broncos are now on the hunt for a bye and home field advantage.

PS – our COO, Emily Holleran, attended that Sunday Night Game and is a huge Broncos fan. She described it as “magical, snowing, electric and the ultimate defeat of the season.” Go Brrrrrr-oncos!

So, who has the best chance to win it all? Which team can really win Super Bowl 50? Let’s talk some research and analysis. Adam Stein, NFL Media columnist, explains.

“This is an exciting year with so many teams still alive. Fans of the Texans and Colts can still daydream about Wild Card Weekend and in theory, if there was ever a year for teams to get hot in December and ride momentum to Super Bowl Sunday, it'd be this one. The competition in the middle makes the NFL great this season. Understand, as a backdrop, I think the Patriots will hoist the Lombardi Trophy and I would be stunned if they weren't in Santa Clara the first week of February. Thus, talented AFC teams might be ranked a bit lower than you'd expect.”

Here is Adam’s ranking of the nine teams most likely to win Super Bowl 50 which, by the way, isn’t a current power ranking.
1) New England Patriots
2) Carolina Panthers
3) Arizona Cardinals
4) Minnesota Vikings
5) Green Bay Packers
6) Denver Broncos
7) Cincinnati Bengals
8) Pittsburgh Steelers
9) Seattle Seahawks

So, there you have it. Now it's time for our team to make their Super Bowl 50 predictions:
Andy: Patriots/Panthers (Panthers)
Mary: Patriots/Packers (Packers)
Emily: Broncos/Panthers (Broncos)
Alex: Patriots/Panthers (Patriots)
Marissa: Broncos/Panthers (Broncos)
James: Patriots/Packers (Packers)
Shannon: Broncos/Panthers (Broncos)

And we shall close with this... “I wouldn’t have a single touchdown without someone to catch it, and someone to block for it, and someone to call it, and someone to celebrate it with.” –Peyton Manning

Wednesday
Nov112015

making community investment a year-round focus

By Rachell Buell, Client Services

As we dive head-first into the holiday season, it is common to see an outpouring of generosity, volunteering and support from individuals and organizations within the community. This time of year is also known as the season of giving – a time to help those less fortunate than ourselves as a sign of good will toward men (and women). A study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative shows that more than half of surveyed charities reported receiving between 25 to 50 percent or more of their annual contributions in the last three months of the year. But what if there was a way to impact our communities at times other than just this season? What if there was a way to positively affect our communities in ways besides those of monetary donations? There is.

Community nonprofits and charities are year-round operations that must rely heavily on a 3-month chunk of time that inspires volunteers and supporters to get involved. But on January 1, there are still bellies needing food, people needing healthcare and animals needing rescue. If collectively as a community, we made a conscious effort to support these causes and the organizations that address them throughout the year, what kind of changes would we see on their impact within their realms of influence as well as the state of our own communities? I would argue this change would be tremendous and noticeable. So, how can you or your business embrace the spirit of giving throughout the year? Here are a few tips to make it happen.

  1. Identify Your Passion
    Of course, we all can agree that children, the homeless and veterans need our support. Still, the most impactful community investment comes from a deep and personal connection to the organization or group it serves. What the passion element adds to your community investment efforts is a natural motivation to participate, which will boost your involvement and therefore have a greater impact on the organization. If everyone were to support the organizations that speak to their passions, just imagine the powerful influence that would materialize on the community.  
  2. Give What You Have 
    Not everyone has wads of discretionary cash lying around to donate generously to the organizations they wish to support. Does this mean that you can’t help in a meaningful way? Absolutely not. Charitable community organizations are in constant need of volunteers and non-monetary donations to support their efforts. In fact, by giving of non-monetary support (pro bono professional services, volunteering or unused item donation), you are likely to see a more visible, immediate impact from your contributions. Much like selecting an organization that speaks to your passions, this will also have a significant effect on your motivation to participate, and may inspire you to participate even more. 
  3. Make it a Priority
    Similar to adopting any new habit, if you’re not already conditioned to do regular community investment, at first the effort must be a bit more prescribed. By blocking off a certain amount of time each month to devote to your community investment efforts, you’ll get on the right track to cementing the good habit. Once you’ve established the habit of regular community investment, making time for the effort will become second nature and you’ll become not only a greater resource for the cause or organization you serve but also more likely to recruit others to join you.  
Wednesday
Oct072015

from working girl to working mom

As I gear up for my maternity leave and reflect on the past nine months, I realize what a unique experience pregnancy is in the workplace. I wanted to take some time to share a few tricks I’ve learned along the way. Here are my top 10 tips for a productive pregnancy and smooth transition into maternity leave:

  1. In today’s age of social media, be thoughtful about when and how you make the announcement to family, friends and colleagues. The last thing you want is for the office, and especially your boss, to find out your exciting news by reading it online. Out of respect for those in the workplace, use discretion and think through how and when to make the announcement.
  2. Be conscious of the impact on your energy level. I found that maintaining my exercise regimen was not only a great way to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but it dramatically helped to keep me going throughout the workday. If you feel the all-too-common symptom of fatigue coming on, go for a quick walk during your lunch break.
  3. Be strategic about your doctor visits. Sometimes it may feel like keeping up with all of the medical appointments and tests is a full-time job of its own. Your doctor will be a key partner for you during this journey, so find an office that has flexible hours and is willing to accommodate your schedule as much as possible. By scheduling the first appointment in the mornings, the doctor is less likely to be running behind. You can also use the time in the waiting room to check emails and focus on light work. 
  4. Remember to take care of yourself. In the midst of deadlines and client work, it can be easy to forget that you also have a responsibility to your health. If you need support from colleagues at times, ask for it! They would much prefer helping you out now than having you suffer from any serious medical concerns and needing to take extended time out of the office.
  5. Copy, copy, copy! In the weeks leading up to your maternity leave, make sure all relevant team members are copied on every email you send out. As much as we try to plan ahead, the baby’s arrival may come at an unexpected time. Make sure that no item goes unseen and unfulfilled simply because you were the only one in the office aware of it.
  6. As your maternity leave draws near, be realistic about the number of projects you can finish and spend the remainder of your time planning closely with your team members to ensure a smooth transition. Your team will appreciate that unfinished work does not have to be handed off, and you won’t be rushing to finish items at the last minute.
  7. Prepare a maternity leave handbook for your team members to reference while you’re away. I created a document containing all of my client and internal responsibilities, and provided background, recommended next steps and any other necessary information for each. Not only will this make the transition into my maternity leave easier on my teammates, but it also was a good way for me to keep organized and think through all of the information I needed to share prior to my departure.
  8. Plan ahead for your time away and your return. There may be times that the office needs to ask for information while you’re on maternity leave. Discuss upfront how they should communicate with you during this time so that they can receive a timely response. Also discuss what the arrangements will look like when you return to work. This will help alleviate any stress you may feel as your leave winds down, and will set you up to be as productive as possible for the team as you ramp back up. 
  9. Remember that while this may be a hectic time for you…the business world stops for no woman (or baby). While this doesn’t mean that your colleagues and clients aren’t excited for you, it’s not fair to them to have to pick up your slack if you let your personal adjustments interfere with your work performance.
  10. Most importantly…don’t forget to say “thank you!” Many women, unfortunately, do not have the luxury of enjoying maternity leave. For those fortunate few of us, remember that this special time with your family is a generous gift, and others in the workplace are making sacrifices and taking on extra work so that you can benefit from it. Be gracious as you go out on maternity leave, and make a gracious return by reminding the team how appreciative you are of their support. A simple word of thanks can go a long way!
Tuesday
Sep082015

meet Shannon Hughes, dovetail's newest intern!

Hello, everyone! My name is Shannon and I am the new dovetail solutions intern for Fall 2015. I studied communication studies, marketing and French at the University of Denver as an undergraduate student. Not yet ready to join the “real world,” I decided to pursue my master’s degree in strategic communications, also at the University of Denver. I’ve had other internships in the past that have given me some insight into what PR work might be like, but this is my first time at an agency. I’m excited to learn everything this internship has to offer! 

At my initial interview I just got a good feeling about the company. I could tell people were earnest about the work they did, and that this internship wouldn’t be filled with coffee runs and useless tasks. That was so important for me to know because I wanted an internship where I could learn the ins and outs of PR work and actually gain experience. From my first day, that has proven to be the case. I’ve jumped right into client work and everyone has been incredibly helpful in getting me up to speed on the clients and projects we’re working on. Not only have I liked the work I’m doing, but I’ve also enjoyed getting to know everyone at the office. It’s a fun atmosphere where everyone genuinely enjoys each other’s company. I’ve listened to so many of my friends complain about their jobs and the people they work with, that I can appreciate the environment at dovetail. It’s a great place to be, both for helping me with my career and for showing me that work can be fun! 

Although it’s early on in my internship, there are certain things I hope to achieve. I’m looking forward to becoming even more involved with client work and being able to provide clients with the resources and materials they need to succeed. Any work that I can contribute, no matter how big or small, is invaluable to me. I just want to learn everything there is and how to be the best PR professional that I can be. I know I’m in the right place to learn that, and I can’t wait for this adventure to continue!