latest news and notes from dovetail


from founder and ceo andy boian: investing in the future

The “dovetailing” of a smart relationship development strategy and a highly effective public relations/brand outline is a new concept to the world of public relations. dovetail solutions has made that nexus the essence of our work. However, it only works if a company gives back to its community by providing an example and investing in next generation leadership.   

Interacting with young professionals in a variety of ways, the firm most recently welcomed a student from the University of Colorado into the office as a part of the PRSA Student Shadow Day. The opportunity to mentor a next generation worker was rewarding and enjoyable for all of the dovetail team, as the student was able to sit in on client calls and network with PR professionals.

I have also had the pleasure of visiting various Denver high schools as a part of the PRSA Junior Achievement program, connecting executives to students in the classroom. Following a discussion of the PR profession and my own career, students asked a wide range of questions, many of which pertained to crisis management for clients. I found great value in seeing students take diverse interests in a broad range of topics and clients.  

The internship program at dovetail provides young professionals with hands-on experience in client relations and provides them with exposure to the processes of a thriving and active office space. This real world experience is invaluable to developing future leaders. As we all started out as aspiring professionals, it is an honor to invest in guiding these upcoming leaders on their professional journeys.

dovetail solutions brings you guest blogger Cara Crifasi


Cara Crifasi, Board President, PRSA ColoradoIn Colorado we are lucky to have such a strong and inspiring public relations and communications community. Our talent is vast and spans agencies, corporations, independent practitioners, nonprofits and government agencies. Every May, PRSA Colorado celebrates the passion, dedication and creativity poured into the extraordinary work executed and planned the previous year with the Gold Pick Awards.  

Looking back on what you achieved is a humbling and proud moment, for sometimes you do not truly realize the magnitude of something you breathed and lived until you reflect and analyze. Preparing that campaign summary always gave my team and me a moment of pause – we did not truly see how extraordinary our work was until we captured its story and dug into the results. I hope the process is similar for you and your teams. If you have never submitted your work for an award, I urge you to start thinking today about doing it. What am I doing in 2015 that is extraordinary? What am I doing today that will win a Gold Pick or a PRSA Silver Anvil in 2016?

Not only does PRSA Colorado honor campaigns and components, but it also awards individuals and teams that continue to inspire us, lead us and make us better professionals as well as strengthen our profession itself by their influence and action. For me the PRSA Colorado Gold Pick Awards ceremony is a special evening. It’s one night where we get to be one community. One night where we get to celebrate together. One night where we are collectively inspired. One night where we can be proud of both our achievements and those of our friends and colleagues.  

Continue doing amazing things. Celebrate the big and small wins, and once the work is done or a campaign is executed, remember all the fun, the hard work, the challenges and the goals met and exceeded. Doing so creates an intrinsic reward and reveals all you accomplished.  

Learn more about the awards and this year’s Gold Pick Winners.


Do you Emergenetics?

Emergenetics is rooted in the concept that who you are today is the emergence of your behavior, genetic makeup and life experiences. Emergenetics provides a clear way to understand this intersection of nature and nurture through the Emergenetics Profile, built on four Thinking Attributes and three Behavioral Attributes that every person exhibits. The Emergenetics Profile is designed from a psychometric foundation to give each of us an in-depth knowledge of our unique makeup, and provides an understanding of the person that we are. What sets Emergenetics apart is that it is a tool that can be combined with other tools to enhance your understanding of who you are as a person.

 Now you are a bit more in the know. I had the pleasure of being introduced to Emergenetics in July 2007. In fact, it’s how I got my job in Denver and relocated here from sunny San Diego. I applied for a job with The McLaughlin Company, was emailed a link, clicked on it and answered 20 questions the best way I knew how. From that, came my individualized profile, and I couldn’t believe how accurately it painted a picture of me. Peter McLaughlin, the Founder and CEO, followed up with a debrief of my profile and a “You’re hired. When can you start?”

I am a tri-modal brain, meaning I have a preference* in 3 of the 4 thinking attributes (finally my fast pace and the value of my theoretical thinking has been explained), and I am categorized as “third-third” in each of the behaviors (hence my talkative, determined and affable style). *Emergenetics is about preferences not competency or ability.

This past November we said goodbye for now to Peter, and in his memory I was grateful to have the chance to officially obtain my Emergenetics certification earlier this month. Through a three-day training, I not only learned the theory behind the Emergenetics model but also applied the theory through mathematical equations, exercises and bursts of learning opportunities.

I have no doubt that I will constantly use Emergenetics as a team building tool, a way to personally communicate and to share the model with each and every person I come across.

For more info click here or email.


a new kind of english

In the fall of 2013, I had the incredible experience of taking a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia. Aside from enjoying breathtaking views and learning about vegemite, I also gained a professional development opportunity in an unexpected place. One morning, I was speaking with a classmate who said, “Let’s grab brekkie before uni this avro.” Not wanting to look foolish to my new, cultured friend, I instinctively smiled and agreed.

It wasn’t until we were seated at a cafe enjoying the local fare, when I finally understood the meaning of what my classmate had said: Let’s grab breakfast before school this afternoon. The local slang and his unique accent had really thrown me for a loop.

This and a few other frustrating and often humbling experiences revealed that, in fact, cultural difference is just one example of what can complicate communication. Colloquialism and circumstance can cause a great deal of misunderstanding, even between the most tight-knit circles.

Therefore, the ability to communicate effectively in all areas of life becomes even more valuable. As I embark on my journey into the world of professional public relations, I appreciate the power of genuine interactions.

But how to apply this every day? I now have profound appreciation for those who took the time to help me understand. As a consequence, I pay it forward to those around me by asking questions and encouraging follow-up with any opinions or concerns.

Professionals may find it useful to navigate potentially confusing situations with clients or colleagues by asking questions, as well as clarifying concepts and deadlines. Sometimes, however, even the best follow-up in the world cannot overcome confusion. When in doubt, a good old-fashioned face-to-face meeting may ultimately be the only answer. At the very least, if you’re ever in Australia, it could save you from the devastating impact of ordering French fries without “tomato sauce.” 


dovetail solutions brings you guest blogger Shepard Nevel

Shepard Nevel, President and CEO, LiveWell Colorado

This is the time of year that many New Year’s resolutions begin to drop off. I’ve certainly dropped a couple myself. The Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Bachman refers to it as the “February dip.”

The good news is that there are practical lessons to help sustain resolutions, which apply as readily to the workplace as they do at home. 

Bachman advises that a positive new habit should be “realistic enough to be reachable but challenging enough to be worthwhile.”   

Similarly, Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project, provides several tips for sustaining resolutions that include not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, and thinking both “big and small!”   

At LiveWell Colorado, we’re privileged to think big and small to combat the epidemic of obesity and make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. Examples include improving access to healthier and more affordable food for all Coloradans, expanding pedestrian- and biking-friendly opportunities, increasing our kids’ level of physical activity from a mediocre 24th nationally to best in nation, and advancing worksite wellness. With 22 locally led coalitions throughout the state and active partnerships with 98 school districts and 34 cities and towns, LiveWell Colorado aims “big” by improving wellness for more than one million Coloradans through these efforts and a focus on environmental and policy changes. But we think “small” by recognizing that wellness also depends on the commitment of every individual, family and business, often with one achievable but meaningful step at a time. 

Charles Duhig, in Power of Habit, shares the now legendary story of Paul O’Neill when he was selected as the new CEO of the giant but struggling Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). At his first meet and greet with investors and stock analysts, O’Neill stunned and worried the seasoned audience; failing to even mention the word “profits” or suggesting any of the typical strategies for achieving a turnaround, he focused his remarks exclusively on worker safety. Many investors in the room rushed to inform their largest clients to sell their stock. Yet, within one year, Alcoa’s profits would hit a new high and within three years, the company’s net income increased by 500 percent. So how did O’Neill do it? Writes Duhig, “by attacking one habit and then watching the changes ripple through the organization.” 

Attacking one habit. What can work with individual behavior, and more broadly with a large organization, can catalyze even bigger change. “Movements don’t emerge because everyone suddenly decides to face the same direction at once,” writes Duhig. “They rely on social patterns that begin as the habits of friendship, grow through the habits of communities and are sustained by new habits that change participants’ sense of self.”