We’ll admit it — we’re up for anything that’s aligned with living a healthy lifestyle.  From cold-pressed juices or the latest and greatest workout to a new running shoe – we’ll try most anything. But even we’ll confess, we were a bit skeptical about taking a new vitamin supplement. Hum Nutrition, however, got us humming a new tune.

Vitamins have always been a little ho hum if you ask us and, sure…we’ll say it — cookie cutter. There’s no personalization until now. What we liked about Hum Nutrition right out of the gate was the simple test you take that focuses on your lifestyle habits – what and how much you eat and drink, your level of activity, age, and even down to the amount of sunshine you soak in. Your test results are sent to a nutritionist who analyzes them and makes personalized recommendations from their stellar lineup of vitamins. Emily, our PR & Marketing Ninja, and her husband decided to give Hum Nutrition a try, and they have really been impressed with their products.

The nutritionists at Hum recommended OMG! Omega the Great; Here Comes the Sun (yes, we need more vitamin D, even here in Texas) and Arctic Repair for the couple. But it’s not just about the vitamins that are recommended for you, it’s their other offerings that are enticing too. For instance, you don’t have to have their über famous Red Carpet vitamin pack that gives you glowy skin and shiny hair. But hey, who doesn’t want that? Or, you can try their Skinny Bird that includes 7-Keto to increase fat burn and green tea to boost metabolism. We just finished the holidays and might have had an extra slice of cheesecake!

What we love about Hum Nutrition is their dedication to the cause. As you know, we here at Wellington Group Marketing & PR love supporting entrepreneurs. The two Hum founders uprooted their families from London and moved to the U.S. to pursue this supplement dream of theirs — and achieve it they have! Plus, their products are gluten free, non-GMO and are sustainably sourced to boot.  And did we mention their fabulous line-up of nutritionists? What’s not to love?! 

You might be thinking, “Yeah, but where’s the proof?” Emily passed on the Detox Cleanse to her sister who was feeling a bit sluggish after the holidays and a week later received this text: “I just wanted to tell you thank you for all of the vitamin stuff you gave me. My skin has cleared up, and I just feel a whole lot better!”

We look forward to seeing Hum Nutrition hum along for years to come!

 

 

Don’t let the cold weather put you in a workout slump! With songs by Neon Trees, Ellie Goulding and, of course, Beyoncé, our January playlist is guaranteed to get you movin’. Give it a listen on Spotify:

Our Vice President and Marketing Ninja, Emily, welcomed a healthy and happy baby girl into the world on Monday, November 10. Welcome to the team, Mara!

Valentines Day

Here at Wellington Group, we thoroughly believe that indulgence is healthy. So today, on this Valentine’s Day, we say – go for it! And, to take it to the next level, we’ve come up with some ways you can make this time of indulgence even healthier!

Whether you are celebrating love, friendship, or the single-life, here are some guilt-free (but still amazingly delicious! Valentine’s Day tricks and treats:

Dark Chocolate Is Your Friend!
Skip the milk chocolate and go dark. Not only is it a rich and delectable treat, but there are some incredible health benefits to match – including lowered blood pressure, improved cognitive function and a reduced risk of diabetes and cancer. Check out Austin’s own Amy’s Ice Creams’ dark chocolate covered strawberries. They are absolutely delicious and even come in an adorable pink egg carton! 

Scout Recipes for More Conscious Indulgence
Have fun searching for recipes that involve more nutritional value with the same great taste. Check out this recipe by I Quit Sugar for some yummy vegan chocolate mousse….coconut, cacao, chia seeds… mmmm. 

Think Outside The Box
If you’re looking for a creative way to celebrate with your hunny, try making a delicious breakfast for the two of you to share. From cutting up heart-shaped fruits to making your favorite strawberry or rasberry smoothie, anything can be turned into a romantic gesture, as long as you put some thought into it! Heart shaped eggs, anyone? 

Make That Candy Last
If you’re a sucker for candy (like we are), it might be difficult to resist downing the entire package of pink and red M&Ms or those delicious candy hearts that come out every February. We say splurge and eat those Hershey’s Kisses, but try saving them up to allow for longer enjoyment (without the tummy ache). Plan on having one a day to make the sweetness last all month long!

Have more guilt-free Valentine’s Day ideas? We’d love to hear ‘em!

xoxo

At Wellington Group, we like to think a huge key to success is organization. When you look around our office, you’re sure to find clean and tidy workspaces to help the WG ladies stay motivated and productive. Although we tend to utilize some traditional organization tactics, such as to-do lists, online task tracking systems and manageable desk folders, we also like to have fun with our organization. Here’s a look at some creative ways you can stay organized around the office:

Consider Colorful Calendars
Calendars are a must. After all, how are you supposed to keep track of your crazy hectic schedule? One thing that helps Rachel, our Marketing, PR & Social Media Coordinator, is Maybooks. These handy notebooks come in a variety of awesome colors and can even be customized. Nothing says organization like a calendar with your name on it. And the organization doesn’t stop there – Maybooks has a collection of budget journals, meal planners and more. The team even gave Dawn a personalized baby diary for baby Jackson! 

Control Your Cables
Lamps, phones and chargers lead to more cords than you might want. But with technology increasing more and more, there’s no way to NOT have those never-ending cords. If you can’t get rid of them, find a way to make them manageable. Look into investing in some organization cord boards or tools to control your cables. The Container Store offers many solutions including cord clips, zippers, wraps, bundlers and twisters – oh my! 

Add A Desk Structure
How many times have you not been able to see your physical desk because it’s covered in papers, folders, pens and paperclips? Yikes! Get your desk organized stat with fun desk structures, such as these super cute ones from Nannie Inez. The company sells unique and fun-to-look-at office organizers that we just can’t stop obsessing over. 

Love Your Label Maker
Remember in Friends, when Monica was strangely obsessed with her label maker? She found every excuse to use it because it was just that awesome. We get you, Monica. We label our files, folders, binders, and even our e-mails as specifically as possible. Believe us, it helps later down the road. 

Do you have any other creative organized tips? Leave us a comment and tell us how you stay organized.

[Image from MayDesign‘s Instagram Page]

Marketing Business Tips

There are so many aspects of the marketing and PR world to take into consideration when trying to accomplish your marketing goals as a business. Recognizing the amount of detail, strategy and the time that it takes to create an effective marketing campaign can sometimes be overlooked. While most initiatives often appear simple at first glance, there is much more going on behind the scenes. So, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak into some of those items so that you can bring about effective results in your business too!

  • Monitor, Monitor, Monitor: Knowledge is key to being proactive in the future. Have a team member or two take time daily to peruse trade-related headlines to report back to the team so you can stay up to date on the latest innovations and top stories that shape the industry you operate in. With this knowledge, you’ll be set up to appropriately react to new trends through your marketing efforts, host new conversations, and become thought leaders in your industry.
  • Make Blogging a Must: Blogging takes time, but it is so worth it. Not only does it increase your SEO ranking by pushing out fresh content regularly, but it also gives you a chance to position your company as the expert in your field. Come up with a regular posting schedule and make sure your topics speak to your potential new clients or customers.
  • Re-post Everywhere: Take advantage of every opportunity to get traffic to your website by using every outlet that you can to re-post content. In addition to the obvious social media outlets (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn), consider posting your content to sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon and Digg, so that you can expand your reach and help boost your search ranking.
  • Proactively Engage: If we had the exact formula for how to increase followership via social media, we’d be millionaires. However, there is a sure-fire way to get that number on a steady climb – engagement. In addition to reacting to those who reach out to your company via social media, try to reach out to key influencers, local businesses, and your existing and prospective customer base on a regular basis. Utilizing social monitoring platforms, such as SproutSocial, HootSuite or TweetDeck, make this process easier to manage.

Looking for more marketing advice? Check out our blog on How To Create An Effective Marketing Campaign.

Zilker Tree

Here at Wellington Group, “bright” is our middle name. So you can imagine how we get clap-your-hands giddy this time of year with all of the bright and beautiful lights that blanket our fair city of Austin. Here are some of our favorite bright spots for the holidays!

Trail of Lights
Going on now through December 22 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Zilker Park is the one, the only Trail of Lights. With free admission and local nightly performers, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go and visit this beloved Austin tradition. Oh, and don’t forget to hop across the street and partake in another Austin tradition – a spin under the Zilker Tree. 

37th Street Christmas Lights
You know you’ve made it when there’s a Wikipedia page about your Christmas tradition! And the homes on 37th Street at Guadalupe definitely deserve it. Keeping Austin weird during the holidays since the 1980’s, this row of houses is known for it’s quirky holiday decorations and lights. Get the friends and family in the car and ooohh and ahhhh at these creative takes on Christmas decorations.

The Four Seasons Hotel Lobby
Complimentary hot apple cider and cookies? A Dr. Seuss inspired gingerbread village? Where do we sign up? The Four Seasons Hotel Austin lobby is known for its one of a kind hand-crafted gingerbread villages complete with tiny twinkling lights. This year, it’s a Gingerbread Who-Village inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There is also a “Welcome to Who-ville” sign and a train. We think we just heard the Grinch’s heart grow two more sizes.

Holiday Lights & Ice at Barton Creek Spa & Resort
With Skating, s’mores, games, 200,000 twinkling lights and Austin’s largest outdoor skating rink, it’s the 4th Annual Holiday Lights & Ice event at Barton Creek Spa & Resort. The ice rink is open now through Monday, January 6. Plus, a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Central & South Texas, benefitting local children in need.

Do you have any other Austin holiday traditions? Let us know – we’d love to hear them!

Do you ever have days where you feel sluggish, unfocused and/or unproductive? And no, Sundays don’t count! We’ll admit, we’ve had those ‘rainy day’ indicators that make you wish you were in your bed watching Netflix all day. But what you may not realize is that these symptoms are typically due to lack of sleep, poor diet and/or lack of exercise.

So, if you’ve ever felt sluggish at work, there’s a big chance you were lacking in at least one of these three factors.

Our point? Health matters – and if you wish to lead a productive and efficient work life, as well as a balanced and fulfilling personal life, you’ve got to get your diet, exercise and sleep on track. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important!

The productivity, creativity and time lost when your dragging around the office far exceeds the time spent getting these three areas of your life together. Trust us, in the fast-paced and detail-oriented industry we’re in, it pays to be healthy. Getting the right sleep, diet and exercise will not only yield increased energy, productivity and concentration, but it will also help you manage stress levels and prevent sickness.

The WG ladies are so thankful that our superhero founder, Dawn, has been so encouraging and insistent that we make time for these three areas. Aside from the fact that she never missed a workout in the nine months that she was pregnant (such a rockstar!), she has been the perfect role model and communicator of the importance the sleep, diet and exercise trifecta.

So, how does our team maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle?

  • Gluten-free catering every Monday (because Mondays are hard enough, right?)
  • Flexibility in our work and lunch hours
  • A conference room that turns into a barre workout gym after hours
  • A quiet room with a comfy couch, perfect for a rejuvenating nap
  • Occasional team outings to Pure Barre Austin

Get in the healthy habit of quality sleep, quality food and quality exercise. They all work together to get you into a feel-good cycle that will bring noticeable results. Trust us – we’ve got well in our name!

 

Staying motivated at work

After a long day at the office, staying motivated to truly focus on your work can sometimes be difficult. Between countless meetings, calls and projects, it’s easy for our minds to shut off and start planning for the weekend. So, how do we remedy this problem? Here are a few tips on how you can stay motivated after those long, tiresome workdays:

Look good, feel even better
The first way to maintain your focus throughout the day is to have a good night’s sleep and a healthy and balanced breakfast in the morning. If you don’t start your day off right, you risk the chance of being unproductive throughout your workday. So try to mix up your morning routine – go for an early morning jog or whip up a healthy breakfast – we promise, you’ll notice a difference in productivity and you’ll feel great coming into the office.

Get organized—and stay organized
Although it sounds easy, staying organized at work can be a very difficult task. Sometimes you’re so focused on what needs to be done that you lose sight of how beneficial organization can truly be for your productivity. Start with something simple – allocate 10 minutes of your day making a to-do list of priority items that need to be completed for the following day. This will ensure that you start the next day off with a realistic list of what you can complete within your eight-hour block.

Brighten up your workspace
In our recent post, Bright Ideas for Your Office, we discuss how your office space has an astounding effect on employee productivity. Your office is where your employees should produce their best work, so having a dull, lackluster space doesn’t really provide positive or motivating vibes. Consider changing up your environment to really keep spirits high!

Think positively
With the weight of your business on your shoulders, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. Staying motivated requires that you think positively even in the most difficult moments. You’ll face hurdles in your work, but it’s important to keep a positive outlook on the situation. Eliminate “can’t” and “impossible” from your dictionary! Positivity will increase motivation and will help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

Need more bright ideas? Check out a previous post from our friends at Far West Capital about How To Inspire Your Employees.

What are your tips on keeping your employees focused and motivated?

Importance of revisions

In your day-to-day, it’s easy to get caught up in the quick texts, short emails, and tiny tweets. And as this plethora of colloquial language that we have been pushed into using begins to saturate our lives (and of course, at times, making it easier), proper grammar, punctuation and phrasing is getting pushed out of the picture – even in the most formal of settings.

Today, we come to you asking for one thing – check yourself. Whether it’s a press release, a Facebook post or an email marketing campaign, remember that using the English language professionally and appropriately is still expected and assists with maintaining a positive brand identity.

Now, we know it’s easy to move too fast – life today, with all of its technology and gadgets and social networking, is moving at lightening speed. So, we recommend always having a second set of eyes on your work. Even if you’re pressed for time and feel the rush to publish your work, don’t let the time crunch stop you from revising your writing. Remember, it takes more time to fix your mistake after publication than it does beforehand.

At Wellington Group, we typically go through 3-4 rounds of revisions with the team before going live with content. Having another set of eyes to look over your work can be extremely helpful. It’s part of being team-focused and team-driven, and it ensures your reputation is always intact!

After all, we don’t want this happening to you…

 

It’s that time of the year when tricks, treats, trends and pumpkin spice lattes take over. This can only mean one thing: Halloween! Commonly known as “the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it,” to quote Mean Girls. This year, that may be true, especially since “Miley Cyrus costume” is making the ranks as the 2nd most popular Google search. Surprise, surprise, our previous question regarding Miley’s publicity has been answered: there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Aside from the obvious trend in wrecking balls, teddy bears and foam fingers, what else can we expect to see when trick-or-treaters take to the streets? We’ll probably see our fair share of witches, cats, pirates, etc., but as a marketing and PR firm, we’re more intrigued by the creative and innovative Halloween costumes that people come up with.

An easy (yet trendy) outfit we foresee being a hit? We’ll give you a hint: what does the fox say?

We’ve already covered this trend in a previous blog post, and are pretty sure we’ll see some foxes breaking out in song and dance this Halloween. Maybe we’ll finally be able to answer that infamous question…

Another trendy costume for 2013: the little yellow Minions from Despicable Me. Whether you get your adorable minion costume from a store or DIY – please, keep it G rated.

We’ve covered movie caricatures and viral videos – but our list would not be complete without TV-inspired costumes from popular shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Duck Dynasty. Yes, whether you wish to channel your inner Walter White, Khaleesi or Willie Robertson, there’s a costume for that – along with 10 DIYs from YouTube to assist you with the project.

Whatever it is you decide to be for Halloween – don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Word on the street is that the most unique costumes get extra candy… but don’t quote us on that. Also, don’t neglect your furry friends! They want to be a part of the festivities too (yes, pet costumes are trending!).

So sit down with that pumpkin spice latte and let your creative juices flow! Use the web and do some research for costume ideas. We’d love to see what you come up with!

 

Developing-Updating-Logo

So, you’re starting a company and need a logo. Or maybe your company is ready for a branding overhaul, which includes a new or improved logo. Whatever the reason, if you want to elevate your business and get noticed, logo development isn’t just about creating a pretty visual. Your logo needs to be designed to reflect your company’s purpose and passion. From your font selection to your color choice, everything should communicate your brand’s overall position and resonate clearly with your customers.

Here are some quick tips on how to work with a designer to accomplish this:

  • Do the Research: Make sure both you and your designer really delve into what your brand is doing and where you want it to go. Pull images, patterns and graphics that inspire you, and really do some serious market research before diving in. With full knowledge of your industry, competition, and your target market, your logo will truly resonate with your customer on a deeper, conceptual level.
  • Focus on the Details: Choosing the right typeface for your brand is central to a solid logo design. It should be a strong and timeless font, rather than something gimmicky. The logo should also work well in black and white, as well as in color. Keep in mind that different colors convey different emotions, so work with your designer to develop a palette that evokes the emotions you want your customer to feel in association with your brand. Remember, people make purchasing decisions emotionally.
  • Keep it Clean & Simple: Look at any superfluous elements, and subtract anything that doesn’t truly need to be there.  When your logo design is at its simplest, it’s probably at its strongest.
  • Think About Function: Ensure you have a version of your logo in vector format so that it won’t become distorted when enlarged. Make sure that it’s legible and retains its strength when shrunken down as well. You should receive stacked, vertical, and inverted versions of your logo, as well as a limited selection of color variations that will allow for it to display properly on a variety of backgrounds.
  • Prepare Guidelines: After testing your logo to make sure it works across various platforms and that people truly understand what you’re trying to convey, you’re ready for launch. At that point, your designer should provide you with a formal style guide that displays how the logo may and not be used. This guide will dictate your colors in CMYK, RGB and Pantone formats, as well as provide guidelines on the positioning and appropriate spacing for the logo. These rules are important to set into place and enforce as you work with new employees, vendors, and print shops throughout your company’s lifetime.

Need to create or update your logo? We’d love to help! Contact dawn@wellingtongrouppr.com today to get started.

While we’re busy creating bright ideas for your business, we’re also focusing on how we can brighten up our own. Aside from drafting up clever tweets or brainstorming charming, yet useful tips for our monthly newsletter, it’s important to us that we also reflect the Wellington Group personality with branding represented throughout our quaint, yet quirky office.

Branding a workspace is often lowest on the totem pole in terms of spending priorities for business owners. With overhead costs, employee benefits, and larger, outward-facing marketing initiatives, why spend the money on perfecting the aesthetics of the office for internal, employee use?

We can think of two big reasons – employee productivity and client perception.

Client Perception:
Whether you like it or not, a company’s workspace is a reflection of its personality and ideals. Your space often offers the first impression for many of your clients of what your company is about. And if not the first, then it certainly validates or invalidates the perception of your brand that they walked through the door with. Ideally, the look and feel of your space will only serve to elevate it.

The best approach is to extend your branding throughout all mediums, including sight, sound, and smell (yes, smell). When someone walks in the door, do they feel hipper, smarter, calmer, happier, more excited, or more composed? Does that emotion reflect how you want your brand to be perceived?

What do they hear when they enter the space? Are they welcomed by the laughter that fills the room by your employees, or the silence of serious, diligent workers? Do they smell the flowers you left in the vase at the door, smoky Texas cedar, or today’s lunch from the kitchen? Are your vibrant colors and patterns, your subdued simplistic nature, or your feeling of home reflected on the walls and in the furnishings?

All of these things come together to tell your story. And there’s no better place to represent it – proudly, might we add – than your very own HQ.

Employee Productivity
Not only does branding your space make a lasting impression on your visitors, but it also pushes your employees to grow and produce their best work in an environment that reflects the personality of the business.

Having an office space that reflects your brand’s personality will attract employees that better fit your core values and lifestyle. That’s a huge plus! A lackluster, brandless environment might deter some top contenders during the interview process and beyond.

In addition, your employees chose to work at your company for a reason. They had to have bought into your branding and aligned themselves with your vision in some way when they signed on. By reflecting your brand identity in their day-to-day office environment, you will inevitably increase productivity and morale — they will be excited, inspired and proud of where they go to work 40+ hours each week.

Is it time to consider a little redecorating? If so, no need to fear! You can make these changes over time. This process should be fun and inspiring – not stressful.

In the mean time, over here at Wellington Group, we are truly enjoying our office décor and are proud to show it off to our many visitors—thanks to Chelsea + Remy Design for helping us turn our vision into a reality!

Still need inspiration? Check out photography of our space below, compliments of Olympia Sobande of Korey Howell Photography:

Wellington Group welcomes Nataly Torres as our new fall intern, and we couldn’t be happier to add her to our team! We strongly believe in mentoring students who are interested in entering the PR and marketing world, and we are excited to have her working with us. Nataly joins our summer intern, Elizabeth, who will also be staying on through the fall. We are thrilled to have these two awesome interns in our office this semester!

Fall Interns

Nataly Torres

Nataly is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Journalism with a certification in Businesss Foundations. She was born in Chicago, but still considers herself to be a true Texan at heart. In her spare time, she is busy looking for the best eateries and coffee shops that Austin has to offer. If you meet Nataly, you’ll soon realize that she bleeds an unhealthy amount of burnt orange and is obsessed with her Australian Shepard mix, Andy. She joins Wellington Group after having interned at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. She is excited about joining the team and is looking forward to the adventure that lies ahead.

Walker LukensAustin singer-songwriter, Walker Lukens, knows in our modern world of music, relying on album sales is no longer realistic. With YouTube acting as the new radio (and television for that matter), utilizing video as a sales and brand awareness tool was absolutely imperative to advertising the release of one of his singles, ‘Dear Someone.’

Taking this knowledge to heart, Lukens decided to bring it to the next level. How could he fight the highly saturated viral video market? He began with one innovative idea and found the resources to turn that idea into a reality.

With the help of his former ESL student and Japanese director, Tetsuo Kamata, as well as our very own Annie Gerson, countless hours were spent taking more than 300 polaroids (and hundreds more pictures of those polaroids) in order to bring them to life using a stop-motion videography technique. The video ultimately released on Mashable.com and has gone viral, now with more than 20,000 views on YouTube and approximately 5,000 article shares! To view the video, click here.

How can you do the same?

  1. Start with taking some time to think of a unique ideas. What’s not being done in your industry? What can you teach or showcase behind the scenes? What story do you have to tell? 
  2. Find people within your network to help you put all the pieces in play – location, staffing, script and filmmaker (a flip cam by your administrative assistant is okay!)
  3. Post the video to a major video-sharing site, such as YouTube or Vimeo.  
  4. Enlist Wellington Group’s help to pitch the video to major media outlets and blogs to jumpstart your video’s popularity.
  5. Share on your own social networks so all can see you rolling around in the money and fame!
What is your favorite viral video? Click HERE to see some of the latest videos that have gone viral.