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#IPRocksNASA: Recap

Filed Under (integratePR, IPR Events) by integratePR on 15-07-2014

So, did you follow along?

A scrubbed launch, rocket scientists, private tours and social media were some of the components of my out-of-this-world experience with NASA for their launch of the OCO-2 last week at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB). The OCO-2 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2) is NASA’s first space launch dedicated to studying carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Integrate was chosen as one of 70 credentialed social media experts (out of more than 500 applicants and the only Houston representative!) to cover the launch for NASA. Over the recent years and on trend with other larger companies and corporations, NASA has begun to include social media, alongside traditional media outlets, in their space launches through #NASAsocial programs. We (the #NASAsocial team) were chosen to attend the event because of the reach of our respective social media platforms and we were asked to share the experience in each of our unique voices to our audiences. My group of peers for the OCO-2 was well represented and well balanced: space experts, teachers, students, environmentalists, photographers, other social media experts and more joined me on the adventure. (The excitement of the launch and social media was not limited to just VAFB, local Houston news station, the CW, wanted more of the details, too!)

My role as a social media representative was to document the launch and everything that goes with it in real-time through the Integrate social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, an IPRocksNASA Tumblr created specifically for the event and here, our blog! The experience included a press conference with the OCO-2 team that was also broadcasted live on NASA TV and Ustream. Our speakers included NASA’s social media manager, program scientists for OCO-2, launch decision authority, project manager, project architect and more. They answered our questions- ranging from social media to data from OCO-2 to the actual launch and everything in between. We then headed off on a behind-the-scenes tour of Vandenberg Air Force Base, which included stops at a couple Space Launch Complexes (launch sites), Vandenberg Heritage Center (on-site museum with artifacts from launches past) and a final stop and photo opp at the Space Launch Complex 2, the site of the OCO-2 launch pad. 

#NASAsocial team at the Space Launch Complex for the OCO-2 and Delta II launch, just hours before first launch attempt! Photo c/o of NASA

The launch itself:
Why #2? The original OCO was launched in 2009 but the launch vehicle’s payload failed to separate from the observatory during launch, resulting in a failed mission. Talk about pressure for OCO-2! The OCO-2 launch (on a Delta II rocket) had a :30 second window in which it could launch to join the designated orbit, A-Train. On the scheduled date/time of launch, 2:56 PST on Tuesday, July 1, with T-:46 seconds to go, the timer was held. There was an issue with the water pressure, which provided sound suppression to protect the pad during liftoff, so the timer was held, the :30 second window passed and unfortunately the launch was “scrubbed” for the night. Although very disappointing, it is amazing to look back at our Twitter and the #NASAsocial Twitter feeds to see the different pre-launch updates and reactions to a scrubbed launch. Attempt 2 was the following morning at the same time and thanks to Integrate’s fearless leader, I was able to stay for what was a successful launch; the OCO-2 is currently orbiting the earth! (Favorite part from the launch? Hearing the countdown and status of the rocket/launch transmitted from Mission Control.)

Thanks to NASA for allowing us social media experts and space lovers to become part of your team for the OCO-2 launch in an once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is Mary Paolantonio for #NASAsocial #OCO2 launch, signing off.

We’re Hiring!

Filed Under (integratePR, interns) by integratePR on 14-07-2014

Spruce up your resumes because we’re looking for a public relations and social media intern for the fall 2014 semester. This is a paid internship opportunity and has a minimum commitment of 15 hours/week. 

The core of what we do is and always will be strategic communications but as trends and new tools emerge, we are changing with the times. We are in need of a PR and social media intern to help us tell our stories better through online and offline platforms. We are looking for someone with some PR or social media experience in a job setting.

This intern can expect to learn… the interesting “integration” of PR, social media and marketing from the pros! We are a PR and social media agency of 14 people and are happy to get scrappy when we need to. Interns have the opportunity to get their hands dirty with our clients and projects we are working on. This position will have the opportunity to work with over 8 clients and one dedicated client teamm. This is a great opportunity for a budding PR rockstar looking to get a lot of hands on experience, and hopefully teach us a thing or two!

Ideal Candidates Are:

  • Strong writers
  • Familiar with all social media platforms
  • Able to juggle multiple projects at once
  • Ones who strive in a fast-paced work environment
  • Creative thinkers 
  • Organized and able to prioritize tasks
  • Prepared to be flexible and take on additional roles as situations arise (no getting coffee, don’t worry!)
  • Currently in college or have some college education

Interested in joining an awesome group of #IPRockstars? Then send your resumes, writing samples and cover letters to jobs@integratepr.com!

 

 

 

It’s a Dog Eat Dog World!

Filed Under (integratePR, IPR Staff Blog) by integratePR on 08-07-2014

The last year has been a whirlwind. I can’t believe it’s already July and I’ve been with Integrate Public Relations for a year now. In the past year I’ve come to realize that, outside of adapting to a new city and a new job, one of the biggest adjustments has been learning to be a good pet owner with a full time job.

 This is my dog, Harper.

I found her on a street in downtown San Antonio back in college, and she stole my heart right then and there. She’s also a little over a year old now, and it’s been challenging trying to figure out how to manage having a dog and having a job, without spending gobs of money.

If you’re like me, or some of the other IntegratePR team members, you’re a little (over) attached to your pup, and leaving them alone all day tears you apart, but sometimes that’s just what it comes down to when doggie day care starts to add up, your roommate works strange hours and you don’t have family members in town. I’m here to share my tips on having a puppy in a big city, with a busy job.

1. Leave food in the cage

  • This keeps her from inhaling her food in the morning and curbs her boredom throughout the day. Also, it encourages her to hold it if she has to go to the bathroom, since there is a food bowl in her cage. This may not work for all dogs, but Harper doesn’t feel rushed to eat her food – she can “snack” during the day.

2. Make some room

  • Harper is not the most disciplined of dogs, and likes to chew on things made out of wood, including blinds and stair corners, so I can’t quite trust her on her own yet. I’ve started putting her cage in a smaller room with a window, like the bathroom, and leaving the door open so she has a little more freedom and space to play, without destroying anything (so far). I’ll also leave her toys to fight boredom and a treat so she knows she isn’t being punished.

3. Have a friend

  • I don’t love the idea of a dog walker, but I do have a trusted friend with a more flexible schedule who can swing by and let the pooch out if I have a meeting that runs late in the evening. I also have a couple of family friends in town whose kids want a fun way to make a few extra bucks in the summer!

4. Take advantage of weekends

  • I take full advantage of my weekends to be sure Harper knows she’s loved and gets PLENTY of exercise and social time. We go to the dog park at least once a weekend, and we go for short runs in the mornings. I also try to take her with me everywhere I go, from brunch to the beach. A big weekend will keep her tired through Monday.

 5. Rise and Shine

  • I have a backyard, but no doggie door, and it gets too hot here to have her stay outside. So, Harper gets a walk every morning to get out her extra energy. As soon as I get home, it’s back outside for at least 30 minutes for a walk and play. I’ll usually take her for another stroll before bed to make sure she’s getting enough exercise.

 

Dogs truly are members of the family, and a huge responsibility. With an office of dog-lovers, we’ve been lucky enough to celebrate Bring Your Dog to Work Day for the last couple of years. It can be challenging and stressful to have a dog with a full time job, but there are ways to make it work and keep your pup happy!

Written by: Allison Huseman

#IPRocksNASA!

Filed Under (Houston, integratePR) by integratePR on 30-06-2014

We’re going to space! … Kind of. We’ve been over-the-moon ever since we found out that NASA chose Integrate to be a part of its Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) launch at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. We’re sending our resident space enthusiast and Social Media and Public Relations Account Manager, Mary, to cover the event. She will interact with scientists and engineers, tour the Vandenberg Air Force Base, and meet fellow space enthusiasts and members of NASA’s social media team.

Mary has control of our social media accounts and we’ve created a special #IPRocksNASA Tumblr to document her journey. Expect to see lots of behind the scenes pictures and GoPro videos in the next couple of hours before the launch happening early tomorrow morning at 4:56 am CDT. Join in on the countdown and follow Integrate as Mary live tweets the event! 

Mid-Size Agency of the Year!

Filed Under (company culture, integratePR, IPR Events) by integratePR on 26-06-2014

In case you didn’t see our massive explosion of photos on Instagram, Integrate won PRSA Mid-Size Agency of the Year! We are so honored and truly grateful to have received such an award and we want to thank our wonderful clients and employees for making this happen!

Receiving this award means so much to us. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun: doesn’t it seem like just yesterday when our president and founder, Allie, started Integrate in Houston? What an amazing FIVE years of ups and downs it has been! Looking back now and seeing how much we’ve grown and accomplished in such a small amount of time, we couldn’t feel more blessed and excited for what’s in store for us! Stay tuned for some exciting news in the coming weeks as we approach this milestone anniversary.

With this exciting news, we thought it would be appropriate to tell y’all a little more of what Integrate is about!

History

Integrate Public Relations started as a dream of a young account executive living in Manhattan and turned into a reality in 2009 when everything fell into place; she was in the right place at the right time and on to something with this whole “social media thing” that was just emerging. Within a few months of what started as public relations and social media freelance consulting gigs around the country, Allie was able to transition them into retainers and into what was becoming a booming agency in Houston. Starting with one client based in Los Angeles (We will be eternally grateful to our first client, Handstand Kids Cookbook Company and Yvette for taking a chance on us!), Integrate has come a long way with now nearly 30 local and national clients in a handful of growing industries.

Our Focus

Integrate works with each client to create a dynamic online and offline presence.  We take a proactive approach to communicate our clients’ messages by connecting with influencers appropriate to their individual needs and share the brand’s message accordingly. Through this method, Integrate produces measurable results and deliver our clients with business growth they can see.

We strive to stand out by integrating online communication tactics with traditional public relations tools. We start with the proper analytics to monitor each of our clients’ audiences so we can reach their targets, where it matters.

Clients

Integrate is strategically, not industry, specific. Allie’s career started in New York City in the real estate industry; it was a roller coaster – a blast when real estate was booming but a shocking dose of reality during the crash. Seeing how this affected the agency she was working at, as well as the morale of the staff, Integrate has always made sure to develop specialties in a variety of different industries. We currently are focused in the restaurant/hospitality industry as well as real estate, retail and nonprofit.

Our emphasis on “Integrate”

Integrate isn’t just the company name, it’s also meaningful to how the agency works as a whole. We strive to make sure clients feel “integrated” with their account team and involved in every part of the process. This means constantly providing information to our clients so they are apart of every process and understand where their investment is going.

Of course this is just an overview of who we are, so for more information go ahead and check us out on our website!

We are so honored to have received the “Mid-Size Agency of the Year” award from the Public Relations Society of America and we can’t wait to see what happens next! To stay up to date with all of our IPR adventures, be sure to follow us on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

 

Six Tips To Help Stay Focused At Work

Filed Under (integratePR) by integratePR on 19-06-2014

Staying focused on one thing for longer than 20 minutes is difficult, especially if you’re one of the 56 percent of Americans using a smart phone.  On any given day, you’ll be receiving a myriad of emails, texts, tasks, phone calls, etc.  At times the mound of work piled on your desk (or inbox) can be overwhelming, and prioritizing tasks seems to be a job in itself.  Add multiple clients to your workload and the need to stay informed on industry news, and you have yourself a challenge. Sometimes just imagining the day ahead is enough to cause the mind to stray to another universe, or at least to take 15 quizzes on Buzzfeed.  This blog post is designed to help you stay focused and get things done during your workday. 

1.  Get rid of the clutter.

A clear mind starts with a clear desk. Fewer things scattered on your desk means that you’ll have less distractions.  Plus, if you organize your area, you can spend less time looking for what you need. 

2.  Prioritize your planner.

Writing out your to-dos in a portable planner is always helpful to keep you informed on your week.  If you feel as if you have too much on your plate, number your tasks in order of importance.  This will help you finish what you need to accomplish, while easing unnecessary worries about things that can wait. 

3.  Set times when you are allowed to check email.

Constantly checking your inbox takes away from the task at hand.  It might be best to only check email at certain times of the day, or once every hour.  This will help to shorten the amount of time spent distracted from the project you’re working on.

5.  Eat brain healthy snacks.

Foregoing food will leave you exhausted at your desk, while snacking on junk food won’t satisfy your hunger either.  Make sure to eat breakfast and keep healthy snacks close by. We love Green Plate Foods’ yummy Nubblers (one of our favorites is the cherry chocolate flavor). 

6.  Reward yourself.

Set small rewards for yourself after you’ve completed some tasks that have been extra difficult or involved.  Try things like treating yourself to a new cup of coffee after you finish a task, or checking Instagram after finishing a report. Set time limits for social media breaks so that you don’t go overboard liking photos on Facebook.  Small breaks help ease tension and exhaustion, but shouldn’t cause you to fall behind on work.  After a particularly hard week, allow yourself the time to do something fun, like seeing a movie at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema or enjoying live music at Armadillo Palace.

What helps you stay focused at work?

IPR Becomes Hands On With Graphic Design

Filed Under (clients, graphic design, integratePR, Uncategorized) by integratePR on 17-06-2014

We are entering the realm of graphic design here at Integrate. For a PR agency like ours that integrates traditional public relations with the always-changing social media world, stunning visuals are always top of mind. With so much of our work lately including designing profile pictures, cover photos, and small graphics, our clients’ social media channels are blowing up!

Our client, UNlimiters, really pushes the boundaries of what it means to live with a disability, and its hashtag campaign, #disabilitymeans, is no different! We wanted to create a cover photo for its Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages that really represented the idea that people with disabilities are not defined by their restrictions.

Lone Star Cab wants to make sure that you get home safely after a night on the town. While their goal is to encourage everyone to have a good time, they also want Houstonians to take advantage of their services at the end of the night.  This image was made so that it could be utilized on various social media platforms, such as Lone Star’s Facebook page, Twitter profile and on its Instagram account.

These are just a few of the many graphics we’ve been creating for our clients lately. We’re excited to continue to explore the wonderful world of design, so keep an eye out for more to come!

Four Tips For Landing “That” Internship

Filed Under (integratePR, interns, IPR Staff Blog) by integratePR on 10-06-2014

If you’re still in college like myself, finding an internship that fits your major seems like a lost cause. Before my internship with Integrate, an agency based in Houston, I felt my chances of getting an internship for the summer were pretty slim. A sophomore at the time, I feared my bare resume would just end up in a throwaway pile on someone’s desk.

I think students, too often, give up on their internship searches because of this thought process. If this is you, you may want to reconsider. You would be surprised by how many companies are more than willing to give you the experience you need. I saw this when I was hired at Integrate as their public relations and social media agency intern and I continue to see this everyday. So far, I’ve learned more than I thought I could learn in an entire internship, and I’m so thankful that I didn’t give up.

Because of this, I wanted to share with all you students out there looking for that “dream internship” a few tips I feel are essential to finding the right internship for you. 

Research, research, research

I’ve heard a lot of people over the years complain about how hard it is to find internships and I’ve always wondered if they knew about internship job boards. Websites like internships.com and internmatch.com make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for in an internship.

It’s good to keep in mind what YOU as a potential intern want in an internship instead of just aimlessly applying for internships that may not be beneficial to the career you want in the future. I found that researching companies helped in my internship search because I was able to see the types of learning opportunities and responsibilities each company had to offer. It’s important to evaluate the companies’ expectations, so you can see if they match what you want out of an internship.   

This step is essential because you don’t want to end up with an internship you won’t appreciate. The same thing goes for getting a job; you want to like where you’re working.

BE YOURSELF

I know there are so many articles/blog posts etc. about how to land your “dream internship,” but in reality, I don’t think there is formula to it. I know this sounds cliché, but – BE YOURSELF. I can’t stress this enough, because I have seen it work before my very eyes! While interviewing for internships at public relations and social media agencies, one thing that helped was answering each question like I would in a typical conversation. In my first interview with Integrate, I found that it was much easier to show what I am capable of by just being myself instead of worrying about every minute detail.

Thank the Interviewer

I know it can be easy to forget, but you MUST thank your interviewer afterwards. They are taking precious time out of their days to talk with you, so please make sure they know that you appreciate them. Just look at it from their perspective; wouldn’t you appreciate receiving a thank you note? So, make this step a priority!

Be Patient

I know you’re anxious to know your destiny, but BE PATIENT. This process takes time, and they WILL get back with you one way or another.

I know the internship search can be overwhelming, but you can do it! Don’t let one lost internship get you down, because there are so many companies out there that are looking for candidates just like you!

To keep up to date with IPR job openings, be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and on our website.

Written by Caroline Dodd

What We’ve Been Up To: New Faces and New Clients

Filed Under (integratePR, IPR Events, IPR Staff Blog, Meet the Team) by integratePR on 05-06-2014

These last couple months at Integrate have been an absolute whirlwind. We couldn’t have asked to be in a better situation at this point. We are finally all settled into our new office located in Upper Kirby and we are busier than ever. With all these new changes, we wanted to share with y’all a little of what’s been going on at IPR these last couple months and some of our exciting adventures and accomplishments, including our fabulous new employees and clients!

Starting with our newest addition to the Integrate team is the ever so wonderful social media extraordinaire, Julianne Agno. Julianne is our newest Social Media Account Executive and she currently works on M. PENNER, Mapping Your Future and Money Management International, and Integrate’s social media efforts. Trust us, you will want to follow this one on all social media sites ASAP. She is without a doubt a social media pro. Go ahead and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with her adventures!

In case you haven’t already seen the masterful works of Sonny Patten and Julia Parsons in their previous posts on our blog, they are our second most recent IPR hires and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them.

Julia Parsons was our Public Relations and Social Media Intern for two semesters before being promoted to Junior Public Relations Account Executive. She currently works on public relations efforts on accounts shared with Sonny. To learn more about our brilliant PR mastermind, go ahead and follow Julia on her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Last but certainty not least, Sonny Patten is currently our Senior Social Media Account Executive and manages Worth It, Lonestar Cab and Insgroup. Sonny has a diverse background in both PR and Social Media and came to us from Edelman, one of the largest PR firms. For more info about Sonny, be sure to follow him on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

As for new interns, we are so happy to have Caroline Dodd, Emily Bouse and Caitlyn Kaczmarek!

We are beyond thrilled to have these PR/Social media experts on our team, and we can’t wait to share more about them!

As for new business, we are excited to share with y’all a little bit about our new clients: Worth It, Lonestar Cabs, Insgroup, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Mapping Your Future, and Susan G. Komen Houston.

Worth It is a web and mobile app that helps shoppers find what they are looking for at a better price. They showcase everything, ranging from TV’s and cameras to strollers and handbags; brilliant, right? We thought so too. Look out for their new app, expected to launch later this week, so stay tuned!

Lonestar Cab is the second to largest cab service in Houston and we are handling both their PR and social media efforts. We’ve already made great progress, including helping stranded motorists found through Twitter conversations. For instance, Sonny Patten found this man in the area whose car broke down and was able to reach out to him and give him Lonestar Cab’s contact information. Small gestures like that are what set Lonestar Cab apart from other cab services in Houston. We are so proud of their progress and can’t wait to see what else is in store for them!

Insgroup is one of the top insurance agencies in the country, based right here in Houston and in Austin! We are currently helping with their PR and some of their community efforts, including finding local nonprofit partnerships and opportunities for them to lend a helping hand! 

Mapping Your Future is a non-profit organization committed to reinventing student loan counseling by providing comprehensive resources for students, families, and schools. Recently merging with Money Management International, a financial counseling agency, we’re helping to create merged copy for the new website as well as marketing materials and announcing this merger through some targeted media outreach. 

Susan G. Komen Houston is our new non-profit client who we began working with in March. We’re currently trying to garner media exposure for its Impact Awards Luncheon on June 17th. We’re doing PR and Social Media for the organization and are focusing on spreading the word about the organization and all it does for the community year round.

Last but not least, Alamo Draft House Cinema is one of our new clients who Laura Littlejohn helped carryout the Open the Tabs campaign and partnership. After strict legislation was passed that restricted the growth of the burgeoning national craft beer movement in Texas, Alamo Draft House Cinema was heavily impacted. To show their customers they care about this change, Alamo Draft House Cinema, with the help of Laura, decided to partner with Open the Tabs, a nonprofit organization advocating craft beer rights.

We are so ecstatic to see what is in store for all of new clients and employees! Be sure to follow us for more updates on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

VIP at Free Press Summerfest Thanks to Verizon’s Social Media Initiatives

Filed Under (integratePR, Social Media, twitter) by integratePR on 03-06-2014

I spent my weekend braving Houston’s fickle weather and large crowds at the Free Press Summerfest music festival. Even though I came prepared with festival necessities to face whatever weather conditions rolled through the city (a towel to wipe off sweat from the heat and a poncho for the rain), I still wanted access to a covered VIP tent with sweet, sweet air conditioning. 

Luckily, @VerizonInsider came to my rescue! Over the weekend, they ran a promotion using the hashtag #MoreFPSF. Twitter users who tweeted with the hashtag were given exclusive access to Verizon’s air conditioned cabana complete with charging stations for mobile devices, a full bar, snacks and a prime view of FPSF’s biggest stage. This was my sanctuary for the weekend all thanks to Verizon’s excellent social media team. 

Much like my festival necessities, Verizon’s social media team came prepared with its own festival social media tools. The team set up shop inside the cabana with laptops, iPads and smartphones. They monitored and engaged in conversations about the festival with the hashtag #MoreFPSF.

As a social media account executive, I know how tough filtering through hundreds of conversations can be. Social media happens 24/7 so there really isn’t a time when we can just “turn off” our jobs and responsibilities. IPR social media account executives monitor our clients’ social media conversations including brand and keyword mentions and respond to them in a timely manner. Take a look at some of the tweets from our client, Lone Star Cab, who tweeted to FPSF festival-goers in need of a ride to and from the festival grounds. One of the exciting aspects about my job is being able to engage in these conversations to build brand presence and create relationships with potential customers and influencers. To stay up to date with the team and our clients, follow IntegratePR on Twitter

Written by: Julianne Agno