Wellington Group Marketing & PR Has Merged with Integrate Agency

Ready. Set. Grow!

Creating the First Fully Integrated Digital & Traditional Marketing Firm in Texas

We’re proud to announce that WGPR has merged with Integrate Agency, a Houston-based public relations and social media agency. Our newly merged agency will assume the Integrate Agency name and brand, and we’ll be led by Wellington Group’s CEO, Robbie Wright, and Allie Danziger, founder and president of Integrate Agency.

Our small team of 20 will be expanding to more than 30, and we couldn’t be more excited. More team members mean bigger, better and, dare we say, integrated, work for our clients. From traditional public relations to social media and a full array of digital services, we know that this marriage of expertise will bring increased results for our clients.

Who is Integrate?

Integrate began life in 2009 as the dream of Allie Danziger, a young and ambitious PR account executive in New York City. She wanted to shake up the industry through digital tactics that were new at the time.

After pioneering a successful social media department at a real estate-focused PR agency during the height of the recession, Allie caught the entrepreneurial bug. She started by freelancing for clients across the country, consulting with PR agencies on how to merge social media into their work, developing distinctive marketing campaigns, and training executives on digital strategies.

Allie’s work for a few quickly grew into retainers for many. Swapping her comfy PJs and home for a power suit and brick-and-mortar office, she formed the thriving agency that Integrate is today.

And thrive, they have. Since its inception, Integrate has been recognized by PRSA Houston, IABC Houston, and AMA Houston for its award-winning client work, as well as being named the Top Mid-Sized Agency of the Year from PRSA Houston in 2014.

Between Allie’s entrepreneurial gusto and the impressive company she’s built, it’s easy to see why Integrate is a great fit for WGPR.

Why the Merger?

The simple answer? We wanted to grow smarter, faster, and stronger. The opportunity to become Texas’ very first fully-integrated digital and traditional marketing firm was one we just couldn’t pass up, especially in the current marketing and media landscape.

More than anything, this merger is about combining the respective strengths, talent and expertise of the Integrate and Wellington teams to deliver unparalleled service to our clients, both present and future.

What Does This Mean for Our Clients?

Our clients will receive the same level of service that both agencies have always provided. In fact, it might even get better! We will now be able to offer public relations and digital marketing services that are even more data-driven, based in strategic thinking, and seamlessly integrated.

Change can be both nerve-wracking and thrilling, so we’re eager and anxious to begin our work as one cohesive team. The wild ride has only just begun!

Setting Goals in the New Year

4 Tips to Help You Set and Achieve Your Annual Objectives

 

The close of a year and the birth of a new one traditionally serves as a time for reflection and excitement. It’s important to look back upon your successes and shortcomings from the past year, as this then lays the groundwork for building anticipation about what is to come.

That’s right – as clichéd as the concept might be, engaging in a goal-setting exercise for your business can serve as the launching pad for success throughout the entire year.

Yet while goal-setting may seem straightforward on its face, you need to set yourself up to define, attain, and then surpass those goals. So whether these goals are for your personal or professional life, we’ve assembled a few helpful pointers for getting yourself on the right path to achieve them.

1) Prime Yourself for Success

It may sound silly, but it’s important to take a moment to celebrate your achievements from the past year. No achievement is too big or too small! This is a great way to get yourself in the right headspace to dream big as well as provide perspective on the goals you want to set for the new year.

Your seemingly lofty goals could look much more achievable when you list out the things you were able to accomplish last year, and this exercise should definitely get you pumped up and ready to conquer the new year.

2) Refine Your Goals

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a big picture goal?
  • Is it the same as last year, or has it changed?
  • Are you excited about it?
  • How close are you to achieving it?
  • What are you doing to accomplish that goal?

You must have a big picture goal, so you should find time to create one or thoroughly revisit the one you already have. That process could even look like this:

  • Imagine where you want to be this time next year.
  • Focus on the outcome first.
  • What do you want to see happen?
  • How do you want to feel?
  • Why are those outcomes important to you?

Describing and documenting the way you want to feel and why is key to this process. For example, say your goal is to meditate every day, and the “why” could be “to reduce stress.” Even if you only meditate a few days a week, you will likely experience a reduction in stress. This way, though you may have “failed” to reach the goal of daily meditation, you did achieve your goal of reducing stress – and that might have been the most important goal all along.

Remember, there are usually many paths to reaching a goal. Flexibility is essential in your approach, especially if you focus on the “Why” over the “What.”

 3) Determine How You Will Get There

Once you have refined your goals, you need to ask yourself: “What needs to be true for this to happen?”

From here, we start to work backward from the conclusion to the present day. If your goal is to hit $2 million in annual revenue, you should calculate how much you need to bring in every month, and then break down what work is required to bring in that monthly revenue.

The process can feel overwhelming, which is why we suggest breaking your goal up into deadlines throughout the year. For example, “To hit $2 million in revenue, we need to bring in 3 new accounts by July.”

These deadlines give you a chance to regularly evaluate your progress so you can adjust as needed. And this leads us right into our next tip:

 4) Hold Yourself Accountable

Having both a visual reminder of your goal and a way to track your progress will help focus your efforts. This could be something as granular as a project plan on a spreadsheet with monthly or even weekly tasks broken out, or it could be something as big picture as a vision board.

In addition to documenting your goals and tracking your own progress, we recommend you make your goals known to your inner circle so they may hold you accountable as well.

Don’t let another year of progress pass you by! Ultimately, goal setting boils down to recognizing where you’ve come from, setting definitive objectives, creating a clear path forward, and holding yourself responsible. You will be surprised what you can achieve by taking these simple but effective steps.

May you reach the goals you set, and cheers to the new year!

Upcoming Digital Marketing, Social Media, and PR Trade Shows to Keep on your Radar

We work in an industry where trends are constantly evolving, especially when you consider how the technology powering how we work changes on a daily basis.

For example:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the digital marketing
  • Marketing Technology will represent 28% of marketing budgets in 2018.
  • After being introduced to the world by Pokémon Go, Augmented Reality has penetrated the marketing industry as a highly coveted way to interact with people. (Source)

Even as dynamic marketing experts, it’s possible to fall behind on the latest and greatest developments in digital, social media, and public relations. This ever-changing landscape can make our work extremely challenging, but also tremendously exciting and rewarding. That’s why you should read the news, keep up with current events online, and curate a list of influencers and thought leaders to follow for insights and analysis.

But for a more interactive and engaging way to follow what’s happening (or could happen!), we encourage you to attend relevant trade shows and conferences on a regular basis.

In fact, we’ve collected a few stellar, upcoming trade shows that we highly recommend, especially if you want to stay a few steps ahead of your competitors. And if you’re lucky, you might even run into one of us from Wellington Group while you’re there!

The Definitive Digital Marketing Gathering

Dallas, TX – December 5-6, 2017

https://dallas.digitalsummit.com

Featuring key speakers such as Microsoft’s Senior Marketing Communication Director, Geoffrey Colon, and Social Media Strategist at Harvard, Robert Bochnak, The Definitive Digital Marketing Gathering is a fantastic opportunity to learn about contemporary trends and strategies throughout the digital world. Sessions will cover content creation, search, email, social, and just about anything else you’d need to meet all your digital marketing requirements!

Traffic and Conversion Summit 2018

San Diego, CA – February 26-28, 2018

https://trafficandconversionsummit.com

By bringing together expert marketers who have diligently researched what’s new and hot in the industry, the Traffic and Conversion Summit will feature key breakthroughs in traffic and conversion, complete with all the new traffic channels you can use for your business.

Social Media Marketing World

San Diego, CA – February 28-March 2, 2018

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld/?utm_expid=.c37VnJdoQB641yjIRU5Ptg.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

A favorite among the social media mavens here at Wellington Group, Social Media Marketing World will amp up your social media presence as skillful marketers share their most effective social strategies and business building ideas.

The Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing, and Corporate Communications

Orlando, FL – March 14-16, 2018

http://conferences.ragan.com/disney/

This event at Walt Disney World will showcase the critical techniques necessary as you overcome the crowded digital world and short audience attention spans. Master key best practices for social media, digital marketing, and PR, and take a ride on the Tower of Terror as well.

Intelligent Content Conference

Las Vegas, NV – March 20-22, 2018

http://www.intelligentcontentconference.com

Featuring speakers like Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute, the Intelligent Content Conference spotlights how developing and implementing intelligent and strategic content is key to improving and enhancing all areas of your marketing approach so you can reach your specific target audience.

Email Evolution Conference 2018

New Orleans, LA – April 4-6, 2018

https://emailevolution.emailexperience.org

Don’t be the company sending out emails that go directly to consumers’ trash bins. At the Email Evolution Conference 2018, you’ll learn about cutting-edge technologies and strategies that will keep your customers’ attention and move them into your sales funnel.

MarTech – The Marketing Technology Conference

San Jose, CA – April 23-25, 2018

https://martechconf.com

Need a boost in your tech knowledge? MarTech offers you a forum to learn about new technologies and understand how they are being revolutionized for use in the marketing space. Now is not the time to be left behind the cutting edge!

To ensure your business takes advantage of the newest marketing trends, get these trade shows on your calendar. Your clients and customers will appreciate it!

Why Our Agency Grew to Include Digital Marketing

Wellington Group Marketing & PR was founded in 2007 to provide marketing and public relations services to local and national brands in the fitness, food, and lifestyle sectors. While working in this niche served us well over the past decade, the nature of the PR and marketing industry has shifted, including client needs and expectations.

We’ve always been believers in the efficacy of digital marketing, but the new marketing landscape meant that we needed to diversify our approach and expand our talents. While traditional public relations are still essential, we decided it was time to shift our mindset and adopt more integrated methodologies. And this had definitely included developing a carefully curated team with extensive experience in the digital realm.

Increasing Our Competitive Advantage

Anyone in the marketing agency landscape can tell you the industry is hyper-competitive. As a firm that is looking to grow and expand into new markets, marrying our tried-and-true public relations expertise with digital marketing felt like a natural next step. To really give us an edge over the competition, we’ve nearly quadrupled the size of our team to include experts in SEO, paid search, email, user experience, web design, and content.

Improving the Return on Investment

Understandably, clients want to know where their investment is going. The more tangible, the better. But as any public relations professional can tell you, it can be difficult to measure the ROI of traditional public relations endeavors. By combining our traditional PR acumen with the improved measurables of digital marketing campaigns, we can now provide our clients with more detailed numbers and concrete results, which in turn, increases our value to them.

Symbiotic Growth

We aren’t replacing our traditional public relations efforts with digital marketing. Instead, we’re amplifying each discipline through a symbiotic relationship, as digital marketing and public relations naturally complement each other.  To have a truly solid PR strategy, you need both to drive consumer behavior and tell your story.

While this transition has been a huge undertaking, we’re continually discovering exciting ways to integrate digital marketing and public relations together in successful and productive campaigns. The ultimate goal? To better serve the needs of our existing client base while also expanding that portfolio in new directions.

Does your public relations strategy need a boost? Give us a shout, as we’d love to help grow your business, too.

What is Conversion and Why is it Important for Your Business?

Online conversion is one of the most important measures of success for all businesses, but what is it? It’s simple. A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website completes a desired action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. The percentage of total visitors who convert is called your conversion rate. You want to monetize the traffic that is coming to your site. These are not all the ways consumers can convert online but are some of the most popular forms of conversion.

Conversion rate (the percentage of users who take the desired action) is one of the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) because the ultimate goal of a business is to make a profit. These desired actions should essentially drive consumers down the purchase funnel (pictured below) so they will eventually make a purchase. The purchase funnel includes different stages of conversion consumers have with brands before they purchase or become brand loyal. For example, during the awareness or familiarity stages, conversion goals could be to:

  • Secure X number of email signups
  • Increase engagement on social media by X%

It’s important to have an effective conversion strategy in each area of the purchase funnel which will ultimately lead to purchase and then most importantly, loyalty. During the awareness stage, you want push website visitors to view your products and become familiar with your brand. Driving consumers to customize products and add them to their carts is essential in the consideration phase. Your brand then has the opportunity to become top of mind in consumer’s consideration set. These phases should eventually lead to purchase and then loyalty. Loyalty is crucial in conversion because you want consumers to keep coming back to make more purchases.

Why is Conversion Important for Your Business?

Conversion is important for any business for one key reason: as conversion rate increases, profit increases. This can mean driving consumers directly to purchase or driving them down the funnel towards purchase and loyalty. Either scenario will eventually lead to a profit benefiting your business.

Could your company benefit from a strong conversion strategy? Give us a call for a free consultation.

5 Spooky PR Nightmares

Spooky pumpkins

 

The world of public relations includes everything from content strategy to media relations to social media management. Arguably, the most intimidating tactic in the PR toolset is crisis management. To get you spooked for Halloween, we wanted to touch on five PR nightmares that still send chills down our spines.

 

Volkswagen’s Emissions Omissions

Volkswagen (VW) is still trying to recover from their 2015 scandal when it was discovered the company used cheat software on their cars to falsify emissions tests. While the company came out with a public apology right after the scandal was made known, it was still not enough to keep the VW brand intact. Volkswagen had created a brand centered around clean diesel and antipollution initiatives. Lying on their emissions test was not only illegal and unethical, but it undermined their entire brand and the reason why a lot of consumers purchased VW vehicles.

PR Takeaway: Your brand’s public image is everything. People work with companies and buy products because of the brand – undermining that brand goes against a company’s entire business strategy.

 

Fake Accounts at Wells Fargo

Starting in 2009, Wells Fargo employees created over 3.5 million phony deposit accounts and credit card applications under customer names. If that wasn’t bad enough, CEO John Stumpf came out with a public statement saying the company culture did nothing to encourage such activity, which directly went against employee accusations that the company placed unrealistic goals and pressure on employees. If Wells Fargo wasn’t already in a bad spot with consumers, Stumpf not taking any responsibility made the situation worse.

PR Takeaway:  The owner or leader of a company should always be involved in consequences. The leadership of a company acts as the guiding force for the company’s actions and needs to be involved in both the good and the bad.

 

Delta Airline’s Embarrassing Tweet

To celebrate Team USA beating Ghana 2-1 in the 2014 World Cup, Delta Airlines posted a tweet with the image of a giraffe next to Ghana’s score. While there are giraffes in Africa, there are no giraffes in Ghana. Many people online caught on to Delta’s mistake, pointing out the irony of a global company not knowing more about one of the countries they fly to.

PR Takeaway: Think before you tweet! Anything you post online can be subject to public scrutiny. Make sure your posts are thoughtful, truthful, and backed with information or research.

 

Pepsi’s “Tasteless” Advertisement

Probably the most recent blunder is Pepsi’s advertisement featuring Kendall Jenner. The advertisement was accused of being an insensitive and tasteless portrayal of current social movements in the United States. Pepsi did end up pulling the advertisement and issuing a public apology, but only after the advertisement had gone viral online.

PR Takeaway: All PR or marketing efforts should go through several rounds of approval. The Pepsi advertisement was created in-house by Pepsi’s marketing team. It’s always safer to have a new plan or product go through many different reviews by people both in and out of the company.

 

Rhode Island Forgets Who They Are Online

In a social media promotional video for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, viewers voiced confusion when images of a place other than Rhode Island showed up in the video – footage of Iceland. The Commerce Corporation quickly realized that somehow, non-Rhode Island footage had been mixed into the video on accident. The Commerce Corporation apologized and labeled the event as a mistake, but only after people got a good laugh out of it.

PR Takeaway: Review, review, review! While you may look over something dozens of times, it is always best to have multiple people review. Double, triple, or quadruple-checking is always okay!

 

We hope these PR nightmares not only gave you the chills for this Halloween, but gave you lessons to learn from as well. These are only five examples of the countless PR blunders that have happened throughout history. Comment below with some of your scariest PR nightmares and what you learned from them.