Mind, Body
+ Spirits

Covet’s Guide to Gramming Like A Pro

Gram Like a Pro Have you ever caught yourself staring at your Instagram explore page then all of a sudden, it’s pitch black outside and you check the clock… it’s 1 am. We get it, it happens to the best of us. You may stumble across a few interesting posts or videos, but then you go down the rabbit hole and find the holy grail of Instagrams that has sucked you in so deep, you are trolling through their posts from late 2015 with no shame. This is the type of social media presence we all hope and dream to have. Easier said than done; with the influencer bubble ballooning to unsurpassed levels, the competition can be fierce! Not all hope is lost though, as we put together a list of ways to get your handle noticed and up your Instagram game.   Theme. Before posting anything you need to choose a theme for your Instagram. This aesthetic should be consistent throughout your posts, whether it is a specific filter you use for all of your photos or the content category you will be posting about. Really make sure that you are branding your Instagram account’s look, feel and tone to your personal liking so that the content comes off as organic and stands out amongst the millions of other users.    Posting Schedule. Find a time that works best for you to post your content, making sure you are not posting too often as this can overwhelm your followers. Posting once a day, anytime after 4pm EST has shown the most engagement for our Instagram. We have seen the least engagement on Sundays, as many people seem to be using social channels minimally on this day. Depending on your location this can vary. Audience Engagement. In order to boost your content and actually engage with your fans and followers, reply back to those who comment or like your posts. Use the explore page to find new users to follow, helping you to grow your audience. They may not always follow you back, but it definitely puts your account on their radar. The Art of The Hashtag. When choosing a hashtag, it can be difficult to decide between the millions of keywords that flood our search bar. Try to hone in on a few key hashtags that will target your audience and is consistent with your central theme. Keep in mind, your content may get lost if you choose a hashtag that is too large or may not be seen in a hashtag that is not used often enough. We recommend looking for relevant hashtags around the 50k range, as your post can get lost among the 1,492,124 #tacotuesdays, 3,216,802 #friyays and 2,073,437 #weekendvibes. Photo Editing. How do you decide between X-Pro II or Valencia? The filters on Instagram are endless, but oh-so-basic. If you really want your photos to look original, try different photo editing apps to get an authentic look and feel in line with your theme. Our favorites are VSCO, Adobe Photoshop Express, and Afterlight. How will you stand out amongst the crowd?
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10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Pancake Mix

Chances are, you have a bag of pancake mix sitting in your pantry for those lazy Sunday mornings when you want to treat yourself or your kiddos to a warm stack of flapjacks smothered in butter and maple syrup. Why wait until the weekend to get your pancake fix? Spanning from Classic, Protein, to Six Grain Cinnamon, Birch Benders offers a variety of flavorful mixes that will make you crave breakfast morning, noon and night. This uber versatile mix can be used in a myriad of different recipes throughout the week. We’ve compiled 10 sweet and savory recipes to be used for any time of the day using their line of just-add-water mixes, proving Birch Benders are a must-have staple in any pantry.

     

     

  1. Paleo Banana Bread
    • This simple banana bread batter uses only three ingredients thanks to Birch Benders’ Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix, making it healthier than almost every loaf on the market and so easy.
     
  2. Tropical Fruit Donuts with Lime Glaze
    • Get on island time with these better-for-you donuts, made with Greek yogurt and the Classic Pancake & Waffle Mix. Tropical drink sold separately.

  3. Pigs in a Blanket
    • It’s gameday and you’re in charge of finger foods. Making a quick biscuit dough using Birch Benders Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix, these updated football snacks will be the hit of any party.

  4. Fried Pickles
    • A staple in Southern kitchens, these pickles are taken one step further with a batter made from Protein Mix, ensuring that you’re getting your necessary protein while gorging on these salty snacks.

  5. Jalapeño Poppers
    • Combining their love of pancakes with their love of spice, cream cheese and bacon, the team at Birch Benders created this epic recipe for Jalapeño Poppers that will leave you wanting to roll every veggie in pancake mix.

  6. Fried Shrimp & Tartar Sauce
    • These shrimp coated in Birch Benders’ Classic Recipe and buttermilk are simple, delicious and noticeably better-for-you than your run-of-the-mill fried seafood.

  7. Paleo Buffalo Chicken Pizza
    • If our Paleo friends are craving pizza and can’t seem to get behind the cauliflower crust trend, then Birch Benders’ Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix is the perfect solution. Dress it up or down however you want, but we love to cover it in shredded chicken and drizzled with buffalo sauce and ranch.

  8. Vanilla Coconut Chicken Tenders
    • Grown ups like chicken tenders too, but Birch Benders throws coconut chips into the mix, adding some sophistication to your childhood favorite.

  9. Classic Sugar Cookies
    • For those moments when you get a cookie craving, and don’t want to spend your afternoon measuring out countless dry ingredients, Birch Benders’ Classic Mix takes the hassle out of baking,allowing you more time to decorate with friends.

  10. Cinnamon Peach Apple Cobbler
    • Pouring Six Grain Cinnamon Pancake & Waffle Mix over a variety of seasonal fruits creates a fluffy, spiced topping that will impress any guest.
  Photo credit: @birchbenders
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Weighing in on Employee Wellness

We have all heard the business buzzword “work/life balance” and wondered where that magical place exists. Is it at the end of rainbow? Do you teleport there? With the increasingly competitive job market, there lies an exceeding pressure to give 110% all the time, resulting in a big imbalance of these two poles. Far too often we are - as a culture - guilty of neglecting our health in pursuit of the next deadline, or that big report. We have begun to get caught in the hamster wheel of the overachieving adage, who has time for life when there is so much work to be done? Work/life balance is like regularly scheduled car maintenance. Sure we can skip a couple routine checks when we are pressed for time and/or money…until that fateful morning when your car suddenly sputters to a stop on your way to work and some neon doodle starts blinking like crazy on your dashboard. Only then, when it is too late and costly to undo the damage of neglecting our cars’ health maintenance, do we realize the importance of proactive measures for our valiant steeds. In a day and age where time is money, how can we encourage employees to slow down their day-to-day responsibilities to make sure they are taking care of themselves? Think outside the box. It is time to get creative with our policies and procedures and go above and beyond what once passed as acceptable. The only way to attract new talent - and keep those we already have happy - is to spice things up. The Huffington Post put it best in a recent article on Why Ignoring Employee Wellness is a Mistake: “Success in this new world will depend on an employer's ability to maintain older, experienced workers, keep healthcare costs down, and satisfy the ideals of the incoming generations.” It is time to view employee wellness as a necessity, not a luxury. Behind us are the days where gym memberships, healthy office snacks and team retreats are deemed irrelevant. Now, more than ever, we are seeing employers offering programs and initiatives that address employees’ total well being (Stephen Miller, SHRM, 2016). Investing in efforts to keep your staff happy and healthy shows in the numbers, increasing employee performance, productivity and profits. In a recent study conducted by University of Warwick economists, productivity spiked by 12% in happy employees, while dropping 10% in those who claimed to be unhappy (Ravesencio, Fast Company, 2015). Research also shows that when team members are happy at work, they are better collaborators, more willing and energized to work toward common goals, and develop more creative ideas. (Zwilling, Forbes, 2014) So treat your staff to a pass for a free spin class. Order smoothies for your team to kick off a brainstorming session. If you have noticed someone logging a ton of extra hours, offer them a mid-week comp day to recharge their batteries so they don’t burn out when you need them most. Or on the most basic level, take a little time each week to give an employee or colleague some praise for something they did a great job on. All of these are examples of newer practices that make up great company culture, and will undoubtedly attract the right people to your team to help take your business to new heights.
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Covet’s Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Internship

Internships are practically a requirement for a career in PR, but so often we equate internship experiences to being a glorified barista and copier. At Covet, we are lucky to have a blossoming internship program in which three times a year we hire 2-4 bright, aspiring PR pros to come work with us and learn the in’s and out’s of this agency. No coffee making involved. We believe much of what you get out of an internship is what you put into it, so we put together a list of ways to nail your internship and arm you for a successful PR career.   Always show up on time. This seems like a simple tip, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t follow it. Show up on time, or even a few minutes early, and prove to your employers that you’re eager to work.   Never accept idleness. If you find yourself twiddling your thumbs waiting for a new project, ask for more work! Not only will your employer be impressed with your efficiency, he/she will be impressed with your hunger to work.   Read, read, and then read some more. Become a voracious reader of traditional media and new media outside the office. Skim through magazines and scour blogs so that you’re caught up on current trends and events in the media.   Shadow someone in every level of the company. If you are seriously considering a full-time position at this company, you should know what your day-to-day would look like. Request a shadowing opportunity with each facet of the company so you have a general idea of each employee’s role in making the wheel go round.   Pick the brains of your superiors. Suggest grabbing a quick lunch or a cup of coffee and ask them for genuine advice on a future career in PR. Not only will you hear some entertaining stories, fostering a mentor relationship will help you so much later in your career.   Set up monthly check ups with your mentor to discuss your progress. Not only will your mentor provide you with helpful feedback, but it also lends itself for the perfect time to discuss your internship goals and what you hope to get out of it.   Ask for a letter of recommendation. When the time comes to complete your internship term, request a letter of recommendation from your boss. While you may not be job hunting at the moment, receiving the letter now will be so helpful when you need one further down the line.   Covet PR currently offers internships in Summer (May - September), Fall (September - December) and Spring (January - May). We will be interviewing candidates for our Fall term in August 2017. If you want to learn more about the program, email operations@covetpr.com and tell us why you would make a great addition to our amazing team!
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Interview Do’s and Don’ts

You hear back from the company you applied to for an open position and have an interview on the books. Now what? The truth is, first impressions do matter, especially in the public relations world, and what better way to make a great one than with a killer outfit. While many industries require a simple pantsuit and blouse for an interview – looking at you finance and law – creative industries have quite a different set of rules for what flies as far as interview attire. Don’t get caught up in wanting to depict yourself as so trendy that you end up being uncomfortable. Your outfit should convey the message that you are qualified, competent and confident.
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Dry Winter Hair Got You Down?

Spring isn’t getting sprung for a few more weeks, so the thirst is real for our brittle strands. If your dry winter hair is getting you down, our team has put together a few tips to combat the effects of winter on your luscious locks. [caption id="attachment_1174" align="aligncenter" width="538"] Photo Credit: @koparibeauty[/caption] Don’t forget to deep condition. It is so important to use a creamy, deep conditioner once a week to reintroduce moisture into your thirsty tresses. We love Kopari’s Organic Coconut Melt made with 100% pure, organic coconut oil from the Philippines. Slather it all over your head, put your hair up in a bun, and rinse it all out after 40 minutes. Even better, the Melt can be repurposed into a makeup remover, moisturizer, under eye cream and shave oil. Invest in a Humidifier. Chances are both your hair and skin could use a boost of moisture, and what better time to do it than when you are asleep? We’re digging this cute little mini humidifier that plugs into your computer and can be placed on your desk or bedside table. Trade in those scratchy cotton pillowcases for satin. Dry hair means brittle hair, which leads to split ends and breakage galore. Turns out cotton absorbs moisture, leaving your dome dry as the desert. Satin or silk, on the other hand, retains moisture, leaving you with less of those natural oils on your pillowcase and more dew in your do. Wash your hair fewer times per week. We know you’re hesitant, but hear us out. By washing your hair daily, you are stripping your hair of natural oils that it produces. Try to limit your washes to three times a week at most, and your hair will thank you. To hold you over between washes, spritz some dry shampoo on your roots. Add some oil to your routine. If you live where winter gear is actually a necessity, those knit hats - while adorable and warm - are causing unruly flyaways and so. much. frizz. Do away with your fuzzy feels by running a few drops of oil onto your ends. We use Kopari’s Coconut Sheer Oil. Be wary though, a little goes a long way! What tips and tricks do you use to combat winter hair?
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5 Must-Reads for the PR Pro

Every year, we sit down to make our New Year’s Resolutions and find that one particular resolution always seems to make the cut: read more books. With that goal in mind, we set out for the nearest bookstore (or Amazon, for all you Kindle enthusiasts) only to be overwhelmed with all of the choices. We want a book that will entertain us, expand our thinking and stimulate our minds. Oh, and can it help us in our careers, too? Trying to find a book that meets all of these criteria can be a never-ending search, so we decided to share our top five favorite books for PR professionals. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you’re just starting out in your career or are a seasoned PR pro looking to expand your communications repertoire.

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