How I Ensure Success Every Morning

To me, the morning is the most important part of my day, and it always seems to set the tone for how the rest of my day goes. With my busy schedule of work and my internship here at ACPR, I like to start the day on an energized and productive note. Here’s five things that I do every morning to ensure success every day.

Waking up early
Sleeping in is for the weekends! I wake up early enough to make sure that I have plenty of time to get ready for the day. I hate being rushed, so I make sure to provide ample time so I can fit everything in before I’m out the door. This is an important step to ensure that nothing is forgotten, and my day doesn’t start off on a frantic note.

Drinking coffee
Nothing says ‘good morning’ to me like the smell of fresh coffee. The caffeine is also a welcome benefit to keep me going all day long (and my days are long)! I set a timer on my coffee maker so it’s already brewing and ready to drink when I wake up. Don’t forget the creamer!

Reading the news
This is my favorite part of mornings! Especially working towards a PR degree and ultimately, career, it’s important that I stay up on the latest updates and trends of our world. I like to start with The Skimm, then I’ll usually have Good Morning America on in the background while I get ready. This is a great way to get my brain turned on for the day.

Setting my intentions
Every morning I think it’s important to take a moment to determine how I would like my day to go or what I expect from myself for the day ahead. Before all the craziness begins, I like to take time, maybe even just a few minutes, to set intentions and goals. What’s really neat is that I can then reflect on this moment throughout the day when I need a reminder of where I need to be or what I need to be doing.

Checking in with my planner
This step is important so I am planned and ready for my day! With the business of each week, it’s easy to forget about all the little details that go into my day, even if I have already written them down. Checking in with my planner helps to make sure I am prepared for what is coming up that day!

Have a great day,

Colette Wray is the ACPR Summer 2017 Public Relations Intern. An Amarillo, Texas native, she’ll be entering her senior year of college at Colorado State University this fall where she studies Journalism & Media Communications with a focus on Public Relations, and minors in English. Colette loves dogs, the color pink, and carbs.

Photo courtesy of @allysonconklinpr

How to Prep for a New PR Job

It’s the blissful few days between your old gig and your new one. While it’s tempting to kick back and indulge in a Netflix binge in this time between jobs, this is the time to really push yourself to prep for the first day of your new gig in the PR industry.

Acquaint yourself with the outlets you’ll be pitching.
Familiarizing yourself with the media you’ll be contacting is key to staying on top. For me personally, shifting my thinking to the mindset of long lead vs. short lead, in terms of editorial calendars, was crucial. Because let’s be honest, pitching for holiday gift guides in July is a timeline that takes getting accustomed to! Do the research in advance so you’re not catching up on basic research that you could have done well in advance.

Stay in contact with your new boss.
You probably haven’t considered how long your lunch break is, what your boss’s stance on cell phone use at your desk is, or their expectations in regards to replying to emails on the weekends is. Ask those questions now and get to know expectations before you enter your first day. This can help to prevent that dreaded first day awkwardness that no one likes. Details go a long way in assuring your new boss that they made the right call in hiring you.

Rest up.
It seems really basic, but it’s exhausting to finish up at a former job and prep for a new one. Take the time to catch some extra zzz’s so you won’t be entering your first day needing an extra espresso shot. You’ll be training and doing a lot of listening that first week, so being present (aka: awake) is more than crucial to catching every last detail, and solidifying it in memory.

If you’ve taken the plunge on a job somewhere new, you got this! Go rock your new job!


Kelly Tafoya is the ACPR Public Relations Coordinator. A Fort Collins native, she has a penchant for shoes, obsession with swans and a serious case of wanderlust.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Kidder

20 Questions With: Dawn Davis

Dawn Davis is the 34 year old Beauty Director at Total Beauty, the digital resource for beauty advice, product reviews, beauty tips, makeup samples, cosmetics, and hairstyles. The Connecticut based editor is an alumni of Colby College (B.A. English) who started her career with coveted internships at NARS Cosmetics and in the beauty department of Harper’s Bazaar. And since then, she’s held posts at many of our favorite magazines, all the while solidifying her role as one of our most favorite editors to work with (fun fact: Allyson has known and worked with Dawn since the mid-2000s when she was at Shiseido Cosmetics!). Her career led her to the digital publishing space in 2009 (just when the publishing landscape began shifting), and ultimately to Total Beauty in 2012, when she accepted the role of Beauty Director. Since then she’s been covering the latest and greatest in beauty, meaning everything you need to add to your Sephora cart right now. Dawn is one of the kindest, most genuine people we’ve ever met who’s hard working, detail-oriented, dedicated to her craft (she takes the train into New York City from Connecticut every day for work!), and beyond graceful to boot. Plus she’s a dog mom (hi Luna!) and a runner (you know we love that) with mad latte art and pancake making skills. And did we mention that she’s an expert packer (follow her on Instagram if you want to change your life)? From sharing the best piece of career advice she’s received and the character trait vital to her success to her favorite beauty hack (we couldn’t help ourselves), we’ve charged Dawn with 20 of our favorite questions.

1. What was your first job out of college?
I was an editorial assistant at Harper’s Bazaar. I picked up a lot of lunches, answered phones, and wrote thank you notes. And Kerry Diamond, the Beauty Director at the time, would let me sneak into the beauty closet to help organize products.

2. When you were in college, what did you think you’d be doing today?
I don’t think I ever thought that far ahead, but I knew I wanted to be a writer.

3. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Be nice to people and write thank you notes. You never know how people you meet along the way may be able to help you out later on in your career.

4. Can you recall the moment you felt like you hit a groove in your career?
Publishing has changed so much over the last 10 years. I transitioned from print to digital in 2009, and I see that as an important move at the right time.

5. What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office every morning?
I rarely go straight to the office because of breakfast meetings and events. I generally spend some time sifting through beauty products and press releases before I settle in behind my computer.

6. What’s one thing you do daily to stay organized?
Put away beauty products. If they accumulate for more than a week, the task becomes very intimidating.

7. How do you sign off emails?
Thanks!” to acquaintances; “XO” to friends.

8. What’s the one character trait that’s vital for success in what you do?
Speed. In the digital age, you have to do so much, and you have to do it quickly.

9. Can you share a career goal for 2017?
Learn to delegate.

10. What’s your favorite magazine?
domino. It’s good to branch out from beauty every now and then.

11. Do you have a can’t-live-without beauty product?
This is boring and practical, but a tinted mineral sunblock. I have many favorites (Skinceuticals, Skinmedica, Karyng, Alastin, Avene, La Roche Posay…).

12. What’s your go-to cocktail?

13. Do you have a wardrobe staple?
I have about 10 different floral dresses I love and wear often.

14. Do you have a spirit animal?
The seahorse.

15. Do you collect anything?
Beauty products, of course. Other than that, I try to minimize clutter.

16. How do you stay healthy?
I run and hike outside with my dog. And I eat a balanced diet of 90-percent good stuff, 10-percent cookies (maybe 80/20).

17. What’s the best hashtag of all time?

18. What’s your decorating style?
Modern Moroccan. (In my mind if not reality.)

19. What do you eat for breakfast most days?
Oatmeal with chia seeds and slivered almonds in the winter; a green smoothie in the summer.

20. Favorite beauty hack and why?
Keep your travel products packed at all times. I love to travel, and I’m a little nutty about efficiency. If all my minis are ready to go, it’s one less thing to think about the night before a trip. If I use something up while I’m away, I refill it when I unpack.

How To Be A Girlboss When You’re Still In School

“Girlboss” is a relatively new term coined by the founder of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso, that describes women who work hard, are career driven, successful, and just win at life. Basically, everything I aspire to be as a college student about to enter my last year of school, graduate, and embark on my career path. But I’m not waiting until after I graduate to become a girlboss. I’m ready to embrace the girlboss perspective now! So if you’re like me and are still in school, there are a few easy ways that we can start owning our own brand of girlboss.


Be organized.
With a busy schedule, it’s important to stay on top of things. A good girlboss loves her accomplishments, so invest in a planner to set goals and schedule when and how we’re going to cross those milestones off the list! Get shit done.

Be nice.
The typical girlboss may be full of sass and personality, but it’s ok to have a sweet side. Truly successful people know that in order to gain success it takes a village, so we must have strong relationships. This is achieved by demonstrating kindness and compassion towards others.

Be confident.
While still in school, it’s easy to feel a little bit intimidated at first because we’re just starting out. However, doubting ourselves is what can tarnish our shine. Let’s not allow our fears to dull our sparkle!

Take the leap.
Don’t be nervous to take risks. Apply for the job, take the difficult class, tackle the project, buy the plane ticket. If we don’t try, we’ll never know. It’s better to know the outcome then to always wonder “what if.”

Go girl,

Colette Wray is the ACPR Summer 2017 Public Relations Intern. An Amarillo, Texas native, she’ll be entering her senior year of college at Colorado State University this fall where she studies Journalism & Media Communications with a focus on Public Relations, and minors in English. Colette loves dogs, the color pink, and carbs.  

Photo courtesy of Ashley Kidder 

A Year Older and An Internship Wiser

For me, the month of May comes with many important life changes. This year, in particular, I reached two important milestones: I graduated from Colorado State University and I turned 22. Another change this year for me is the conclusion of my internship with Allyson Conklin Public Relations. As I reflect on my time at ACPR I realize there are many life and career lessons I will take with me onto the next portion of my career.

IMG_9814A strong and patient mentor is a huge blessing.
When I first interviewed with Allyson I told her it was my goal to find a mentor who could guide me into the next stage of my career. She has done just that. Allyson has been a rock star of a mentor. She taught me constructive criticism is the best and quickest way to grow as an individual and a professional. She provided me with many tools to improve my professionalism in the workplace, work toward the future goals of a team, and support the needs of clients effectively and efficiently. As my first taste of agency experience, Allyson and the rest of the ACPR team confirmed my passion for public relations and fostered the beginning of my career.

Connections are key.
I quickly learned the importance of relationship building when I began at ACPR. Going the extra mile when engaging with media contacts can be the difference between securing a press hit and missing the mark. A public relations professional must always be conscious of their interactions with others in person, over email, and on the phone. This internship taught me to maintain a strong professional personal presence.

Quality is always better than quantity.
One of my weekly tasks while at ACPR was researching features in magazines and on blogs. The task was to identify three to five online media outlets per week to pitch our clients for. Every week this task was different. Some weeks I would find over seven outlets and some weeks I would find two or three. Often I would get discouraged with my inability to find outlets appropriate for our clients. Allyson would recognize my frustration and say, “Quality is always better than quantity.” This advice is important because it applies to many different aspects of life. Strive for quality because quantity does not always ensure favorable outcomes.

Always remain positive.
There are trials and tribulations that accompany every job. Several times during this experience I received feedback that wasn’t positive. Instead of feeling discouraged and upset, I allowed the poor feedback to fuel my drive to be better the next time. Remaining positive was my greatest weapon when I was faced with unfortunate feedback. Getting upset and disheartened does nothing when it is time to perform for the next task. Instead of dwelling on the negative, think positively about what you have learned, what skills you have gained, and how you can improve for next time.

Thank you, Allyson, for your guidance and encouragement throughout this journey. You have played a very important role in my professional and personal life, and I am forever grateful.

Emma roundCheers and cheerio!

Emma Brokaw is the ACPR Spring 2017 Public Relations Intern. A native of Santa Cruz, California, she just graduated from Colorado State University with a B.A. in Journalism & Media Communications with a focus in Public Relations. Emma loves animals, hiking, and everything Colorado.

Photo courtesy of Cassie Rosch, Photographer