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r favorite things 2020

R Favorite Things 2020 Edition!

2020 has been a doozy, hasn’t it?! In the midst of the global pandemic, we have grown as a team to further appreciate the way words can change the course of a mindset and the way relationships really keep people and places afloat. We have grown our chapters in cause marketing and crisis management further than ever imagined and in the midst of it all, have furthered our appreciation for the shop-small mantra—being that our mission is to serve YOUR business as R own, we really take being locally minded to heart this holiday season, more than ever before. That being said, here from R client picks to R staff picks is R favorite things 2020!

Thank you for reading and being a part of R family,

Emily  + The Amazing RPR Team


First and Foremost R Clients; As they R always our favorites

The Bookstore Plus, get an e gift card and stock up on The New York Times bestsellers or perhaps spend some holiday money on art supplies, either way, this local indie bookstore has it all and we heart yees them real big! 

favorite things 2020

 

Robin Haley Jewelry: Seen on some of our staff picks list but for real these handcrafted fine and fashion pieces of art are like the gift of owning a gallery that is pocket sized and sparkly, not to mention Robin has a story for each and every piece sold!

 

favorite things 2020

Hearne Dry Goods, a company with a cause, all locally made and the treat of popping on a pair of ear bobs to make lasagna at home for the 100th time just adds the spice needed to keep on keepin’ on!

favorite things 2020

(Photo; bonfire studs by Hearne Dry Goods)

Peg Leg Porker: As we say in the office, ‘Santa Baby... back!” Give the gift of ribs and some special sauce—no one has complained from getting a giant package of tried-and-true southern BBQ. And if you aren't into meat (why are we friends?), but really, the recently released 15-year bourbon is worth its weight in gold!

Goldbelly: https://www.goldbelly.com/peg-leg-porker

In Nashville? Order directly here: https://peglegporker.com

favorite things 2020

(photo: Peg Leg Porker Bourbon)

Liquor Lab: Virtual cocktail classes and incredible cocktail kits for the boozy babe in your life!

https://www.liquorlablive.com

Las Palmas is having an incredible gift card sale ALL of December! And we certainly aren’t complaining about the extra reasons to dip the chip in our fave cheese dip in Tennessee. https://www.laspalmasnashville.comThe

Tennessee Whiskey Trail: Virtual tastings and Trail merch never go out of style! But there is really nothing better then the gift of whiskey! https://www.tnwhiskeytrail.com

Boudros Texas Bistro: After over 35 years of being open 7 days a week, they had to shut their doors due to Covid in April and have since re-opened, it has been challenging, give them a like on Facebook or visit them next time you are in San Antonio!

Bambinos: Something for baby is also something for mama  https://bambinosboutique.com

Speaking of R family, give the gift of a wine drop from R founder’s famous wine brother, Grant at Parcelle Wine in NYC. They deliver all over the USA, and this gift has both free shipping and gets you 3 bottles for a flat fee of $95. Add his newly published book too and make it a gift bundle! Wine Drop HERE

Now that we have bragged about R clients and family here are R favorite things 2020 staff picks! 

Madison Baber: R Brand Ambassador Angel 

favorite things 2020

Herb Planter Stop overbuying herbs, and get an indoor herb garden and grow your own! If you don't quite have a green thumb, it's cleverly designed to be self-watering so you don't have to worry about over watering or killing your precious plants.

Glossier Makeup Set Even while hunkered down at home, a little makeup can add some pep to your step! This easy-to-apply essentials kit from Glossier comes with a brow pomade, buildable cream blush, and mascara for a fresh-faced look.

favorite things 2020

Silk Pillowcase  Because (sleep!) If you are looking to treat someone to a bit of luxury, this silk pillowcase will be the perfect addition to your sleep schedule. Plus as an added bonus, studies show that silk pillowcases create less friction causing fewer wrinkles and prevent bedhead! 

Bala Bangles Sweat with style with these bangle weights that adds a constant but comfortable resistance to your workout. They can be worn on wrists or ankles and come in a bunch of different colors.

 

Tracy Howard Garton R Content Consultant Queen!

favorite things 2020Claws Out Nailpolish It's activism in a bottle! We get to gussy up and do some good with these pretty, Portland, Oregon-made nail polishes that donate a portion of their proceeds to causes that affect women worldwide.

Stainless Cocktail Picks For some reason, cocktails just feel fancier when the garnish comes skewered on one of these polished cocktail picks.

Robin Haley Narrow Montana Sapphire Band Forget Santa—we're treating ourselves to exactly what we want this year, which is this stunning Montana sapphire band from Nashville's Robin Haley Jewelry.

favorite things 2020

Parachute Cloud Cotton Robe (photo above) If your 2020 has been anything like ours, you're practically living in loungewear. Which is why this cool, cottony robe from Parachute is at the top of our wishlist this year.

Kosas Lipstick in Rosewater Go pretty in pink during those WFH Zoom calls with this color-kissed lipstick from Kosas. It's ultra-hydrating thanks to its blend of jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, and mango seed butter, with color (that in our experience) manages to stay put for most of the day.

 

Julia Heffelfinger: R R-ecipe Developer Extraordinare 

favorite things 2020
Sabah Shearling-Lined Slippers There are no rules in 2020. That means wearing your slippers to walk the dog or run to the grocery store is completely acceptable. Especially if you have these super-chic Turkish slippers lined with shearling and finished in emerald green leather. 

favorite things 2020

Italian Nick & Nora Glasses (set of 4)(photo above) I've developed a bit of an Italian amaro habit this past year. It's the perfect low-ABV sip after a long work day. These delicate Nick & Nora glasses would really take cocktail hour to the next level.

Siblings Candles Scent No. 4 I have a bit of a candle addiction. My next quarantine project is to cut down on extra waste and start making my own with these clever DIY kits from Siblings. Scent No. 4 has eucalyptus and evergreen and will be perfect for the holidays.

Sézane Shirt Jacket (photo below) Winter is my favorite wardrobe season because it's all about the layers and outerwear. This cerulean blue shirt jacket is top of my list: I can throw it on for a warm winter day, or layer it under my parka when the snow is coming down.

favorite things 2020Chile Crunch Party Jar Forget hot sauce, I am putting this crispy, garlicky chile crunch on everything. Made by a small maker in Colorado, I easily go through a jar every month. I've decided 2021 is the year I upgrade to the PARTY JAR.

Capabunga Market Tote This classic cream canvas tote is exactly what I want for my weekly farmer's market runs. There's even a strap for your fresh flowers!

Sarah Williams R Digital Guru with Food and Bev Clients:

 

favorite things 2020Sarah says this is the year of self-care and all she wants for Christmas is some peace and quiet and bath bombs (and maybe a little wine too)!

 

Scalp scrub, because we all have a headache after 2020… Lip and cheek balm, because under this face mask is a glowing gals face!

 Dry shampoo—because, well because! ‘R-ENEW’ YOUR INNER PEACE: Get Cozy with this Faux Fur Throw

 

Snuggled with by the fire with THIS book ( from The Bookstore Plus, of course) 

And a cup of tea with THIS monthly tea subscription: (photo below)

favorite things 2020

‘RESTORE’ YOUR BODY WITH SOME KITCHEN LOVE:  THIS Kitchen Glow-Up with this Cookbook And Mortar & Pestle  will do the trick !

 

Emily Reynolds Bergh: R Fearless Founder!

 

favorite things 2020My list this year is all about local love! And if I have learned anything about this year it is truly that there is “NO PLACE LIKE HOME!’ My mom named me after Auntie Em and I am totally in love with my hometown this year, like never before!

 

My favorite store to shop in upstate NY is The Birch Store. It’ a locally owned boutique and the owners actually styled Jon Bon Jovi (I am pretty sure that is the rumor) so each piece from a keychain to a notecard is thoughtfully picked out. I am digging THIS Hobo bag (photo below):

 

favorite things 2020Also, because I have a daughter named Opal I am now obsessed with all things Opal. This little shop in Oregon is a wholesale client for Robin Haley and I love, love, love their Instagram and found these super cute and affordable Opal earrings (photo below). 

I want to chop away at the New York Times bestseller list, so I am asking for an e-gift card from my favorite local bookstore, The Bookstore Plus. I literally cried happy tears and danced a happy dance when we confirmed them as a client this year. I truly love them so much! https://www.thebookstoreplus.com

Found this cool shop on Etsy that is also founded in The Adirondacks—I am really crushing on this ADK pendant and really want it in my stocking (photo above)!

Julie Cohen R In-House English Teacher

 


This year is all about being comfy and cozy in my home because that’s just about all we can do!

Dr Teals® Pink Himalayan Epsom Salt Scrub smells SO good. This is a perfect stocking stuffer, and I recommend this scent in any of Dr Teals products.

Okay, bear with me here. I have never been into the idea of matching my children or my husband or … anyone for that matter. But last year I jumped on the family jammie train, and I’m never gonna look back. There’s something about matching in our cute jammies that makes being stuck at home on quarantine a little more bearable. Also, when everyone is driving me insane, I’m reminded that hey, we are on the same team. We can do this. This year, I’ve had my eye on these LC Lauren Conrad ones for Kohls.

This year is all about searching for serenity in absolute chaos, amiright?? I love Boss Babes, a feminist coloring book, created by my buddy Michelle Volanksy. Pour yourself a glass of wine and relax coloring in Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Malala, Ruth Badar Ginsburg, Adele, and all your other favorite queens.

Since I’ve spent so many hours staring at my walls, I’ve finally gotten around to framing some stuff, but now that I’ve started, I want more and more! Lately, I am loving the art by Vidhya Nagarajan. This season, I have my eye on her Foodie Alphabet. (photo above)

I’m in love with these Paper for The People paper art creations by Alexis Viele. Just listen to her mission: “This project was created in celebration of the good that exists within the tremendously difficult, and the incredible humans who inspire others to daily seek joy and find power within.” The portraits she creates are amazing!

 

Thank You and we all wish you the happiest of holidays!

The R Public Relations Team

 

 


5 ways to pivot your business message

5 Ways To Pivot Your Business Message Right Now!

 

As we enter a new “normal” in terms of our business world during the time of COVID-19, the word “pivot” has been thrown around as a big buzzword, particularly when it comes to businesses. For us as word-weavers, we want to help, as when you pivot internally and not externally things can go south. Meaning, if your messages are mixed, inconsistent or flimsy (which is easy to do considering the world has turned upside down in the past 90 days), your people may be lost as to what you really are offering and thus move onto another pasture, if you know what we mean. We R here to help with our 5 ways to pivot your business message to communicate your new normal.

  1. Google your business and your top employees and see what has been written and what may be changing for you for the foreseeable future. If you are, for the foreseeable future, going to offer curbside pick-up, see if that is in your current online search messaging, and if not, hire a great SEO company to make it happen (we have friends we can point you to if you need it). People are online now more than ever and most people want to come back to you, but if they see the words “closed,” “temporarily closed,” “laid off,” “furloughed,” or whatever else has come up for you and others in the past month, they may be shy to buy, purchase, or stop by for a visit if you plan on reopening anytime soon. Make a checklist of where you need to re-message your message and get going on that ASAP.
  2. Update your social media but know the who, the what, and the when before you do so. 
  3. Meet people where they are—get masks, sanitizer, and so on for your establishment (we even have a client offering sneeze stations, no joke), and anticipate varying levels of comfort for guests. Some people are not going to want to get out of their cars for the foreseeable future even when governments open up, so be prepared for those who are ready to come in and those who want to be met out.
  4. Offer NEW purchasing options. You may want to update your websites (we are happy to help) and offer some additional items for sale. We have restaurant clients that are upping their merch and dry goods on their websites and we have online retailers offering free shipping as a long term goal!
  5. As always be kind! This seems obvious but when you look at a Yelp review that slams you for whatever choice you may be making, as the world opens back up, be sure to answer when you have cooled off—a quick tweet, Yelp response, or what have you, can have a lasting effect. 

If you need more tips, tricks, or help, schedule a FREE Discovery Call Today!


ways to help small businesses

10 + Ways To Help Small Businesses Right Now!

We are the behind the curtain folks, the weavers of words, the people that help share passion and spread good news! I am writing this as, like many of you and like most of the world, I want to save all the restaurants, bars, and small businesses we can from the hardships being immediately faced. I feel like every morning I wake up and see someone else I care about posting about making a hard decision with their business, and it seems that although we are practicing things like “social distancing”—a phrase I never have used in my life as both an extrovert and a lover of people—we are also in the midst of times where supporting and giving services is needed more than ever. As communications pros, we can be a beacon of hope during these strange and difficult times—we are the messengers to the media, we are the media, we move the needle from fear to fearless by being courageous and creative innovators in a time of great need! So I ask, HOW can we help—now? I’ve listed some of R teams ideas below on ways to help small businesses, and support clients, media friends, and most of all each other. Let us know what you’d add, too, we are here to bounce ideas, support and share! Let’s do this!

  1. Pick up the phone. Get off email and CALL your people—they need you. They’re reading the news and social media and seeing their friends close down and make difficult decisions—offer creative solutions that can help them weather this storm (an abbreviated but awesome take-out menu, clever delivery options, etc). Read this again, CALL and connect, it makes a world of difference—trust me.
  2. Source ideas with other professionals. If you are like me, you have been writing crisis communication plans, scraping all the content you planned for this month and next and next and gearing up for a daily swipe of your ideas—you need some creative support! Call, text, and email fellow communications pros! This is the time to give extra hours, time, and talents to each other to support the world of small businesses. THIS is our time to really support each other and get over any fear that someone will take your client or idea. In this case, we all need to save this sinking ship for EVERYONE and we are the answers. 
  3. Be a marketing genius. During the Great Depression, furniture stores offered free incentives called “Depression glass” (like a plate or a teacup) and people went wild shopping for furniture just to get the free glasses, even when they didn’t have much. Today a tiny Depression tea glass is worth $25-$75 (some more), and these were given out for free to our grandmothers. Who came up with that idea? A MARKETING GENIUS, that’s who. Us marketing pros are the people behind the curtain and we get to show off our most genius ideas—often in the most desperate times. Just this week alone I have seen café owners delivering goods, celebrities reading storybooks online, museums offering free tours, and even Disney taking viewers on virtual rides. The internet is blowing up and our ideas are just waiting to take off and find value with our clients. So do what you need to be risky and wise and get someone to sign up for something they never thought they would—it WILL work!
  4. Be calm + confident, be collected, and know this too shall pass. If we hold our visions our clients will too, and we are the ones who help document and execute those visions. So it is up to us to be calm in the storm when they need to freak out because their business is taking turns they never imagined. Be confident. Know you were hired because you are smart, talented and clients can count on you to share their message—that’s you!
  5. Be mindful of your words instead of “hard times” change that up for “things are constantly changing” instead of “closing” change that up for “we will open as soon as we can.” Words have power and now more than ever WE are responsible for encouraging clients and media to lessen the drastic language and fear and see things as a work in progress. As the truth is this is actually a golden opportunity to be creative with businesses, and those that know how to pivot and stay calm will be the ones on top after the storm blows over.
  6. Be generous with your time. We need to write more blog posts, edit more press releases and help more than we probably ever have before—now is the time to get our boots dirty. It’s hard work, but so worth it! 
  7. Shop, shop, shop. Buy all the things—get merch, get gift cards, and practice what you are preachin’ sister!
  8. Make your pitches short and sweet and with all information in digestible deets—who, what, where, and website links—and nothing else! We don't want to make more work for our media friends who are getting more emails than ever right now. 
  9. Share other people’s creative work—not just your clients. Ask and offer fellow comm friends ways you can lend a helping hand! Giving truly makes the world of difference in stressful situations.
  10. BE KIND yourself included, take a bath, do an online yoga class, pour a glass of wine at the end of the day, whatever gets you to zen. You can’t save the world if you aren’t taking care of you and from there sprinkle out the good witch vibes and let people know they have had the power to change and shift and grow within them the whole time. (‘nuff said).

From friends in the comm worlds:

“Entertain and engage! This is the time to show your audience your brand value through digital marketing by giving them what they need the most right now. Something to do. You literally have a captive audience, so don’t waste that opportunity with your average content. Find creative ways to entertain and engage your audience. A great way to do that is through mixed media: video, graphics, motion graphics, email campaigns, etc. Create giveaways, quizzes, and games! The more your audience feels supported by your brand during this time, the more brand loyalty they will reciprocate when things go back to normal.” Sarah Wlliams (digital marketing guru)

Have something to add? Please share!

 


top pho places in san antonio

What the pho?! Top pho places in San Antonio

What the pho?! Top pho places in San Antonio

by R Intern, Lauren Patterson

top pho places in san antonio

So what is pho and how do you even say it? Pho, pronounced fuh, is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat. It is essentially like ramen, but technically speaking, pho is the type of white rice flour noodle used in the dish, while ramen is a dish of Chinese origin that uses Chinese-style ramen noodles. We’ve compiled a list of our top pho places in San Antonio along with some of our favorite activities to do before or after enjoying a meal.

First off, we have Pho Kim Long. Funny name, serious pho. Located at 4230 McCullough Avenue, 78212, Pho Kim Long offers superb, traditional pho for a great price. May we also recommend the spring rolls? They won’t disappoint. After you enjoy your meal, hop on over to Meadow, a local boutique in Olmos Park with high-end fashion and jewelry. Now if that’s not a fantastic Girls Night Out, we don’t know what is.

Second on the list is Berni Vietnamese Restaurant at 8742 Wurzbach Road, 78240. From beef to chicken to even meatballs, Berni delivers when it comes to pho. Our favorite is the original Berni Pho, which is a combination of rare steak, brisket, tripe, tendon and meatballs. Whoa, talk about a loaded pho. And only four minutes up the road is Wurzbach Ice House, which is a fun-atmosphere bar with indoor and outdoor games, perfect for any post-pho date night.

photo credit: Savor.tooth

Next up is one of our personal favorites, Kimura. Located at 152 E. Pecan Street, Suite 102 (on the corner of E. Pecan and St. Mary's), Kimura serves up some of the best Japanese dishes and is one of San Antonio’s best izakayas, or Japanese pubs. Now, technically Kimura serves ramen, not pho, but it just had to make the list because it’s that good. We suggest the Tonkotsu with pork belly. And after dinner, how about a walk along the River Walk to end the night?

photo credit: cook and kate

Last but surly not least is Viva Pho, located at 2114 NW Military Highway, 78213. Its menu is extensive and the pho is off the chain. And what’s more perfect to pair with your pho than a boba tea drink? Make sure to try out the milk green tea with boba and jelly, yum! But wait, before you dive into that big, warm bowl of pho, we suggest driving a few more minutes north and taking an indoor cycling class at JoyRide Texas at Alon, a high-intensity workout studio that is sure to get you good and hungry for all of that yummy Vietnamese food.

In its origin, pho is eaten as a breakfast food, like cereal for us. But we won’t judge you if you devour it at night. So go get your pho on!