National Proofreading Day

Can you find all 24 mistakes?

Today is National Proofreading Day, AKA a grammer buff’s super bowl. Proofreading is so important regardless of the industy you workin. In the industry of marketing and advertising, diligent, proofreading can prevent errors that could end up costing your Agency big time. Impleminting a careful, efficient error-checking process is one of the most best things an agency could do too combat misteaks. At A-Train we have a through proofing system that re-choirs a minimum of two proofreaders to go over every peace of content we produce for our clients. As part of or process, we use a comprehensive proofing form that guides the proofreader through all of the diffrent criteria that they need to review. Our processes a low us to catch mistakes that could had slipped threw the cracks had we not diligently inspected the material four errors. Having clean, mistake-free material can shave your agency from losing money, damageing you’re reputation with the client, and wasting time… So dont forget to proofread your next document!

Proofreading

Correct Paragraph

Today is National Proofreading Day, AKA a grammar buff’s Super Bowl. Proofreading is so important regardless of the industry you work in. In the industry of marketing and advertising, diligent proofreading can prevent errors that could end up costing your agency big time. Implementing a careful, efficient error-checking process is one of the best things an agency could do to combat mistakes. At A-Train we have a thorough proofing system that requires a minimum of two proofreaders to go over every piece of content we produce for our clients. As part of our process, we use a comprehensive proofing form that guides the proofreader through all of the different criteria that they need to review. Our processes allow us to catch mistakes that could have slipped through the cracks had we not diligently inspected the material for errors. Having clean, mistake-free material can save your agency from losing money, damaging your reputation with the client, and wasting time… So don’t forget to proofread your next document!

Nic’s clumsiest moment…

Nic's ATOT

That was a close call!

Meet Nicholas, our Digital Media and Analytics Specialist. Lucky for him, he managed to not break anything on his first day with us! When asked about his clumsiest moment, he had just the answer we were looking for.

‘The clumsiest thing I think I have ever done was at my first job in high school. I was starting at this deli down the street from where I lived and on my first day I was picking up some ceramic doppio cups and I dropped them on the floor and they all shattered into a ton of pieces. I had been on the job maybe an hour and I destroyed hundreds of dollars worth of ceramic cups on my first day. Wasn’t my proudest moment and I thought I was going to get fired on my first day. Luckily for me, I just had to work in the dish room for six months and then they let me interact with customers and handle merchandise again.’

Meet Kerry, A-Train’s Newest Team Member

Kerry WicksA-Train Marketing Communications, Inc. recently added another team member to its ranks. With a growing workload and a recent staff departure, A-Train was in need of another full-time employee to help manage accounts and create exceptional content. The search was short and easy. Kerry Wicks had already been writing copy and creating content for A-Train on a part-time basis, and her work had impressed the whole team.

Kerry is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She moved to Fort Collins in the early 90’s to attend school at CSU. She graduated from CSU with a BA in English and a Master of Science in Student Affairs and Higher Education. Her writing skills have not gone unnoticed since arriving at A-Train, she has already written A-Train blogs and copy for multiple clients. So it should come as no surprise that one of her favorite hobbies is writing – or as she calls it – “word chasing and capturing”.

Along with being a fantastic writer, Kerry has also always had a set of keen marketing and sales skills. These skills date back to when she was eight years old and went door-to-door selling the Brushette II toothbrush system. She also applied those skills while working at the Junior League of Fort Collins where she served as the VP of Communication, Marketing Chair, and President. Now working at A-Train, she aims to use her writing and communication skills to thrive as a copywriter and account manager. The human impact of writing is what drives Kerry, and she seeks that same positive human impact in the workplace through team camaraderie and a progressive workplace culture. “The A-Train team is comprised of amazingly talented individuals. The company really has a grasp on effective marketing and helping companies tell their stories well,” says Kerry. In addition to her impressive set of tangible skills, she hopes to bring a new perspective, a desire to learn, and her creative spirit to the A-Train team.

Kerry’s life mantra is: “Happiness is not a destination,” meaning you can’t chase happiness, YOU have to create it. Something that makes Kerry happy is going on adventures with her kids and having a blast with the two of them. She also has a propensity to collect leaf dishes and cutting boards… just because she can. She enjoys being around the people she loves and doing whatever the heart desires – whether it’s dancing, sitting on the patio, or getting sushi. It’s not hard to see why the team at A-Train has already grown quite fond of Kerry as a co-worker and a friend.

Introducing A-Train’s Newest Designer: Hannah Hibbs

IMG_7282In early July, A-Train Marketing Communications welcomed Hannah Hibbs as the company’s newest graphic designer. In the few short weeks that she’s been with the company, Hannah has proven herself as a well-rounded, talented member of an already elite team.

Hannah moved to Fort Collins from Eagle, Colo. in 2011 to study graphic design at Colorado State University. In the time it took her to earn her degree, she gained years of experience in the field. Over the past three years, she has worked as a designer at Resolution Graphics, a design company in Eagle. Additionally, she’s been actively doing freelance work for companies from Vail to Fort Collins. Notably, she designed work for downtown events held by the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association.

Both Hannah and A-Train are ecstatic about the recent hiring. A-Train is thrilled to have a designer on the team who not only has high-level design skills, but also has the drive to grow as a professional.

“I am excited to expand my knowledge and experience in the graphic design field and to apply my own creative ideas to help expand A-Train,” says Hannah.

Admittedly, she had patiently been waiting for a year to get an opportunity that would allow her to jump on-board the A-Train. It’s rare to find a candidate who is so invested in the agency and that has an immediate passion to elevate the quality of work being created. Charlie Mueller, A-Train’s Lead Designer had high praise for Hannah. “I knew right away that Hannah was going to be a great fit at A-Train. She is out-going and was clearly a team player from day one. Her background and expertise are a great addition to our company.”

When she’s not at A-Train, you may find Hannah at Dungeons and Drafts playing a new game or hiking around the foothills. She also has a strong love for the fine arts – she took piano lessons for over 10 years and has always been passionate about painting and drawing.

Much like learning new skills and art forms, Hannah has quickly learned to thrive in the office. She attributes much of her smooth transition at the agency to the helpfulness and understanding of her co-workers. With each passing day, Hannah has become further acclimated with the way A-Train functions and we are so excited to watch her flourish in her new role.

A-Train Marketing Steams Ahead with New Office Manager

SJ MeyerIn January 2016, A-Train Marketing Communications, Inc. brought SJ Meyer on board as the company’s office manager. As A-Train has grown, so has the list of administrative duties that need to be completed. SJ has taken on the majority of these administrative responsibilities, helping the office run like a well-oiled machine.

After graduating from the University of Wyoming with a degree in graphic design, SJ decided that she wanted to be in a larger city with more opportunity for professional development. She loves that despite being a semi-large city, Fort Collins still maintains a small town feel. After moving to Fort Collins, she decided to change directions with her career, but still wanted to work in a creative, progressive environment. “When I was hired by A-Train, I knew I had found the environment I was looking for,” said Meyer.

At A-Train, SJ wears many hats and balances a wide range of responsibilities. On top of all of her administrative duties, she often has a hand in A-Train’s social media and internal marketing. Seeing how invested everyone is in their work has been a major motivator for her own growth and achievement. Meyer said, “I love working with such a creative group of people. To be surrounded by people who push you to think outside the box is an exhilarating feeling.”

Away from her duties in the office, SJ loves being able to bike wherever she wants to go, whether it’s to get a few beers from a local brewery, or to go eat some delicious food at one of the many fantastic restaurants in town. SJ and her dog, a ridgeback/boxer mix named Marvin, love that Fort Collins is so dog-friendly and close to the mountains.

“A-Train is lucky to have an employee who is so dedicated and driven to the success of the agency,” said Gretchen Gaede, A-Train’s president. “In only 6 months, SJ’s creativity and willingness to jump in and help wherever she’s needed has made her an indispensable, prized member of the A-Train Marketing team, and we look forward to seeing what she does next.”

A-Train Marketing Introduces Summer Intern Program with New Hire

Austin UnderwoodIn June, A-Train Marketing Communications, Inc. welcomed a new intern, Austin Underwood, to the company’s newly-developed internship program. Austin will be shadowing each of the company’s different departments throughout the nine-week internship program to develop the skills he’s learned during his studies at Colorado State University’s College of Business.

Austin’s connection to the company goes deeper than the internship program though – he knows A-Train’s President and Co-Owner, Gretchen Gaede from his time as a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County (BGCLC).

Gretchen has historically been very involved with the BGCLC, and in 2009 while serving on the BGCLC board, Gretchen met Austin while he was sitting in on a board meeting as a Boys and Girls Club member. Their encounters were brief but memorable enough to be recalled seven years later. They met again at a marketing expo held at Colorado State University’s College of Business, while Austin was looking for a way to learn the everyday functions of a marketing agency.

Shortly after Austin began his internship, he was sorting through some of A-Train’s old marketing samples and found a Boys and Girls Club brochure from 2011. And on the front of the brochure was a photo of him, as young Boys and Girls Club member. “I really feel like A-Train is a great fit for me, and finding myself in the old samples is poetic – it helps really confirm that this is where I should be, because it’s a great opportunity to continue learning and plot my career path,” said Austin.

Austin is going into his final year at Colorado State University where he is working toward a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a concentration in marketing. He’s had an interest in marketing for as long as he can remember – even as a kid he found himself examining advertisements, pulling out underlying themes and messages from them. He has lived in Fort Collins since elementary school, so he takes a lot of pride in being able to work with an agency that, among other things, works to enhance Northern Colorado brands and organizations. In his spare time, he enjoys playing volleyball, attending sporting events, bike riding, trying new foods, and exploring Fort Collins’s robust music scene. He hopes to be able to use his career in marketing to help drive social change and to support organizations that are improving the quality of life for people who need it.

To Be or Not To Be…Social

Social Media and Mental HealthAs a marketer, you know that social media is important, though it makes you interact with an audience on a much more personal level than you normally would. What that audience chooses to share can be difficult to predict or monitor. The volume of activity can also be overwhelming, and when you don’t have the budget or capacity of a multi-national corporation, how are you supposed to support someone monitoring your social media on a consistent basis? While you may not be able to see it now, the benefits of online engagement can far outweigh the negatives. Continue reading

Gettin’ Analytical with A-Train

Digital Marketing: Analytics

Are you drowning in a sea of data? Your website, social media, and online advertising are all great digital marketing tools, and they give you tons of data. Chances are though, you’re not looking at it month to month. We’re here to tell you – all that data can help you build and improve your business, and you should try to keep an eye on it.

We hear ya – analytics tools can be confusing and hard to navigate. But that’s really nothing to be afraid of! Check it out: Continue reading

What’s Your Pantone Color?

RoseSerenity

Spring is more than the changing of seasons. It’s a sign of new life – trees and flowers are blooming, baby animals are born and take their first steps, and thankfully, the sunshine and warmer temperatures reappear. It’s like a breath of fresh air after being cold and smothered in layers all winter.

For us as a marketing and advertising company, spring also means fun Pantone colors to use in our marketing efforts for clients. Each year, Pantone chooses a color to be a snapshot of the latest trends we see in our culture. This color sets the mood and attitude for how the year will flow in the design and fashion world. This particular year, the color choice is spring itself. We have been reminded of the Pantone colors of the year as spring comes alive.  Continue reading

Drinking and Dining Your Way Through FoCoMX

WP_20160418_10_23_42_RichThis article originally appeared in the April issue of Scene Magazine.

As a music festival maven, you know the drill: see as much great live music as possible in two days. With more than 200 bands to choose from and 20 venues, you are going to cover a lot of ground. So, taking time from your extremely packed schedule to figure out how to stave off thirst and hunger will only get in the way of your festival-going plans. One of the great things about FoCoMX is having the chance to check out many of our City’s “nontraditional” venues, which normally operate as restaurants and bars instead of live music meccas. To give you a leg up, I have assembled a set of drinking and dining recommendations to consider before, during, and after the shows you want to see. Every venue has something great to offer, so if I missed one of your personal favorites, please don’t be offended. This is just a handful of suggestions, and we would love to hear your top picks as well. Continue reading