The Alaska Zoo is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing and finding homes for orphaned, injured or endangered animals. For 46 years, the Alaska Zoo has cared for Alaska’s orphaned and injured wildlife; developed programs to educate industries that interact with these animals in their natural habitat; supported relief efforts for nuisance wildlife; provided oil spill response expertise; dedicated training to youth and provided a research base for agency and corporate partners all while being the state’s largest zoo that in 2014 had nearly 190,000 visitors.


While interest in the Alaska Zoo has always been high within the community, much of the research and rehabilitation efforts done at the zoo have been behind the scenes. Thompson & Co. was tasked with highlighting the community benefits of the zoo to increase awareness of the public value provided by the Alaska Zoo and to provide background as to where zoo funding is spent and how increased funding will work to benefit many Alaskans and the state’s animals.

Solution & Results

The agency proposed working with the Alaska Zoo with the goal of highlighting the community benefits that the zoo provides Alaskans and its wildlife, and how this is made possible through continued community support, corporate and agency partnerships, grants and donations. Once hired, T&C immediately jumped into action to provide the zoo with strategic media outreach, message development and additional communications support.

Within the first month of proactive media outreach, the agency was able to garner multiple pieces of coverage for the Alaska Zoo focusing on special events and educational opportunities. Coverage included all local news stations in the Anchorage area, the Alaska Dispatch News, Alaska Public Media and even a popular YouTube video blog.