During my junior year at the University of Houston Downtown and the spring semester of 2020, I had a PR internship at Thompson & Co. Public Relations in the Houston office. My time at T&C consisted of writing blog posts, drafting captions for social media, lots of research and account planning meetings.
When T&C Vice President Liz Baker told me I was going to write a blog that would be published online, I panicked a little. Changing my writing from academic essays for school to creative and engaging blog posts was an adjustment. However, once I got the hang of it, I loved that style of writing.
As we practice social distancing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are thinking about how to give back through volunteering. Nonprofit organizations will rely on community support more than ever once life returns to “normal” and we’re eager to support the organizations serving our fellow Alaskans.
Here are a few ways to volunteer virtually today, or plan your future community service projects.
Covenant House Alaska Covenant House is currently offering several ways tovirtually volunteer. The organization relies heavily on volunteers to connect with homeless youth. An easy way to support their residents is writing a letter encouraging youth to continue the job search and move out on their own.
Covenant House is the state’s largest homeless shelter for at-risk youth and provides meals, medical care and employment counseling, among other services. Located down the street from our Anchorage office, it’s near and dear to our hearts. Our own President & CEO Jennifer Thompson even regularly participates in its Executive Sleep Out.
Food Bank of Alaska The Food Bank of Alaska is working overtime and inneed of volunteers to help with food distribution to families in need at pantries across the state. Volunteers cannot have traveled outside of the state for 14 days prior to service and should not show up if they feel unwell.
Gloves will be provided and volunteers are encouraged to wear a mask (homemade or N95). Another way to help is toorganize a food drive. As we spend more time at home, now is the perfect time to get creative and challenge our friends, families and neighbors to get involved, from a safe distance, of course.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Alaska Calling all men! Big Brothers Big Sisters Alaska says “more than 70% of youth waiting for a Big are boys, but only three out of every 10 volunteer inquiries come from men.” Men can sign up today and fill the critical need to mentor young people in our community.
A Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple will mentor a young person for one year. Activities are determined by common interests between the Big and Little. Check out BBBS’other volunteer opportunities to see how you can help from home right now.
Last Frontier Honor Flight Twice a year, this organization flies Alaska war veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to and honoring their sacrifices. To make their missions possible, they rely on volunteers to assist veterans with mobility from place to place.
We first connected with Last Frontier Honor Flight through our pro bono public relations outreach campaign for Alaska nonprofits and now we’re interested in spreading the word about how you can become involved. Although the April trip was rescheduled, you can apply today to become a guardian and escort our heroes on their next mission in October.
Other Alaska individual volunteer opportunities to consider in the next year include:
Volunteering with Identity Inc. and Anchorage Pride. They will need people toassist with Pride later this summer and in other volunteer events throughout the year.
The nonprofit sector was hit especially hard by COVID-19. Many organizations are experiencing a depletion in funding, resources and volunteer hours. Whether you’re able to help now or in the future by donating time or raising money, consider giving back through these important community services.
At T&C, our Tenets & Convictions challenge us to be grateful and give back to the communities that have given us so much. We can’t wait to be reunited with our community to do just that.
Welcome back to business, some things have changed
Alaska agency provides businesses tools to effectively communicate safety changes
ANCHORAGE, Alaska—It’s safe to say “return to work” doesn’t mean return to normal. The world has shifted, businesses are quickly adapting, and so will the ways they communicate with customers and clients. Thompson & Co. Public Relations is
providing local businesses a boost with new service packages designed to provide efficiencies, assurances and relief using communications support at reduced rates.
The shelter-in-place coworker: our four-legged best friends
We all know that our pets are the real MVPs during the shelter-in-place mandates across our workspaces in New York City, Houston, Los Angeles and Anchorage. We also know that our pets have had to adjust to having their best friends around 24/7. They have risen to the occasion by transforming into the coworker we never knew we needed in our home office.
We sent out an informal survey to the agency’s pet owners to “meet” some of our four-legged coworkers and also gain insight on what it’s like to work from home with our best friends.
Here’s what we found: We’re heavily a dog-owning agency, but our cat-owning colleagues show up by each having more than one feline in their respective home. Fun fact: Thompson & Co. Public Relations President and CEO Jennifer Thompson has three cats!
Our dogs run the gamut of sizes – we’ve got a mini dachshund, a basset hound, an Alaskan husky, Chesapeake Bay retrievers and a German shepherd, to name a few. Our feline friends range from a tuxedo to all black to Somali and blue-point Siamese.
Read on for a summary of the survey, and some of our favorite responses.
Thompson & Co. Public Relations has given you the tools to master the art of the interview, but how do you put those tools to work now that the world is social distancing? This new normal has us turning nearly every human interaction into a virtual one – including media interviews. Many of us have become comfortable with video conferencing applications like Zoom, but there’s more to consider when your Zoom call is being recorded and aired on the evening news than when you’re catching up with friends during a virtual happy hour.
We enlisted the help of a producer from NBC’s TODAY Show to share some tips that will ensure you look and sound your best on your next virtual interview. Parenthesis in our tips below come straight from the expert.Read More
In times like these, it’s important to remember the power social media has to connect us, whether it’s friends, family, or clients. Social media can be our most valuable liaison and a driver of positivity in the midst of uncertainty. In the guide below, we’ll share the best practices for social media strategy during a crisis.
At Thompson & Co. Public Relations, we have employees in five states and a rotating remote work Friday schedule that prepared us for the challenge of working remotely long term. While some businesses are adapting on the fly, we want to offer some tips that work for us.Read More
Alaska’s nonprofits lift a lot of weight, often with little support. Charged with fulfilling a mission to make each community a better place, there’s no doubt to the impacts they make, especially in the face of a crisis such as the ongoing pandemic. In gratitude, Thompson & Co. Public Relations is providing free communications consulting for up to three nonprofits a week throughout the month of April.Read More
Whether you are the communications lead at your workplace, part of the C-suite or an employee whose goal is to hide behind the computer and steer clear of public speaking at all costs, it’s important to understand how the media works, and how and when it’s appropriate to engage.
From climbing the monkey bars to climbing the corporate career ladder, each stage of life plays a unique role in developing our character. When we think about the most defining moments of our education and professional development, most people recall classes like public relations 101, endless hours drafting a senior thesis, excitedly pouring coffee at a summer internship and finally scoring a job.
Although these are all important milestones, there are equally-important life lessons that came much earlier that are used every day (and often overlooked). As students around the world head back to school, we’re reflecting on the tried and true takeaways from our own classroom days.