Keeping work professional, even from the kitchen table

It’s safe to say that many people will continue working from home, or “WFH”, for the foreseeable future. While a 15-foot commute to the office comes with ups and downs, a positive attitude and a few solid tips can ensure you remain professional through days full of video calls.

  1. Zoom meetings are still meetings. It’s important to show up dressed professionally. Also, it’s a known fact that when you look good, you feel good. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it. Dust off that blazer and enter your next meeting ready to take on something new. Author Luvvie Ajayi Jones shares tips on professionalism (and a speedy beauty routine) in a recent Instagram post.
  2. Keep it tidy! While messy spaces are a reality of life, nobody wants to see your dirty dishes or laundry while on a Zoom call. Keep the home spaces you work from tidy. We understand that tidiness isn’t always possible, you can use a Zoom background if you are feeling good but your space isn’t. Here are a few from the Alaska Travel Industry Association. If all else fails, opt to keep your camera off and display a recent headshot instead.
  3. Assume all calls to your cell phone are work-related. Cell phones have now become both work and personal lines, so it is important to answer accordingly. If an unknown number calls you, answer it like you would if you were answering your work line. That means double checking your voicemail message, too. Make sure you identify yourself and keep it professional. Pro tip: If it’s not already there, add your cell phone number to your email signature so people know where to reach you if it’s urgent.
  4. Separate your spaces. Don’t work where you rest, and don’t rest where you work. One of the best ways to minimize fatigue and boost productivity is to assign roles to different areas in the house. Once those areas are established, you know where to show up professionally and where to relax. Maintain those boundaries and ask family members or partners to help you do the same.

We know working from home and keeping things professional has been nothing short of an adjustment, but we are up for the challenge! Brew that coffee or tea, fire up your computer, and put these tips into action. Good luck, we’re rooting for you.

Jovell Rennie, Creative Strategist

 

SEO strategies for your website: Intro to keywords

Search engine optimization, or SEO, focuses on enhancing your website content so that it yields better results in a Google search. What that really means is that you’re making sure you’re writing for your audience by figuring out what it is they are searching for.

SEO is important for online content because it makes your website easier to find for people who may be interested in your products and services. There are a few different ways to make your website rank higher with search engines and a number of online tools to help. Understanding what keywords are and how to use them to benefit your website is one of the first steps.

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Thompson & Co. Public Relations offers new services to advance inclusion, amplify BIPOC voices

To make sure Alaska’s storytellers are representative and brand messaging is inclusive to all Alaskans, Thompson & Co. Public Relations is announcing the development of a new division and suite of services.

The division, led by T&C’s Executive Vice President Gary Scott and Senior Culture & Content Strategist Thomas McIntyre, will raise the voices of Black, Indigenous, people of color as well as issues of inequality affecting marginalized groups.

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Lessons from #SMWOne: virtual social media conference

At Thompson & Co. Public Relations, one of our Tenets and Convictions is to have a focus on personal and professional development to provide our clients with fresh ideas, the latest in communications trends and new ways to stay ahead of the competition. To do this, we continue to learn and push ourselves beyond our comfort. Recently, our social media team attended the virtual Social Media Week, SMWOne, which was moved online and extended to a four-week program.

SMWOne features presenters from leading brands in social media, from major influencers to data analysts and everything in between. This year’s lineup included representatives from Savage x Fenty, TikTok, Google, and Disney. After weeks of live video presentations, networking via Slack and virtual hangouts, our team is energized with new knowledge and ideas, and we’re excited to share what’s next in social media.

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Advice from a PR intern: What it’s like working at T&C

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.

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Virtual and IRL Alaska volunteer opportunities

Welcome back to business, some things have changed

The shelter-in-place coworker: our four-legged best friends

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.

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How to master the art of video conferencing

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

Managing social media during COVID-19

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.

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T&C’s tips for working from home

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

Free public relations services for Alaska nonprofits

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

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