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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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