Four women in an office

New collaborations with Young Communications Group

Four women in an officeWe’ve had some fun and productive brainstorming sessions recently with this crew at Young Communications Group, Inc. with whom we’ve worked on a number of key public affairs projects for the State of California. Together we filled up four whiteboard pages with wild ideas for how to tell important stories. And bucking the trend of people not wanting to go back to the office, Brenda Thompson Communications is now co-working with YCG at in their fabulous office in Los Angeles’ historic Granada Buildings.

The block-long complex in the Westlake neighborhood was built as live-work spaces in 1927. The Los Angeles Times described the combined shop, studio and apartment structure as something entirely new for LA, resembling the design of European specialty shops.

Early tenants included the Hollywood photographer George Hurrell, who shot celebrated portraits of actors such as Ramon Novarro and Norma Shearer in suite number 9.

The buildings have received many accolades. In 2003, the complex was named the “Best Nonprofit Enclave” by LA Weekly, which noted at the time that: “Creative people are drawn to the Granada because of its fascinating history, charming architecture, old-school elevator and lovely courtyard: a gorgeous garden with flowing fountains along the walkways.”

The complex was designated a Historic Cultural Monument by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission in April 1981 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

First Lady Laura Bush in front of Texas Book Festival poster

Author client Kaplan to be featured at Texas Book Festival

First Lady Laura Bush in front of Texas Book Festival posterOur author client Brett Ashley Kaplan has been selected as a featured author for this year’s Texas Book Festival, a pretty big deal for a first-time novelist, for her book Rare Stuff.

We were the PR firm for the Festival for five years, one of many literary organizations we’ve worked with, including the Texas Library Association, the largest of its kind in the country. Brenda Thompson was named a city council appointee to the Library Commission in the years that Austin’s incredible new library was being planned.

We were engaged by the Westlake Hills library to manage the media around the opening of the first library in the nation to be named for First Lady Laura Bush. A few years later we got to have an event at the Bush’s home in Dallas to announce the roster for that year’s Texas Book Festival. The former First Lady was a founder of TBF and later of the National Book Festival, held in Washington D.C.

Kaplan’s debut novel, just published August 1, has been well-received by readers, reviewers, and book clubs across the nation. Rare Stuff takes readers on a mysterious journey through a series of interlocking clues, with an intriguing search for a missing person moving through real and magically real universes in New York, Chicago, and glass houses under the sea constructed by Yiddish-speaking whales desperate to save our endangered planet. You can find Rare Stuff wherever books are sold, or, if you can, come to the Texas Book Festival Nov. 4 and 5 and hear from Brett and nearly 300 other incredible authors in person!

Texas homebuilder GFO Home dominating Austin, and now Dallas market

Glenn Gehan is a familiar name in Texas as he was co-founder and CEO of Dallas-based Gehan Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the United States. Now, as real estate reporter Steve Brown of the The Dallas Morning News writes, Gehan’s new company GFO Home has expanded into Dallas and is selling new homes at the high end of the market.

This article is one of many featuring Gehan and GFO Home in the past year, as since the company was founded in 2018, it’s risen swiftly to become one of the most successful homebuilders in the state.

As a fourth-generation homebuilder with deep roots in the city, expanding his new company to Dallas was always the plan, Gehan says. And the company is now expanding into Houston.

Author Brett Ashley Kaplan scores Kirkus Review

Rare Stuff by Brett Ashley Kaplan will be published August 1, 2022.

In a big win for a first-time fiction author, client Brett Ashley Kaplan scored a Kirkus Review of her debut novel Rare Stuff 

“Yiddish-speaking whales, a suitcase packed with secrets, and one young woman’s desperate attempt to find answers. The novel alternates among Sid’s perspective, the long-suffering André’s perspective, and chapters from Aaron’s unpublished manuscript featuring Yiddish-speaking whales trying to save the world from environmental collapse. Kaplan packs a lot into her novel and while the novel’s ambitious scope could easily have been its downfall, it’s saved by descriptions of tender longing for connection and purpose, particularly realized in André’s chapters, as well as a soft, magical tone. A dreamy story with surprising emotional resonance.” –Kirkus Reviews published online 5-11-22 and in the June 1 issue of the print magazine.

Rare Stuff is available for pre-order on Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble and will be available Aug. 1.

 

 

 

World premiere of Angkor: The Lost Empire of Cambodia at California Science Center

Dozens of Los Angeles media outlets covered the world premiere of Angkor: the Lost Empire of Cambodia at the California Science Center. We worked with Young Communications Group Inc. on the exclusive media preview event and on promoting the associated IMAX film.

The world premiere of the new exhibition debuted at the California Science Center February 16. Through 120 original artifacts — half on tour outside Cambodia for the first time — and hands-on exhibits, guests will use the lens of science to explore the ancient empire of Angkor.

Once considered the most extensive metropolis in the world, Angkor houses more than 100 temples, now mysteriously quiet and surrounded by the dense Cambodian forest.

 

 

Five generations of sandwich artists discuss ThunderCloud Subs’ enduring appeal

Thundercloud for Austin Monthly Magazine
Drew Anthony Smith

We’ve been lucky to work with some quintessential Austin brands over the years. One of these is ThunderCloud Subs, a local chain of sub sandwich shops that is one of the most-loved businesses in the city.

In 10 years as ThunderCloud’s PR agency, this article more than any other gets the vibe and culture that make ThunderCloud unique.

“As much as Austin has changed over ThunderCloud’s 47 years in operation, walking into one of their shops still feels like stepping back in time. And a big part of that classic vibe has to do with the employees, many of whom to this day still fit the city’s legendary slacker archetype, clocking out to head straight to band practice.”

Thanks to writer Dan Gentile for the extensive research and interviews, and really capturing ThunderCloud.

Famous quotes about public relations

“If I was down to my last dollar I’d spend it on public relations.”

This is likely the most famous and popular quote about PR. Do you know who said it?

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is famously quoted as saying he’d spend his last dollar on PR.

Here are a few other noteworthy quotes on public relations.

🗞️“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.”
– Daniel J. Boorstin, historian and author

🗞️ “When they go low, we go high.”
– Michelle Obama, former first lady

🗞️“Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.”
– Jean-Louis Gassée, former Apple executive

🗞️“In the end, all you have is your reputation.”
– Oprah, talk show host, actress, entrepreneur

🗞️“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”
– Warren Buffett, investor and philanthropist

🗞️“The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.”
– Mark Twain, humorist

🗞️“Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.”
– John D. Rockefeller, business magnate

GFO Home founder featured in Austin Business Journal profile

GFO Home founder and CEO Glenn Gehan is a fifth-generation homebuilder who, as a kid, thought he might be a dentist someday. Instead, he built his first company into one of the largest volume homebuilders in the country. And his new company is already an amazing success story.

This profile of Glenn in the Austin Business Journal is a rare look at the roots of Glenn’s success, and his present-day inspirations. “You don’t get many fifth-generation homebuilders,” Glenn says.

Join us: Don’t Ban Equality

Brenda Thompson Communications is one of more than 50 companies that signed an open letter denouncing Texas’ near-total ban on abortion, saying restrictions on reproductive care will be bad for business and hurt workers, customers, and the state’s economy.

This article in Forbes Magazine lists the companies.

The cost of state-level restrictions on abortion to state economies is $105 billion, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The letter marks the largest outcry yet from the business community against Texas’ controversial Senate Bill 8, which effectively bans abortion in Texas. Several other states are considering copycat bills.

Companies can add their name to the letter at the Don’t Ban Equality website.

#DontBanEquality

Now hiring event PR coordinator

We’re hiring!

Brenda Thompson Communications is seeking a part-time Public Relations Coordinator in Austin–being in Austin is a requirement–on a contract basis for 10 hours per week starting now/ASAP through the end of December.

The position is to assist with Austin’s beloved Thanksgiving Day tradition, the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot, which is planned as a combo of in-person and virtual this year.

Hours may vary week-to-week; MUST BE available on Thursday, Nov. 4, 9 a.m. until noon for an event, and Thanksgiving Day early morning for several hours minimum.

To be considered, please send a letter of interest, resume, references, and one stellar writing sample to info@brendathompson.com.

The position offers:

  • $25 per hour, 56 cents per mile reimbursed
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Mostly remote work (meetings via Zoom)
  • Must have all the tech resources required including cell phone and reliable transportation

Public Relations Coordinator duties include, but aren’t necessarily limited to:

  • Create social media posts, including writing and graphics
  • Travel around town to take original photos and video (on a smart phone) for social media
  • Recruit and supervise a costumed mascot to take photos on location
  • Assist with on-site events on specifically Thursday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. until noon, and on Thanksgiving Day early morning for several hours, possibly others
  • Compile client reports on media coverage, social media, and other activities
  • Conduct internet and other research
  • Organize assets like photos, video

Public Relations Coordinator experience/skills required for this job:

  • Previous similar work experience (internships or professionally)
  • Demonstrated mastery of social media platforms
  • Strong writer with grammar, spelling, punctuation proficiency
  • Basic photography and design skills
  • Organized and detail-oriented
  • Demonstrated responsibility and problem-solving abilities