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.

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.

National LGBT Cancer Network joins 350 orgs in supporting Levine appointment


The National LGBT Cancer Network helped bring together a coalition of 350 nonprofit organizations to support the historic appointment of Dr. Rachel Levine, a trans woman, as Assistant Secretary of Health in the new administration. The coalition delivered a letter to the U.S Senate urging Levine’s appointment as the most qualified candidate. “The fact that she is trans is an inspiration for the many of us who have never had a role model this senior before,” says Scout, executive director of the LGBT Cancer Network. “The fact that she is supremely qualified means her trans status, while historic and inspirational, should not be a factor in her confirmation.”

 

Austin’s Butler Trail in the running for USA Today’s 10Best


The beloved Trail in the heart of Austin, the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail, is in the running for the USA Today 10Best awards. Currently at #4, you can put them over the top by voting here!

Welcome new client GFO Home!


Brenda Thompson Communications is now the public relations firm for GFO Home, a wildly successful new homebuilder in Austin and Dallas founded by real estate legend Glenn Gehan.

Glenn was the co-founder and CEO of Gehan Homes, one of the 10 largest privately-held homebuilders in the United States. After 25 years, he sold Gehan Homes and in 2018 founded GFO Home in Austin, the hottest real estate market in the country. In just two years, GFO has become the fastest-growing homebuilder in the city and had $280 million in revenue for 2020, only its second full year in business.

GFO Home is known for its team of experienced real estate veterans, and for streamlining and optimizing the process of building and buying high-end homes with modern designs in some of the best communities in and around Austin and Dallas. The company will expand to Houston in the near future.