Glad to help nonprofits at PR Gives Back

Fun brainstorming communications strategies and tactics with local nonprofits at PR Gives Back today! The South Sound group of the PRSA Puget Sound Chapter and WA Nonprofits sponsored this free event at the STAR Center. It marks the third year the groups have held this event in the South Sound. I’ve also been involved in the other two events. It’s a great way to give back to the community with free public relations counseling.

Photo of PR Gives Back roundtable discussion

PR Gives Back roundtable discussion

About PR Gives Back

PR Gives Back is Cindy Sharpe’s gift to our region. Cindy Sharpe, APR, was involved in PR Gives Back in Tampa, FL. When she moved to Puget Sound, Cindy introduced this wonderful idea to us — thank you! PR professionals volunteer two hours of their time to help a nonprofit. About 20 nonprofits participate in each event. This year the event planning committee included Cindy, Jennifer Aalgaard, Victoria Lane, Libby Catalinich and Liz Glavish — thank you, all! Well done!

Last year, PR Gives Back was held in Seattle, and the event is planned to take place in Seattle again in early 2017. Watch the PRSA website for more details.

Proud to help Pierce County Auditor’s Office during November election

Engage Northwest is helping the Pierce County Auditor’s Office with communications and social media during the November 2016 General Election. This election will be the largest (in terms of candidates, issues and registered voters) in Pierce County’s history! Follow along on the Pierce County Auditor’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you’re a Pierce County voter, download the free mobile app — Civic Pierce County. You can check your voter registration, find drop box and voter center locations, find out which elected offices you can run for, and more. Engage!

Can’t attend SXSW? Follow on social

If you can’t attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in person, catch some of the creative content on social media. SXSW will live stream over 60 events, including President Obama’s keynote conversation today. The President is expected to interact with the audience about using technology to increase participation in the political process. The festival’s live streams are available here.

**Updated with a post from President Obama’s talk today — how can we use technology and data so government can work better and increase civic engagement:

Local government will be engaged, as Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland discusses how data and evidence can improve lives on this panel.

**Updated with a post from the “What Works” data and evidence panel this morning:


SXSW showcases innovations in music, art and technology in fun, interactive ways. The event runs from March 11 – 20 in Austin, Texas.

For more information, follow along at #SXSW2016, catch the live streams and learn more about art, communications and technology! 



Visual storytelling: Periscope, drones and more

Visual storytelling continues to be a hot trend in 2016 – GoPros capture action and adventure from different angles, drones fly and film up high and social media apps allow us to see places and events in real time.

In December 2015, Apple named Periscope the iPhone app of the year. Owned by Twitter, Periscope is a free live-streaming video app. It launched last year and quickly attracted more than 10 million users who created more than 100 million live video broadcasts. In just a few weeks into 2016, Periscope already is integrating and innovating. Some new features include:

  • Periscope live streams and replays in a Tweet. Users do not need a Periscope account or app and can watch the video directly in Twitter. This feature should allow users to reach greater audiences.

  • Periscope teamed up with GoPro, so people can live stream on Periscope with a HERO4 Black or Silver camera. Live action video will be on display at the X Games in Aspen, CO this week.

Showing dramatic images from the air, drones continue to gain in popularity.  Because of security, safety and privacy issues, the Federal Aviation Administration requires drone owners to register before flying outdoors. More information about the rules and registration are available on the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Registration web page.

In the Puget Sound area, businesses, individuals and government agencies increasingly use drones to help tell their stories. Some examples include:

How will you incorporate visual communications in the year ahead?

For more information

  • New York Times article about Apple naming Periscope the app of 2015.

Social media and lighted landmarks help world support France

Photo of profile picture with French colors

Facebook profile with French colors – in solidarity

The world took to social media to express outrage at the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, and to support France and freedom everywhere. In solidarity, many people shared pictures of themselves living in or visiting France and updated their profile picture with the French flag colors of blue, white and red.

Jean Jullien’s “Peace for Paris” image using the Eiffel Tower and the international peace sign captured the world’s emotions and quickly “went viral:”

Social media also provided information about safety (with Facebook’s Safety Check tool), shelter (with the hashtag #PorteOuverte or “open door”), and canceled flights (with the hashtag #StrandedInUS), according to this New York Times article.

As the Eiffel Tower turned off its lights for three days of official mourning and respect, other famous world landmarks lit  France’s tricolors, including One World Trade Center at the site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York City. See more information in this NBC News article.

In the Pacific Northwest, Century Link Field shined with France:

You can see many more world landmarks shining in solidarity in this Facebook post from Pulptastic:

Even though we are long distances and times apart, social media continues to connect people around the world and can comfort and show support in times of tragedy and crisis. #PrayforParis