Ready, Aim, Blitz

I arrived in Homer late Sunday, and am excited to again be a part of the Collective atmosphere: the productivity, the camaraderie, and the inspiration of volunteering alongside so many driven professionals who are devoting their time to this project. The setting here is absolutely stunning–who wouldn’t want to look out over snow-capped mountains when pondering an e-mail? That said, I’ve had little time to explore beyond our backyard (although see the picture below – its nothing to complain about!). the office

Since my arrival, I have been busily working on several exciting projects. Firstly, it’s an exciting week on the news front! As many of you are aware, CouchSurfing recently surpassed 1 million positive user experiences worldwide. For the Public Relations and Media Team, that means a media blitz: sending out our first worldwide news release this week. It’s an enormous task, but a thrilling one! The distribution of this news release will help us examine our process and identify areas for improvement. I’ve been absolutely amazed at the professionalism and dedication of the many volunteers who comprise this team; what a gift it is to volunteer with them and learn from them. Logistically, a distribution plan like this one is difficult–the press release must be translated into many languages, then each core team member must research media outlets to which this should be sent, which can be a time consuming process. Developing an international media list requires ongoing dedication, but I have no doubt this team is ready for the task!

Secondly, I attended a presentation on the new mission, vision and values of the organization and the anticipated new visual identity, the result of a long, organic process which began during the Thai Collective. It was much to absorb, and as our Identity team collects and incorporates feedback, it’s exciting to see how the collaboration of so many unique individuals brings the vision into focus. Of course, Public Relations is dependent upon the outcomes, so I eagerly await the final results, which will be incorporated into countless facets of CouchSurfing’s external communications.

In addition, we’re working on a strategic plan for both internal and external communications for CouchSurfing; a plan which will drive our direction for the next two years. We’re starting from scratch, which makes it both a thrilling and challenging time to be a part of this community.

Over the next 11 days that I am here, I will also offer media training to key members in leadership in the organization, giving them the tools they need to deliver the messages we want the world to hear. The training helps interviewees focus their thoughts, gain experience in front of a camera, gather constructive feedback about their interview performance and hone their interviewing skills. My hope is that if the people representing CouchSurfing in the public get cold feet, it’s because they’re standing on a glacier…not in front of a television camera.

It’s a whirlwind of good work to do and good people to do it here at the Alaska Collective!

Charish (Public Relations & Media Team)


One Response to “Ready, Aim, Blitz”

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