Doing Good: A 2nd Cup, 08.11.2014

With Houston being a hub for human trafficking, A 2nd Cup aims to educate people and raise awareness of the human-trafficking issue in our city. By serving as a money-making engine to fund solutions for survivors, the nonprofit works in collaboration with other anti-trafficking organizations to raise awareness, generate interest and engaging the public to take action. read more »

Doing Good: The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston Talks Good Cents, 02.27.2014

We hope y’all will pardon the terrible pun in this post’s title, but we felt strongly about it. For this month’s nonprofit feature, we let the daughter of an accountant take the reigns. In keeping with that background, she picked a nonprofit that focuses on an issue that is oft-overlooked – financial literacy. The Greater Houston Women’s Foundation was established in 1990 by a group of professional women who were concerned that less than five percent of philanthropic dollars were dedicated to women and girls’ causes. The founders did not want Houston to follow this national trend, so they gathered like-minded women who contributed to build the foundation. They had three goals: To help women become economically self sufficient; encourage prevention and early intervention of problems affecting women and girls; and support programs that develop and improve life skills. In 2002, the organization’s name was changed to The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston. read more »

A Resolution We Shouldn’t Have To Make, 01.10.2014

“Many people perceive public relations as something less than respectable – as clever strategies to convince the public that what’s wrong is right. Some see public relations professionals as manipulators of the public mind, rather than conveyors of the truth.” – Steven R. Van Hook, PhD

In the new year, many of us have made resolutions for 2014.  As communicators, we are well-versed in providing brand and image guidance to our clients and striving to do our best for them. But what are we to do about the perception of ourselves and our industry? Too often, we are referred to as "spin doctors," responsible for the overt deceit of the publics we should be serving. How did this happen, and how do we combat it?

ethics-scale

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Shop (Locally) ‘Til You Drop, 11.14.2013

Shop local, shop often: Isn’t that how the saying goes? As we gear up for the gifting frenzy of the holiday season, we want to stop and consider the effects of where we choose to do our shopping.
The horror.

The horror.

Over half of the working population works in a small business, and, according to Forbes, businesses with fewer than 500 employees generated over 65 percent of the net new jobs since 1995.  When you shop locally, you put money directly back into the community, which helps create even more jobs and new products. Besides, who would know better what items to provide to Houstonians than our fellow neighbors? read more »

NaNoWriMo. It’s more than just a pretty acronym., 10.25.2013

Houston is a great city - we all know this. There are so many local organizations doing great work in and for the community, it's hard to be anything else but a model of giving. Appropriately, Houston was the second most philanthropic city in the nation earlier this year. Here at 20K Group, we call ourselves "a communications agency with a conscience," and we want that to be more than just a tagline. We try to support the community in various ways, whether its volunteering for a cause we're passionate about or purchasing a table at a gala. Since we care about Houston (and know you do, too), we’ll be featuring one nonprofit on our blog per month to acknowledge their efforts on behalf of Houston's citizens. Which do you think could use some love? Let us know in the comments. How many of us have ever dreamed of writing the next Great American novel? It might have begun as a few sentences in a notebook, or a scribbled missive in a margin – the start of our great story. But, what if we actually sat down and finished those thoughts? What if we had time to just see where the sentences led and go from there? November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an annual internet-based creative writing project that challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30.

NaNoWriMo

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Looking for a fun new workplace activity? Do some good., 09.26.2013

We’re busy, and so are you. We know it’s important to give back to our communities. We look admiringly at those people we know who are phenomenally involved; they seem to do it all – serve on nonprofit boards, chair fundraising events, volunteer at the local food bank and use their social media accounts to spread the word about great organizations. Sometimes we’re jealous of those people. They’re probably also the same people who manage to work out four times a week and cook healthy meals at home. (You know the type.) We also want to work in a happy, healthy office environment. We want to feel fulfilled in our lives and in our jobs, and here’s the thing: the two can go hand-in-hand. Workplaces can kill two birds with one stone: according to the 2010 “Do Good, Live Well” study commissioned by United Healthcare, volunteering boosts both employee morale and health (by 92 and 96 percent, respectively).

 volunteer

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It’s National Volunteer Week! How are you going to give back?, 04.25.2013

According to the 2012 Census, about a quarter of Americans volunteer, and those individuals spent a median of 50 hours in selfless service each year. In addition to helping their communities, those that volunteer tend to be healthier and happier than their peers. National Volunteer Week, established in 1974 to celebrate volunteerism of all kinds, is a great time to recognize those around you who donate their time to the community and get involved yourself.

Volunteering

Volunteering: good for others, good for you.

At 20K, we try to give back as often as we can. Our founder and vice president have been lifelong advocates for both local and global communities. Some of the Houston-based organizations they’ve donated their time to are: read more »

Good Impressions, 03.01.2012

CSRA new type of ad is being put to the test in London. The Plan UK outdoor ad uses facial recognition software to scan passersby and determine their gender. Women are allowed to view the full 40-second video, while men only get to see Plan’s web address. The goal is to give men a sense of what it’s like to have their basic choices taken away. The ad campaign hopes to raise funds so that girls can get proper education in developing countries. Social Media - Pinterest has taken the web by storm, and retailers are targeting their customers based on user demographics.  Research indicates that the average user spends more time on Pinterest than on Facebook. On a self-promotional note,  tune into 20K Group’s Pinterest boards for inspiration on design, community and weird and whimsical finds. - Robin Wilding lists 5 common blog mistakes, along with 5 simple fixes. Remember the tools and keep posting, and your business can gain a competitive edge. - Jon Barocas, founder and CEO of bieMEDIA, claims that we will soon face the demise of another social media tool: QR codes. Used by only 5% of Americans, their reign appears to be short lived. Crisis Communication - An article on Presenting Yourself tells a simple story of how a minor incident can cause serious damage to a company’s reputation.  It discusses four major factors that lead to a situation going out of control: fear, culture, ignorance and lack of training. Community - Tonight, supermodel Christy Turlington will be in Houston for an event supporting Texas Children’s Hospital in association with the non-profit organization that she founded, Every Mother Counts. Turlington is a longtime advocate for mother and child health and has been a dedicated advocate with Care International. - Mark Rothko is well-known in Houston, primarily because of his stunning works that hang in the Menil. On March 2, Houstonians will get to know the artist on a more intimate level when the biographical play, RED, opens at the Alley Theatre.

Business and the Do-Gooder Complex, 11.28.2011

This blog is more than a little delayed, but the information is still at the front of our minds. Two months ago, Chris Valdez of the web design and marketing agency Primer Grey invited me to speak with him at SchipulCon, a conference on community, technology and creativity. Our topic guidelines were broadly defined, so we went with where our passion lie. Like many members of Gen X and Gen Y, we’ve made it a key tenet of our professional goals to marry business with do-gooding.

Photo by Joey Garcia

To some, do-gooding can seem self-indulgent or naïve, but 61% of 13- to 25-year-olds feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world. That means that 61% of your current and future workforce is likely to want a career that contributes to the common good and helps to fulfill their need to make the world a better place. From a human resources perspective alone, that statistic should be enough to make you stand up and take notice. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why we think you should care about integrating social good into your business plan and culture: read more »

Good Impressions, 10.20.2011

Courtesy freephotos.com user Jay

Social Media - Are you maximizing your efforts for social media optimization? Lauren Yontef provides these six tips for amping up your online content in Six @ Six: Basic Tips for Social Optimization. - Bennie Langenhoven of Tellumat Communication Solutions writes that “[s]ocial media has already become widely used in business, but its impact will be felt even more pervasively in the future, as unified communications and other applications find a natural home in a social setting.” Are social-UC apps the way of the future in business? read more »