Spring and summer are busy times for GVEC Community Relations Representatives Christine Presley and Kasie Tankersley. These ladies always have a well thought out plan, though, and execute seasonal events like the GVEC scholarship luncheon, Power Up™ check presentations, Annual Meeting and parades with precision and professionalism. However, most of their coordination efforts were stopped suddenly or pivoted in different directions when COVID-19 began affecting the GVEC territory in March.
What They Were Doing
Presley and Tankersley had full plates in mid-March. There was one more District Meeting to be held; GVEC Scholarship winners had been chosen, and notifications and luncheon planning was underway; area chamber banquets, community festivals and fundraisers GVEC takes part in were coming up; and preparations for the GVEC Annual Meeting had begun.
Then COVID-19 came along, and it became clear some adjustments would need to be made. Many community and corporate events began being canceled or postponed. But with some tenacity and ingenuity, our Public Relations team was determined to stay engaged the community!
What They Did Instead
In-person Chamber meetings transitioned to Zoom meetings or email communications. For Tankersley, she says this actually made it possible for her to “attend” more meetings than she is usually able to with her normal schedule.
Although Power Up grant recipients are usually awarded during a formal check presentation, Presley said they didn’t want these organizations have to wait to receive the funds to begin their projects. Instead, the non-profit groups were mailed their checks, so they could begin the projects and make the purchases planned to benefit their communities.
There was some disappointment knowing the 2020 GVEC Scholarship winners wouldn’t be recognized at the traditional luncheon. However, a way was found to honor these deserving graduates on social media instead. Each day, one of the 15 seniors was individually recognized on GVEC’s Facebook page. And, in her living room at home, Tankersley boxed up the framed certificates and gifts that would have been presented at the luncheon and alternatively shipped them to the students.
New Projects and Presentations
With many parents at home with their children because of stay-at-home orders, Presley and Tankersley saw an opportunity to do a couple things they do best through their work—serve and help educate—through short videos on social media. This was a natural fit for them, as they lead many of the youth and educational programs GVEC offers to the schools and libraries in our service area.
Tankersley says at first presentations were just planned week-to-week, according to what supplies they had at their homes. Then they collaborated with their team members to lay out a schedule based on weekly themes. The presentations included story times, experiments, simple snack recipes and crafts.
Keep in mind—all their presentations were videoed or streamed via Facebook Live at home, in their kitchens, dining rooms, yards etc. If someone old enough to operate their phone was home, they were lucky enough to have a camera man. Otherwise, they’d record themselves from a tripod or find some other way to stand their phones up.
Ready to Get Back Out There
While the ladies enjoyed coming up with new ideas to stay involved in the community while working from home, they were ready to get back to their normal busy routines. Tankersley valued the extra time she was able to spend with her three-year old son, which can be challenging to do with her regular schedule since it includes being out and about quite a bit. Presley missed her coworkers at the office and all the people in the community she works with. They’re glad to be back in the different areas of GVEC’s service territory, supporting the towns and citizens.
Rerun the Fun
If you missed the fun social media presentations Presley and Tankersley did during the COVID-19 stay-at-home period, or if you want to view them again for some extra summer activities you can do with your kiddos, you can still find them on the GVEC Facebook page under the Videos section. We’ve also included the links to two of the snack recipes, a fun sensory project and a cool paper craft in the labels about the pictures below.