Get to Know New Member Joan Thielen

    Get to Know New Member Joan Thielen

    Role/company: Public Relations Manager, Dumb Friends League

    Favorite Colorado activity? This is a tough one! Like most Coloradans, I enjoy spending time outdoors. I love to hike and road bike, all followed by patio sitting at one of our many amazing breweries. 

    Can you share a proud moment, from either a career or personal standpoint? One of my proudest career moments came as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Having worked at the Dumb Friends League for the past 13 years, I’ve had a few different roles, starting in our operations department and transitioning over time to marketing and communications. When the stay-at-home order was announced, we knew as an organization we needed to develop a plan that would allow us to continue to serve the pets and people in our community while keeping staff and volunteers safe. My role as communications and content specialist was reassigned to a team lead role where I would manage a team of 40 staff in the daily operations of the Leslie A. Malone Center in Denver. We were operating with a skeleton crew that worked tirelessly to meet the needs of both the pets and people we served. Every day presented new challenges and having not worked in shelter operations for nearly a decade, I had a lot to learn about everything! I learned to clean a kennel, feed the animals, what to do when we had a contagion concern with a pet or patron, and the list goes on. Over the three months I worked as a team lead, I developed new relationships, shed some tears, and reignited my passion for animal welfare. I was continuously amazed by the team's resiliency in what was an incredibly trying time and in my ability to lead such a large group of individuals with limited management experience. Having the opportunity to take on this challenge gave me the confidence to accept the role of public relations manager when it was offered to me in June of this year. 

    What are you looking to get out of PRSA? I’ve worked in marketing for the past several years but am new to public relations. I am excited to learn from and network with my fellow PRSA members. I would like to develop creative solutions to communication challenges and find new ways to meet the needs of our audience based on what others are doing successfully – or not so successfully, for that matter. Also, I would like to share the work we are doing at the League with the PRSA community.

    What's at the top of your to-do list for the last few months of the year? I’m working to create a content strategy for the Dumb Friends League that will align our various communications and ensure our messaging is cohesive and finding the correct audience while staying connected to our mission.



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