“Sometimes our issues seem so vast, but so much of what you can do can start here and now.” Anna Lappé of Real Food Media has devoted her career to understanding the intersection of food systems and climate change. At GrapeVine and PCC Farmland Trust’s June 10th event, Our Plates, Our Planet, six incredible women panelists, including Lappe, told individual stories of how they work toward more sustainable farmland practices everyday.

We know that there is so much needed change that needs to happen within our food systems, and it was inspiring to hear each and every panelist explain the waves they’re making in the restaurant and farming industry. Anna Lappé, a nationally known author, spoke about the importance of re-imagining our food systems to protect biodiversity on earth. “Our vision is to eat food that’s good for our bodies and for the land.” Lappé also spoke about how while it can seem daunting, the food choices we all make can and will make a difference — using the metaphor of being drops in a bucket.

The rest of the panel was made up of speakers from the local food, farm and ranching industries including Marjorie restaurant owner Donna Moodie, Gleason Ranch Manager Tracey Baker, Viva Farms Marketing Manager Anna Chotzen, Conservation Director of PCC Farmland Trust Hilary Aten, and Executive Director at Oxbow Farm & Education Center Liza Jaguzny.

Food systems are the driver of many big issues of our time, and transitioning farms to be resilient in the face of climate change is important in every facet of the industry. Restaurant owner Donna Moodie sources her organic ingredients from local Washington farms and creates dishes based on the seasonality of certain PNW crops. “We need to eat at places that are choosy about what they serve, and make it a primary choice in our lives, no matter where we come from,” Moodie encouraged attendees to ask more questions everywhere they eat, and make conscious decisions. Reflecting on Lappé’s metaphor Moodie said,“We’re all drops in the bucket, you can decide how big or small you want to be.”

Small farms are the backbone of the organic growing industry, as we heard Anna Chotzen speak about the opportunities Viva Farms provides to small farm businesses to become successful. She mentioned that 175 acres of farmland is lost every hour- to decrease that number we must educate small farm owners on organic practices so their farms can be resilient.

Tracey Baker of Gleason Ranch had an interesting perspective into the ranching industry, and suggested people always double check the labeling of their products. As a grass-fed beef farm, Baker works to do her best to control the process for the benefit of the animal. Baker says she is with her cattle from the moment they are born, to their very last day.

At Parsons, we have a longstanding support of organic farming and produce. We were thrilled to be able to help sponsor this event with Grapevine and PCC Farmland Trust and to hear these panelists speak so complementary of each other, it just confirms the need for more women in the organic farming industry to make change. We look forward to more thought-provoking events like this, and working with all these fantastic organizations to keep making drops in the bucket!


In the dialogue of climate change, waste takes up a huge space. How can we avoid waste and how can we create less of it? Today, more and more companies and entrepreneurs are asking: how can we REUSE it? These unique (some, unheard of) ideas may be putting us on the right track to save our planet before it’s too late.


This London based company is reinventing the future of protein. Did you know that just 55 percent of the world’s crop calories are actually eaten by humans? Thirty-six percent is used for animal feed and the rest (nine percent) goes towards bio-fuels and other industrial resources. Some of that animal feed goes back into humans, but it takes 100 calories of grain to produce a mere 12 calories of chicken or three calories of beef. Doesn’t seem very productive – does it?

That’s where Entocycle, an insect farming company, comes in. They take pre-consumer food waste (such as spent grain from local breweries or used grounds from local coffee roasters) and feed it to their Black Soldier Fly Larvae in their indoor, controlled environment. In just six days the larvae consume the organic waste and convert it into high-protein body mass. These insects are then processed into a flour when they are 45-65% protein and this flour can be combined with other products and turned into feed pellets.


With our current water usage, experts predict that we will only have 60 percent of the water we need to survive by 2030. Cotton, grown mainly for the apparel industry, uses three percent of the total water consumed by agriculture. This doesn’t seem like a huge percentage, but over 5,000 gallons of water is needed just to produce one t-shirt and a pair of jeans. When it comes to a life resource, any way to cut down usage is a step in the right direction.

After learning about how a spider spins its web, co-founder of Spinnova Juha Salmela wondered if wood fibre could be spun into textile fiber in the same way.

He was right. While still in their pilot stage, their process uses about 99 percent less water than cotton production and zero harmful chemicals. Using FSC certified wood, they’re promoting responsible forest management and creating a sustainable and recyclable fibre choice for the textile industry.


American women’s clothing brand, EILEEN FISHER, has started a program to extend the life of the clothing pieces they create and love so much. Their philosophy couldn’t be more simple: Buy quality pieces, wear them as long as possible – and when you’re done with them, pass them onto someone else.

Bring your original EILEEN FISHER pieces in any condition to one of their retail stores and receive a $5 gift card for each piece. The amazing renew team then sorts, cleans and sometimes even redesigns to make one-of-a-kind creations! You can find these sustainable, affordable and unique garments online and in select EILEEN FISHER stores.

This past weekend, I attended the Northwest Travel Writers conference put on by Northwest Travel and Life Magazine in Vancouver, Washington. It was an incredible experience to put writers’ and editors’ names to faces, and learn about the ever-evolving world of travel journalism.

The Travel and Words conference truly felt like a community of people wanting to learn from each other, work together, and explore every corner of the PNW. I spoke with marketing directors from destinations all over the Northwest, and representing a client like Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce, it was helpful to make those connections and make note of how they draw people to their respective cities.

On the other hand, it was really important to me to develop relationships with the media I’ve been working with since I started at Parsons + Co. It’s one thing to exchange emails for months, but another to have a beer with a writer and get to know them on a personal level. Moving forward, it will be so nice to communicate about our clients with these writers in a more authentic and targeted way.

Not only were connections made, but insights were explored. Folio Magazine’s Content Director Caysey Welton made an important statement that I think applied to everyone at the conference: “Always think about your mission before going into any project.”

I visited a new city and represented Parsons + Co. at Travel and Words this year and can’t wait to expand my marketing and communications knowledge at the next conference!


Spring in Seattle means days of sun, rain, and often both- where everyone must dig up a pair of sunglasses they forgot they needed, without leaving their fleece or favorite sweater just yet. Spending time outside in Seattle lets us appreciate the beauty of our state and enjoy the outdoor recreation that’s all around us. 

Here are our teams favorite Seattle spring activities: 

Joanie: The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is definitely my start to Spring. I usually go up super early in the morning, so I have the roads and the fields to myself. It’s the best time for photographing the immense beauty of spring. Also, the first hike or bicycle ride signals the beginning of the season. 

Natalia: I’m looking forward to dining al fresco with the family on our deck (wrapped in blankets), cheering on the Seattle Sounders, and weekend hikes and bicycle rides. 

Eric: Watching my neighbors spend all last weekend working in their garden and getting inspired to—finally—do something with the landscaping around my patio. Getting all the tools together, buying garbage bags, splurging on a new pair of garden gloves…and then going on a bike ride instead. 

Maddy: My favorite part of spring is the walks around Lake Washington! 

Natalie: I’m looking forward to grilling season, local hikes and more hours of daylight! 

Hannah: I am a spring baby and this is my favorite time of year. I love that the flowers start to bloom and I can wear t-shirts again! I’m looking forward to having BBQ’s with friends and enjoying outdoor breweries. 

Hiring a PR agency can be a lucrative investment for your company, and choosing the right agency is the first step to success. You want to be confident that you are putting your brand in the hands of people who are proficient at understanding your value proposition and why people should care about it. Asking these questions will give you a better idea of who is best equipped to help your company excel:

What are your specific goals and how can a PR agency help to achieve them?

Whether it be more media attention, to increase sales or elevate your brand recognition, having set objectives will help you and the PR agency create a successful roadmap.

Does the PR agency align with your core values? How can they help you represent those values?

You will get more authentic storytelling if your company values align with the agency’s values. 

Do they have experience with brands like yours?

Strong media connections within an industry are a key to success. PR is heavily dependent on relationships and an agency that has worked with journalists and bloggers in your field will likely be able to get more attention for you, faster and more efficiently. 

What do we need from them and what do they need from us for this to be a successful partnership?   

Communication is the most important thing in a partnership! Being open and honest about expectations and the way you communicate in an initial meeting will help everyone involved be more effective. Because your success is a PR agency’s success.

To reach your company goals and have a strong partnership with the PR agency you choose to work with, it all comes down to understanding each other. Make sure you do your homework on the agency, and they do theirs on your company. Results will come and relationships will grow!

From the space we inhabit to the space we work, feeling comfortable, safe and happy are always top priorities. Human and environmental health are linked, and to ensure employees have a space where collaboration, connection, and conversation can happen means providing flexibility in the workplace.

In a report done in Gensler’s Workplace Index, it was emphasized that giving employees multiple spaces at work will increase productivity, engagement, and overall happiness. These spaces include somewhere they can focus, somewhere to collaborate, a place to learn, and an area to socialize. The key is to move away from thinking of a workplace as a single floor plan, and instead shift toward multiple layouts. Productive offices often have cubicles, conference rooms, smaller meeting rooms, a lounge or lunch area, and larger presentation rooms. These spaces give employees the option to to adjust their workspace however they need.

Plants are another way to increase employee well being that is often overlooked. In a workplace, plants have been proven to decrease stress, increase productivity, and reduce sickness. A 2010 study by the University of Technology in Sydney showed that by simply having one plant visible from each desk, employee anxiety dropped by 37%, there was a 44% decrease in anger, and employee fatigue levels fell by 38%. Though the researchers note that the sample size was small, “This study shows that just one plant per workspace can provide a very large lift to staff spirits, and so promote well being and performance.”

At Parsons, we work in an open office decorated with plants, bouncing ideas off of one another while also respecting the fact that we need individual work times during the day. Finding a system that works for your company will encourage a safe, collaborative space for employees to thrive.

It’s happened to all of us. You order a fresh, hot stack of pancakes or a big, juicy burger and when it arrives you think, “well that looks nothing like the photo”. This is because food photographers use things like motor oil instead of syrup on pancakes and layers of cardboard within a hamburger to make it look plumper. Wanting a product to look the best it can for promotional materials is one thing, but using “gotcha” marketing tactics to do so is where a line can be crossed.

More recently, marketing and public relations teams are having to be a little more creative—and straightforward—if they want to win consumers over. Customers have more choices than ever, and if they feel bamboozled by one brand, they’ll simply choose another. People respect brands that are honest in their marketing efforts, and are often willing to pay more to support a brand that they feel respects them in return.

Customers want to feel like they are connecting with people, not brands. Transparency in marketing allows a company to be seen as human, and less as a robotic corporation. Letting customers in on the failures and struggles that a business has faced to get their company to where it is reminds them that it is human- and keeping your consumers in the know about the “why” and the “how” will make them feel valued.

Clothing company Everlane is transparent with their price tags, and wins big for it. They show the cost to make each product, from production to materials, and then pass those costs onto their customer, without the huge markup. While other clothing companies may mark up products 5-6x, Everlane does so at 2-3x, making their products significantly cheaper, but with the same quality and care of materials. Research by Label Insight reveals that, “94 percent of those surveyed are more likely to be loyal to brands that are transparent.”

These days, consumers want to be respected and they want to know exactly what they are paying for. Transparency not only allows customers to have an insight into what they are spending their money on, but allows business to show their buyers that they respect them enough to share that information with them. Companies who make the effort to not only give them a product they love, but show them the “why” and “how”, will see their attempts return as profits—and often, customers who come back again and again.

January came and went, and we’re ready to take 2019 head on. Because the Parsons team prioritizes both work and play, we decided to each set one personal and one professional goal for the year.

Check out our team’s goals:


Personal: Getting to the mountains more with the kids.

Professional: Helping clients elevate their brands with more personality.


Personal: Start strength training again!

Professional: Expand my media relations knowledge through the use of podcasts and other alternative outlets.


Personal: A challenging multi-day hike. 2018 The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. 2019???

Professional: Excellent results for all of our clients.


Personal: Last month I received two letters on the same day! Not cards. Not notes. Not direct mail from someone trying to sell something. Letters from friends! Who writes real letters any more? Well, in 2019 the answer to that question will be “I do.” My goal is to write one letter per week to a friend. Just because.

Professional: I belong to this professional development book club. Sorta. I’m on the email list. So I get regular emails about what the book the group will be reading/discussing and when the next meeting is. And the books always sound interesting. And I like the people in the group. But I almost never go. Something always comes up. Or I put off reading the book until the night before. In short, I commit to it. So my goal for 2019 is to make every meeting.


Personal: Do something adventurous & outside of my comfort zone once a month (Checked off January, went bungee-jumping!).

Professional: Make five new professional connections and take them out to coffee.


Personal: Spend quality time with a friend at least once a week.

Professional: Be more confident in networking and more willing to ask for guidance and advice.


Personal: Last weekend, I ran my first long distance race since high school with the Parsons team in the Tunnel to Viaduct 8k. I am starting the year off strong with one goal down! And, I want to read more books. My goal is to finish one per month.

Professional: I plan to put into practice as much as possible from Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. What an excellent book! (I recommend it to anyone. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out.)


Personal: Live in the moment. In can be so easy to get caught up in thoughts of what’s next and am I on the right path, but this year I’m going to try to be present in every second and soak it up.

Professional: Learn something new in my field every month. In PR and marketing, you can’t fall behind on trends and technology. This year I’m going to teach myself about/how to do something in the field each month.

As we move into 2019, we are celebrating some awesome coverage for our clients from 2018. Here are just a few:

GRAYL on the Today Show: TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen included the GRAYL Ultralight Purifier bottle in a segment on his tops tips for a safe spring break. Spring Break Travel Safety: Jeff Rossen offers tips

Montinore in Forbes: Food and wine writer Tom Mullen featured Montinore, specifically on how biodynamic winemaking has led partner Rudy Marchesi to a more sustainable, efficient vineyard. Biodynamic Winemaking Takes Root in Oregon

Wenatchee Rails and Ales and Mission Ridge in Snowboarder’s Journal: In February, we brought out a reporter from the Snowboarder’s Journal to capture Rails and Ales, Mission Ridge’s infamous rail jam and beer garden event. He also stayed to experience the mountain, and featured a story on his snowboarding experience at Mission Ridge. Rails & Ales 2018, Favorable Fortune in Eastern Washington: Mission Ridge

Herban Feast in Seattle Bride: A “Garden Party” Real Wedding catered by Herban Feast and held at The Foundry (an Herban Feast venue) was featured in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue. Garden Party: Bringing the Outdoors In

Leisure Care in Senior Housing News: Leisure Care’s significant growth and East Coast expansion was covered by Senior Housing News, and was emphasized as a hospitality-driven company.  Leisure Care Targets New East Coast Markets in Nationwide Expansion

Wenatchee in Seattle Magazine: Seattle Mag featured a cover story on where to stay, what to explore, and what to sip and eat in Wenatchee in a story on why it makes the perfect trip for any weekend explorer. Wenatchee: A Weekend Getaway Worth the Trip

Pike Place Market on King 5: The King 5 Morning News team came down to the Market to explore all it has to offer during the holiday shopping season- from authentic Italian pasta to handmade leather bags. Five segments over the 7-9am time frame got us great coverage on December 15.  King Pike Place Market Segments

This week one of our clients, GRAYL, announced the all new GEOPRESS – a next generation water purifier that can hydrate travelers and survivalists using even the sketchiest of waters. This easy-to-use, cutting edge filter and purifier substantially decreases the need for single-use plastic water bottles and provides a more environmentally conscious way to guarantee safe drinking water anywhere, anytime. GRAYL’s Kickstarter for the GEOPRESS goes through January 9.

At PARSONS + CO, we are so proud to partner with a client that truly puts their heart and soul into their products to make the world a more sustainable place. The announcement of the GRAYL GEOPRESS reminded us there’s never too much you can do to live and work in more earth-friendly ways!  We’ve listed some things that PARSONS + CO will continue to do to build a more environmentally mindful company. Here are just three examples:

  1. Our clients. We take pride in representing companies that share our value of keeping our environment healthy – one example being GRAYL and another Montinore – a biodynamic winery in Willamette Valley, Oregon.
  2. Community organizations. We live local and we buy local. Joanie, our founder, just helped the PCC Farmland Trust raise almost $30,000 in one day with the match support with the One Eighty Foundation.
  3. Attending and hosting events. Knowledge is power and we have a lot of fun spreading that knowledge. This October, Grapevine Women – an organization co-founded by Joanie Parsons- focused on the SLOW Movement. This encompasses everything from slow food to slow lifestyle, slow clothing to slow flowers,  essentially slowing the pace of life and ultimately consumption.

There’s always more to be done and we’re ready to take 2019 to the next level! Ready, set, go!

© Copyright 2018 Parsons + Co. All rights reserved.