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Checking In On Your People Isn’t Just Nice, It’s Necessary

Hi! It’s me, again. I’m still Hannah, and I’m happy to report that I’m still enjoying my position as Brand Manager for BrandJRNY’s #BrandPointPleasant project, despite the challenges thrown our way lately. As you all know, day-to-day life looks a little different for everyone these past few weeks. This is especially true for BrandJRNY. I haven’t seen my team in-person in weeks, and we haven’t been to Point Pleasant since our Brand Launch, the first week of March. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we miss each other, and we miss our Point Pleasant community.

With that being said, our team has chosen to look on the bright side. We are all healthy and capable of continuing our work. We were in good shape to move to an online-only platform, and haven’t encountered any pressing issues from doing so. If anything, I get to see my team (on my laptop screen) more than ever. And, that’s what I want to talk about today — checking in on your people. 


Before COVID-19 forced all of us into quarantine, I met with my team three times a week — two times for class and once for our weekly team meeting. I also met with our GA, Sam, once a week, and had spontaneous meetings with Dr. Colistra, as needed. In addition to those meetings, I had a weekly phone call with Leigh Ann, our key contact in Point Pleasant. Obviously, those in-person meetings are no longer an option. We can’t give handwritten edits/notes, brainstorm on the whiteboard, or practice our dance moves together (Yes, that’s a thing). However, the obstacles that came with being quarantined also brought new opportunities to connect.


Now, I receive multiple texts, phone calls, FaceTimes, etc. every day. And while some of those are work related, most are just to check-in. I can’t stress how important it is to maintain good mental and emotional health during this time, and checking in with your people is just one way to do so. Good morale is everything when working on a campaign that requires as much detail and attention as ours. Things can get overwhelming fast, but at the end of the day, check-ins with my team remind me that the work that we do matters, and our support system was built to withstand times of trial, like this one.

The BrandJRNY team members using Zoom to embrace the changes associated with an online-only platform. | Source: Samantha Stockstdale (BrandJRNY)

I have tried my best, as Brand Manager, to keep the mood light and to let my people know they’re cared for and supported. Here are a few tips to try when missing your people becomes too much:

  1. Take advantage of available resources. Never underestimate the power of Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype.

  2. Gifs are everything — and one of our team’s favorite ways to communicate. Use them often to lift spirits.

  3. Send handwritten notes to the people near and dear to your heart. There’s nothing wrong with bringing back a little snail mail.


We lean on each other often in BrandJRNY. For now, it’ll just have to be from 6 feet apart. 


Sending my long-distance love to my team and the City of  Point Pleasant! Stay safe, everyone!


My name is Hannah Williams. I am the Brand Manager for BrandJRNY’s Point Pleasant project. I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with hot dogs, dancing, and rainy days. Follow me for artsy things, embarrassing life tidbits, and all things BrandJRNY — @itsnothantastic.



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Housed at the WVU Media Innovation Center, BrandJRNY is a community branding initiative that is a grant-funded collaboration between the American Electric Power Foundation and WVU Reed College of Media.

The Initiative was previously funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for our three pilot projects.

Original website designed by Mariah Elliott, under the direction of PI and Director Dr. Rita Colistra.

Photos and content may not be used without written permission by contacting brandjrny@gmail.com.

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