Communicating Beyond Urban Alaska

Jan 2, 2017 | Past Events

Do you have a new product or service for residents beyond the road system?

Public relations and communications in the largest state in the nation comes with its own set of unique challenges. One situation many professionals face is finding the best methods and tactics to reach people in communities in rural Alaska. Communicating in this part of the state also comes with a responsibility of cultural awareness.

Join us for a professional development luncheon featuring four experts on communicating beyond urban Alaska. Angela Gonzalez will be moderating a panel that will include a for-profit, nonprofit, and tribe. Each of these representatives brings different and valuable experience to the room.

What you will learn:

  • The role culture plays in rural public relations and communications,
  • Methods of communicating in rural Alaska, and
  • Useful tools for communicating in rural areas.

**Event registration closes on Thursday, Jan. 12 at Noon.*


Event Details

Price before Jan. 12:

  • $34 PRSA members
  • $44 Non-Members
  • $10 Students

At the door tickets:

  • $38 PRSA Members
  • $48 Non-Members
  • $10 Students

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017
Noon to 1 p.m. (Doors open at 11:30 a.m.)
Crowne Plaza Hotel, 109 W International Airport Rd

Professional Development Luncheon Sponsored by:

About the Panel

Angela Gonzalez, Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.

Angela Gonzalez is the communications coordinator for the Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. (RurAL CAP) in Anchorage. She writes and takes photos for publications, including RurAL CAP’s Village Voices newsletter. Angela is Koyukon Athabascan and her hometown is Huslia, Alaska. She enjoys taking photos and blogging about the Athabascan culture and Alaska Native topics on her blog, called the Athabascan Woman. Angela is a member of the Alaska Native Media Group and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) – Alaska Chapter. She recently received the 2016 Bruce Pozzi Chapter Service Award from PRSA – Alaska Chapter.

Heather Handyside, GCI

Heather Handyside is GCI’s director of corporate communications and is responsible for media messaging and GCI’s community outreach programs.

Heather’s career started in Seattle where she managed programs for the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Technology Alliance, and the Alliance of Angels—Seattle’s first angel investor group.  After moving to Alaska, Heather worked for the Municipality of Anchorage where she served at deputy municipal manager and director of emergency management, where she helped launch the Anchorage Trail Watch program. As Alaska press secretary for U.S. Senator Mark Begich, Heather managed media for statewide and nationwide audiences during the 2014 campaign season. She currently volunteers with the state’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program and lives in Spenard with her husband, 11-yr-old son, and an Aussie-doodle named Bosco.

Loren Anderson, Alaska Native Heritage Center

Loren is from the Sugpiaq culture. His father, William Anderson, is from the city of Kodiak and his mother, Elizabeth “Lisa” Nelson, is from the village of Afognak.

Today, Loren resides in Anchorage with his wife, Brooke. He is employed by the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where he has worked the last 13 years as the cultural programs manager. Loren has recently taken the role as director of cultural and educational programs. Some of his duties at the Heritage Center include organizing Alaska Native cultural awareness workshops and managing cultural events and celebrations. Loren has served on the elections and information committees for his regional native corporation, Koniag Inc. He is also filling a role as a mentor and board member for the Koniag Education Foundation. He has served on the Native Village of Afognak Tribal Council for nine years. Loren also serves on the board of directors for the local Native radio station 90.3 KNBA.

He also helped form the traditional Sugpiat dance group, Imamsuat. Loren composes Native songs; creates art, and fills the role of tradition bearer when called upon. He continually strives to promote his culture and instill pride in the youth.

M. Scott Moon, Kenaitze Indian Tribe

M. Scott Moon is the communications manager at the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, a sovereign government located in Kenai. He has been employed by the tribe for four years. Scott works with a writer and, soon, a graphic artist, to help the tribe communicate with its employees, tribal members, customers, and the public.

He came to the tribe from a 16-year career as chief photographer at the Peninsula Clarion newspaper, also in Kenai, and enjoys utilizing documentary photography in his work for the tribe.

Scott is married to Heather Moon, a registered nurse employed by Central Peninsula Surgical Services. Together, they care for a geriatric Pug. Scott enjoys running marathons and ultramarathons, spending time on Kenai Peninsula trails, and traveling.

Registration Details:

Registration closes FOUR business days before event. Luncheons are non-refundable after registration closes.

In order to honor our commitment with the venue, the PRSA Alaska Chapter will close registration for all Anchorage programs at noon, four business days prior to each professional development session. This will ensure your seat and meal at the session.

If you purchase luncheon tickets and are unable to attend, we suggest you offer your ticket to a colleague or student. If you would like the chapter to open the seats to others, please email Once registration closes, all ticket sales are final.

At-the-door sales will only be accepted if space is available at the start of the meeting. If seats are not available, walk-ins may purchase a late registration ticket to the event and receive coffee service.

New pricing structure:
At PRSA Alaska, we often hear how valuable the local professional development opportunities are for professionals. We think so too! These opportunities, usually in the form of luncheons held each month, are a great way to improve your skills and network with peers in a similar profession. While PR professionals don’t always love math and budgets, we do know that our revenue must meet our expenses. So, beginning this month, there will be a modest price increase for all professional development opportunities in Anchorage and Fairbanks. As always, members will still receive a discounted rate. Non-members will pay a slightly higher rate. If you’re not a member and want to become one, learn more on our website.