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Meet Laura Thompson of Helium in Peachtree Corners

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Thompson.

Laura, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a marketer who loves creating unique experiences for brands. My company, Helium, was founded in 2017 and my mission is to fuse my passion for marketing and expertise with digital communications with a pursuit of purpose in terms of giving back (to others and the professional world). I also recently partnered with an incredible Atlanta-based artist, Kyle ‘BlackCatTips’ Brooks, to produce and self-publish a children’s book (creating a book has been a lifelong dream of mine).

My background is heavily rooted in the digital advertising agency world with an emphasis on strategic planning and program leadership. I have worked with a range of clients across industries including UPS, Equifax, AMC Theatres, Mattress Firm, TJ Maxx, SeaWorld, Del Monte, and Cartoon Network.

My career began in the entertainment industry, transitioning from college radio to a marketing/management role at a recording studio and then into artist management, branding and eventually the agency world. During my tenure in the music business, I worked closely with artists including Usher Raymond and Ciara and served as a Governor for the Atlanta Grammy board. I started my first business, an experiential marketing company called MusicBusinessPolitics, in 2002 and coordinated events for Beyonce, General Motors, Reebok, Pharrell Williams, and others on the side while I worked full-time agency roles.

I hold an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Georgia State University and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. I am the current President-Elect for the Atlanta Chapter of the AMA and serve as a board member for local non-profit Paint Love.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My career path has definitely been bumpy but I have been able to experience some amazing things and I think that makes me a more interesting individual. I feel like I’m now at a point in my career where I can really capitalize upon the diverse nature of my professional and personal experience (this wasn’t the case for a large portion of my career).

In terms of struggles along the way, I have dealt with the complexities that come along with balancing a full-time professional career with entrepreneurial endeavors. I started my first business in college and have had dual focuses at all times since then.

Some variables that seemed to be bumps in the road have helped push me to shift my professional direction and give me more well-rounded experience that has made me more adaptable… for example, I was working in experiential marketing when September 11th happened and, when that industry essentially froze, I shifted to work in digital marketing, which has served as the foundation for most of my career.

Helium – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Helium is a marketing firm with focus on creating amazing experiences for brands. Services include strategic planning and tactical support for digital, experiential and cross-channel programs.

I am most proud of the diverse portfolio of work that the company supports along with my ability to give back to the community via marketing outreach. Helium provides ongoing strategic expertise for a range of clients including Gas South, Friendship Force International, and McCarthy Group Florists. We also aim to support at least one pro-bono marketing project each quarter. The diversity of experience and passion for marketing that fuels that company truly sets Helium apart.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment as a marketer and business leader is based around the children’s book that I recently helped publish. I developed and managed the marketing rollout for the book and, without support from external public relations resources, was able to secure coverage (for an awesome feature) in the AJC and an assortment of other media. Based upon the launch marketing efforts (and the wonderful art and poem by Kyle Brooks), we sold out of the first publishing run for the book in a week. I see the book as a multi-faceted brand project and the success to date makes me incredibly proud.

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