Category Archives: Events and Workshops

Celebrate the Season with PR and Marketing Holiday Parties

16407127_sReady to network? Register now for these holiday events. You’ll meet some interesting people.  Here are some sure bets…

Wednesday, December 4

The One Party

RoseBar, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Tonight is the local PR/Advertising industry’s biggest holiday bash, The One Party.  The multi-sponsored party (Capitol Communicator, DC Ad Club, PRSA-NCC, AMADC, etc.) typically draws about 200 people.

Tips: It’s loud and the drink lines are long, and no one ever dances, but it’s the ad community’s event to see and be seen, and admission includes two drinks and appetizer.  A mix of ages and backgrounds, this event skews to 20s and 30s and the advertising/creative set.  Almost everyone behaves.  Bring cards, but this one’s mostly for the photo-ops.  Register for the event ($55/60).

Tuesday, December 10

Holiday Network-and-Lunch

Clyde’s – Chevy Chase, 12 Noon – 1:30 p.m. Fletcher Prince organizes this small group business networking event. The conversation is casual and everyone pays their own way ($15 to $20).

Tips: Dress is business casual. Expect to meet a diverse group of six to twelve business owners and PR professionals, as well as yours truly.

PRSA-NCC Holiday Party

Carmine’s, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Join the National Capital Chapter of the PRSA for holiday networking, drinks and Italian hors d’oeuvres in Washington, DC.

Tips: Network with a suited and mature crowd of about 50 PR professionals who know each other well.  There are chapter volunteer award announcements.  Better for chapter insiders. Bring a toy for Toys for Tots.  Register today.

Tuesday, December 17

WWPR Holiday Party

Tonic Restaurant, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Join Washington Women in Public Relations for their Holiday Party in Washington, DC  The specialty of this Foggy Bottom restaurant is comfort food, including tots with a variety of sauces. All guests will leave with a party favor from WWPR and an early release of the 2014 schedule of events. Raffle proceeds benefit WWPR’s pro bono client, FLOW–Financial Literacy Organization for Women and Girls.

Tips: Both men and women attend these events, but the majority are fashionably attired, well-heeled female PR pros in their 20s and 30s, as well as a few seasoned pros with great connections.  A mannerly bunch, and a friendly crowd to newbies.

WWPR Washington PR Woman of the Year Recap

FP_WWPR_adEvery year, Washington Women in Public Relations seems to top their previous Washington PR Woman of the Year awards event, and this year was no exception.

Yesterday, about 300 guests gathered at the W Hotel in downtown Washington, DC to fete three outstanding honorees and hear “Scandal” inspiration, crisis PR expert Judy Smith deliver the keynote.

I was lucky to be guest of gold sponsor PRofessional Solutions, LLC, a Fletcher Prince client. I also lucked out by winning seasons 1-5 of Mad Men on DVD at the raffle.

Fletcher Prince supported the event by purchasing a full page ad in the event program.

736198_10151481236312706_650512391_o2013 Honoree Pam Jenkins, president of the public affairs firm, Powell Tate, was named Washington PR Woman of the Year.  She spoke movingly about her career and balancing the needs of her family, and recommended involving children in a mother’s work life.  She also emphasized how important it was to leave work behind and foster other interests.

Judy Smith, President of Smith & Company, has written a new book about managing the impact of crises on one’s personal brand.  She has worked for clients ranging from Paula Deen to Monica Lewinsky to the family of Chandra Levy, among many other newsmakers.  Ms. Smith said she was guided by three principles in her professional life: power, persistence, and preparation. She fielded some questions from the guests in attendance and provided general advice on PR challenges.




Social Media Week DC Report: Digital Diplomacy Open House

IMG_1504About a year ago, a handful of embassy communicators got together to share ideas about social media.  They had common challenges: small staffs, big communications goals, diverse audiences.  Many of them were just beginning to use social media.

That was the beginning of the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, a network of social media users in the diplomatic community in the Washington, DC area.  In late May, they launched their Twitter profile and now have more than 600 followers.  Now, the communications professionals gather to share ideas and best practices, and this evening, they offered an open house event for Social Media Week DC at the offices of Levick Strategic Communications.

I interviewed diplomatic communicators from the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, Greece, the UK, and Austria at their event tables.  All were enthusiastic about the new coalition.

Kara Hadge, Head of Digital Media for the British Council, showed me a campaign called “Our Shared Future.” Our Shared Future aims to improve the public conversation about Muslims and cross-cultural relations in the US and Europe.  Part of that communications effort was a free E-book series which has been downloaded more than 2,000 times from the iTunes store.

Senior Communications Officer Anja Mayer shared the Embassy of Austria‘s new Pinterest board, Austria in USA.

austria pinterest

It was fascinating to hear their stories about connecting online and off to discuss and share best practices in social media.

Blogging Your Enthusiasm – Social Media Week DC Presentation

I hope to see many of you at our presentation on blogging and podcasting today.  But for those of you who cannot make it in person, you can watch it on Livestream at noon today.

Here is the blogging presentation.  If you download this presentation from SlideShare, you can see the notes.

And here is the handout for today’s session on blogging

Looking for PR interns? GMU Career Fair; Longwood University Spring Job and Internship Fair

15849520_sLooking for summer interns or entry level public relations professionals?

The PRSSA chapter of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia is hosting a Communication Career Fair.   Companies, associations and government agencies are invited to participate, at no cost.  Tables, signage and refreshments will be provided by the Communication Department.

Time: 9:00am -1:00pm
Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Johnson Center, Dewberry Hall

Interview prospective employees, discuss internships, and connect with GMU students interested in PR and marketing careers.

To reserve a table and obtain parking information please email Rasheeda Mitchell at

Also, Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia is actively recruiting employers for internships for their students.  They are wonderful to work with.  Learn more here:

Longwood is hosting a Spring Job and Internship Fair on February 19.

Whichever you work with, remember, pay your interns, even if they are earning academic credit.  It’s the right thing to do, and it’s the law.

My Social Media Week DC plans

social media week dc 2013I am tremendously excited about Social Media Week DC, which takes place February 17-22.  Here are the sessions I will be attending.  Don’t they sound great?  All are free!  To register, visit the website.

  • Media Relations Breakfast for PR and Social Media Professionals, sponsored by Synaptic Digital
  • Get Smart! Make Better Social Media Decisions through Analytics, sponsored by the American Public University System
  • Marketing Beyond The Like, sponsored by Facebook Washington, DC
  • Crisis Management and Social Media — How Do They Connect?, sponsored by Social Media Club DC
  • @StateDept: Leveraging Digital for Public Diplomacy, sponsored by the New America Foundation
  • It’s Time to Be Fearless in Social Media, sponsored by the Case Foundation
  • Digital Diplomacy Open House, sponsored by the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, Chief, and Levick
  • Defining and Measuring Social Media Success in Museums and Arts Organizations, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution

While you’re there, don’t forget to register for our session!

Register for our Social Media Week DC workshop on podcasting and blogging

social media week dc 2013

Register for our free session at Social Media Week DC.

What’s the one thing you enjoy talking about more than anything else? Some call it a passion, a hobby, a career, a cause, or special interest.  Have you thought about sharing that interest online?  You can, of course, with a podcast or a blog.

Shared passion creates community, untethered by geographic boundaries. In this free, Social Media Week DC session, full-time podcast producer Ray Ortega and blogger yours truly will show you how to translate your enthusiasm into a blog or podcast.

The event takes place at noon on Tuesday, February 19 at Thomas Jefferson Public Library (main meeting room), 7415 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church.  For those of you who don’t live in the area, I will make the session available live on Livestream — and if the time isn’t convenient for you, I’ll videotape the session and upload it to YouTube.

Here is a little about Ray and me, and our podcasting and blogging backgrounds.

Ray_Ortega-Chi-Sun-Burst-small-300x240Ray Ortega is a professional podcaster, experienced in producing both audio and video podcasts.  He shares his expertise on The Podcaster’s Studio and Podcast Quick Tips.

Ray launched his first podcast in early 2007 (Produce Picker Podcast), a video podcast about how to identify, select and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables.  In 2008, Ray and his podcast were featured on celebrity chef Emeril’s television program for the Planet Green channel.

In 2008, he began work with the American Society for Microbiology to help with their audio and video podcasting efforts and has spent the past five years producing both audio and video podcasts full-time.

Ray speaks frequently about podcasting and was a featured speaker at Blog World and New Media Expo 2012.  He has also been interviewed for the following programs and articles

4882007553_f041404bf2-300x268Mary Fletcher Jones has produced dozens of blogs, YouTube Channels, Facebook Pages, podcasts, and branded Twitter profiles for clients and for her own interests. She has 27 LinkedIn recommendations for her social media and marketing work.

She has launched blogs, pro bono, for The National Capital Chapter of the PRSA, The DC Ad Club, and the Bahrain Coordinating Committee.

Mary has spoken about blogging for Social Media Week DC (view blogging presentation), the DC Government Video Expo, Digital East, TIVA-DC, the UNCF, Capitol Communicator, the DC Podcaster Alliance, the Regatta Hospice Alliance, and George Mason University.

Some of her personal blogs include

When she is not blogging or producing YouTube videos, Mary manages Fletcher Prince, named one of the Washington, DC metropolitan area’s top 25 public relations firms by The Washington Business Journal in 2012.

A mother of a teen with autism, she also produces Living Well With Autism, a free online parent support site featuring a website of tips, printable visual schedules and social stories, a Facebook Page, a YouTube video Channel, and podcast.

Before launching Fletcher Prince in 2007, Mary worked in marketing and public relations positions for the American Red Cross, Greater Reston Arts Center and Wolf Trap.  She is a member of Washington Women in Public Relations, the Social Media Club, and the DC Podcaster Alliance.

Resolve to network with us in 2013 – full year schedule of Network-and-Lunches

Every month, we get together with a group of communicators and business professionals for lunch.  Here’s why you may want to attend the Network-and-Lunch events in 2013…

  • Affordable.  TheFletcher Prince April Network-and-Lunchse lunches are free to register and you only pay for the cost of your meal, and chip in for the tip.  In many cases, this amounts to between $10 and $15.
  • Flexible. At Netw0rk-and-Lunch events, you pick your own food.  So it’s easy to stay on your diet, or pick a vegetarian option, for example.  We picked a variety of cuisines and settings for the monthly lunches, so you’re sure to find something you like.
  • Convivial.  Our group lunches are small and informal, usually between 4 and 8 people attend.  This gives us all the time we want to talk to shop, or talk about other things.  You really get to know the people who come to our events.  And the people are the best aspect of these events.  We attract a diverse group of interesting professionals. You will almost always meet someone new, too.
  • Convenient.  We schedule these events all over the DC area, soliciting feedback from attendees, and at least half of them are close to Metro stops.   We want to make it easy for working people to participate.
  • Useful.  Got a dilemma at work?  Need input on an idea?  Our lunches are a perfect opportunity to solicit feedback or get quick answers to your work questions.
  • Year-round.  Not much happens in July and August in DC, but we still have Network-and-Lunches.  It’s a great time to connect, when schedules are typically less hectic.

Network-and-Lunch events take place on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, at noon.  Here’s the whole schedule of Network-and-Lunch events for 2013.  I hope you will register for many — or all — of them!  Register on Eventbrite.

  1. January 8: Fairview Park Marriott, Ellipse Lounge, Falls Church, VA
  2. February 12: RT’s Restaurant, Alexandria, VA (Mardi Gras)
  3. March 12: The Tabard Inn, Washington, DC (Metro: Dupont Circle)
  4. April 9: Neisha Thai, Washington, DC (Metro: Tenleytown-AU)
  5. May 14: Taverna Cretekou, Alexandria, VA (Old Town)
  6. June 11: Lia’s, Chevy Chase, MD (Metro: Friendship Hts)
  7. July 9: Silver Diner, Falls Church, VA (Merrifield area)
  8. August 13: National Gallery of Art, Cascade Cafe, Washington, DC (Metro: Archives)
  9. September 10: Lebanese Taverna, Bethesda, MD (Metro: Bethesda)
  10. October 8: Olive Garden, Tysons Corner, VA
  11. November 12: Cactus Cantina, Washington, DC (Cathedral area)
  12. December 10: Clyde’s, Chevy Chase, MD (Metro: Friendship Hts.)


Celebrating a year of networking lunches

IMG_1037At the beginning of this year, I was thinking about how I enjoyed many of the networking events I attended, but I felt frustrated at not being able to have more extended conversations with the fascinating professionals I met.  I was also starting to “meet” people through social media — through the Fletcher Prince Twitter profile, blog, and Facebook Page — but I hadn’t met many of these new friends in person.

That’s when I decided to experiment with having monthly networking lunches, keeping the group size small (10 or under) so we could really connect.   David and I organized events in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.  We used Eventbrite for registration and promotion, and we were happy with it.  It’s also free, if your event is free.  A terrific, organizing and social tool.

Connie Rhind, David Hyson, Susan Rink, and Robert Udowitz

Connie Rhind, David Hyson, Susan Rink, and Robert Udowitz

I think the experiment was a big success.  We didn’t charge for the lunches; everyone just paid their own way.  For the most part, we selected restaurants where lunch would cost $15 or less.  Sometimes the turnout was low because some people didn’t show, but every lunch felt like a winner because that just gave us more of a chance to share and talk.  And the company, conversations and food were always excellent!  Thanks to everyone who shared lunch with David and me this year.

Here’s where we went –

  • February – Mardi Gras lunch at RT’s Restaurant in Alexandria, VA (Creole/Cajun)
  • March – Cherry Blossom lunch at Teaism in Washington, DC (Japanese)
  • April – Lunch at Jaleo in Bethesda, MD (Spanish)
  • May – Lunch at Pilin Thai in Falls Church, VA (Thai)
  • June – Lunch at Spice Xing in Rockville, MD (Indian)
  • July – Lunch at La Madeleine in Alexandria, VA (French)
  • August – Lunch at Silver Diner in Falls Church, VA (American diner)
  • September – Lunch at Whitlow’s on Wilson  in Arlington, VA (American pub)
  • October and November lunches were cancelled because of illness
  • December – Holiday lunch at Clyde’s in Chevy Chase, MD (American)

Today, we are having the last lunch of 2012, at noon, at Clyde’s in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  It’s “officially” sold out but we’ll make room for you if you show up.


We sponsor all kinds of events, from free seminars to mini golf tournaments, to get-together lunches and parties.  Like us on Facebook to keep tabs on what we’ll be doing in 2013!

A practical approach to social media measurement (presentation)

This is the presentation I’m giving today at GV Expo.  Download the presentation to see the speaker’s notes.

I’m also attaching my handouts.  Enjoy!


GV Expo handout

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