Category Archives: Network-and-Lunch

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.

Report: January Network-and-Lunch event

150925_10151236262439822_1927306374_nWe met for the first Network-and-Lunch of 2013 at the Ellipse Lounge at the Fairview Park Marriott hotel in Falls Church, VA.  Thanks to Jay Morris, Connie Rhind Robey, David Hyson, Leah Ibraheem, Vicki Robb, Stephen Menick, and Matthew Mutterpaul for attending.

We talked about our plans for the New Year, Vicki Robb’s new position as President of IPRA, Leah’s new job launching a digital division for a local agency, Connie’s print company plans, Stephen’s video producing work, and what a PR agency run by Downton Abbey characters might look like.

Lunch was delightful.  The restaurant is one of my favorite places to visit.  We are always treated very kindly, and we were given a beautiful table.  We all had soup and sandwiches.

It was fun.  Looking forward to seeing new faces and old friends at the February “Mardi Gras” lunch on the 12th.

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.)


Help us make plans for 2013! Your feedback wanted

Hello friends and followers of Fletcher Prince!

Well, it’s a snow day in the Washington, DC area.  Or, technically, a snow-sleet-freezing rain day.  If you’re like me, you’re staying OFF the roads and inside your toasty warm home!

I’m sure you have lots of fun holiday presents to play with, but if you find you have a moment between today and New Year’s, can you help me out?  That would be great. Put on your thinking cap!

You see, this is an intense period of planning for me.  My son is with his dad until Friday and I have a lot of time to think about the upcoming year.  I really want this blog and all the Fletcher Prince-y things we do in 2013 to be interesting, useful, and fun for you.

So, can you give me some feedback?  You can leave a comment below, or email me:  You can Tweet @FletcherPrince or feel free to call me to chat anytime this week, day or evening (571) 269-7559.

Here’s specifically what I need advice on, but feel free to chime in with whatever interests you!

Looking for Social Media Week DC presentation topics

social media week dc 2013Our Social Media Week DC proposal is due next week.  It’s going to be hard to top our free, standing-room-only event last year, when we presented three social media prsentations and featured guest speakers from the U.S. Army and the World Bank, among others. So what should we do in February this year?

I’ve been batting around a few ideas, but I’m not 100% sold on any of them.  One of is to address the problem of centralizing communications — particularly social media communications — in larger companies, government agencies, and organizations.  You know, how to manage social media and branding when your organization has 30-40 Facebook Pages and YouTube Channels, across several departments.

I’m also personally interested in how to balance risk identification and mitigation and an open approach to social media, particularly in these larger firms and agencies.  It does seem like the larger the organization, the more tricky the execution is.  I don’t think anyone has landed on the perfect solution, but in this blog, I’ve tried to explore some of the pitfalls and best practices.

I’ve also thought about getting away from the presentation format, and doing a blog or video clinic or workshop.

Of course, these events are more fun when there are more participants.  So if you would like to participate in a Fletcher Prince Social Media Week event in mid-February, or you have ideas for a great social media presentation, workshop or event,  let me know!

ISO guests and topic ideas for Conversations in Public Relations

Conversations in Public Relations logoI would love to hear your ideas for interesting topics and guests in the Washington, DC area for our YouTube video interview series, Conversations in Public Relations.

Suggest a topic or expert on any aspect of public relations, marketing, advertising, social media, design, communications — you name it.  I need ideas for 6-12 videos for 2013.

If you’re interested in participating as a guest on the show, now is a great time to contact me so we can set it up.  It’s free to participate, and it only takes about an hour/hour and a half of your time.

Needed: restaurant suggestions for monthly Network-and-Lunch events

April Network and Lunch, DavidAs you may know, in 2012 we organized monthly Network-and-Lunch events all over the DC area.  Last year, we met at Clyde’s, RT’s, Silver Diner, Jaleo, Teaism, as well as other places.  It’s free to register and you only pay for your own lunch and chip in for the tip.

I’ve planned some of the lunches, but I need help with the rest.  Is there a restaurant near where you work that you would like to suggest?  And will you join us?  I have posted the list of Network-and-Lunch dates on our Eventbrite profile page.

Anybody need a speaker for 2013? I’m available!

I’ve been presenting on social media, email marketing, video, and blogging since I started Fletcher Prince in 2007, from large conferences such as Digital East and the Government Video Expo, to smaller group presentations for WWPR, RHED Pixel, and George Mason University, among others.  Please invite me to speak at your company, class, or for your conference or group this year.

Wanted: leads and projects!

You know, if I’m going to do all these fun and free things, I’d better get some work in for 2013!  I’d be very grateful to you for any leads on PR/advertising/social media/graphic design/video projects in 2013.  David and I subcontract, and work on a fixed fee basis for most of our work.  We also provide hourly consulting and training.   Let’s work together in 2013!


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!

September Network-and-Lunch Report

We had our eighth “Network-and-Lunch” event today.  Today, we met at Whitlow’s on Wilson in Arlington, Virginia, which was a good day to go to Whitlow’s because their burgers are half-off on Mondays.

Joining me and David were independent PR consultants Leah Ibraheem and Lorelei Harloe, as well as Arlington County librarian Michael Larose and Washington Business Journal business development account executive Todd Rhoden.

What was funny is that in our small group Todd and Michael both hail from New Orleans!  And everyone else had been to New Orleans, so we had fun talking about the area and where to find authentic Louisiana cuisine around here.

We learned some hot business tips today.  Todd and Leah both thought the Reston Chamber of Commerce offered excellent networking opportunities.  Todd also vouched for Prince William and Arlington Chambers of Commerce.  So I will have to check those out.  Lorelei told us about an interesting WNG event coming up about digital and traditional media publishing — look for more information on that when the event is posted this fall.  I shared about the upcoming Digital East conference in Herndon.

We also discussed whether to continue the Network-and-Lunch events in 2013, and various options, such as making them paid events, or mixing up the times and types of activities. We’ll be surveying participants for their opinions through December.

The time flew by.  Looking forward to seeing you at the October Network-and-Lunch event in Washington, DC.

August Network and Lunch Report

What interesting conversations we had at today’s Network and Lunch get-together.  As you know, every month I organize a Network and Lunch event at a different location in the Washington, DC area.  Today, we met at the Silver Diner in Falls Church, Virginia.

In addition to me and David (and my son William), we also had return attendee and fellow communicator Leah Ibrahim with us, who consults on social media strategy for Pew Charitable Trusts.  We were joined by new friends Divina Rutherford, senior account executive with Sage Payment Solutions, and James Perkins, co-owner of MotoHaven, a business that teaches people how to ride motorcycles safely.

Everyone had something interesting to share today.  Divina works with local businesses and nonprofits on technological solutions for processing payments and accounting.  She set the Girl Scouts of Northern Virginia up with a smart phone compatible system (see photo), so they can take credit card payments as they sell door-to-door.  Her company also manages e-commerce solutions for business websites.

James answered our many curious questions about what it was like teaching people how to ride motorcycles.  His business is doing very well with customers coming from all over the DC area to his Fredericksburg, Virginia location.  One of the ways he reaches customers is through his company’s Facebook Page.

Speaking of Facebook, Leah shared some really helpful tips about Facebook.  She has good experience with using sponsored stories on Facebook with her clients.  This pay advertising option significantly raises the visibility of a selected Page update in newsfeeds, and you can target who sees them by location, age, interests, and many other attributes.  She also mentioned that you can raise awareness on Facebook by creating Facebook ads on birthdays.  Read her blog post for more details on that tactic.

Of course, the food was great.  I enjoyed the lunch a lot and I really appreciate people making time in their day to join us.

Come to the Network and Lunch Event in September!

Our next Network and Lunch event will be at Whitlow’s on Wilson (Arlington, Virginia) on Monday, September 17 .  Register today and join us for conversation and delicious food.  It’s free — just pay for your own lunch and help out with the tip.  See you then!

Fletcher Prince’s June Network and Lunch Report

At every lunch we organize, we always meet new and fascinating communicators, and Tuesday’s lunch was no exception.  David and I enjoyed our talks with Donna Vincent Roa and Deborah Brody on a rain soggy Tuesday, June 12.  We met at Spice Xing in Rockville, MD.

Since it was just the four of us, we were able to have some fascinating, in-depth discussions, and the hour and a half flew by.  Donna and Deborah were especially informed on environmental issues, and where to get the best organic food.  We talked quite a bit about water and environmentalism, and Donna told us about a project she is working on related to water and infrastructure.  It was fascinating to learn about that.  Deborah is my go-to person on Twitter for political insights and she had much to share on that score.  David and I talked about our work with the Bahrain Coordinating Committee and were happy to have two more people to inform.  We also talked about the challenges of appearing on YouTube, and how to present yourself and your business in the best way on video.

Donna presented us all with copies of her incredibly useful book, The Ultimate To Do List: Before and After the Funeral.  I learned so much from Donna and Deborah about funeral customs across cultures and the new “green” approaches to dealing with the end of life.  I’m looking forward to reading it.

David and I shared copies of our 2012 Social Media Survival Guide.

Spice Xing in Rockville Town Center offers an Indian lunch buffet.  The food was delicious and not as heavy as some Indian lunch buffets — everything had a light touch.  There were some nice salads, Tandoori chicken, an especially wide variety of chutneys and raitas.  The richly spiced rice pudding was dessert.  The decor was appealing and classy, and the service was excellent.

Join us in July!

Our next Network and Lunch event will be at La Madeleine in Old Town, Alexandria (Virginia) on Tuesday, July 10.  Register today and join us for conversation on social media, public relations, and design, and French cafe style food.  See you then!

May Network-and-Lunch Report

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

We had another fun monthly network-and-lunch event yesterday, this time at Pilin Thai in Falls Church, Virginia.

Attending were David Hyson, Mary Fletcher Jones, Susan Rink, Robert Udowitz, and Connie Rhind.  Heathere Evans-Keenan made a quick stop to say hello.

As usual, the conversation revolved around public relations and communications projects.  We discussed best practices for handling pro bono work, as well as the merits of wireless press release services. Susan was excited to introduce Connie Rhind to the independent practitioners group, IPRA.  Susan is doing some very interesting internal communications work for one of her clients, Wal-Mart.  Robert is launching a new blog for his company, RFP Associates, and gave us a quick preview of the art for the blog.  David shared about the 508 compliance design work he is doing for Deloitte and CSC, and explained how 508 compliance is becoming a requirement for certain federal government projects.

The setting was perfect for discussion and the meal was delicious and a real lunchtime bargain.  Fletcher Prince organizes monthly network-and-lunch events all over the Washington, DC area.  The next netw0rk-and-lunch event will take place at Spice Xing in Rockville, Maryland, on Tuesday, June 12.  Please register and join us!

April Network-and-Lunch Report – talking PR at Jaleo

Every month, Fletcher Prince organizes a networking lunch at a different location in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  We do this to connect with other communicators and talk “shop” and basically enjoy ourselves.  (But everyone is welcome — you certainly do not have to be a communicator to network with us.)

On April 24, we had our third Network-and-Lunch event, this time, at Jaleo in Bethedsa, Maryland.  David and I were joined by Leah Ibraheem and Connie Rhind Robey.

We were struck by the fact that we met through Twitter.  I had been following Leah’s blog for some time before I met her for the first time this spring.  This was my first meeting with Connie; she noticed my profile when I tweeted about the Smithsonian Craft Festival, and decided to sign up for the lunch (She handled public relations for the Festival this year.)

Although we had a smaller number of people this time, it was a delightful lunch, and we had some terrific conversation about fine craft works, public relations, social media, and working as independent consultants.  The hour and half flew by.

The lunch was reasonable and the decor of Jaleo was gorgeous.  For $12, we had the choice of sandwich and a half salad.  We sampled beet and orange salads, and a type of apple slaw with manchego cheese, along with lamb and Spanish grilled cheese sandwiches.

Be sure to join us on May 15 when we will meet at Thai Pilin in Falls Church.  The lunch special is $7.95 (in fact, I had it today!) and is really delicious.

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