Category Archives: IPRA

For your calendar — upcoming PR and business networking holiday events

Tuesday, December 4

IPRA Holiday Luncheon

Maggiano’s, Tysons Galleria, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Network with independent public relations practitioners in the DC area over chicken parmigiana and ravioli at the annual IPRA holiday luncheon.

Tips: This event typically draws around 40-50 independents in their 40s to 60s who have known each other for several years, and attend the lunch annually, as well as a few sponsors and the occasional newcomer.  Men wear dark suits and Christmas ties, ladies wear festive suits, or holiday sweaters.  A collection is taken for charity, so bring a checkbook.  Good networking and terrific food, and almost no one checks their Blackberry at the table (refreshing).  Register for the event ($35/$45).

WWPR Chocolate Holiday Party

Co Co. Sala Lounge and Chocolate Boutique, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Join Washington Women in Public Relations for their Chocolate Holiday party in Washington, DC, featuring drinks, appetizers, and chocolate!

Tips: Both men and women attend these events, but they’re usually attended primarily by 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.  Register for the event ($12/$25).

Wednesday, December 5

The One Party

Current, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Tonight is the local PR/Advertising industry’s biggest holiday bash, The One Party.  The multi-sponsored party typically draws about 200 people.

Tips: It’s loud and the drink lines are long, and no one ever dances, but it’s the event to see and be seen, and admission includes two drinks and sushi.  A mix of ages and backgrounds, this event skews  to the young and hip advertising/creative set.  Almost everyone behaves.  Bring cards, but this one’s mostly for the photo-ops.  Register for the event ($45/$55).

Monday, December 10

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: Expect to network with a suited and mature crowd of about 50 PR professionals who know each other well.  There are typically chapter award giveaways, as well.  Better for chapter insiders.  Register for the event ($40/$55).

Wednesday, December 12

AWC-DC Holiday Tea

Willard Intercontinental, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Indulge in a Holiday Tea, including vanilla cranberry scones, tea sandwiches, and petits fours, in the Peacock Room with AWC-DC (Association for Women in Communications, DC Chapter) PRofessional Solutions, LLC CEO Kate Perrin will be the keynote speaker.

Tips: A powerhouse of influential and classy women at all stages in their careers in the most refined setting in Washington.  Dress to impress, and mute your mobile at this one.  Register for the event ($45/$55).

Washington Network Group Holiday Networking Reception

Lima Restaurant and Lounge, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.  Cash bar and complimentary appetizers.  Register for the event ($15/$30).

Wednesday, December 19

Social Media Club DC Holiday Happy Hour

Cause-The Philanthropub, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.  $10.  Millenial group.  Information and registration.

Check out these other business-related holiday events in the Washington, DC area

Saturday, December 1

Ad2DC Holiday Pub Crawl and Ugly Sweater Contest

Various locations, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Free; buy your own.  Millenial group.  More information and registration.

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce 30th Anniversary Celebration

Sheraton Reston Hotel, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. $175.  More information and registration.

Tuesday, December 4

Arlington Chamber of Commerce Holiday on Tap

World of Beer, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. $20.   Information and registration.

Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Networking Social

O’Malley’s Pub/Holiday Inn, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. $15   Information and registration.

What’s Next DC Holiday Meetup

Public Bar in DC, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. $15.  Information and registration.

Wednesday, December 5

Washington DC Chamber of Commerce Holiday Business Networking Reception

Hay-Adams Hotel, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. ($40/$65).  More information and registration.

Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Holiday Reception

Hilton McLean/Tyson’s Corner, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. ($50/$100).  More information and registration.

Tech the Halls Holiday Party (Multiple tech organization sponsors)

Opera Ultra Lounge in DC, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.  $25.  More information and registration.

Thursday, December 6

Prince William Chamber of Commerce Silent Night and Holiday Auction

Old Town Manassas Candy Factory, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  More information and registration.

Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer

Community Business Partnership, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Free.  More information and registration.

National Association of Women Business Owners, Greater DC Chapter, Holiday Party

Tysons Corner Marriott, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. $75/$90.  More information and registration.

Alliance for Women in Media, National Capital Area Affiliate, Holiday Affair

NAB Broadcasters Hall of Fame in DC, 6 p.m. $20  More information and registration.

RefreshDC Holiday Happy Hour

Bread and Brew, Free.  7 p.m.  More information and registration.

Friday, December 7

TIVA-DC Holiday Party

Wisconsin Place Community Recreation Center, 7 pm – 10 pm, $25.  More information and registration.

Tuesday, December 11

George Mason University Business Roundtable Holiday Happy Hour

Pomodoro in Vienna, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free.  More information and registration.

Thursday, December 13

Greater Merrifield Business Association Holiday Luncheon and Auction

Courtyard by Marriott/Dunn Loring, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. $25. More information and registration.

SMPS DC Holiday Party (Society for Marketing Professionals, DC Chapter)

Bistro Bis at the Hotel George in DC, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 pm.  $75/$95.  More information and registration.

Women in Technology Holiday Party

Gannett Building, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. ($45/$65) More information and registration.

Saturday, December 15

Online News Association Holiday Party

Solly’s in DC.  7 p.m. $5.  More information and registration.

Tuesday, December 18

Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce VA Holiday Event

Sheraton Pentagon City, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Free.  More information and registration.

For more holiday events in the Washington, DC area, refer to my holiday event listing on my other blog, Cool Yule.

Network with IPRA folks at Wolf Trap, July 9

The Independent Public Relations Practitioners Alliance offers lunch seminars on a monthly basis throughout the year, except for July and August.

This year, they’re getting together at Wolf Trap for July 9.  If you would like to meet a great bunch of local PR experts in a fun and social setting, this is your big chance.

Saturday, July 9
6 pm

1645 Trap Road
Vienna, Virginia

$20 Picnic supper

$20 Lawn ticket
Three Broadway Divas
Jan Horvath, Debbie Gravitte & Christiane Noll
National Symphony Orchestra
Emil de Cou, conductor
An evening of Broadway showstoppers from Gypsy, The Music Man, A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady, Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and Evita!

Questions? Rita Mhley, IPRA Program Committee, 301-237-3197,

Mark your calendars for these February communications events

Look for Mary at these Fletcher Prince-approved communications events this month!

Dick Keil, managing director of Purple Strategies, is presenting on crisis relations at the Independent Public Relations Alliance monthly luncheon this Thursday, February 3, 11:30 a.m. in Tysons Corner, VA.

Work in video? Looking for your next gig?  Maybe you should check out the TIVA-DC meeting this month on Thursday, February 3, 6:30 p.m. in Arlington, VA.

Interested in getting started with YouTube video?  Become a fan of Fletcher Prince on Facebook and join me for lunch on Tuesday, February 8 to talk about your YouTube video ideas for your business.  Visit the Fletcher Prince Facebook Event announcement to register.

The National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America will present a panel discussion on using Facebook to promote your business, association, government agency, or nonprofit on Thursday, February 10, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Washington, DC.  U.S. Navy Memorial & Heritage Center.

Monday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day — Your friends at Fletcher Prince love Facebook ♥ Page Fans!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

The topic of the Washington Women in Public Relations Brown Bag lunch on Thursday, February 17 is “Starting Growing and Optimizing Your Business in 2011,” a panel discussion moderated by fave Fletcher Prince client Kate Perrin of PRofessional Solutions.

Among the featured panelists will be Carrie Fox of C. Fox Communications, an award-winning agency that elects not to pay their interns.  Hopefully, they will change that policy in 2011!

Join PRONet (a committee affiliated with PRSA-NCC) for Happy Hour and network with communicators on Wednesday, February 23 at Piola in Arlington.  Happy hour events will be held throughout the area on the fourth Wednesday of the month, each month through October 2011. $10 in advance; $15 cash at the door, includes drink and appetizers.

An APPetizing Lunch Program with IPRA

Rita Mhley

Rita Mhley

I had the pleasure of attending the Independent Public Relations Alliance (IPRA) monthly lunch program yesterday.  Each month, this group of independent communicators presents speakers on various topics.  Yesterday’s topic was about how to use smart phone applications for marketing and public relations campaigns.

Jeffrey Goldscher and Lucinda Crabtree

Jeffrey Goldscher and Lucinda Crabtree

Presenting were Jeffrey Goldscher of the sports marketing company Aquarius Sports and Entertainment and Lucinda Crabtree of the marketing communications firm Crabtree + Company.

Mr. Goldscher and Ms. Crabtree had some fascinating facts and insights to share about “apps” or smartphone applications.  These types of applications work on iPhones, Android mobile phones, and Blackberry smart phones, as well as on certain devices like iPads.  One challenge with developing these applications is creating versions that work universally on all these devices.

Mr. Goldscher emphasized that when considering adding an app to your PR and marketing tool kit, you should first ask yourself who will be using the app, how they will use it, and what you want the app to accomplish for your company (e.g., drive traffic to your website).

He said that the apps that have real staying power are the ones that offer useful functionality, such as “Gate Guru,” an app that helps you navigate airports, and the TripAdvisor app that helps business and leisure travelers.  He had success developing apps that allowed people to get updates about their favorite sports teams.  Banking was also mentioned as an industry that is natural for app development.  Companies and organizations that target people in developing countries, China, and Africa need to strongly consider apps, as many people in those companies use their mobile phones as their main connection to the Internet (since they don’t have computers).  Ms. Crabtree’s firm developed the “LRN the Lingo,” an app that helps parents translate abbreviations found in teen texts (to help identify incidents of cyber-bullying).

The presenters opined that investing a sufficient amount of money in development, research, testing, and promotion was important to the success of an app.  Although apps could be produced for as low as $25,000, or even $10,000, they felt a minimum investment of $50,000 was more realistic.

Another budget-friendly approach is to partner with a company that already has an app that is reaching your target audience.  Banner advertising linking to your website is a possibility on some apps.

On the other hand, there are ways to build your own app for free, without coding, such as AppMaker.  The presenters reminded the audience of the design and functionality limitations of do-it-yourself solutions, and to keep in mind that the app represents a brand, and if it doesn’t deliver what it promises, it can reflect poorly on a brand.

Promoting an app is critical to its success.  Ms. Crabtree mentioned that about 1/3 of her investment went into development, while 2/3 went into promotion.  Both presenters felt social media and blogger outreach were good ways to promote an app.  Mr. Goldscher also mentioned that you could add the app logo to print advertisements, in the way that people are adding Twitter and Facebook logos. They also mentioned that offering apps for free is not always the best idea.  Charging 99 cents or $1.99 is one way to keep people from deleting apps from their mobiles after they download them.

Claudia Askew and Mary-Jane Atwater

Claudia Askew and Mary-Jane Atwater

I was happy to see six Fletcher Prince clients at lunch!  Among the attendees  were Susan Rink, Heathere Evans- Keenan, Claudia Askew, Rita Mhley, Sherri Singer, and Mary-Jane Atwater.

It was also great catching up with Lynn Miller and meeting communications student Jared Webb.

John O'Dwyer and Vicki Robb

John O'Dwyer and Vicki Robb

I also met Vicki Robb — an independent consultant who specializes in media relations — and John O’Dwyer of O’Dwyer PR.  Mr. O’Dwyer kindly brought complimentary copies of his magazine for all of us.

The meal itself was also enjoyable.  The Embassy Suites of Tysons Corner always puts out a nice spread (today, it was breast of chicken, salmon filet, Caesar salad, sauteed vegetables, pilaf, rolls, tea and coffee, with strawberry cake for dessert).

Robert Udowitz and Robb Deigh, you were missed! 🙂

Communicator’s Calendar: November

Look for your friends from Fletcher Prince at these November communications-related events around town — join us!

Thursday, November 4

IPRA Lunch Program – Smart Phone APPS: Do They Add Value to Your PR Tool Belt?

Thursday, November 5

TIVA-DC Panel Discussion: 2D and 3D Animation

Friday, November 5

FotoWeek Opening Reception, Corcoran Gallery of Art

Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6

Fletcher Prince Holiday Greeting Video Marathon

Tuesday, November 9

Washington Network Group – The Race to Establish Your Identity Online

Wednesday, November 10

WWPR Washington PR Woman of the Year Awards Luncheon

Social Media Club (SMC-DC) Politics Gets Social Panel Discussion

Monday, November 15 – Friday, November 19

AIGA DC DC Design Week

Wednesday, November 17

Digital Video Users Group Meeting – Pocket Camcorders

And just for fun…

Thursday, November 18

Ladies Night Out at Merrifield Garden Center

Friday, November 19

Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opens in theaters

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