Category Archives: PRSA-NCC
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.
Today I received a call from Brigitte Johnson, PRSA-NCC President, about my recent commentary in Examiner.com suggesting changes for Thoth, based on my experience with the DC Ad Club’s ADDY awards. The commentary also appeared on this blog.
First of all, I would like to present the two comments I have received on this article:
Excellent post Mary. It’s a yearly challenge figuring out which award competition (if any) makes sense to enter. This was a previous lunch crew topic, and you’ve done a great job vocalizing many of the concerns and question marks that came up in our discussions. Well done!
I agree with you completely – local judges with a vested interest in their work and those of others they work with, should not be the judges of awards competitions. The tendency towards bias is just to strong. My experience with the Thoth awards has been that it’s expensive, and we have entered work that literally built new brands and markets, and not even made it past the first cut. We were given the judges remarks, anonymously of course, which was useful.
But to me, the biggest problem with the Thoth awards is that everything has to be submitted on paper which seems completely archaic in today’s PR world. When your entire program was conducted online, how can you fairly judge work that is then printed out and put in a binder?
The Addy’s are prestigious and their judging is a much more sophisticated system. As for IABC, I have judged their national awards programs and found the judging to be systematic and very professional. Entrants can submit either on paper or electronically or both, which is a much better way to showcase work. IABC has a multi-tiered system as well. There is a first layer of judging that wades through all the submissions, and then there is another round to pick the winners with a second group of judges. I’ve seen judges opt out when they have a vested interest or bias against an organization submitting work.
I don’t know if I have an answer to your bigger question, but at this point, we’d rather satisfy clients than judges. There’s no better recommendation than someone you’ve done great work for.
I want to summarize the content of this call for three reasons: first I want to clarify any misinformation that may be alleged about my article and its claims. Secondly, I like hearing other people’s opinions, but I don’t like getting calls like this one. Thirdly, I want to again invite comments on my blog or my article. If you have something to say, go public!
So, the purpose of the call to me was this: she wanted to express to me that there were inaccuracies in the article.
I was ready to listen to her. I am not infallible. I can be wrong about things. I was curious to know what she had to say. I also pointed out that anyone is welcome to comment on the article, or on my blog, and that I had contacted the Thoth chairs with questions prior to writing this article, but had not received responses to my questions.
Brigitte’s first issue had to do with my discussion of transparency in my article. In comparing the competitions, I noted that the Ad Club identifies the judges. The PRSA-NCC does not, nor does it state how the judges are selected, or which categories they judge. I said that in comparison, that disclosure was not transparent. I did not say: the PRSA-NCC was trying to hide something. Brigitte thought I was insinuating that in my article.
Saying something is not disclosed is not the same as saying someone is trying to hide something. I didn’t say that and I didn’t allege it. I can only stand by what I write, not what others suppose I may be implying. That is entirely subjective. I don’t have any control of other people’s opinions.
If I’m going to say something, I will say it. I don’t mince words or beat around the bush.
Which brings me to the next issue of impartiality. I stated that the PRSA-NCC way of judging the competition with local judges did not ensure impartiality in the same way the DC Ad Club competition, which is judged by non-local judges. It would be hard to argue with that statement. She felt it was inaccurate.
I did not say the Thoth judges were partial. I don’t have the information to make that claim, and frankly, I would be loathe to make a claim like that even if I knew for a fact they were. I don’t have an issue with the Thoth competition as an entity. I stated the system of judging could be improved, to ensure impartiality.
However, it would be truly hard to support the assertion that the PRSA-NCC way of selecting judges is truly better than the DC Ad Club way. I think it would be really difficult to say it would be impossible for the judges to be partial with this current approach. And that was my point. As much as I support the PRSA-NCC, the chapter has to be open at least to the idea of discussion of improvements. Personally, I don’t feel I could impartially judge entries from PRSA-NCC members myself, as much as I would try to, because I know so many members so very well. And if I won a Thoth award, and then discovered that two of the judges on the panel were my friends or clients — which in my case would not be a far stretch — I think I would always wonder (even just a little) if that had anything to do with it. That’s why I don’t enter!
Why not just eliminate that worry and go with non-local judges?
I don’t have that worry with the DC Ad Club. So I think it’s better. I wish PRSA-NCC did it in a similar way. Argue with that, if you will, but first support your opinion with why the PRSA-NCC way is in fact better. Because so far, I don’t see it.
What was interesting is that she shared that in the past, some Thoth judges didn’t want to be identified publicly, because they were afraid of members contacting them, or walking up to them at the ceremony, and saying “Why didn’t I win?” I felt that only point only reinforced my suggestion of using non-local judges for the competition. That only served to illustrate the possibility that using local judges may create a situation that is too close for comfort.
The third way my article was inaccurate, Brigitte wanted me to know, was in implying that the judges were, or had been in the past, unethical in some way.
I will confess, this is where I lost my temper with her, and asked her to stick to the statements made in my article.
I have not implied the judges were unethical. I have not alleged it. I have not stated it to be so. And I do not believe it to be so. No form of the word ethical is included in my article. I resent this very, very much.
All I can stand by are my own words. I can’t control what someone else feels I am implying, especially if they are an interested party. If anything, I am candid to a fault. If I think something’s unethical, I will say so. But I didn’t say it, I didn’t suggest it, and I didn’t write it, and again, I can’t control what she thinks of me. I ask to be judged only on what I write.
The fourth issue where she said there was inaccuracy was my assertion that Thoth brought in revenues for the chapter. Now, here, she might have a leg to stand on. I’m not privy to chapter financials. I’m willing to present that Thoth loses money, provided with that evidence.
But I did not claim Thoth makes or loses money.
I stated Thoth brings in revenues for the chapter. The definition of revenues is income received from activities, services, or products, and the chapter charges for those entries. I have also heard leaders in board meetings talk about the importance of bringing in revenues from Thoth entries. It is inarguable that Thoth brings in revenues.
It is also indisputable that it costs 50% + more to enter Thoth than the ADDYs. And in my opinion, the ADDYs delivers more value because it is a tiered competition, the work is judged by non-local notables in the field, and the winning entries are displayed, gallery-style, and publicized. I believe that value is something PRSA-NCC and PRSA should emulate.
Hey, I knew I was going out on a limb with this one. Politically, sure, it doesn’t make sense to voice your opinion about these kinds of things. After all, some of the people involved with Thoth are my acquaintances and my friends. They want to promote Thoth, and I want to promote Thoth, too. I just want it to be better. I knew it was possible they would get defensive, or take it personally, instead of recognizing that I am suggesting changes that would benefit all members.
So, I am open to criticism of my own opinions. Just, please, support your own opinions with facts, as I have tried to do.
Try to keep an open mind about changes that may benefit the chapter.
And please! Take my words for what they are, and not what you imagine them to be.
Mary Fletcher Jones is a member of the PRSA-NCC and has volunteered for PRSA-NCC in past years. She has also volunteered for the DC Ad Club and worked on the ADDY awards.
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.
If you are a DC communicator and thought you could put away your party shoes after The ONE Party at the beginning of this month, you are sadly mistaken. There are four holiday parties for communicators this week. There’s something right for everyone, so let the networking begin!
MONDAY, December 13
Who: PRSA-NCC (The National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America)
Where: One Lounge, 1606 20th Street NW, Washington, DC (Dupont Circle Metr0)
Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Cost: $35 PRSA and WWPR members; $55 non-members
Details: PRSA always puts out a nice spread for their elegant holiday parties. Their holiday event is most meaningful for PR professionals who are involved in some way with the Chapter. Most attendees are seasoned professionals (20+ years of experience), with a few younger people also attending. The recipients of PRSA-NCC’s Young Professional Award and the Diamond Award will be recognized. Cash contributions to the Salvation Army or to Goodwill Industries will be encouraged. Light fare and refreshments will be served.
TUESDAY, December 14
Who: WWPR (Washington Women in Public Relations)
Where: Hudson Restaurant and Lounge Restaurant and Lounge, 2030 M Street NW, Washington, DC (Metro: Dupont Circle or Farragut West)
Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 WWPR members; $35 non-members
Details: WWPR holiday events tend to be low-key and right for networking (not noisy, not a huge crowd). Expect a 80/20 female/male ratio, with ages skewing to 20s and 30s, but men are welcome to attend, and women of all ages belong to WWPR. Ticket includes one drink and appetizers. WWPR is collecting gift cards in $10 denominations to grocery stores, Target or Payless, and gently used and new toys and books for all ages, for their charity, Children’s Law Center.
Who: AMADC (American Marketing Association )
Where: Cure Bar & Bistro, 1000 H Street Northwest, Washington, DC
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 members; $35 non-members
Details: Includes one drink or wine tasting and appetizers. There will be a silent auction. AMADC is collecting toys and books at the event to donate to local charities. AMADC events tend to draw a diverse crowd (different occupations and experience levels).
WEDNESDAY, December 15
Who: SMC-DC (Social Media Club of Washington, DC)
Where: Elephant and Castle, 900 19th St., Washington, DC (Metro: Farragut West)
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Cost: Free; buy your own beer
Details: SMC-DC will have a designated area at the bar at this fun happy hour event skewed toward younger professionals, many of whom work in tech. There will be karaoke. Expect a big crowd of Millenials, plenty of noise, and beer.
Thursday, November 4
IPRA Lunch Program – Smart Phone APPS: Do They Add Value to Your PR Tool Belt?
Friday, November 5
Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6
Fletcher Prince Holiday Greeting Video Marathon
Tuesday, November 9
Wednesday, November 10
Monday, November 15 – Friday, November 19
Wednesday, November 17
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