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.
Would you like to improve your public relations capabilities in the new year? Is that a goal for you? Here are some free online resources for you to check out.
If you find these resources helpful, do us a favor and please tweet this post!
1. Write Better RFPs
Need to hire a public relations firm? The next time you gear up to prepare a Request For Proposals (RFP), check out this free online resource, RFP Builder, with tools that walk you through the RFP process.
2. Power Up Your Press Releases
If you are using a service to distribute your press releases, you may be confounded about which one to select. Download this Press Release Buyers Guide from Bulldog Reporter.
3. Refresh Your Basic PR Skills
Sharpen your public relations skills. Download the free PRSA APR Study Guide.
4. Measure the Results of Your PR Efforts
5. Master Social Media
You already use social media for networking and engagement. Now learn how to use social media in your public relations efforts. Download this HubSpot ebook.
Review and refine your corporate social media policy regularly. Here are more than 150 real-life social media policies to guide you. Don’t forget the employee training component. For more social media in the workplace guidelines, read these posts on the Fletcher Prince Blog.
Engage your supporters on Facebook. Read these Facebook Pages guides and tips. There are links here to guides for businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, police departments, the military, and more.
Want to use Google+ effectively? Watch this video from Chris Brogan on using Google+ for business.
- Your Marketing Strategy for 2012 – Avoid 10 Common Pitfalls in the New Year (fletcher-prince.com)
- Your Marketing Strategy for 2012: Invest in the Basics; Refine What You Have (fletcher-prince.com)
- Marketing Lessons We Learned in 2011 (fletcher-prince.com)
- #PRin2012: 12 Trends That Will Change Public Relations (prsay.prsa.org)
- YouTube and Your Brand (Video) (fletcher-prince.com)
- 30 Top Ebooks to Help You Master Inbound Marketing in 2012 (hubspot.com)
It’s back to school time for many of you, and I know your future job options must be uppermost in your minds.
If you are considering a career in public relations, start networking now!
- Become well acquainted with the staff at the public relations or public affairs department at your school. If possible, obtain work or an internship there, or at minimum, work on a short-term volunteer project during a busy time for them. If not, you can request an informational interview. Keep tabs on how they promote your school. Touch base at least once a month.
- Involvement in the PRSSA is nice but even better: find the PRSA chapter near your school and attend an event once a month so you can network with established professionals who will be charmed by your initiative and will want to help you. Most chapters offer signficant event fee discounts for students. Bring your “business card” (you can them for free at VistaPrint) and practice networking. Always ask for advice and leads, and listen more than you talk.
- Ask your professors about their connections in public relations. Do they know anyone who works at an agency or association? See if they will help you obtain an informational interview, as well as leads for internships.
- Don’t leave school without at least one letter of recommendation and at least one LinkedIn recommendation from a teacher for a public relations or communications related project you worked on, preferably a real-life one (not a classroom group project), such as an internship, paid project, or volunteer project. Document your participation with a camera (you should always keep a digital camera with you), even if all you did was staff a registration desk for an event. Blog about it.
- Apply for summer internships early. The best ones tend to be paid. If you must take an unpaid internship with a nonprofit organization, try to make it part-time (e.g., 20 hours a week), so you can also work during the summer to earn money for college. But don’t settle for a “distance” internship — you need to be in the workplace, learning and making connections.
- Keep it classy. Want to be remembered? First impressions count, but so do second and third ones. Be helpful, appreciative, and always say “thank you” to the many people who will help you along the way. Keep your cell phone or Blackberry out of your hand during networking sessions, and polish your conversational and interpersonal skills. And remember, a handwritten and mailed thank you note will always make you stand out.