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Looking Back at 2013: The Fletcher Prince Annual Report

happy fp logo

Every year, since I started this business, I write and publish an “annual report” for Fletcher Prince.  When I look back, I realize David and I accomplished a lot.   So here it is, our annual report: a great way to end the year on a positive note.

Fletcher Prince celebrates its sixth year in business. 2013 marked another year of delivering marketing and public relations services to clients and contractors, as well as community involvement, collaboration, and networking.

Client Work in 2013

Social media services and graphic design services were major project areas for us this year.

We worked with our existing clients Dominion Mechanical Construction, Keenan PR, and PRofessional Solutions, LLC. We also provided social media guidance to new clients Communications Ventures and Spark Media as well as graphic design services to Mopwater PR.  Some of our interesting projects in 2013 included working on a 20th anniversary marketing campaign for PRofessional Solutions, LLC and creating a multi-million dollar client-garnering sales presentation for Dominion Mechanical Construction.

Community Involvement and Service

Conversations in Public Relations

As a service to the Washington, DC area professional communications community, Fletcher Prince continues to produce videos for the YouTube seriesConversations in Public Relations,” featuring interviews with local communicators and association leaders. The 113 videos have received more than 79,000 views on YouTube.

Social Media Week DC

Fletcher Prince was the first public relations agency in the Washington, DC area to offer sessions for Social Media Week DC, and we resumed our commitment to the area-wide event for the second year in mid-February 2013. With the addition of guest podcasting expert and friend Ray Ortega of The Podcasters’ Studio, we presented two free seminars in Falls Church to a packed room, one on getting started with podcasting and the other on blogging about your favorite interests. You can view these presentations, along with the full length videos, on Fletcher Prince’s account on Slideshare.


Network-and-Lunch Events

We continued to offer Network-and-Lunch events around the DC area, periodically.  Special thanks go to Connie Rhind Robey and Leah Ibraheem for their ongoing support and organizing contributions!  Make plans to attend our next event at Chef Geoff’s in Tysons Corner on Tuesday, January 28.


Fletcher Prince Marketing Efforts in 2013

We continue to be grateful to our supporters. Our Facebook Page Likes increased by seven and we gained 41 new Twitter followers.  We also added our Social Media Week video presentations to our YouTube account.

The Fletcher Prince Blog is a labor of love and a big part of how we share our expertise and showcase our work. We surpassed 700 total blog posts in 2013.  Despite our decreased blogging volume of only 38 new blog posts in 2013, we earned nearly 23,000 views in 2013, bringing our total views to just over 94,000.  Our sincere thanks to guest bloggers Deborah Brody, Karen Hendricks, and Jay Morris for their contributions in 2013.

In Other News…

I attended the 2013 Washington PR Woman of the Year Awards as the guest of Fletcher Prince clients Kate Perrin and Melanie Jordan of PRofessional Solutions, LLC.  I am so grateful to Kate and Melanie for their year-long support and friendship. Fletcher Prince had an ad in the program for the event.


Thank You for Making 2013 a Great Year!

David and I would like to thank our clients for their business and look forward to an exciting new year.  I hope 2014 brings you much happiness and success.  Happy New Year!

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.




When PR and marketing work a little too well…

Not a huge fan of Miley Cyrus’ new image – but commentator David Johnson has a point — she and the people behind her brand crafted a strategy, carried it through, and stayed on message. That’s the  PR/Marketing lesson for today.

Also interesting: Twitter played a big part in bringing her to the media forefront.

According to this author, tweet activity is a factor to sponsors and advertisers now, and MC was the topic of more tweets than any other performer during the MTV Video Music Awards program.

So, we’ve got another example of how branding works, and how to leverage Twitter.  PR-wise, it works.  But is everything about PR?  For that matter, is everything about being successful and a household name?

Doesn’t the music still matter?  Or is that a really naive thing to say? Is it really all about twerking now?

It makes me sad to think of all the musicians who have dedicated years to learning and perfecting their craft — who put all their creativity into music, making untold numbers of sacrifices along the way, and they are eclipsed by someone who wiggles their bottom.

I know the music industry is competitive and branding is nothing new to performers. Still, I have to wonder: at what price did her current success come?  Will she look back at this time and have regrets about the damage she did to her credibility as a musician?  Or is it all about the money?

Sometimes, I think what we learn and apply in PR and marketing can work a little too well, you know what I mean?  It can take on lightning speed.  Her transformation was meteoric. Perhaps that was the intent.

To illustrate, here are two videos.  One is from less than a year ago, December 2012.  To me, then she had an image that she could own. Her voice is not spectacular, and the song is Dolly Parton’s, but she could have built on this.

And this is Miley, today… Her look and sound seem like a formulaic, success-built hybrid of Madonna/Gwen Stefani/Lady GaGa.  Her voice is still unimpressive, she can’t dance, and the video is gratuitously salacious.  She has all the presence of a little girl walking around in her mama’s shoes.  But she offers shock-value.  She got views.

The thing is: where does she go from here?  This is flash-in-the-pan marketing, and the only way to maintain it is to just keep dialing up the shock value.  Musically, she has nowhere to go, unless she metamorphoses once again, because this is all packaging.

I just question whether a 20-year-old is in the position to make these kinds of life-changing decisions.  Maybe she is.  Someone in PR and marketing is advising her.  Is this responsible?  I hope they can live with the results.

One man’s austerity is another man’s opportunity

I’ve asked some of my favorite bloggers to guest blog and provide us with some of their favorite creative and affordable marketing tips.

In this post, Jay Morris takes a slightly different twist with advice on finding opportunities in adversity.


“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” is a quote from Albert Einstein worth remembering. Image courtesy of scottchan at

For most of my career as a public relations and marketing professional, I’ve worked for organizations with fairly small communications budgets. I’ve joked that if you can afford to give me a desk, a telephone and a computer, I can do my job. The truth is, some of the best PR and marketing is done on a shoestring.

Yes, sequestration, furloughs and the gloom of austerity have darkened our doors of late, and PR folks are once again dealing with tight budgets and cutbacks. But I ask you, when have PR and marketing departments ever been flush with money?

In good times and bad, the organizations I’ve worked for have tightened their belts, reorganized and right-sized in ways that have severely impacted PR and marketing. If you want to last in this business, you truly have to be a survivor. You have to be a PR ninja, a marketing guerrilla. You have to think strategically while executing nimbly.

So here are some lessons learned from the austerity trenches:

Let go of what isn’t working or worth doing. In the 1980s, I worked for a large D.C. trade association. We were told that $1 million had to be cut from the operating budget, a lot of money back then. But in hindsight, it wasn’t enough to force us to rethink our business model or make meaningful changes. Instead, we became contortionists in our attempt to maintain member services at a reduced cost. For example, a four-page, weekly newsletter I edited and mailed to 25,000 members was “cut” by going to eight pages every two weeks. Sure, we saved a bundle of money by chopping our mailings in half, but no thought was given to the threshold question of whether we needed to continue the newsletter, much less double its issue size.

About a decade later, I was at different trade association that was suffering from a precipitous decline in membership. The axe fell again, but this time it was severe and painful. Most of my colleagues in the PR department were let go. Only two of us survived. But in building a new department from the ashes of the old one, a funny thing happened: We scrapped what wasn’t working and only focused on the essentials. We had “permission” from management and our stakeholders to reinvent public relations, albeit at a reduced level. Some of our best work came out of this period.

Jim Collins has said for years that businesses need to simplify and concentrate on what they do best. Great business leaders know when to eliminate those things that aren’t working. Sometimes those decisions are painful, but they almost always result in greater success than sticking with the status quo. Collins wrote an article for USA Today a few years ago about his annual “stop doing” list. It’s a great read and will get you thinking about what you need to really focus on in your life and career.

Leverage the resources you have. One of the organizations I worked for was a federation of about 1,000 state and local associations. In creating a nationwide network of media relations and community outreach volunteers, we were able to accomplish much more than we ever could have done on our own—and at a fraction of the cost. Collaborative thinking, strong volunteer leadership and a unified purpose helped us forge cooperative alliances with our state and local affiliates.

We developed training materials, held workshops and provided numerous “best-practice” examples of good public relations. We also recognized outstanding PR and community service initiatives through a national awards program. The training and recognition ensured that our volunteers were singing from the same songbook. In fact, we wrote the songbook, so in that way we shaped the message all across the country!

Out of adversity comes opportunity. It’s a hard truth to accept, but setbacks can become crucibles for positive change and growth. Anything that disrupts your routine, forces you to reexamine your goals or makes you change course can be a good thing in the end. Early in my career, I was reorganized out of the PR department I loved and into the government relations department. At the time I was upset and fought the change. As it turns out, I had the opportunity to work for one of the best bosses I’ve ever had. In my new role, I learned the ways of Washington, spent time on Capitol Hill, wrote testimony and issue papers, and spoke to reporters about legislative and regulatory concerns. It was a great training ground for my later job as a public affairs director.

Believe in yourself. It often seems that everyone in an organization is a PR pro—except you. Accountants, attorneys, lobbyists and IT people are accorded expert status, but the lowly PR guy gets no respect. Everyone tells him how to do his job or fails to tell him what he needs to know to do his job. Once, when I was working day and night to execute a name and logo change for an organization, the head of IT came by to see me and sketched on a piece of scrap paper the logo that he felt was the perfect solution for us. While well intentioned, his visit reminded me that outsiders tend to view our work as easy or superfluous. This mentality, unfortunately, puts PR budgets and staff at higher risk for cuts. Some of this goes with the territory, but some of it can be prevented by believing in yourself and your capabilities, doing your homework and demonstrating that PR and marketing can make important contributions to the bottom line.

The one distinct advantage that PR and marketing people have (or should have) over everyone else is their creativity, their willingness to think outside the box. That’s huge, and it’s our saving grace when the meat cleaver of budget cuts falls unevenly or austerity comes knocking at our door.

Jay Morris is president of Jay Morris Communications LLC, an independent marketing and PR firm in Alexandria, Va. He blogs at wayward and tweets at @JayMorCom. He also serves on the boards of PRSA-NCC and the Independent Public Relations Alliance.

Ideas to while away a snow day

Snow day!   If you’re anywhere in the Washington, DC area, you’re probably snowed in today.  Maybe you’re still in your pajamas, drinking hot chocolate, and catching up on emails and blog posts.

You have my permission to be lazy all day if you want to.  I am sure you deserve some down time.  But if you find yourself catching cabin fever, here are some fun and constructive ways to employ your time.  Some of them are even quasi-related to marketing and PR 🙂

1. Just stay home.  It’s not really safe to go out, so if you don’t have to… When you drive on roads before they’re plowed, they get packed down and icy.  That’s not good.  Here are some ideas to work off all that nervous energy from Fairfax County

2. Learn how to get started with podcasting.  Watch Ray’s Social Media Week DC session   .

3. Order the nail polish inspired by the Pantone color of the year, Emerald from Sephora, $10.  Inspire a conversation on design!  How groovy would this be on toes?  And just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, too!pantone emerald nail color

4. Check out Marie Dauenheimer’s blog post on Cezanne’s studio and be transported for a moment to the warm and sunny south of France.

md blog

5. Register for a year’s worth of monthly networking lunches in the Washington, DC area.  Because I really would like to meet you in person, and repeatedly so.  While you have your datebook out, make two notes for March:  1. My birthday is on March 16 🙂 and 2. Cherry Blossoms are supposed to peak between March 26-30 in DC this year.

6. Catch up on the latest episodes of SCANDAL, the dramatic series about a DC area kind-0f-PR-agency.  Oh, who are we kidding?  It’s not even remotely related to PR!  But it IS fun to watch…

7. Discover your blogging style and persona in my Social Media Week DC session on YouTube.

8. Sing out loud to something really fun and intense, like Florence + the Machine (why do I never get invited to any wild parties like this?)  🙂 

and give it everything like you’ve got, like Anna Netrebko at 2:29 

Come to think of it, give EVERYTHING everything you’ve got like Anna Netrebko does at 2:29

9. Make a snow logo and tweet the photo, or put it on your company Facebook Page.  Bonus if you color it in, too (try food color and water in a spray bottle).

10.  Warm up for 10 minutes (dance, maybe, Pandora is playing your song!) and then get out your weights and do four reps each: 12 biceps curls, 12 arm raises, 12 sit-ups, 12 outer leg lifts, 12 inner leg lifts, 12 donkey kickbacks, 12 triceps kickbacks, 12 calf raises, 12 squats/plies.  Stretch.

Then call me and bug me to see if I have done them yet.

11.  Write a LinkedIn recommendation for David Hyson.  He is FAR too modest to ever ask for one himself, but if he has worked for you, you know he is terrific, and deserving of praise.

12. Do a Google +  Hangout with friends and brain storm video and blog ideas.

13.  Register for WWPR’s Brown Bag lunch on evaluation and measurement on Wednesday, March 20 (free for members $15 for non-members).

14. Follow PRofessional Solutions, LLC on Pinterest and get some ideas for your PR career wardrobe.

15. Plan your spring break. Where will you go?  What will you do?

16.  Leave a comment on this blog with a super idea of how to constructively use your down time.

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.

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.

Fletcher Prince Public Relations Services

This 1 minute video shares public relations tips and describes the PR services offered by Fletcher Prince  Fletcher Prince was listed among the Washington, DC area’s top 25 public relations firms by Washington Business Journal in 2012.

Looking Back at 2012 — The Fletcher Prince Annual Report

Fletcher Prince celebrates its fifth year in business.  2012 was a year of delivering marketing and public relations services to clients and contractors, as well as community involvement.

Client Work in 2012

Social media services, video production, and photography services were major project areas for us this year.

We worked with our existing clients Dominion MechanicalPRofessional Solutions, Keenan PR, and Remey Communications.  Projects included video production, graphic design, and photography.  We were also delighted to provide social media consulting services to new clients American Chemical Society and Atwater Communications.

Pro Bono Work

David and I completed extensive pro bono work for two organizations involved in promoting the cause of human rights in Bahrain.  Our work for them included providing public relations and social media services, graphic design, logo design, blog development, and special event support.

David's design for the website for the Bahrain Coordinating Committee

David’s design for the website for the Bahrain Coordinating Committee

Community Involvement and Service

Conversations in Public Relations

As a service to the Washington, DC area professional communications community, Fletcher Prince continues to produce videos for the YouTube seriesConversations in Public Relations,” featuring interviews with local communicators and association leaders.  We produced 3 additional videos in 2012.  The 110 videos have received more than 61,200 views on YouTube.

Social Media Week DC

Fletcher Prince was the first public relations agency in the Washington, DC area to offer sessions for Social Media Week DC, which was presented in mid-February.  We presented three seminars in Falls Church to standing room only audiences and streamed the sessions live on Livestream.  We are grateful to the participants we invited to add their expertise to the sessions, including communicators from the World Bank and the U.S. Army.   Mary’s presentations on YouTube video, blogging, and using an editorial calendar can be viewed on Fletcher Prince’s account on Slideshare.

Mary Fletcher Jones, presenter, Social Media Week, DC with Susan Rink, guest speaker, and David Hyson, designer and Fletcher Prince creative director

Mary Fletcher Jones, presenter, Social Media Week, DC with Susan Rink, guest speaker, and David Hyson, designer and Fletcher Prince creative director

Speaking Engagements

Mary also presented sessions on effective social media marketing and YouTube video outreach to the nonprofit organization, the U.S. Hospice Regatta Alliance.  She presented an introductory session on blogging to George Mason University communications students.  She also appeared at the Government Video Expo, where she spoke about practical approaches to social media measurement, as well as techniques for engaging audiences through social media outreach.

Network-and-Lunch Events

We tried something new this year: we organized monthly networking lunches all over the Washington, DC area.  We met at places such as Jaleo in Bethesda, Teaism in DC, and RT’s in Alexandria, among other restaurants.  It was fun getting to know our Facebook and Twitter followers better.

March network and lunch

Social Media Survival Guide

We also produced the 2012 Fletcher Prince Social Media Survival Guide and distributed 2,000 copies at events such as the Washington Business Journal Book of Lists celebration, Social Media Week DC, college fairs, and the monthly lunches.


Fletcher Prince Marketing Efforts in 2012

We continue to be grateful to our supporters.  This year, we added a Pinterest Page and updated our LinkedIn Business Page to the new format.  Our Facebook Page Likes increased from 118 to 143.  Our Fletcher Prince Twitter followers rose from 240 to 600.

This year, we added 10 YouTube videos to our Fletcher Prince YouTube Channel, including a series of videos highlighting our capabilities and a third client testimonial video.   We are grateful to our subscribers, and added 27 to our followers this year, and an additional 4,000+ views.

The Fletcher Prince Blog is a big part of how we share our expertise and showcase our work, and our blog views almost doubled in 2012.  Consistent blogging pays off in increased views.


In Other News…

We were included in the 2012 Washington Business Journal Book of Lists under top 25 area public relations firms.

Mary Fletcher Jones and Nicole Wanzer

I attended the 2012 Washington PR Woman of the Year Awards as the guest of Fletcher Prince clients Kate Perrin and Melanie Jordan of PRofessional Solutions, LLC.


Thank You for Making 2012 a Great Year!

David and I would like to thank our clients for their business and look forward to working with them in the new year.

Special thanks to our blog subscribers, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and our colleagues for their support in the past year.

Happy New Year!

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