Who inspires you in the field of public relations? Now is the time to recognize her contributions! Nominate your favorite public relations professional for WWPR’s Washington PR Woman of the Year Award.
For the 23rd year, Washington Women in Public Relations will honor an outstanding professional as Washington PR Woman of the Year, this year on November 15 , 2012 at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, DC.
The professional organization is now accepting nominations for this prestigious honor. Last year, Fletcher Prince client Heathere Evans Keenan won the award.
There are many ways to support the event, including sponsorship packages. In 2010, we donated a video production package and makeup kit for the raffle. In 2008, I served as co-chair for the Mayflower Hotel awards event, and Fletcher Prince provided pro bono graphic design services and signed on as a Gold-level sponsor to support the event.
To be eligible for consideration as Washington PR Woman of the Year, nominees should live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and have ten or more years of public relations work experience, with at least three of those years employed in the Washington, DC area.
The nomination requires submission of a resume; three examples of career accomplishments; a 500-word nominating essay; description of memberships, certificates, and professional affiliations; list of awards received; and a description of community service and activities.
Nomination packets and instructions are available online at WWPR.org and are due no later than midnight, August 31, 2012.
Work in public relations in Washington, DC? Need to build your media contact list? Follow my public Twitter List of WTOP-FM Radio reporters and announcers.
Networking potential: Excellent. Don’t arrive late because a lot of mingling happens before lunch, and after lunch, people clear out quickly. You’ll have a chance to say hello to old friends and meet a few new people before lunch. About 50 people attend who almost never go on Twitter. At the lunch table, expect convivial conversation with eight experienced communicators and plenty of sharing, with maybe a little table hopping around dessert. I have obtained juicy projects from networking at these luncheons.
What to expect: This is a warm gathering of experienced, independent communications consultants who live in the DC suburbs — most in their late 30s to early 60s. They know each other well but who also welcome new comers. A couple of sponsors or vendors also typically attend. Few people drink, the ones who do get one glass of wine. Expect to chip in money or a check for the charity. There are the customary announcements and thank you’s from the group’s leaders. The restaurant’s in a mall so parking is free.
What to wear: Men wear dark suits and Christmas ties. Women wear dressy suits, tailored dresses, or Christmas sweaters and dress trousers. There is plenty of sparkle and lots of photo taking.
Should you go? YES. This event sells out for a reason. The food alone would be a good reason to go but there are also very nice holiday decorations and some great photo ops. You’ll hear some great stories and probably make some good friends. If you’re under 35, though, you may feel out of place among these seasoned communicators. If you’re just starting your own communications consulting business, or you want to target these consultants as clients, this is a must-attend event for you.
I help clients put together websites, Facebook Pages, and blogs, and the number one problem I encounter is that they do not have enough good, recent photographs of themselves.
I need my clients to be a bit more vain! 🙂
For my DC area clients, I do encourage them to have their picture taken (by friends or family) near DC landmarks, when they visit them. These pictures can be great!
Today is the day to ask your friend or spouse to take a photo of you next to the cherry blossoms. It can be a lovely addition to your photography collection, and can help reinforce your brand as a DC-based company. The next few days will be snowy or rainy, so although it will be crowded, today is the day to get out there and get those shots.
If you get the right shot, you can use it on your website or blog. What says DC like cherry blossoms? The Tidal Basin is great for photos, but there’s a nice grove near the Washington Monument, close to Constitution, and even some great photo ops in Bethesda, Maryland (Kenwood Country Club) and Alexandria, Virginia (near Clydes, Mark Center), among other places in the DC metro area.
Here are some tips for getting a great shot with the cherry blossoms…
Dress the part, and keep it natural and informal. It’s going to be chilly but for your photo, you can doff your jacket or coat quickly. If you’re carrying a purse or anything, put that to the side, with your coat. Wear a simple shirt or blouse in a solid color for the best results. Try cherry-blossom complimentary colors like soft green, aqua, rose, or soft blue. Even white can work, if that works with your coloring.
Frame or crop for a head and shoulders shot, with cherry blossoms in the background. It can be harder to get monuments in the shot, too, but if you can do it, go for it!
Take lots of pictures! Have some fun with it. Don’t be afraid of close-ups (that’s what Photoshop is for).
Don’t pick the cherry blossoms, or even hold a fallen cherry blossom in your hand in the photo. Picking the cherry blossoms is illegal, and you don’t want to convey that you might have done something illegal! You can hold your hand lightly on a branch, if that is the look you are going for.
When smiling for the camera, relax and think of something wonderful so you will also smile with your eyes. A modeling tip: if you are displaying a toothy smile, put the tip of your tongue lightly against the back of your top teeth. I don’t know why this works, but it does! Try some different head positions, like slightly cocking it to one side, or 3/4 views.
If you are an older person (older than 35) don’t let your photographer friend shoot “up,” for example, if they are shorter than you, or downhill from you. Have them shoot from a slightly raised position, or angle the camera down. These angles will be more flattering. Or you can shoot from a straight angle, or from the side. Just don’t let someone aim the camera lens from below your chin.
Return the favor. Everyone wants photos of themselves by the cherry blossoms. Take photos of your friend, and of tourists who ask.
Most importantly: post those photos online! Tweet them, put them on your Facebook Page, blog, and website. Be sure to alt-tag them and/or caption them with your name.
All photos by David Hyson.