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.
2013 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.
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.
Last week’s Washington Women in Public Relations annual event, the Washington PR Woman of the Year luncheon, was an outstanding and well-organized success, with the largest ever attendance yet, and a line-up of inspirational speakers. I was very pleased to be included as a guest of my clients, Melanie Jordan and Kate Perrin of PRofessional Solutions, LLC.
Following a lunch of salad, chicken, pasta, and German chocolate cake, the keynote speaker addressed the audience.
Charlotte Beers had words of wisdom to share with the audience of WWPR members and communicators. The author of I’d Rather Be In Charge has had an illustrious career in advertising, including a position as the CEO of Ogilvy. She also served as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Bush administration.
She didn’t pull any punches in relating some of the challenges she faced at the top. Ms. Beers told stories about accomplishments, but also of sexual discrimination and harassment, including being attacked by a client. She stressed how important it was to make alliances with other women in male-dominated workplaces, and to refuse to allow people to diminish ideas and contributions.
She encouraged the audience to make the effort to understand themselves so they could take advantage of their strengths and compensate for their shortcomings. “Know what you are made of, so when you are challenged, you know about the traits.” These qualities, she explained, reveal why you are “great at one job and lousy at another.”
She also cautioned against putting too much stock in what others say about you. “You can be way too influenced by what other people tell you about yourself.”
Ms. Beers expounded on what she called the qualities of an “artful communicator.” Artful communication, she said, involves clarity, memorability, and persuasiveness. “Think in terms of not what you want to say but the response you want to evoke.”
To be persuasive, Ms. Beers said you have to show that you have “skin in the game.” The message you want to convey is that “I’m committed and I’m not turning back.”
Ms. Beers was an inspirational and entertaining speaker and was a tremendous addition to the event this year.
Following Ms. Beers’ presentation was a short speech by Heathere Evans-Keenan, last year’s Washington PR Woman of the Year. The independent public relations practitioner talked about how winning the award increased her confidence in professional contexts. She then announced the winner from the three honoree finalists.
A clearly elated Stephanie Fu accepted the award and gave a short speech. Principal of the local PR firm SLF Strategies, the new Washington PR Woman of the Year asked the audience to consider two things: their inspiration and their aspiration.
She then presented a tribute to her parents — her inspiration — who were in attendance. Ms. Fu has a pedigree of success — her mother was a medical researcher who helped identify the dangers of lead poisoning and advocated for its removal from household products. Her father was one of the genius engineers behind GPS technology.
Her story of aspiration was quite touching. She told the story of how her young daughter was told to draw a picture in school of someone she looked up to. The daughter drew a picture of her mother that was full of symbols about Ms. Fu’s best qualities. Ms. Fu said this is the image of the person she now aspires to be.
In 2008, I served as co-chair of the Washington PR Woman of the Year Award, so I know first-hand how difficult it can be to plan this high-profile event, even with a corps of dedicated volunteers. But, each year, the event gets better and better, as does the organization. And this year, the event was brilliant.
If you work in public relations in the Washington, DC area, whether you are a man or a woman, it’s a smart move to become involved with Washington Women in Public Relations.
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.
Have you ever heard the expression “Good things happen in threes?”
Well, I’m not superstitious, but three good things did happen to me recently. First of all, after a long blog hiatus, I’m feeling better and blogging again, which feels wonderful. Secondly, I was asked to join the ADDYs committee. And now, I’ve been invited by my PRofessional Solutions client to attend WWPR’s Emerging Leaders Awards on July 26.
I am so pleased and flattered to be invited by Kate Perrin and Melanie Jordan of PRofessional Solutions. They have not only been a wonderful client to work with, but they have also provided me with two very interesting public relations assignments in the past two years.
And talk about inspiring: Kate has supported WWPR since its inception, not to mention her support of and work with PRSA-NCC, AWC-DC, and IABC-DC and now serves on the Dress for Success board. If you have temporary public relations staffing needs, or are seeking a temporary or permanent public relations position, you should talk to Kate and Melanie. They are the best!
Thanks very much for the invitation, Kate and Melanie! I look forward to seeing you Tuesday, July 26. If you see me there, please say hello. And if you have not yet registered for this event, visit Washington Women in Public Relations online.
- Meet the WWPR #ELA2011 Finalists! (flackrabbit.com)
Tuesday, March 1
Today is National Pancake Day, but Fletcher Prince will still be open. Free pancakes (suggested donation) at IHOP.
Wednesday, March 2
Join Women in Film and Video for an evening panel discussion on how to use documentaries to attract the attention of policy makers. Chuck Conconi is one of the speakers.
Thursday March 3
Learn how to conduct PR research on a small budget at the monthly IPRA luncheon at the Embassy Suites in Tysons Corner. Good food, great people.
On the same day, WWPR offers a luncheon presentation, this one at the National Press Club, with Keith Blackman — the topic is media training. You may have to join WWPR to go, because this is a members-only thing, but it will be worth it.
Saturday, March 5
Alexandria’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is today, and it’s a doozy. Yeah, I think it’s a little early for it, too, but there you go. Dig out your green clothes!
Tuesday, March 8
Happy Mardi Gras! Laissez les bons temps rouler! And don’t phone too early tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 9
A half-day of presentations with area PR consultants will be offered to area nonprofits for a bargain fee by PRSA-NCC.
Saturday, March 12
Join Richard Harrington and the DC Podcaster Alliance for a free presentation on compressing audio and video for the web. Bring a snack to share.
Tuesday, March 15
Happy Birthday, Fletcher Prince Facebook fan, Ami Neiberger-Miller! You rock!
Remember Father Guido Sarducci? This year, he’s hosting the DC ADDY Awards Gala. Seriously, I’m not kidding. The real McCoy. The event also showcases the best in creative advertising in Washington, DC, and will entertain and inspire you.
Wednesday, March 16
Happy Birthday to Mary Fletcher Jones! Flowers and cards over here, thank you.
Join PRSA-NCC and the GW School of Management at Fleishman Hilliard today for an afternoon seminar on leadership skills for PR managers. Jeff Ghannam is presenting.
Thursday, March 17
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The Irish are known for their gift of gab, and suitably, WWPR is offering a lunchtime seminar on the art of storytelling, with three branding experts.
Sunday, March 20
Today is the first day of spring, and not a day too soon! Cherry blossoms, any day now!
Happy Birthday, Fletcher Prince! Our fourth year in business. We should get a cake, or something.
Saturday, March 26
First day of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Smithsonian Kite Festival is also today. Great day to take pictures.
Thursday, March 31
Opening day for The Washington Nationals. Play ball!
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.