This month’s Member Spotlight takes you behind the scenes of the Marketing Communications Committee to learn more about each member and her contributions to both WWPR and the marketing communications industry as a whole.
Co-chaired by Jennifer Dunn and Kristen Hostetter, the Marketing Communications committee relies heavily on its committee members to help carry out WWPR’s communications goals and increase visibility of the organization. This is done via various mediums including WWPR’s monthly e-newsletter, social media, events, news releases and more. Committee members include Lauren Anderson (social media — Twitter, Facebook), Tabatha Thompson (Technically Speaking column, e-newsletter), Beth Stewart (Member Spotlight/articles of interest, e-newsletter), Ana Buling (social media, LinkedIn) and Karin Bloomquist (Engaging Industry column, e-newsletter).
- Education/Degree: B.A. in Public Communication from American University
- Current Position: Account Executive at Fifth Estate Communications
- Volunteer/After work activities: I’m a member of the volunteer organization Hands On Greater DC Cares where I’ve worked on projects that include park restoration, serving food to people in need and volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House; This summer I’m playing kickball every Wednesday in the DC Kickball League; I also love to read, play tennis, and I’m learning to sew :)
- Top Reads: I’m definitely a Twitter addict where I follow everyone from major news outlets (NY Times, WaPo, Huffington Post, etc.) to local DC blogs and news outlets (Prince of Petworth, TBD, etc.) to “entertainment” sites like The Sartorialist, and of course I follow lots of PR sites/people like PRSA, PR Daily News, Mediabistro, PR Week, etc. In an effort not to get too caught up in headlines and 140-character blurbs I also regularly check the websites for Washington Post, New York Times, and my hometown paper The Buffalo News and the site longform.org, which aggregates long-form articles/pieces on just about every topic you can imagine.
- Why Communications: Since I could hold a pen in my hand, I’ve loved to write. So, like a lot of PR pros, I originally thought I wanted to be a journalist, and then after my freshman year of college I learned more about our school’s Public Communication. It seemed like a better fit for my personality and strengths and then eventually lead me to a job in public relations.
- Why did you join WWPR: I worked for a very small agency, so I was looking for a way to meet other people working in PR and expand my network. I also have a lot of respect for any organization whose mission is to help women be successful in their careers.
- Best Advice: An internship supervisor once said “never be without pen and pencil,” which to me is like the PR version of Girl Scouts’ “always be prepared.”
- Ways to Connect: Twitter (@laurenrutha), Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest (Lauren Anderson).
- Education/Degree: BA in Communication (Public Relations concentration) with a minor in Global Affairs and a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University
- Current Position: I work as an Associate Research Analyst at Deltek in their Information Solutions division communicating, researching and analyzing federal business opportunities under the Department of Homeland Security.
- Volunteer/After work activities: Aside from volunteering with WWPR outside of my normal work schedule, I enjoy seeing friends, family and my significant other. In addition, I am planning on pursuing an advanced degree in communication, so I have recently been spending a lot of time researching and preparing to begin that endeavor in the near future. I also enjoy trying new places, new food, photography and meeting new people, so any combinations of the above are generally what my activities outside of work entail.
- Top Reads: To be honest, I get most of my news via official Twitter handles of media outlets to get a well-rounded synopsis of the day’s news and events, and will indulge in reading full stories that grab my attention throughout the day. I also check out BBC headlines and stories on occasion to keep informed of what’s going on in the world.
- Why Communications: As most people would say who work or are interested in the industry, it comes natural. Additionally, I fell in love with the idea of putting ideas into action and helping to manage the relationships (business, personal, etc.) around me. It’s where I feel most at peace.
- Why did you join WWPR: In 2011, I interned at New Media Strategies in the Public Affairs practice. Over time, I worked with and was introduced to many of the staff. One day, I was introduced to Meghan Sager (now Meghan McHahon), an Account Supervisor at NMS, who told me about WWPR, her prior role as a board member, and the fantastic networking opportunities that it offers to its members. After researching the organization, I decided to become a member and to this day, enjoy all the benefits the organization has to offer.
- Best Advice: In an informal interview conducted via email with Stuart Smith, CEO EAME of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in London, I asked what advice he had to give about getting into the communications industry and he said, “Make sure you have the passion and energy for PR. It’s a demanding job. But the rewards and enjoyment from working in a highly creative discipline make it worthwhile.” This advice drives me to do well in and outside of the industry to this day.
- Ways to Connect: Twitter and LinkedIn
- Education/Degree: BA in Journalism and Electronic Media from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
- Current Position: I am currently a marketing associate at Vorsight, a sales effectiveness firm in Rosslyn. My duties included writing and editing collateral as well as manage the company’s social media outlets and communications efforts.
- Volunteer/After work activities: I recently started a food and lifestyle blog called BeeStew.blogspot.com. I wanted a platform where I could expand on my creative interests as well as discuss my love of food and this city.
- Top Reads: I get most if not all of my news electronically. Through my Twitter, I follow HuffPo, CNN, New York Times among others.
- Why Communications: I’ve always enjoyed writing and filming and once I got to college I thought the best channel for my talents would be journalism. It wasn’t until my communications internship with former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen that I realized I’d rather work with the media instead of as the media.
- Why did you join WWPR: A year before moving to DC, I researched networking opportunities and the idea of interacting with established women at WWPR intrigued me. Since joining in January, I have gained valuable one-on-one insights to the industry by writing the member profiles.
- Best Advice: Dress for the job you want not for the job you have.
- Ways to Connect: Twitter: @Beth_Stewart, LinkedIn or follow my boards with Pinterest
- Education/Degree: BA, Journalism, Western Kentucky University
- Current Position: Regional PR manager, Gensler
- Volunteer/After work activities: I volunteer in my daughter’s classroom and schooland support the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project.
- Top Reads: Business Journal headlines from my markets, WaPo, and Google Reader. An hour with the Sunday New York Times is the ultimate luxury!
- Why Communications: I love the challenge of breaking down complex information so that really smart people can share the good work they’re doing with the rest of the world.
- Why did you join WWPR: To meet and engage with people in my field who facesimilar challenges (as women, specifically).
- Best Advice: Remember that our clients are ultimately the communicators; our job is to help people focus and refine the content and message.
- Ways to Connect: Twtter: @art_n_science, LinkedIn