This month’s Member Spotlight interview features WWPR Member and Emerging Leaders Awards honoreeĀ Danielle Hagen, VP of Communications at Nahigian Strategies.

Q: How did you get started in communications?

A: Like many communications professionals, I was interested in pursuing a career in journalism because I loved how the media could capture a great story and educate a captive audience. But my dreams of being a journalist shifted after taking my first communications class in college. I was enamored at how our words could shape every aspect of our reality – from professional to interpersonal communications. From that moment on, I was hooked. I began my career in my hometown of Cincinnati, working at a public relations firm and also teaching at the University of Cincinnati. I had the fortunate opportunity early in my career to work on a wide array of communications from corporate branding and media relations to crisis communications and digital media which gave me a toolbox of skills that I still use everyday in my current position. Every project, every situation is an opportunity to grow and expand your knowledge, which is one of the reasons I love PR so much. It’s an ever-changing world where I get to learn everyday.

Q: What inspired you to get involved with WWPR?

A: There are so many wonderful practitioners that are members of WWPR, including mentors that have been so influential on my career in D.C. A friend of mine encouraged me to attend a WWPR lunch event and I was not only blown away at the network of wonderful communications professionals that attended but also the quality of the program where we actually walked away with information we can use in our jobs. After that event, I wanted to become a member of this great organization that coalesced so many impressive members of our profession and enhanced our growth.

Q: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment professionally?

A: There are a lot of accomplishments that I’m proud of – from winning the first Congressional campaign I ever worked on to being tapped to be the Deputy Communications Director for a presidential candidate in the 2012 election. But the biggest accomplishment for me was taking my dream job in Washington, DC. While that may not seem like significant accomplishment, it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. I moved away from my family and left my personal life behind to pursue a dream. Fast forward four years later – I’ve never regretted a single moment and can’t wait to see what the future will hold.