In this issue:

Emerging Leaders Awards
Professional Development
Event Recap
Trends of the Trade
PR in Focus
Member Spotlight
Articles of Interest
Upcoming Events
Membership News
Sponsor Spotlight

Emerging Leaders Awards

Save the Date! The 2013 Emerging Leaders Awards (ELA) will be on Thursday, July 18 at the National Press Club!

The Emerging Leaders Awards is a special accolade for young women active within the communications field who have made a significant impact on the industry. The award highlights not only their contributions thus far, but their potential to contribute to the industry for many years to come, making them truly emerging leaders.

Nominations are now being accepted. If you know a stellar public relations professional who should be considered or want to nominate yourself, submit the following documents as a single PDF to by Friday, May 31 at midnight:

• A completed nomination form (found here)
• The nominee’s resume OR professional biography

Nominee qualifications and more details about the event can be found here.

Keep an eye out for updates and more information through WWPR’s Twitter account and Facebook page.

Questions about the event or available sponsorship opportunities? Please contact Lauren Smith or Emily Hughes, WWPR board members and Emerging Leaders Awards co-chairs, at

Click here to learn more about the 2012 ELA honorees.


Professional Development

WWPR has a number of exciting professional development events coming up this spring.

Minute Mentoring with WWPR and Edelman/GWEN on Thursday, April 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Edelman’s offices at 1875 I “Eye” St, NW, Suite 900 in Washington, D.C. This event will bring together seasoned professional women with women still carving their career paths, enabling the sharing of knowledge, experience, tools and tips. Minute Mentoring creates an environment where women are encouraged to lead and succeed by women who do. WWPR is partnering with Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network to offer this event.

Mentors include Alicia Aebersold, Associate Director, Aligning Forces for Quality; Carrie Fox, President, C. Fox Communications; Nancy Gravatt, SVP, National Mining Association; Amy Malerba Hemingway, SVP, Edelman; Debbi Jarvis, VP Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility, Pepco Holdings, Inc.; Cary Lawrence, VP Business Development, Social Code; Barbara Semedo, Strategic Communications Advisor; Bridget Serchak, Chief Public Affairs, Department of Defense; Debra Silimeo, EVP, Hager Sharp; Vicki Tarallo, Independent Consultant, Korn/Ferry International; and Kate Mikesell, Director Corporate Communications, Hilton Worldwide. Cost: $15 for WWPR, PRSA members; $25 non-members. Registration is now open.

On May 8 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m., join in the dialogue at a brown bag discussion, The Science of Communicating with Scientists,” with Washington area science reporters and communications professionals from our host, the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, at 1155 16th St., NW in Washington, D.C. Participate in the conversation about how to get coverage for science issues in a changing media landscape, the challenges reporters face interviewing scientists who use highly technical language and give lengthy answers, and how PR professionals can better assist them in getting to the heart of the information they need for stories. Take away insider tips on better ways to communicate about complex issues by learning about the American Chemical Society’s “Speak Simply About Science” initiative. Panelists include Brian Vastag, science reporter, The Washington Post; Christine Dell’Amore, environment writer/editor, National Geographic News; and TBD. Cost: free to WWPR members; $15 non-members. Registration is open.

Mark your calendar for “WWPR’s Open House” on May 15 from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at Ketchum, 2000 L St., NW, Suite 300 in Washington, D.C. Come network and mingle with the new WWPR 2013 Executive Board, learn how you can get involved in future fun and exciting events and win a chance for a wine and chocolate prize. Committee chairs will be available to find out how you can get involved or just come, meet and socialize with the fabulous members of WWPR! The event is free and light snacks and wine will be served.

Director of Public Relations and National Spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International, Lauren Lawson-Zilai, will welcome attendees and share with the group her personal connection to WWPR and how it helped shape and change her career.

Members, bring a (non-member) friend or colleague and both of you will get to throw your business card in a raffle for a prize (did we mention the prize includes wine and chocolate?). Non-members, come chat with the board and current members to find out the great benefits of membership! Those who sign up for membership at the open house will receive a 10% discount on the already low, $85/yearly membership. Registration is open.

If you have a suggestion for a future program topic or would like to join the Professional Development Committee, please email PD Co-Chairs, Melanie Jordan and Erica Hiar at

Event Recap

Recap of March 20th Brown Bag Discussion: “Why It Matters and How It Works: Evaluating Communications”
By Anne Hoar Ladewig, WWPR Professional Development Committee Member

A panel of experts with theoretical knowledge and practical experience spoke about the importance of evaluation and measurement in public relations, during a recent brown bag session presented by Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR).

“Our future lies in being more scientific and methodical,” said Brenda K. Foster, vice president, account services at Vanguard Communications. “In a billable environment, every action has an associated cost, and the smartest communicator says, ‘we shouldn’t guess.’ ”

Pallavi Damani Kumar, assistant professor and senior associate director of the public communication division of the school of communication at American University, recommended beginning an evaluation by taking ‘baby steps.’

“Create little benchmarks, then use data to set your goals,” Damani Kumar said. “Go in and tweak your strategy and adjust if you’re not meeting little goals.”

Getting buy-in from all stakeholders and decision-makers from the beginning is crucial to a successful evaluation, said Karen A. McDonnell, associate professor of prevention and community health at The George Washington University.

“It isn’t just the endpoint, evaluation takes many different forms,” McDonnell said. “Collect metrics along the way, and it helps you gain control over what’s occurring now and in the future.”

To collect metrics, Damani Kumar recommended using some of the many free tools available, such as Klout, Kred and Google Analytics. McDonnell concurred, and stressed the importance of using multiple evaluation methods, because “each tells a tale, but together they tell a story.”

“Be open to finding things out, because they are all learning tools,” she said. “Use it as a learning experience to do something better.”

Vanguard’s Foster stressed the importance of knowing the limitations of each tool, especially the free ones, and setting appropriate expectations.

“Aim low, and you’ll look like a hero when you exceed expectations,” she said.

The next WWPR brown bag session, The Science of Communicating with Scientists, will take place on May 8 at the American Chemical Society (1155 16th St., NW).


Trends of the Trade

Trends of the Trade is a monthly column written by WWPR member Cory Churches exploring, well, trends in PR.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Washington Women in Public Relations

Telling a Good Story

Everyone likes a good story but like telling a joke it requires great skill. Having a good topic, a target audience, plot, point of view and setting all require creativity and focus.

I think all companies, regardless of their industry, have a great story to tell, whether it’s about clients, products or services, employees or about solutions and challenges. Success stories about clients are some of the best subjects as they highlight your ability to connect with an audience and tell a story to which most readers can relate.

Take for instance the story behind New Belgium Brewing Company. Founded in 1989 by Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan, a couple in Ft. Collins, Colorado, New Belgium is now the second largest craft brewer in the United States. From humble but passionate beginnings they created a brand that inspires both their employees and their customers. And Kim Jordan is now the CEO. They have a great story of developing their brand while staying true to their core values. In doing so, they not only make great beer (if you like that sort of thing, which I do) but also do good things for communities and the environment. Their success story with beginnings as a small home business to a nearly national brewing company that has stayed true to their humble but well-thought out core values earns them loyal customers and passionate employees. And they make great beer that is always fun and never boring.  READ MORE


PR in Focus

PR in Focus is a monthly column written by WWPR member Jessica Williams exploring a wide range of topics and current events from a public relations perspective

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Washington Women in Public Relations

History Lessons

There is something about history, perhaps the subject itself or the way in which it is (sometimes) taught in schools and universities that causes many students’ eyes to glaze over. Perhaps some level of maturity and perspective is needed before it can become a subject one regards with interest and not boredom.

For communicators, knowing about the history of public relations can be beneficial and insightful-whether you are a PR flack, corporate/institutional communications or marketing specialist. Public relations as a professional practice has undergone enormous changes since it began in the early 1900s and its history follows closely with the development of viewing “communications as vital to the good functioning of corporate enterprises.” The work of PR professionals is integral to the success of organizations and companies in a wide variety of industries, in both the public and private sectors.

When Daniel J. Edelman died on January, 15, 2013 at the age of 92, I was struck by the widespread praise bestowed upon him and by how little I knew about the founder of modern PR. Edelman, Inc. is the global PR leader with more than 4,500 employees in 65 offices, affiliates in more than 30 cities worldwide, and fee income of over $600 million in 2011. It is also one of WWPR’s corporate sponsors and employer of 6 WWPR members. Edelman’s stature in the industry-both the man and the company-is unparalleled. Edelman helped “transform the field of public relations from a circus surrounded by gimmicks, to a field designed around building relationships of trust and meeting customers’ needs.”  READ MORE


Member Spotlight

By Beth Stewart

This month’s member spotlight features WWPR board member and 2012 Woman of the Year nominee Debbi Jarvis of Pepco Holdings, Inc.

“Have confidence in what you do because often, motivation comes from within,” Debbi Jarvis remarked when asked what every budding communications professional should know when starting a career in this industry. Jarvis used this motivation to break into broadcast journalism as a TV advertising executive creating commercials and selling air time. With a career as a reporter always in mind, Jarvis got her first break reporting the news for WOOD radio in Grand Rapids, Michigan three years later.

After 15 years in broadcast journalism including anchoring and reporting for NBC4-TV Washington, Jarvis left TV news to serve as Manager of Media Relations for Pepco Holdings, Inc. She is now responsible for developing strategies surrounding corporate goodwill as Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility at Pepco.

Outside of her day job, Jarvis lends her time and expertise on the boards of Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Leadership Montgomery, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington as well as the DC Police Foundation, N. St. Village.

When asked what drew her to the communications industry Jarvis said, “I love being in the know, telling stories, talking to people and being creative.”

Note: Debbi Jarvis is a mentor for WWPR’s Minute Mentoring event on Thursday, April 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Edelman’s offices in D.C.


Articles of Interest


Upcoming Events

4/18/13 — 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.: PRSA Effective Organizational CommunicationsCost: $35 PRSA and WWPR members, $55 non-members, $10 student/retirees.

4/25/2013 — 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.: Minute Mentoring — Event will bring together seasoned professional women with women still carving their career paths, enabling the sharing of knowledge, experience, tools and tips.  Registration details coming soon!  Cost: $15 WWPR and PRSA members, $25 non-members.

4/29/13 — 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.: PRSA Big Data and Effective Public RelationsCost: $50 PRSA/NCC, WWPR, IABC, BPRS members; $65 non-members, $15 students/retirees.

5/8/2013 —  12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.: The Science of Communicating with Scientists — Join in the dialogue at a brown bag discussion with Washington area science reporters and communications professionals from our host, the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.  Cost: free to WWPR members, $15 to non-members.  Registration details coming soon!

5/18/13 — 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.: WWPR Open House — Network and mingle with the new WWPR 2013 Executive Board, and learn how you can get involved in future fun and exciting events and win a chance for a wine and chocolate prize. Light snacks and wine will be served. Cost: Free.

If you have a suggestion for a future program topic, please contact the Professional Development Committee at


WWPR Job Board

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Membership News

March New Members

– Pauline Dinh: Hamilton Place Strategies
– Maria Gallagher: Fleishman-Hillard Inc.
– Monika Ellis: Freelance
– Sarah Elkins: United States Senate
– Courtney Bishop: Hamilton Place Strategies
– Kate Bernard: Hamilton Place Strategies
– Charlene Sarmiento: Goodwill Industries international
– Sarah Moran: MediaForce PR
– Angelica Shea: Special Olympics
– Billie Gross: U.S. Department of State
– NaTanya Lott: Association of Funding Professionals
– Rachel Porter: The Women’s Center
– Laura Van Eperen: VE & Co.
– Jessica Reape: Adfero Group
– Susan Burket: Montgomery Hospice
– Emily Lippard: Edelman
– Julie Crimmins: Student

March Renewals

– Jennifer Dunn: Business Wire
– Mara Vandlik: McGinn and Company
– Elizabeth Wright: Sanderson Strategies Group
– D’Ann Long: Beasley Real Estate
– Kia Boriboon: American Physical Therapy Association
– Maria Ibanex: National Academy for State Health Policy
– Robin Evans: EFX Media
– Pat Wheeler: Cultural Tourism DC
– Angela Alfano: The Washington Redskins
– Tabatha Thompson: Intesa Communications Group, LLC
– Nicole Raisch: Edelman


Sponsor Spotlight

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