In This Issue

Emerging Leaders Awards July 22nd; Follow Instagram for Location Reveal!

Professional Development: “Communicating Across Cultures” May 15th

WWPR Pro Bono: FLOW Mother to Daughter Financial Summit Recap

Digital Spring Cleaning: Members Update Your Online Membership Profile

PR in Politics

Member Spotlight

Articles of Interest

Upcoming Events



Sponsor Spotlight: Hager Sharp




2014 Emerging Leaders Awards Tuesday, July 22; Location Reveal on Instagram!
Last month we announced when the Emerging Leaders Awards (ELA) will be (July 22). Now, we are excited to reveal where it will be!  Find out first on the @WWPRDC Instagram account. The BIG location reveal will happen soon, so make sure you’re following us!

Thanks to your feedback last month, we have narrowed down the drink choices for the cocktail reception. Please continue giving us your feedback by answering some questions about food, here.  Responses will help decide what hor d’oeuvres are served. Voting closes on April 30.

Email with any questions about the ELAs.

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Brown Bag Panel Discussion: “Communicating Across Cultures” May 15th
WWPR, in partnership with Ketchum, will host a Brown Bag Panel Discussion, “Communicating Across Cultures” on Thursday, May 15 12:00 noon-1:30 p.m. at Ketchum’s offices, 2000 L St, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036.  The panel of local, multi-cultural experts will explore the cultural sensitivities that we should all be aware of, how to navigate and utilize the multi-cultural media, and the strongest strategies to best reach your diverse, target audiences.  For a stronger grasp on how to best communicate across generations and genders, with minority populations, and to people who speak English as a second language, be sure to register for this program.

Cost: Free to WWPR & PRSA members; $20 for non-members.

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WWPR Pro Bono Client Financial Literacy Organization for Women & Girls Help 100 Moms and Daughters Strive for Economic Success
FLOW Summit participants with guest speaker Mrs. DC (center, second row).
Photo courtesy of


Nearly 100 moms and daughters from the Washington, DC metro area dedicated a rainy Saturday morning to attend the Second Annual Mother To Daughter Financial Summit hosted by WWPR’s Pro Bono client, on March 29.  The Financial Literacy Organization for Women & Girls (FLOW) provided enthusiastic moms and daughters with timely information, resources, hands-on activities, and fun about saving money, planning a budget, and setting financial goals early.


This year’s annual summit included speakers Valerie Borden from the White House Council on Women and Girls; and Melissa Koide from the U.S. Department of Treasury and President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.


Moms and daughters in attendance at the FLOW Summit.
Photo courtesy of

FLOW is a DC-based organization founded in 2007 and dedicated to empowering young women and girls with the knowledge and skills necessary to make good economic decisions in a changing world economy.  Founded by Vernai Dantzler, who is also the author of Sitting Pretty or Sitting Duck: Financial Self Defense for Women, said “the annual summit is a perfect setting for girls to bond with their moms while learning the language of money in a fun-filled environment.”

Vernai Dantzler, FLOW CEO and Melissa Koida (left to right).
Photo courtesy of







For more information about FLOW, visit  Follow @flow2success on Twitter.


To learn more about WWPR’s Pro Bono efforts, visit


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WWPR Members: Log In to Update Your Online Membership Profile

One of the great benefits of WWPR membership is our private online membership directory.  As you’re doing your digital “spring cleaning” this April, don’t forget about your WWPR member profile!  Our professional community thrives both in-person and online, so ensuring your profile information is up-to-date allows you to make the most of your membership.  Whether you’ve recently taken on a new professional challenge, had a change in contact information or simply aren’t sure when you last checked your profile — now is a great time to review it and make any updates.  To update your profile, log in online at  Not yet a WWPR member? Join today on our website and receive great member benefits such as free admission to monthly professional development events, discounted tickets to our signature events throughout the year, and access to our online membership directory.  Join today at

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PR in Politics
The Role of Public Relations in Politics is a monthly column written by WWPR member Margaret Mulvihill, examining the role of PR in politics.
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.



Really, a Woman’s World?

There’s a trending phenomenon in my business community, which is public relations in politics.  Women outnumber men.  Is this new? No, not at all.


Thinking back, this has been an upward spike for the last five or six years. When I first entered the workforce, a majority of the publicists and handlers I met were men, particularly in the political arena.  Women tended to be secretaries, copy editors, or artists.

Today, women outnumber men in the ranks, yet men continue to occupy the top management seats, earning higher salaries for the same work.

So you might ask, is public relations in politics the way for women to go today?  The answer to that is mixed.  Assuming the continuation of the current upward trend, the field could well become overcrowded in a decade, because really now — do you know any publicists, especially in politics, who actually retire?  I would say not.


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Member Spotlight
This month’s member spotlight features WWPR member Vanessa French, President and Lead Strategist, Pivot Point.


Q: How did you get started in communications?

A: My passion for communications, story telling and crafting messages stemmed during my time on the high school debate team. From there I’ve found myself studying communications and seeking jobs in the field.  My first few jobs placed me with some amazing leaders who mentored and guided me with invaluable lessons from navigating challenging clients to managing other departments to developing effective strategies.

Those mentor experiences were career changing and shaped the professional I have become.  I try to pay it forward as much as possible with my own team and with PR Prep, a PR bootcamp I just recently launched.

Q: What inspired you to get involved with WWPR?

A: I’m a big proponent of networking and continuing education.  WWPR offers both and I’ve always been impressed with the events and programs WWPR has hosted in the past.  So when Membership committee chair Veronica LaFemina asked me about joining it seemed like a no-brainer!  I am excited to be a new member and I am looking forward to getting to know this group of stellar women.

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

A: Five years ago (this month in fact) I started my own agency, Pivot Point, and it has been an amazing experience.  Not an easy venture to go out on your own in one of the toughest economies.  As someone who never thought that I’d be an entrepreneur or own my own business, I’ve learned to embrace being fearless.  In our first year, our clients went from the local coffee shop to one of the biggest transit programs in the DC area.  It has been an adventure of a lifetime and an invaluable experience.

Starting things becomes contagious.  Since starting Pivot Point, I’ve co-founded DC Wine Week– a weeklong celebration of all things related to wine in the DC area, co-founded PR Prep — a digital PR bootcamp for public relations newbies, founded DC PR Pros — a Facebook group for DC area PR pros, and I am a co-host on Through the Noise — a podcast about the business of communications.

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Articles of Interest


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Upcoming Events

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

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PR Specialist, UBM Tech

– Communications Intern, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative

– Patient and Corporate Relations Specialist, Principal Medical Group

– Media and Outreach Manager, GuideStar

– Digital Media Specialist, Landon School

– Sr. Account Executive, Technology, PR, Edelman

– Vice President, US Hispanic Outreach, PR, Edelman

– Public Relations Professional, Latham and Watkins

Visit the WWPR Job Board often to see who’s hiring!  Do you know of a communications job available? Post it on our Job Board

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March New Members


Melissa Hoefel BRG Communications
Sarah Barnett Humane Society of the United States
Breen Byrnes World Wildlife Fund
Cindy Schwartz SHINE Creative LLC
Carlin Tucker Adfero Group
Ginger Gibson SevenTwenty Strategies
Megan Sanko
Nicole Tanenbaum LEWIS PR
Nkongho Beteck
Chelsea Mattingly Zignal Labs
Rachel LaVigna University of Florida
Mamei Willie-Bonglo UDC Community College
Sara Davis LEVICK
Jenna Mosley American University
Sarah Minkel Edelman


March Renewals


D’Ann Lanning Beasley Real Estate
Robin Evans EFX Media
Patricia McLaughlin Legacy
Sabrena Pringle The Associated Press
Jennifer Dunn Business Wire
Maria Ibanez Consultant
Beth Stewart Vorsight
Mara Vandlik McGinn and Company
Allyson Cannon National Press Club
Martha Boudreau Fleishman-Hilard International
Frank Kauffman Edelman
Kiki McLean Porter Novelli Public Services
Polly Sherard Allbritton Communications
Monika Ellis Palladian Partners
Charlene Sarmiento Goodwill Industries International
Sarah Moran The District Communications Group
Billie Gross U.S. Department of State
NaTanya Lott Association of Fundraising Professionals
Susan Burket Montgomery Hospice
Julie Crimmins Ketchum



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Sponsor Spotlight

Communications that make a difference.

Yes, it’s a high standard.

It’s also who we are and what we deliver. Hager Sharp is an employee-owned firm that embraces one ideal: developing and delivering communications that improve health, safety, and education for all.

Walk our halls and you’ll find experts in communication, social marketing, media relations, and digital strategy working alongside former reporters, public health experts, teachers, and researchers.  These close collaborations result in insightful counsel, creative solutions, and measurable results-giving us the ability to translate even the most complex topics into powerful, actionable communications.

Some recent ways we’ve made a difference:

  • Helping girls build strong bones by engaging them-and the people and organizations who influence them- through friendship and fun activities, including dancing with the First Lady on the White House lawn.
  • Increasing high school student participation in a voluntary academic assessment by 13% in one year.
  • Transforming diabetes from a silent killer to a cover story.  In 1997, 8% of Americans thought diabetes was a serious disease; a decade later, nearly 90% did. Now we focus on giving people the tools they need to prevent or control it.

Hager Sharp: Helping our clients make a difference since 1973.