In this issue:

PR Woman of the Year
2011 ELA Honorees
Upcoming Events
Get Involved
Member Spotlight
Articles of Interest
Job Board
Sponsor Spotlight

PR Woman of the Year Call for Nominations

Washington PR Woman of the Year is the prestigious honor of a senior-level female PR practitioner celebrating the accomplishments of women in the public relations field, as well as community involvement.

WWPR invites nominations of female public relations professional for consideration for the 2011 Washington PR Woman of the Year award, which will be presented at the 22nd annual award luncheon, to be held at the Capital Hilton on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Please view the complete nomination and submission details here.

Nomination materials must be received no later than midnight on Friday, September 30, 2011. Email your information or questions to PR Woman of the Year Co-Chairs, Laura Cilmi and Emily Hughes at

Is your organization interested in sponsorship or partnership of the event? Contact Lisa Newman at

Congratulations to the 2011 ELA Honorees

WWPR’s second annual Emerging Leaders Awards were a great success thanks to fantastic nominations and great partners and sponsors. The Darlington House was filled to capacity with more than 100 partners, colleagues and friends who joined to recognize commendable professionals in the communications industry. We even made the 11:00 p.m. newscast on ABC7/WJLA!

A special thanks to our 2011 ELA Sponsors!

Gold Partners: Central Michigan University Off-Campus ProgramsGibraltar AssociatesVocus, Boss Ladies Mean Business, and Strauss Radio Strategies

Program Sponsors: C.Fox CommunicationsCobert Communications GroupHager SharpOgilvy Washington, and National Press Club

Event Supporters: Sprinkles Cupcakes and ABC7/WJLA


Upcoming Events
For full information about our exciting events and programs, please visit our Events page.

WWPR members receive member rates for PRSA-NCC and AWC events.

– September: WWPR Professional Development Brown Bag – Tracy Gordon

– September 14: Burson-AWC Breakfast – Digital Issues & Crisis Communications

– September 22: PRSA-NCC – 43d Annual Thoth Awards Gala

– September 19-23: DC Ad Week

If you’re coming to a WWPR event, why not bring travel-size toiletries for donation to our pro bono client Thrive DC!



Have you checked-out the WWPR Blog recently? You will find recaps of the monthly professional development seminars, news of upcoming events, and communications insights.

Here’s what you’ll find on the blog this month:

All members are invited and encouraged to contribute to the WWPR Blog. Please send submissions to


Get Involved with WWPR Today!

Here are a number of great ways to get involved with the premier organization for women in communications in Washington D.C.

  • Join a WWPR committee today and make the most out of your membership. For more information visit our Committees page.
  • Looking to showcase your graphic or web skills? Join our website committee and leave your mark on the WWPR website. Volunteers would help manage the WWPR website, contribute content, and plan for future website enhancements. Knowledge of WordPress, HTML and photo editing software would be helpful but not required. For more information, please email Kate Barrett, website chair, at
  • Want to do some good for a deserving DC nonprofit while using your PR/media relations skills? Get involved with the Pro Bono Committee. Please email
  • Help plan a high profile event by attending the next Woman of the Year Committee meeting. For more information, please email


Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Lauren Smith, WWPR Pro Bono Committee
By Pheniece Jones

Lauren Smith, senior associate at Rational 360, caught the PR bug while studying Communications and Media Studies at Fordham University. She spent two summers interning with Goddard Claussen Porter Novelli in Washington, D.C., where she fell in love with media relations and helping clients shape their messages. Her intern experience led to a job at Porter Novelli, where she worked on public affairs campaigns for various accounts, including a large health care client. It was this client that stirred her interest in health communications.

A self-proclaimed “healthcare nerd,” Lauren works to support her clients’ legislative and policy goals through traditional PR, public affairs, and social media channels that reach various audiences, including patients, the general public, political figures and policy makers.  For Lauren, these communications campaigns have been challenging yet exciting, especially during health care reform.

Lauren joined WWPR in 2009 and currently  works with the WWPR Pro Bono Committee to give back to the community by providing communications and marketing support to Thrive DC, a local nonprofit focused on women’s and family issues.


Articles of Interest “Pitch Edition”


Membership News

New Members

– Nina Bailey, University of Nevada Las Vegas

– Kharma Finley-Wallace, AAA Mid-Atlantic

– Erin Hawkinson, Hillenby

– Gayle Fishel, USO

– Lidija Gnjatic (Student), Miami University

– Kami Nash Cleary (Student), Georgetown University/ Consultant

– Joyce Donohue, HESS Construction + Engineering Services

– Allison Brown, Ogilvy Public Relations

– Caroline Barker, Embassy of Canada

– Amy Scarlett, American University

– Colleen Kearns, Chandler Chicco Agency

– Anugraha Palan, Women Thrive Worldwide

– Jennifer McLellan, Core Association Services, Inc.

– Kari Hudnell, CommunicationWorks

– Cate O’Gorman, Ketchum

– Lydia Baugh, (Grad Student), George Washington University

– Laura Meditz, 720 Strategies

– Diane Quest, Pew Charitable Trusts

– Susan Pitman, FoodMinds, LLC

– Lesley Ridge, k-global

– Ayo Fashola, Ayo Fashola Lifestyle Consulting

– Emily Passini, Howard Consulting Group

– Eileen Vaughan, Mac Mannes Inc.

– Erica Hiar, Howard Consulting Group

– Meghaan Evans (Student), George Washington University


– Maurisa Potts, Spotted MP (Marketing + Public Relations)

– Melinda Semadeni, ASPPA

– Lauren Smith, Rational 360

– Joan Coyle, EEI Communications

– Heidi Schoenberger-Cobert, Cobert Communications Group

Membership has its benefits! Members do not pay for most WWPR monthly professional development brown bag lunches. To learn more, please contact Leslie Rutledge, Membership Chair, at


Job Board: DC Employment & Volunteer Opportunities
Our Jobs section offers WWPR members and website visitors a central location to see who’s hiring in PR, communications and related disciplines in the DC metropolitan area.  Positions will remain active on the site for 30 days unless removed by the poster, ensuring the list includes only active job openings.

Post an open position by visiting It’s easy and free to connect with outstanding communications professionals in our area!

Please contact with questions or feedback.


Sponsor Spotlight (NEW!)
Hager Sharp is an independent, employee-owned communications firm in Washington, D.C. known for outstanding client service. Since 1973, they’ve built a reputation for national public education and social marketing campaigns that help people live healthier, safer and smarter lives. Learn more about Hager Sharp here.