In this issue:

2013 Emerging Leaders Awards Honorees
Debra Silimeo Joins WWPR Advisory Council
Toyota Tribute to Working Women Awards
Online Metrics Bootcamp and CBS Studio Tour/Taping
Trends of the Trade
Member Spotlight
PR in Focus
Articles of Interest
Upcoming Events
Membership News
Sponsor Spotlight

Congratulations to the 2013 Emerging Leaders Awards Honorees!

The 2013 Emerging Leaders Awards (ELA) was a huge success! We extend our sincere gratitude to those who helped make this year’s ELA possible.

Congratulations again to ELA honorees Nell Callahan, Rachael Glaws and Lauren Wesley Wilson, who were celebrated along with finalists Kristine Austria, Liz Bartolomeo and Jackie Titusfor their significant impacts to the communications field and their potential to make their mark on the industry as a whole for many years to come.

At the July 18 reception Kori Bernards, Senior Vice President of Communications at Universal Pictures gave a lively keynote address that focused on lessons learned and behind the scenes stories from her illustrious career. She ended on a personal note with advice for attendees to “Dream big, revise often.”

Check out highlights from this year’s event here.

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Debra Silimeo, Washington PR Woman of the Year, to Join WWPR Advisory Council

Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR), is excited to announce that Debra Silimeo, executive vice president of Hager Sharp, will be joining the WWPR Advisory Council. The council, established in 2012, provides strategic advice on the direction of the organization focused on networking and peer-to-peer mentoring.

“WWPR is in a pivotal time of change to ensure it is meeting the needs of its members as women in the PR industry continue to achieve new professional heights,” said WWPR co-president Tina McCormack Beaty. “Almost half of PRWeek’s recent 50 Power List were women — as more women take strong leadership roles nationally and here in DC, it will be important for them to have a professional network of peers to learn from and lean on.”

Silimeo was named the 2010 PR Woman of the Year by Washington Women in Public Relations, an award recognizing a public relations strategist whose achievements have reached a pinnacle in the profession. As a member of the Hager Sharp’s management team, Debra leads the firm’s education practice and client services, including comprehensive national campaigns, and has helped the firm more than double in size and revenue. She has extensive experience in public policy communications, as a senior member of the Congressional Leadership staff and at two Cabinet level agencies. She began her career as a radio and TV journalist (WAMU, WTOP, NBC4/WRC-TV) covering local and national issues in the Washington region.

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Toyota Tribute to Working Women Awards Call for Nominations

Do you know a woman in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area who is making a positive difference at work and in the community? If the answer is yes, why not nominate her for the 19th Annual Toyota tribute to Working Women Awards. Please forward this to your friends, colleagues and clients.

Once again, ABC 7 in Partnership with 97.1 WASH-FM and The Washington Area Toyota Dealers will honor seven outstanding women on October 11, 2013 at the National Press Club. To nominate an individual , simply visit, print the entry form and answer the four essay questions.

The deadline for entries is Friday, September 20, 2013. Please spread the word!

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Professional Development

WWPR has a number of exciting professional development events this summer.

On Tuesday, July 30 from noon-2 p.m., WWPR will partner with Beekeeper Group at its offices located at 1331 G Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC to offer “Online Metrics Bootcamp: a Brown Bag Discussion“. With so much information in PR distributed online, understanding and sharing the best online metrics is critical for measuring and reporting. Free tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and other quantitative tools, can give you the hard numbers to demonstrate campaign success, in addition to more qualitative analysis. Hear from the digital communications industry’s leading experts on how to gather meaningful data, analyze it and then optimize it. From bounce rates, to traffic sources, to keywords, we’ll walk you through the metrics that matter. Presenters include Shana Glickfield, Partner, Beekeeper Group; Jenna Golden, Political & Advocacy Sales, Twitter @jigolden; Susanna Murley, Manager of Digital Media, Solar Energy Industries Association @susannamurley; and Cary Lawrence, VP, Business Development, SocialCode.

Cost: free to WWPR members; $15 non-members. REGISTER TODAY.

Don’t miss the “August Brown Bag Discussion: WUSA9, CBS News Taping, Studio Tour and Meet and Greet.” Have you always wanted to be in the studio audience during the live broadcast of a television show? Well, now is your chance! On August 6, 11:30 AM-1:30 p.m., WUSA9 will give WWPR the chance to be part of its live audience for the local CBS News noon taping at its studios located at 4100 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC. Afterwards, there will be a Q&A brown bag session with the editors, producers and on-air reporters. Space is limited. Register today.

Mark your calendar for the “September Brown Bag Discussion: How Washington is Unlocking Global Opportunities for Women” on Wednesday, September 10, noon-1:30 p.m. at Fleishman Hillard DC’s offices located at 1615 L St., NW, Washington, DC. Join host Fleishman Hillard for a panel discussion with experts who are advancing solutions in health, education, finance and politics for millions of women worldwide. From non-profits to NGOs, corporations to agencies, hear the inspiring stories of women who are rolling up their sleeves to put action behind their vision. This program will provide key insights on partnership building and the communication strategies necessary to execute on a global scale. The panel will be moderated by Kris Balderston, Fleishman Hillard DC’s General Manager and former Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the State Department. Stay tuned for the list of panelists. Registration is open.

Join us for WWPR’s annual Speed Networking event! Like speed-dating for professionals, but bring lots of business cards for exchanging contacts! We’ll also have plenty of time for open mingling. This event is a great way for meeting communications folks across the industry. Join us in September for networking, light appetizers and drinks at the National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th St., NW, Washington, DC. Register today.

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

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Trends of the Trade: Achieving Audience Engagement

Influencers and Game Changers

Trends of the Trade is a monthly column written by WWPR member Cory Churches exploring, well, trends in PR.Follow her @Coricita or reach her at

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

If you attend any of the networking events hosted by the myriad of PR and communications groups, including WWPR and PRSA, you’ll likely hear discussions about audience engagement. It’s the ultimate goal for any public relations campaign and the ever-elusive goal for many organizations.

The sweet spot to achieving successful audience and client engagement lies in the intersection between content marketing, targeted communication and technology.

While creating quality content that customers and audiences want is always the challenge, sometimes the larger challenge is ensuring that they are receiving said content.

More than a few tools exist that can help you organize, track, distribute and proliferate your messages. Here are some that can get you started.

Gaggle Amp is “the social marketing platform that lets companies amplify their social media reach by leveraging individual employees, customers and partners.” The application allows companies, non-profits, political campaigns, and major brands share information and engage more of their audience by managing their social media channels and measuring the impact of campaigns.


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PR In Focus: At Your Service

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

Communications as a discipline “…focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, channels and media…” and I would also add that we are inherently motivated by a sense of service as professionals. While our “discipline promotes the effective and ethical practice of human communications,” it also mandates, officially or unofficially, that we serve our clients to the best of our abilities.

Depending on your exact role, these clients may be external organizations or companies, internal project teams or the institution you serve as an “in-house” communicator. Providing wise counsel and expertise are the hallmarks of any successful professional, but perhaps more so when in a field where the power of our message and communicating it effectively can make or break a career or client relationship.

Community Connections

This correlation between what we do in our day-to-day jobs and volunteering in the greater community was underscored for me at the opening plenary session of the Points of Light’s 2013 Conference on Volunteering and Service a few weeks ago. Hearing speaker after notable speaker talk about what it means to be in service to one’s community made me think more about the role we play either for our clients, companies or organizations and in our own communities.

Over the course of four days, the conference showcased all the wonderful and uplifting examples of what happens when people are mobilized to “create real and lasting change through volunteering.” That communities can be transformed by the time and talents of people in various capacities-everything from helping prepare meals at local food banks to assisting in the monumental clean-up effort post-Hurricane Sandy, among others-is proof that collective action can truly improve our world.


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Member Spotlight

By Beth Stewart

With just a day away from this year’s Emerging Leaders Awards, I took a moment to speak with WWPR ELA committee chairs Emily Hughes and Lauren Smith to get a little background on the event and what we can all expect.

How did you prepare for this year’s ELA awards?

The first step was to recruit dedicated committee members. We immediately reached out to WWPR’s extensive network to find members, and then quickly coordinated biweekly meetings that began in February. The second step was to develop the timeline and set goals for the overall awards reception. We analyzed best practices established by previous WWPR events and awards ceremonies, and worked those elements through to this year’s ELAs.

What led you to choose Kori as the keynote speaker?

Kori herself is a great example of a young, outstanding communications leader. Through a partnership with Universal Pictures and the Melanoma Research Foundation, Lauren and Kori have worked together for a couple of years. Lauren saw Kori’s expertise and leadership firsthand, and knew that Kori’s diverse background in DC communications and Hollywood PR gave her a unique and interesting perspective that she can share with WWPR’s emerging leaders.


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Articles of Interest

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Upcoming Events

-7/30/13 — WWPR July Brown Bag Discussion: “Online Metrics Bootcamp” Cost: Free to WWPR Members; $15 non-members.

-8/6/13 — 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: August Brown Bag Discussion: WUSA9, CBS News Taping, Studio Tour and Meet and Greet Cost: Free to WWPR Members; $15 non-members.

-9/10/13 — 12:00 noon-1:30 p.m.: How Washington is Unlocking Global Opportunities for Women: September Brown Bag Discussion

-9/18/13 — 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.: WWPR Speed Networking

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

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Communications Specialist, NTT DATA

Director of Community Engagement, Montgomery College

Grants and Annual Fund Manager, Washington Jesuit Academy

Temporary Social Media Marketing Specialist, Rosetta Stone

Communications Intern, The Aspen Institute

Post a Job

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June New Members

Barbara Hyde, Hyde Communications
Donna Vincent Roa, PhD, ABC Vincent Roa Group, LLC
Constance Troutman, NeighborWorks America
Emily Kuhn, Stratacomm
Olivia Kerr, The Coca-Cola Compnay
Nkechi Mogekwu, Student
Elaine de Leon, Student
Ashley Burwell, Student
Dylan Leckie, Student
Yewande Akinleye, Student
Katherin Thornhill, Carine’s Bridal Atelier
Tiffany Erickson, Consultant
Sarai Demien, Education
Alicia Dunn, Ketchum
Tina Asuagbor, Suit and Tie LLC
Katie Connell, Airlines for America

June Renewals

Joan Carrese Sineni, zcomm
Rachel Cagan, American College of Cardiology
Carrie Fox, C. Fox Communications
Jennifer Scungio, Financial Services Forum
Kate Barrett, New Enterprise Associates
Shannon Andrea, National Parks Conservation Association
Alison Zemanski Heis, National Parks Conservation Association

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