In this issue:

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


Emerging Leaders Awards

Calling all rising communications stars! WWPR is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Emerging Leaders Awards, 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.

Know someone who deserves to win this award or want to nominate yourself? Nomination criteria and directions can be found here. The nomination deadline is May 31. Don’t miss this opportunity to honor an outstanding young professional and her dedication to the communications field!

Have you been a part of the ELAs in the past and want to share your experience with WWPR? We want to hear how the ELAs have impacted your career and life! Please contact Lauren Smith and Emily Hughes, WWPR board members and Emerging Leaders Awards co-chairs, at


Professional Development

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

Mark your calendar for “WWPR’s Open House” on May 15, 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. 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. 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. Register today!

Thursday, June 20, noon-1:30 p.m., join us for an exclusive newsroom tour of U.S. News & World Report at their Georgetown offices. Ever wonder what the inside of a newsroom really looks like? Are you imagining “House of Cards”? If you’ve thought about it, now is your chance to find out! This brown bag discussion will include a tour of the newsroom followed by a meet and greet with their top editors and reporters. This is a members only event — attendance is limited to the first 20 WWPR members who register. For more information and to register, click here.

On Tuesday, July 30, noon-2 :00 p.m., WWPR will partner with Beekeeper Group in Washington, D.C. 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. 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. Cost: free to WWPR members; $15 non-members. For more information and to register, click here.

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 and Erica at


Event Recap: “Minute Mentoring with WWPR and Edelman/GWEN”

by Gabriela Suarez, Professional Development Committee Member

Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) partnered with Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN) on April 25 to host Minute Mentoring, a program that brought together seasoned professionals with those still building their careers.

Each group of mentees had the opportunity to visit with three mentors during the two hour event. The mentors shared their experiences and offered advice on how to build a successful career. The topics of discussion included career path guidance, leadership and management, and work-life balance.

Alicia Aebersold, Associate Director of Communications and Consumer Engagement for Aligning Forces for Quality at GWU’s School of Public Health spoke about the challenge women face trying to balance a successful career with a successful away-from-work life.

“Women need to realize that work, while an important part of life is not their whole life. Do not feel guilty about having fun. Choose what you spend your time on, don’t be driven by the priorities of others.”

Mentors also gave tips on how to get a foot in the door of the ever-growing communications industry.

“Volunteer at events and conferences,” said Bridget Serchak, chief public affairs for the Inspector General’s Office at the Department of Defense. “Hone in on your skills, and most importantly, don’t ever give up.”

Vicki Tarallo, independent consultant with Korn/Ferry International, shared her vision of leadership and management, “Leadership is not an action it is who you are at the very core and center of your being. It is practiced every day, in the way that you show up, the things that you say and the things that you do for and on behalf of others.”

Other mentors included Carrie Fox, President, C. Fox Communications; Nancy Gravatt, Sr. VP, National Mining Association; Amy Malerba Hemingway, Sr. VP & Group Head, Energy, Edelman; Debbi Jarvis, VP, Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility, Pepco Holdings, Inc.; Cary Lawrence, VP Agency Development, SocialCode; Kate Mikesell, Director of Corporate Communications, Hilton Worldwide; Barbara Semedo, strategic communications advisor; Debra Silimeo, Executive VP, Hager Sharp.

The event was so well received that Karin Bloomquist, WWPR Marketing Communications Committee Co-chair, reported, “The WWPR news feed was overwhelmed with people tweeting at us about how great the event was!”


Trends of the Trade

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

What are You Measuring and Why?

How often does management ask how your marketing and social media outreach efforts are paying off? Everyone wants to know what the return on investment or ROI is on PR and communication efforts. It’s the holy grail of metrics. Earned media requires flexibility, building relationships, input, action, and reaction. It takes time and energy and the effect isn’t always immediately evident. Providing a rock solid number of hits, views, tweets and re-tweets to justify investment in time and money is an enormous challenge in any organization.

If your company has developed a well articulated communications plan, drawing a line from corporate goals to messages and outcomes will be easier. Ideally, measurement is part of the planning process. Successful outcomes are defined while goals and messages are being shaped and solidified. In order to properly measure your success, you need to define success up front.

Instead of measuring views, Facebook likes, and web traffic, why not measure actions? Actions do speak louder than words. What will prompt your stakeholders to take action? If they recommend your product or company, wouldn’t you want to know what action became of that recommendation?

In an information void, people want numbers. In today’s technology driven world, there’s an onslaught of tools to measure everything from Facebook reach and share of voice to Twitter followers and web traffic. But what does that information really tell you? It’s important to have a clear understanding of the value of the measurement as compared to the objective. If you are clear about where you’re going, it’s easier to measure your progress. The trick is to start with the business objective and then ‘bridge’ to the transactional metrics, which are easy to track, to drive business outcomes. Figure out what a successful outcome looks like and measuring it becomes much easier.


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

Revolution Time

When I first learned that Sheryl Sandberg was writing a book focusing on women’s leadership and personal career advancement, I was eager to hear what one of the most famous female executives in the country had to say about a subject that affects everyone, not just women. That Sandberg is…attempting nothing less than a Friedan-like feat: a national discussion of a gender-problem-that-has-no-name, this time in the workplace, and a movement to address itis commendable but the book has received both praise and derision from all corners and speaks volumes to the level of discourse-or lack thereof-on the issue.

Lean In, Sandberg’s first foray into authorship, is very accessible and written in a voice that often feels as though Facebook’s chief operating officer were one of your female colleagues or acquaintances. Her experience in the working world is not unfamiliar, in spite of naysayers’ criticism that her current high-level, executive position and salary makes her an elite and therefore unlikely advisor to the average, middle-class working woman. For those of us who are also mothers, Sandberg’s personal struggles to balance parenthood and a career are relatable as much as they are sobering.

As I made my way through the book and then sifted through the numerous reviews and articles exploring the positive, the negative and everything-in-between about Sandberg’s advice, I was struck by the obvious parallels to public relations. Yes, “Sandberg wants to take women through a collective self-awareness exercise” but she also underscores how critical it is for us to strategically think about how we will manage our career, steer it in the right direction, create our own brand or image, and examine how we intend to connect with our respective audiences over the course of our careers: coworkers, supervisors, hiring managers, clients, customers, and even our families.

Sandberg writes in the introduction that “increasing the number of women in positions of power is a necessary element of true equality” and women “can reignite the revolution by internalizing the revolution…to shift to a more equal world…” Leaving aside the controversy about her call to action that addresses only women (not men or institutions),

I read Lean In as a call to also view one’s career as though it were a public relations campaign. After all, any strategic and successful career plan incorporates many of the same elements of a PR strategy.



Member Spotlight

By Jessica Williams

This month’s member spotlight features WWPR’s Advisory Council and its members: Martha Boudreau, Frank Kauffman, Kiki McLean, and Polly Sherard.

Created in March 2013, the Advisory Council will provide WWPR’s Board of Directors with strategic advice on the direction of the organization. As Washington, DC’s first and only professional group that seeks to advance women in the communications industry, the Advisory Council will help the president and vice president of WWPR with shaping the organization’s vision, assist in speaker outreach, and act as WWPR brand ambassadors.

As veterans in the communications field, Advisory Council members Martha Boudreau, Frank Kauffman, Kiki McLean and Polly Sherard have a wealth of experience upon which to draw in helping WWPR grow as an organization now in its third decade of existence. All of them were drawn to the variety of issues and challenges that working in public relations and communications offers.

Kiki McLean is a Senior Partner of Global Head of Public Affairs and Managing Director at Porter Novelli Public Services and says, “Crafting a message and measuring the outcome appeals to both my creative and competitive juices.” As Senior Counsel of Edelman, Frank Kauffman credits the “menu of new and constantly changing challenges” as appealing to the “crisis junkie” in him. It gives him the opportunity to offer much-needed solutions to clients in his role as a crisis communicator, the “ultimate in PR high-wire acts” he says. For Polly Sherard, as Washington’s ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV Business Development Manager she is able to integrate marketing, sales and public relations in her work with clients who range from business and retail to non-profit organizations.

The communications industry is constantly changing and has undergone an enormous transformation since WWPR began in 1980. All four members believe that keeping up with new marketplace trends and technology is key to becoming and, perhaps more importantly, remaining a successful professional. McLean says it “keeps us on our toes and encourages innovation in ways that are fun” while Sherard adds, “Just when you think you know it all, along comes a totally unique set of circumstances to tackle.” Martha Boudreau is Fleishman-Hillard’s Regional President for Mid-Atlantic and Latin America with additional responsibility for the company’s offices in Washington, Atlanta, North Carolina, Miami and Latin America. No stranger to change or challenges herself, since joining the firm in 1986, Boudreau’s role has grown along with the company and she has been instrumental in helping Fleishman-Hillard become a major player in the DC market.

For young professionals, Kauffman recommends, “Bring something to the table. It could be a passion for a given specialty (e.g., healthcare, consumer, public affairs).” But showing “an enthusiastic willingness to go the extra mile for your colleagues” was echoed by McLean as well. Maintaining strong networks with colleagues and other professionals was cited by all Advisory Council members as essential. Kauffman explains that building “a professional support system offers an easily accessible source of guidance and encouragement”.

Committed to ensuring the success of WWPR as an organization and that of its members, the Advisory Council knows its mission is an important one. Sherard says that although she is fairly new to WWPR, “I have been impressed by the members I’ve met,” and McLean believes “WWPR’s strength is its members. When there is collaboration and community of smart and talented people, there is nothing but success to be had!”


Articles of Interest


Upcoming Events

-5/15/13 — 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.

-6/20/13 — 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.: June Brown Bag Discussion: Newsroom Tour and Intimate Q & A with U.S. News & World Report — This brown bag program will include a tour of the newsroom followed by a meet and greet with their top editors and reporters. WWPR members only. Attendance limited to the first 20 WWPR members who register.

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

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



WWPR Job Board

Senior Associate, Healthcare Public Affairs, Schmidt Public Affairs

Vice President, Federal, PR, Edelman

Social Media Coordinator, Schmidt Public Affairs

Vice President, Health, PR, Edelman

Public Affairs Intern, Schmidt Public Affairs

Senior Digital Media Strategist, Advancement Project

Senior Officer, Development Communications, American Red Cross

Opinion Research and Crisis Communications Intern, McGinn and Company

Communications Specialist, ASCD

Public Relations Senior Director, C. Fox Communications

Chief, Corporate Communications, Amtrak

Account Supervisor, Racepoint Group

Communications Intern, National Healthy Mother, Health Babies Coalition

Post a Job


Membership News

April New Members

– Rea Blakey, Discovery Channel
– Renee Revetta, Edelman
– Brie Henry, Student
– Traci Otey Blunt, The RLJ Companies
– Margaret Mulvihill, Lawson Mulvihill Media
– Candace L. Randle, The RLJ Companies
– Abbigayle Lucke, Student
– Lauren Cohen, Natural Products Association
– Angela Barnett, Credit Union National Association
– Laura Snitkovskiy, Access Intel
– Joanna Chau, Student

April Renewals

– Jennifer Murphy, Hickock Cole Architects
– Tina McCormack Beaty, Porter Novelli
– Patricia McLaughlin, Legacy
– Beth Casteel, American College of Cardiology
– Katie Lipton, Center for LNG
– Sherri Core, Core Association Services, Inc.
– Katy McKegney,
– Racine Tucker-Hamilton, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
– Sue Zoldak, Adfero Group



Sponsor Spotlight

Edelman is the world’s largest public relations firm, with 67 offices and more than 4,800 employees worldwide, as well as affiliates in more than 30 cities. Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Berland (research), Blue (advertising), BioScience Communications (medical communications), and agencies Edelman Significa (Brazil), and Pegasus (China).

In 1952, Dan Edelman planted the seed for a new kind of company – one that would redefine the role of public relations. Sixty years later, we continue to push the boundaries of what PR can do. Grounded by our core values and strengthened by our independence, we help clients communicate, engage and build relationships with their stakeholders.