Thursday, October 28, 2010


It's that little button we all hate, but have to include with any email communications.


I had a colleague recently mention that she spent part of each day unsubscribing to email communications that she gets. Her goal was to unsubscribe from 5 e-newsletters every day. Ouch!!

But it's a real problem. She's not the first person to talk about email inbox overload. And we all see it each time we send out a newsletter and a few more people unsubscribe. Little by little, our subscriptions dwindle.

So how many readers are we losing every day because of email inbox overload? Or because our newsletters aren't a "value add"? And what makes an e-newsletter one that you want to read?

Is it that it keeps you up-to-date with what an organization is doing? Or is that not enough? Does there need to be some "news you can use" to make you keep reading instead of unsubscribing?

I have my own thoughts. I think a good e-newsletter should be:
  • Short. That's why mine only gives the first paragraph of a story and then links people back to my website for the full story. That said, I fully admit that my last issue was waaaaaay too long, but that's only because we'd been on a three-month hiatus while I was on maternity leave, so there was a lot of news to share.
  • Visually attractive. I think I do okay here, though I'm not too proud to admit we could do better. At least I've done a good job at keeping a color scheme with three primary colors used and in including pictures.
  • Useful: There has to be something in it for the reader, and in most cases, just being informative isn't enough. Maybe you provide an events calendar. Or maybe you provide a "top 10 list" each time with hints on what people can do to improve their business.
What about you? What makes you keep reading or come back for more? What triggers the "unsubscribe"? I'd love to learn...

Monday, August 30, 2010


Reserve you ticket today for the 42nd Annual Thoth Awards Reception and Gala on September 23rd. The winners of this year's 42nd Annual Thoth Awards will be unveiled at the historic Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. from 6 - 9 p.m.

Special guests Chris Hansen, "Dateline NBC" correspondent, NBC News and Greta Kreuz, veteran reporter and Maryland bureau chief for ABC/WJLA-TV, will be onhand to help present these distinguished awards, which recognize outstanding PR achievements.

The evening will kick off with drinks and appetizers, a charity raffle and networking event. This looks to be a great night to meet the movers and shakers of the Washington D.C.'s PR community.

Ticket prices are $85 for PRSA, DC Ad Club and WWPR Members. Non-members prices are $105, and students/retirees are $55. Tables can be reserved for ($1,000 - 1,200). Register at

For ticket information; call Sherri Core at the chapter office at (703) 681-8733, or for general information contact Jennifer Balios at (703) 815-8079 or, or Susan Matthews Apgood at (301) 664-6448 or

Hope you enjoy the Thoth Awards this September 23rd!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Annual CCG (DC) Happy Hour
Well, our much anticipated Annual Capital Communicators Group (DC) Happy Hour has finally come together.

So, to switch it up a bit in our 10th year -

Our Happy Hour will be next Thursday, August 26th at Nick's Riverside Grille on the Georgetown Waterfront in Washington, D.C from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
(I'll get there early to 'reserve' some space).

Parking is available at various garages, or at the meters along K Street.
Drink specials are $3 beers and $4 cocktails.
Depending on the CCG (DC) fund, we might order some appetizers as well.

Please come out!! Feel free to invite others, bring some business cards, discuss future lunch topics, enjoy some libations and meet some of your fellow CCG friends.

(as I am new to posting on this blog, please RSVP to me at: so that we can have a rough idea of attendees.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Job Opening: Public Relations Specialist for the Humane Society of the U.S.

ORGANIZATION: Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
JOB: Public Relations Specialist

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal advocacy organization, is seeking a Public Relations Specialist for its Public Relations department. The main responsibilities of the position include:
  • draft and edit press releases, advisories, letters to the editor, pitch letters and other collateral material for the news media
  • distribute collateral materials for review and incorporate feedback in a timely manner
  • develop targeted media lists with strong knowledge of media outlets and opportunities to position animal protection issues
  • field media inquiries and route to appropriate spokesperson to best position the HSUS in the news
  • distribute press releases utilizing best available resources
  • represent the department as a member of internal and external teams
  • coordinate efforts with other departments and organizations
  • pitch issues and events to reporters with strong knowledge of animal issues and how they can be placed in the media for maximum impact
  • respond to inquiries from news media
  • supply reporters with background information, video, and schedule interviews with HSUS spokespeople.
A Bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism or mass communications along with four to six years of experience in a public relations environment highly desired. Strong written and verbal communication skills and working knowledge of various media directories and public relations computer programs and processes preferred. The salary range for this position is from the high $30’s to the low $40’s.

Please send cover letters and
resumes to hrjobs (at) hsus (dot) org or fax to 301- 548-7701. This position is located in Gaithersburg, Md.

More info.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May Lunch: The Link Between Reputation Management and Social Marketing

WHEN: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 from noon - 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bar Louie, 701 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
COST: $22

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently taking on the massive effort of enumerating the entire American population as is constitutionally mandated. Part of this effort is an unprecedented social marketing campaign to increase awareness of the Census with the ultimate objective of ensuring that people fill out their census forms.

This effort is an excellent case study of the interplay between social marketing and reputation management. On the one hand, the media exposure must be sufficiently consistent to ensure that the message gets across and 'sticks' in people's minds. On the other hand, the messenger must be credible in order to ensure that the message will not be summarily discounted. In other words, social marketing and reputation management go hand-in-hand.

May's speakers will discuss the social marketing campaign being conducted by the Census Bureau and then take a step back to look at reputation and reputation management from a conceptual standpoint, using the 2010 Census as a case study.


RSVP required: CapitalCommunicator (at) gmail (dot) com

Thursday, May 6, 2010

April Lunch Recap: Tourism Communications and Reaching New Audiences

CCG members were treated to a lively luncheon talk in April with Pat Wheeler, Director of Marketing, Cultural Tourism DC; Barbara Bahny David, Director of Public Relations, InterContinental Hotel Group and Danielle Piacente, Publicist, & Manager for the National Cherry Blossom Festival who’s with Linda Roth Associates.

All three speakers focused on one of their newer challenges: tourism marketing and communications that no longer focuses just on reaching the out-of-towners. Each shared tips and hints about how they're really rooted in letting locals know what's going on. One reason for the change in focus? All of us locals play host to out-of-town family and friends who want to know "what are you taking me to see and do in D.C. when I visit?"

Pat kicked off by sharing the host of opportunities to experience the history and culture of D.C. and the tactics they employed including visible signs posted throughout the city highlighting the DC Heritage Trails. She also talked about what sort of events the local community turns out for, such as the Passport DC program. A wonderful partnership with Ben’s Chili Bowl owners resulted in Cultural Tourism DC being gifted with space for a visitor center. (You never know how a partnership can benefit you!)

Barbara built on this discussion of partnerships by explaining their anniversary celebration strategy. To demonstrate the reach of the Willard as an icon of D.C. she worked with organizations such as the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the National Building Museum and the American Institute of Architects to host off-site events but all focused on the Willard, including a costume gallery, building renovation talks and artistic photo gallery of the Willard. These events-around-town successfully demonstrated the status and role of the hotel within the D.C. society. Barbara also spoke about keeping this sense of community strong with programming designed to be inviting to all ages from holiday festivities involving local choirs performing free concerts to wine tastings with local bands. She advised leveraging the myriad of talented people in D.C. who could bring something special to your event.

Barbara also addressed using social media (Facebook and Twitter) to reach those in town and out-of-town and advised that communicators pay attention to ensuring a company's brand goes across all channels. For example, on Twitter, each tweet from the Willard imparts the personality of an ageless, worldly, sophisticated grand dame, a hip aunt sharing advice with her circle of friends.

Danielle rounded out the presentations by first sharing interesting statistics about the percentage of people visiting the Festival are actually within the D.C. Region. (Hmmm, I must run into the other 45% who are out-of-towners on the Metro then!) She talked about their efforts to highlight a host of activities under the Cherry Blossom Festival umbrella that appealed to those interested in the history, rich culture of the event but also to all ages from families to the young hipster crowd. Connecting to the community that calls D.C. home, she mentioned tree plantings (hyperlocal!) and the local restaurants embracing of cherry-infused and inspired cuisine -- ingraining the Spring time celebration into D.C. culture.

You can follow our April speakers/organizations on Twitter at @dcculture,
@willardhotel and @CherryBlossFest.

Thanks to our speakers and Elephant & Castle!

And make sure you check out the blog post from member Susan Rink that talks about this lunch!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April CCG lunch: Tourism Communications and Reaching New Audiences

** UPDATE: We're now sold out. You can RSVP to be placed on our wait list. **

Tourism Communications: It's Not Just for Tourists Anymore!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010, noon - 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Elephant & Castle, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC
Metro Stop: Metro Center

COST: $25
Cash Only. Exact Change Preffered.

MORE INFORMATION: April kicks off tourist season in Washington, D.C., but for many local "tourism" organizations, marketing and communications is no longer just about reaching the out-of-towners. Instead, these professionals are increasingly being tasked with ensuring that they draw a local crowd to events as well. Come learn more about how some of our local tourism organizations are undertaking the challenges of reaching new audiences with their message.


RSVP to: capitalcommunicator (at)