The 2013 BPRSDC Spring Reading List!

Keep Calm...The Cherry Blossoms are blooming and the sunshine has one again returned to the beautiful city of Washington, DC! To kick off this new season, we would like to share with you a few books that may come in handy as you begin your picnics in the park and sunbathing by the pool.

Here is the 2013 BPRSDC Spring Reading List.  This “Top 10” reading list for spring provides thought provoking and motivating learning for  public relations  practitioners and communications professionals.  This list is in no particular order. It contains many books that the BPRS executive board have found beneficial for personal and professional growth.  Happy reading and happy Spring!

Please look forward to upcoming Spring event announcements and please stay connected via our social networks via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

2013 Reading List:

Good Girl’s Guide to Public Relations, Publicity and Marketing: A HOW-TO Survival Guide for the Novice

By: Ivy K Pendleton, MBA, MS

This series is intended for small business owners, independent publicists, nonprofit organizations, special events managers and individuals seeking ongoing media coverage for newsworthy topics. Mastering the art of pitching news stories takes skill. This survival guide provides information and advice for a novice publicist or seasoned public relations practitioner. Topics include: public relations, publicity, marketing, social media, sponsorship, branding, pitching stories to news media and moral and ethical behavior in public relations.

101 Ways to Stand Out at Work: How to Get the Recognition and Rewards You Deserve

By Arthur D. Rosenberg ISBN# 1598699814
 
Many professionals sabotage their careers and sacrifice job satisfaction because they don’t know how to overcome obstacles to career success. Arthur D. Rosenberg gives them tips and techniques to beat these career barriers. His book, “101 Ways to Stand Out at Work: How to Get the Recognition and Rewards You Deserve (2009)” identifies the elements of a successful career and lays out steps that help workers become more engaged at work. Candid, practical advice shows the reader how to counter weaknesses, correct damaging behaviors, defuse political situations, communicate for better control, and more. This guide is for the career climbing professional who wants to earn a promotion or raise, and get better assignments.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us  

By: Daniel H. Pink            ISBN# 1594484805
 
In this provocative and persuasive new book, New York Times best-selling author Daniel H. Pink asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world in “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (2011)”.  Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life.

Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action 
By: Rohit Bhargava          ISBN# 1118137531
People decide who to trust, what advice to heed, and which individuals to forge personal or transactional relationships with based on a simple metric of believability. Success, in turn, comes from understanding one basic principle: how to be more trusted. Rohit Bhargava’s “Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action (2012)” offers a new vision of a world beyond Facebook where personal relationships, likeability, brutal honesty, extreme simplicity, and basic humanity are behind everything from multi-million dollar mergers to record-breaking product sales.

Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness 
By: Randal Pinkett           ISBN# 0814416802

If the name Randal Pinkett sounds familiar, it may be because Pinkett was the first African-American winner on NBC’s “The Apprentice”. When he won, this black man also became the only contestant to be asked to share his victory with a white woman. The request (and Pinkett’s subsequent refusal) set off a firestorm of controversy that inevitably focused on the issue of race in the American workplace and in society. “Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness (2010)” is about “the game” that is, the competitive world in which we all live and work. Pinkett’s book offers 10 revolutionary strategies for playing, mastering, and changing the game for the current generation, while under taking a whole sale redefinition of the rules for those who will follow.

Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR  
By: Brian Solis      ISBN# 0137150695
Forget the “pitch”: Yesterday’s PR techniques just don’t work anymore. That’s the bad news. Here’s the great news: social media and Web 2.0 offer you an unprecedented opportunity to make PR work better than ever before.  In “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR (2009)” you’ll learn powerful new ways to build the relationships that matter, and reach a new generation of influencers…leverage platforms ranging from Twitter to Facebook…truly embed yourself in the communities that are shaping the future. Best of all, you won’t just learn how to add value in the Web 2.0 world: Brian Solis tells you how to prove how new, intelligent, and socially rooted PR will transform your organization into a proactive, participatory communication powerhouse that is in touch and informed with its community of stakeholders.
 
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead  
By: Sheryl Sandberg                    ISBN# 0385349947
Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (2013)” Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.   Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be
Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks) 
By: Dave Kerpen  ISBN# 978-0-07-176234-2
The secret to successful word-of-mouth marketing on the social web is easy: BE LIKEABLE.  A friend’s recommendation is more powerful than any advertisement. In the world of Facebook, Twitter, and beyond, that recommendation can travel farther—and faster—than ever before.  Dave Kerpen’s “Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks) (2011)” helps you harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing to transform your business. Listen to your customers and prospects. Deliver value, excitement, and surprise. And most important, learn how to truly engage your clients or customers and help them spread the word.
 
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies 
By: Charlene Li, Josh Bernoff (2008)                  ISBN# 1422125009
Corporate executives are struggling with a new trend: people using online social technologies (blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, podcasts) to discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals. This groundswell is global, it s unstoppable, it affects every industry and it’s utterly foreign to the powerful companies running things now.  When consumers you’ve never met are rating your company’s products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (2008)” Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity.

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others 
By: Daniel H. Pink (2012) ISBN# 1594487154
Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others. Like it or not, we’re all in sales now.  “To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others (2012)” offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling.  Author, David H. Pink makes our list again because he reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it’s no longer “Always Be Closing”), explains why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.  Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another’s perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more.

APR Candidate Preparation Guide
The Second Edition APR Study Guide is a key tool in preparation for Accreditation in Public Relations and a tremendous resource for all APR candidates.  Produced by the Universal Accreditation Board, the Guide is the product of many hours of research and evaluation.   It contains exercises, case studies and insight into modern public relations practices.   And, it’s available at no cost to those pursuing Accreditation.

The National Black Public Relations Society is Coming To DC!

The National Black Public Relations Society has decided to host the 2012 NBPRS Conference and Career Fair in Washington DC!

BPRSDC will be in attendance to support the national organization and we encourage you to join us for this great event! To learn more please visit the NBPRS website at http://www.nbprs.org or read below!

2012 NBPRS Conference & Career Fair

Washington, D.C. will host the 2012 NBPRS Conference and Career Fair at Howard University, Thursday, October 25 – Sunday, October 28, 2012. The conference will provide four inspiring days of networking, training and honoring those who have paved the way for African Americans in the PR field.

NBPRS is partnering with Howard University and will kick of the conference with workshops and a job and internship fair for students at the 2012 Howard University School of Communications Job and Internship Fair on Thursday, October 25th. The professional sessions will then begin on Friday, October 26th and continue through Sunday, October 28th.

Register now! Early bird registration is $199 for members through Oct. 1. Additionally, as part of the NBPRS Membership Drive, through Oct. 15, conference registrants can receive a free NBPRS membership for one year for a special rate of $249.

Themed The Network@Work: Facing Challenges, Taking Charge & Changing the Game, the conference will offer solutions for the practice of public relations with a focus on effectively managing change and transitions against the backdrop of today’s economic turbulence.

Participants will learn:

  • How the convergence of public relations, marketing, and diversity can create cutting edge communications and social media strategy that give them a seat at the table and their businesses a competitive edge
  • How to initiate and influence the global conversation about their corporate and personal brands, connecting them both to causes around the world and to other cultures in meaningful ways
  • How to evaluate their skills and experiences and turn them into a plan to start or grow their own public relations business
  • The regulatory environment that governs PR strategy and provides for effective executive counsel and issues/crisis management
  • Case studies about companies that have tapped into the explosion of mobile technology and how PR drives their strategy, execution and measurement of results
  • Best practices on using new technology to listen to what employees, their teams and their target markets are saying about their brand

Public relations professionals at all levels, journalists, marketers, recruiters and college students will make their way to Howard University for powerful workshops, insightful general sessions and networking events that are designed to enhance their professional development. Attendees will hear from renowned experts in the field, attend workshops, network for career and business opportunities and visit with various vendors and exhibitors.

To register, please visit http://nbprsconference2012-esli.eventbrite.com.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit http://www.nbprs.org

Forbes: How to Be Yourself on Social Media – Without Freaking Out Your Boss

It’s a common story: employee posts something unusual on Facebook, boss flips out, and drama ensues. But it’s a lot less frequent when the questionable Facebook photos are, in fact, posted by the boss. That’s what happened to Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre, the second-largest chain of boutique hotels in the U.S.

Conley – author of Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success – was known for his fun, unconventional approach. But when he posted shirtless pictures of himself on Facebook having fun at the Burning Man Festival (no sex or drugs involved), some objected, leading to a barrage of media attention. The question: how can business professionals navigate the new boundaries of social media – while still maintaining their authenticity?

Conley decided to keep his photos up: “Our mission statement is creating opportunities to celebrate the joy of life and that’s what we were doing there,” he told me in an interview. “I realized it was one more opportunity to be authentic in life. In this case, a lot of people said, ‘we really appreciate the fact that you are who you are.’” Based on his own experience, he has four tips for other business professionals on how to thrive and keep it real online.

Make sure your values and your company’s are aligned.  Sometimes – if it means you might lose your job – the risk of social media just isn’t worth it, says Conley. “If you’re in a conservative company with very strict rules, and if you’re in an environment where people are expected to leave their personal life at the door, then you need to be careful about whether Facebook is right for you.” Don’t risk your job needlessly – but if your values and your company’s don’t line up, think hard about whether it’s the right place for you.

Read more here.

The Root.com Is Hiring Part-time Public Relations Contractor

Part-time Public Relations Contractor

The Washington Post is looking for a part-time public relations contractor to work on a range of high quality and effective public relations services including creation and implementation of national and industry public relations plans. Candidate must be detail-oriented and ready for a fast-paced work environment.

Main Responsibilities:

-          Build industry publicity program for The Root including promoting the site’s new initiatives and success stories.
–          Find creative opportunities to publicize The Root’s political coverage including working with TV/radio outlets, bloggers and other media outlets.
–          Develop and execute PR plans for The Root’s special events or other editorial projects.

Requirements and Qualifications:
–          Strong written and verbal communications skills
–          Minimum two years experience in media relations, ideally within a news/media/technology organization
–          Proven ability to work with print, broadcast, online press and bloggers to develop and place a wide variety of consumer and trade stories
–          Must be able to work proactively and initiate leads while working within a cohesive team atmosphere

Please send a cover letter and resume to:

Kris Coratti
Director, Communications
The Washington Post
press@theroot.com

2012 NBPRS Conference & Career Fair, Washington, DC

2012 NBPRS Conference & Career Fair

Washington, D.C. will host the 2012 NBPRS Conference and Career Fair at Howard University, Thursday, October 25 – Sunday, October 28, 2012. The conference will provide four inspiring days of networking, training and honoring those who have paved the way for African Americans in the PR field.

NBPRS is partnering with Howard University and will kick of the conference with workshops and a job and internship fair for students at the 2012 Howard University School of Communications Job and Internship Fair on Thursday, October 25th. The professional sessions will then begin on Friday, October 26th and continue through Sunday, October 28th.

Register now! Early bird registration is $199 for members through Oct. 1. Additionally, as part of the NBPRS Membership Drive, through Oct. 15, conference registrants can receive a free NBPRS membership for one year for a special rate of $249.

Themed The Network@Work: Facing Challenges, Taking Charge & Changing the Game, the conference will offer solutions for the practice of public relations with a focus on effectively managing change and transitions against the backdrop of today’s economic turbulence.

Participants will learn:

• How the convergence of public relations, marketing, and diversity can create cutting edge communications and social media strategy that give them a seat at the table and their businesses a competitive edge
• How to initiate and influence the global conversation about their corporate and personal brands, connecting them both to causes around the world and to other cultures in meaningful ways
• How to evaluate their skills and experiences and turn them into a plan to start or grow their own public relations business
• The regulatory environment that governs PR strategy and provides for effective executive counsel and issues/crisis management
• Case studies about companies that have tapped into the explosion of mobile technology and how PR drives their strategy, execution and measurement of results
• Best practices on using new technology to listen to what employees, their teams and their target markets are saying about their brand

Public relations professionals at all levels, journalists, marketers, recruiters and college students will make their way to Howard University for powerful workshops, insightful general sessions and networking events that are designed to enhance their professional development. Attendees will hear from renowned experts in the field, attend workshops, network for career and business opportunities and visit with various vendors and exhibitors.

To register, please visit http://nbprsconference2012-esli.eventbrite.com.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit http://www.nbprs.org

(Reaching our leaders early) Business Schools Offering PR Tips to Future CEOs

By Stephen Singer, Bloomberg Businessweek

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Whether it’s corporate fraud, the Gulf oil spill, shoddy products or even the recession and weak recovery, capitalism’s reputation is taking a beating, but public relations executives hope they have a fix for America’s future CEOs.

The Public Relations Society of America has launched a pilot project at five business schools to teach MBA students how to handle crises and preserve corporate reputations.

“CEOs have made egregious mistakes in transparency and governance,” said Gerard Corbett, chairman and CEO of the public relations group. “This initiative is to get executives at the beginning of their careers and understand the nature and purpose of good reputation management.”

Read more here.

NPR, Other Nonprofits Band Together to Provide an Alternative to Local Paper

By: Cameron McWhirter and Keach Hagey

Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

National Public Radio, the University of New Orleans, and a group of business and community leaders will announce Friday the creation of a nonprofit newsroom to compete against the city’s for-profit newspaper, the Times-Picayune.

image

The Times-Picayune/Associated Press

Times-Picayune staffers commiserated when job cutbacks were announced in June. The newspaper is reducing its print days.

The planned operation, funded annually by $1 million to $2 million in memberships, donations and sponsorships, will have a staff of 10 to 20 producing news for the Web, mobile devices and radio.

The announcement comes two months after the Times-Picayune’s owners, New York-based Advance Publications Inc., said it would cut staff and reduce print publication to three days a week this fall, making New Orleans the largest U.S. city without a daily print newspaper. In June, it announced it was laying off about 200 people.

NewOrleansReporter.org will be operated by WWNO, a local NPR affiliate owned by the University of New Orleans, a state university. NPR plans to provide technical and journalistic expertise for the new operation—part of a broader national effort by NPR to build up affiliate news operations. WWNO already switched to a heavier news format Monday.

Read full story here.

A new trend in news reporting and organizational structure? Share your thoughts with us!

Real Leaders Communicate

By Chris Daniel, The Consultant in Jeans – ReGroup Partners International

Is communications excellence born or learned? Many contest that it’s born. But, on the contrary, it’s a learned behavior. Many of the great leaders in communications attest that learning is the catalyst behind excellence in their industry.
Here are a few universal truths for personal communications excellence.

1. Have a strategy for every situation:

  • Professional (i.e. networking, daily work, career development); How many contacts have you planned to meet, in advance of your next event? What will it take for you to get that promotion? How well do you communicate your professional drive? What’s your communications score here, 1-10?
  • Personal (relationships, life planning, self development); What’s your communications score here, 1-10? Is it different from your professional score? Why? Be consistent in your personal and professional life. They can’t be separated.
  • Influential (what you project, attract, and achieve for others to see) Does your influence match the end results for your professional and personal goals? At all times? Does your body language always match?

2. Always begin with the end in mind. Know exactly what you want to walk away with, but more importantly, what you can provide as value. Some of my smallest clients have the greatest business success. Why? They always provide value! A great example is a sales director whom I’m coaching. She made a promise to herself to follow-up with hand-written notes to all of her clients. That’s not uncommon. However, she includes news clippings, coupons, and online articles related to the conversations she’s had with the person.

3. Always set and keep the tone- give good “BL” (body language). It’s 93 percent of communication! 93 percent!

4. Incorporate impeccable follow-up. The key to the downfall of many ineffective leaders. The golden rule for follow up is 48 hours! After meeting someone at a mixer, interview, or business transaction, follow up with a note, email, or call within 48 hours.

So, on a level of 1-10, where are you?

Truthfully, many executive-level clients who I consult with are initially ranked 5 or below. However, the baseline helps us create a plan to improve, even if it’s a 2!

Here are a few more tips to do to keep you moving in the right direction and to take your score from a 5 to a 7 in record time:

    • Make a decision and commit to be better at all cost! Distractions will come, but resolve to improve. Ask others to rank you to document your progress.
  • Master the art of active listening. Active listening is also a learned skill, but one of the few leadership qualities that many people never understand. Listen intently, without speaking. Hear important facts. Repeat back what you’ve heard. Incorporate pregnant pauses to keep a consultative tone.
  • Explore your personal strengths. Some people are naturally strategic thinkers, others are creative thinkers. While I try not to pigeon-hole individuals, it’s best to know your natural talents and move in a direction to use them throughout your personal and professional lives.

Communications excellence is no small feat, but with time and persistence, the rewards are invaluable.

For more leadership tips, follow Chris Daniel on Twitter: @consultnjeans

Meet your 2011-2013 BPRS-DC Executive Board

Alana Hill, President; Michael Dutton, Parliamentarian; Dedra Owens, Past President; Victoria Holmes, New Media Director; Jossan Robinson, Official Graphic Designer; (Missing From Photo: Chris Epps, Treasurer, Natalie Dean, VP of Membership)

President, Alana Hill (Twitter: @Lana_Jay)

Hill serves as a Communications Professional at IBM Corp. Prior to joining IBM, Hill served as public relations manager of American Public University System (APUS) and as the Assistant Director of Programs for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). While at AAPD, Hill managed brand imaging, promotions, outreach strategies and day-to-day operations for AAPD’s national programs. Prior to joining AAPD, Hill served on the Public Relations team for the Florida Governor’s Alliance for the Employment of Citizens with Disabilities. There, Hill worked with Florida Legislators, community and business leaders throughout the state of Florida to expand diversity initiatives supporting people with disabilities.

A native of Miami, Fl , Hill received her Bachelor’s of Science in Public Relations with honors from Florida A&M University where she served as President of the Public Relations Student Society and received the School of Journalism’s Student Leader of the Year Award upon graduation. In 2011, Hill was recognized as one of the top 30 African American professionals under the age of 30.

Vice President Programs, Faye Hyslop

Faye Hyslop is the Manager of Marketing & Social Media for the International Network of Black Entertainment Television (BET.) BET International, which currently broadcasts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Africa, and the Middle East, is an extension of BET & Centric’s programming for global distribution.  In this role Faye oversees BET International’s social media presence and brand awareness. Faye also manages talent scheduling for production shoots, and serves as the liaison between BET International and various media partners and affiliate platforms. Born and raised on Virginia’s eastern shore, Faye is a graduate of Old Dominion University where she earned her B.S. studying business administration and psychology.

Prior to joining BET Networks, Faye was the Special Interest Group’s Liaison for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC.)  Her impressive performance after six years at NCMEC afforded her several promotions within different divisions. She transitioned from Public Affairs to Case Management before ending at the External Affairs Department where she played an integral part in its growth and expansion. In addition to lending her efforts to External Affairs, she was also able to broaden her experience in the areas of grass-roots organizing, coalition building, and public speaking.  Having successfully honed her skills, Faye collaborated with corporate partners, local elected officials, grass roots organizations, as well as the media to develop and implement various programs that dealt with missing and exploited children. She later became a spokesperson by promoting NCMEC through speaking engagements and networking events.

Her fulfilling role at NCMEC and the wide arena that it exposed her to revealed a desire to work in the broadcasting industry in a more direct way.  Falling in line with these aspirations, she now serves at BET Networks; the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs programming for the African-American audience, as well as an internationally diverse group of viewers worldwide.

Vice President of Partnerships, Shaela Lawson

As the current Director of Employee Network Groups for Sodehxo, Shaela Lawson began her career 5 years ago as a consultant in the Office of Diversity.  During her most recent position as Diversity Relations manager, Shaela was instrumental in partnering with Sodehxo’s Employee Network groups to identify opportunities for alignment with Sodehzo’s National External Partners. Shaela also successfully led various programs for the organization, such as NAACP Culinary Arts Youth National Competitions, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund Parent Student Nutritional Program, and the South Asian American Leading Together Be the Change – National Day of service.  She has also served as Co-Chair of Multicultural Food and Hospitality Alliance National Regional council and is a recent graduate of Sodexo’s Emerging Leader’s program.  Shaela holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Parliamentarian, Michael Dutton (Twitter: @PRMichaelDutton)
Michael Dutton leads communications efforts for The Executive Leadership Council, an organization that strengthens the success, contributions and impact of African-American corporate business leaders. He is a Washington, DC-based public relations counselor with more than 30 years of
experience in corporate communications, marketing and broadcasting production. Most recently, he was vice president of the Corporate Communications Practice for the Walker Marchant Group, a minority woman-owned public relations agency.

Previously, Dutton directed Northeast Regional Communications for Fannie Mae. Prior to that, he was director of Tribal and Casino Public Relations for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut, owners of one of the world’s largest casinos, Foxwoods. At Otis Elevator Company, Dutton led a task force to develop the company’s international Intranet communications network for 69,000 employees operating in nearly 200 countries.

Dutton spent most of his career with IBM, where he produced corporate television and product advertising, organized recognition events and served as corporate spokesman on wide ranging issues including the company’s operations in South Africa, and trade and technology legislative issues. He began his professional career in radio and television production, working with WVEC-TV News in Hampton, Virginia. He worked in New York City with WCBS Newsradio 88, WRVR-FM, Central Brooklyn Model Cities Television Project at Brooklyn College, the Children’s Television Workshop, and the AT&T Corporate Closed-Circuit Television network.

Dutton earned his bachelors degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University in Virginia, and MS degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in the City of New York.

Treasurer, Chris Epps
Christopher Epps leads coordination, planning and logistics for all special projects, videos, tapings and interviews for America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance). Founded in 1997 by General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) and currently chaired by his wife Alma, America’s Promise is the nation’s largest partnership alliance comprising corporations, nonprofit organizations, foundations, policymakers, advocacy and faith-based groups committed to ensuring that young people receive the fundamental resources—the Five Promises—they need to lead successful, healthy and productive lives and build a stronger society. In November of last year, in partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Education, Epps devised communications strategy and oversaw public relations for the Dropout Progress report detailing the national high school dropout crisis. To date, the report has received more than 300 million media impressions. As a member of the communications and marketing team, Epps serves as the
creative director for all video projects and develops collateral materials, message frames and talking points for Alliance leadership. In addition, he assists his team in organizing and implementing special events, press conferences and outreach campaigns.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Epps was a consultant at Reingold, Inc., a strategic communications and marketing firm based in Washington, DC. Epps has held marketing and public relations positions with Physicians for Peace, a medical education and aid nonprofit headquartered in Norfolk, Va., and the National Housing Partnership Foundation in Washington, DC. He also works as a freelance writer for organizations in the DC area and a start-up video and film production company in Virginia Beach, Va.
Epps earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and communications from Hampton University located in Hampton, Va. In 2011, Epps was recognized as one of the top 30 African American professionals under the age of 30.

Membership Chair, Natalie Dean
As senior account executive at Edelman – a full service global public relations firm. As senior account executive on the Edelman Multicultural team, Natalie Dean specializes in engaging and mobilizing African-American, Hispanic and other diverse communities around an issue, cause or agenda. Prior to joining Edelman, Dean supported multicultural outreach, media relations, event management and strategic planning activities at the Walker Marchant Group in Washington, D.C.(WMG). In her position, she was responsible for conducting research, developing media strategies, designing communications plans and assisting with organizing new business presentations for a variety of clients including Walgreens, Best Buy, Inc., and the Washington Convention Center Authority.

Previous to her tenure at WMG, Dean was an account executive at Millennium 3 Management (M3M) in Philadelphia, PA. While there, she led the public relations and advertising initiatives for Pennsylvania’s largest medical assistance managed care health plan. She worked to disseminate key
messages through various local media channels to reach the defined target audiences, in order to help establish understanding and goodwill between the organization and its public.

Dean, a native of Philadelphia, PA, graduated from Clark Atlanta University (CAU) with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts/Public Relations and a Master of Continuing Studies in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University.

Managing Editor, BPRSDC Blog, Farrah Hudson

Farrah Hudson is a multifaceted marketing communications professional with over five years experience in marketing, public relations, sales and advertising.  Farrah holds a B.S. degree in public relations from Florida A&M University and a Master’s in strategic public relations from The George Washington University’s School of Political Management.  Farrah’s professional track record includes spearheading her company’s participation in regional and local marketing exposition shows, creating communications collateral for target audiences including civic leaders, government agencies, business developers and members of the media.  She has also evaluated target markets and proposed marketing strategies through customer surveying techniques.  Farrah has added value to many organizations through evolving strengths in client relations, copywriting, grant writing, and market research.  She has demonstrated ability to work both independently to meet organization goals as well as collaboratively as part of a team.   It’s these skills combined with a strong sense of professional integrity and genuine regard for people that contribute significantly to her profit driven performance.

Farrah volunteers her time as the social media chair for the Washington DC Chapter of the Black Public Relations Society and as public relations coordinator for the Mt. Olive Seventh-Day Adventist Church Serving Our Community department.  She lives in the Washington DC Metro area and enjoys yoga, painting and spending time with family.

Official Graphic Designer, Jossan Robinson
With more than 12 years of experience in graphic design, web design and brand marketing Jossan Robinson joins the BPRS-DC team overseeing graphic design and creations for the organization. His experience in graphic design and brand marketing spans several industries including: public affairs, non-profit, finance, information technology and entertainment.

Robinson currently owns and operates Design1320, LLC., which specializes in graphic, web, & fashion design with a focus on branding, marketing/advertising & package design. Robinson’s works have been featured in The Source Magazine, MTV Networks and on various billboards within the Washington DC, Chicago and Philadelphia markets. Robinson is a native Washingtonian and graduate of North Carolina Central University.

Past President, Dedra Owens (Twitter: @IDOPRINDC)
Dedra Owens is President and Founder of DOT Communications. With over 15 years of experience that includes delivering some of Washington DC’s most high profile special events, Ms. Owens has established a solid network with local and national media. Her reputation for producing highly effective campaigns within African American markets has made her a sought after advisor and speaker.

Prior to founding DOT Communications, Ms. Owens worked for UniWorld Group, Inc., the nation’s longest-standing full-service multicultural agency, and at Golin/Harris Communications, one of the nations leading public relations firms. A native of Louisville, KY, she is a graduate of Howard University and resides in Washington, DC.

DOT Communications’ client list represents numerous industries and includes from Fortune 500 corporations to private foundations. In addition, DOT’s clients cover some of the largest and most historic African American owned businesses and organizations in the United States. An abbreviated list of our clients includes: Black Entertainment Television (BET), Burger King, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., McDonalds Corporation and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

President’s Message

By Alana Hill, 2011-12 BPRS-DC President

I am honored and privileged to serve as your BPRS-DC President for the year 2011-2012.  I look forward to working with an amazing board to help our great organization grow and to provide you with the resources, tools and support to grow in your career.  As President, I am committed to continuing a strong tradition established by our Founder, Ofield Dukes, and maintained by board members that came before. We look forward to honoring the memory of Ofield in all that we to do.

I want to thank Dedra Owens, 2009-2011 BPRSDC President who has led our organization board to produce such great events as the 2010 Black Caucus Brunch, Mentor Madness with Howard University and our annual holiday party with the National Association of Black Journalists and the Capital Press Club. In addition to these events, Dedra lead initiatives to re-launch the BPRS-DC website and lead social media outreach for the organization. The 2012 executive board looks forward to continuing this great legacy.

Our vision is clear— we seek to unite and increase the active participation and employment of African Americans in the professional practice and study of public relations by providing educational and professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities. Interested in brushing up on your writing skills? Contact Victoria Holmes and Natalie Dean to write for our blog or newsletter at bprsdc(at)gmail(dot)com.

We have a wonderful board here to serve you and we are excited to provide you with resources and tools to assist you along your career journey. The coming year promises to be an exciting time, with many outstanding activities and events. We thank you for your continued support. I encourage each of you to stay connected and to join us for the upcoming events!

2011-12 BPRS-DC Leadership Board

Alana Hill, President

Michael Dutton, Parliamentarian

Chris Epps, Treasurer

Victoria Holmes, New Media Director

Natalie Dean, Membership Chair

Dedra Owens, Past President