We’re partnering with Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit again this year

Which means, PRSA Maryland members get 15% off registration fee! Just use promotional code PRSA-MD when registering. 

The Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit returns to Pier 5 Hotel this fall and we’re returning too! The MAM Summits have become the go-to conferences of the year for regional marketing and communications professionals. The summits feature some of the best minds in the region for a day of keynotes, presentations, panels, exhibits, networking and new business opportunities.

Who should attend? CMOs, brand marketers, marketing executives, public relations professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, creative directors, media planners or publishers.

What can you expect? Sessions including multiple keynotes, CMO panel, predictive analytics, video, social media, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, SEO, and more. Plus, networking … networking … networking! We have heard multiple times that new business happened at MAMS.

Click here for more information on speakers, agendas, and more.

And don’t forget to stop by our table to say hi!

The summits are co-produced by two of the most respected news organizations in the region: Potomac Tech Wire, the region’s source for technology news; and Capitol Communicator, the region’s source for marketing and communications news.


This Is Your Brain on Stories


16473318_10154306031683059_5908962428480575868_nPRSA Maryland  is grateful to Early Light Media (ELM) directors Darren Durlach and David Larson for their stunningly beautiful as well as compelling and informative session on “The Power of Storytelling Using Video” on February 2, 2017. PRSA Maryland’s first professional development event of 2017, which was hosted in the amazing studios and creative workspace of ETC on N. Haven Street, attracted 25 attendees.

Attendees had a real insider’s view of how video works and why our deep-rooted fascination with stories will always carry the day when we want to share the real meaning of our organization or company’s work.

While they’re “not giving away all their secrets,” the great team at ELM welcomes your questions at any time. You can check out some of the tips they shared last week by clicking here.

Click here for a copy of the presentation.

David Larson

David Larson

Darren Durlach

Darren Durlach











Secrets Revealed: How the CIA Manages Social Media


Submitted by Jeff Davis, APR
Originally appeared in Capitol Communicator – October 15, 2016


CIA’s Preston Golson & Carolyn Reams with PRSA MD board member Claudia Ciolfi

Communicators balancing the complexities and demands of social media accounts learned how the Central Intelligence Agency manages its social media presence despite the restrictions and with a mix of humor and pop culture references.

During a workshop hosted by the PRSA Maryland chapter, CIA Social Media Lead Carolyn Reams and Chief of Public Communications Branch Preston Golson covered topics such as obtaining the @CIA Twitter handle, the 11-month approval process, how to overcome organizational reluctance and how their small staff manages accounts including Twitter that in just two years has attracted 1.5 million followers.

The first tweet from CIA’s verified Twitter account (“We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.”) remains one of the most retweeted and favorited first tweets and is on BuzzFeed’s list of “The Most Epic Tweets Ever Tweeted.”

“We have an obligation in a democracy to explain what we do,” said Reams. Other reasons the agency decided to embrace social media: conversations are happening online whether the CIA participates or not, and the CIA wants to explain its mission to protect the national security of the United States.

Also, people typically don’t “surf the web” and randomly visit websites; instead, they expect the information to show up on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. Content from deep within the CIA website, such as the popular “World Factbook” section, can be brought to light via social posts.

The CIA also uses social media to humanize the agency: “We can’t tell you what officers are currently doing, but we can tell their stories later…how they lived, their background and their service,” said Reams, who also serves as CIA.gov content manager.

Among the tips and best practices shared:

  • Answering the “when is the best time to post?” question, they advised: noon is good to simultaneously reach the East Coast lunch crowd and 9 a.m. West Coast users; then 2 p.m. for West Coast lunchtime browsers; 5 p.m. will hit East Coast transit commuters; while 8:30 – 9 p.m. will reach West Coast commuters and East Coast multi-screen TV watchers.
  • Make sure “two sets of eyes” review each post to prevent missteps; their preferred collaboration and scheduling tool is TweetDeck.
  • Don’t aim for a pre-determined number of posts per day or week; it’s OK to skip a few days and have multiple posts on others. The focus should be on relevance and quality of the content.
  • Connect your posts to your organization’s core messages whenever possible.
  • Add personality to posts through humor and cultural references. (If the CIA can do this, most organizations can). The CIA has commented and shared relevant links on topics such as World Elephant Day, the Olympics opening ceremony and Shark Week.
  • Use ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) posts to get additional views of select content.
  • What to tweet? Interesting history factoids; connections to pop culture moments; recurring weekly content (CIA posts “Artifact of the Week” from the CIA Museum); recruitment/internship opportunities; anniversaries/milestones; unusual/fun content, such as dog training tips from the CIA K-9 unit and “How to Investigate a Flying Saucer” (from the CIA website).

Photo: CIA’s Golson, left, and Reams with PRSA Maryland Board Member Claudia Ciolfi, right.

A Year In Review

We had another busy year. Below are just a few of the highlights …

Chapter Study Group now Forming!

APR Happenings … directed by our awesome and very capable APR Chair Jen Kellar, the APR Study Group begun in Fall 2014 continued the process with 12 candidates. To date, 3 of the candidates have received their APR! A new round of sessions began on 1/12/15. Click here for more information.

Mentoring Program … we launched our mentoring program and while still in its infancy, we’re looking forward to watching it grow. If you are interested in getting a mentor or being a mentor, let us know at info@prsamd.org.

Events … Always looking to advance our members professional development, we hosted/participated in a number of events:

∗ Visit to WBAL-TV 11, 2/1/15. Partnering with BPRC, we met with editors and reporters of WBAL-TV 11 and WBAL News Radio 1090. The event was a sell-out! Read recap by Jeff Davis here.

∗ Digital Media Panel, 3/17/2015. We were invited to join BPRC for their March meeting to hear a panel discussion on how you can work with local blogs that cover a myriad of topics from business to communities to entertainment.

Sporting some bling!

Sporting some bling!

∗ Crisis Communications with Kevin Byrne of The Baltimore Ravens, 5/20/15. With the Ray Rice controversy still fresh in our minds, we welcomed Kevin Byrne, senior vice president of public and community relations for the Baltimore Ravens for a frank discussion on crisis communications. Plus we got to hold – and some of us got to put on – the Ravens’ Super Bowl Ring. A special thanks to our event host Emerging Media/Loyola University Maryland.

Root Down to Rise Up

Root Down to Rise Up


∗ 2015 Chesapeake Conference, 6/4/15. Hosted by Erickson Living for the second year, #Chessie15 was touted as one of our best in terms of speakers and sessions. We began with a keynote from Sherry Llewellyn, Director of Public Affairs for Howard County Police Department and ended with a presentation by Michelle Andres, Vice President of Digital Media/Broadcasting and Chad Steele, Vice President of Public Relations for the Baltimore Ravens. Click here for a full recap and presentation handouts.


Meeting New Friends

∗ PRSA MD Summer Networking Event, 8/26/15.
We met on a beautiful summer evening at the BoatHouse in Caton for a casual get-together. The event coincided with PRSA’s New Professionals Week, yet it was an event for everyone to enjoy. And enjoy they did by swapping stories, advice and a few business cards in the process! We had over 25 PR pros and new pros attend.


Courtesy of Coyle Studios

Courtesy of Coyle Studios

∗ 2015 Best In Maryland Program & Gala. We exceeded our entry counts from last year with many of our entries receiving high scores. This year, we also did away with the binders/folders by accepting entries electronically. Winners gathered at the Best In Maryland Gala and Holiday party on Tuesday, December 1 for an evening of networking and celebration where we also presented 4 professional awards. Click here for recap.

∗ Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, 9/30/15. We were a proud sponsor of this one-day event that brought together more than 300 marketing and communications executives to discuss high-level issues through a series of panels, keynotes, presentations and networking.

∗ Volunteer Appreciation Pizza Night, 12/8. We invited current and prospective volunteers to join us for pizza. It was a chance for us to show our current volunteers how much we appreciate their hard work, and a great chance for prospective volunteers to get a taste of what it means to be part of the chapter.

Other events that we participated in included …

∗ PRSA Webinar: How to Activate an Influencer Network with Converged Media – Free to members, this webinar featured Michael Brito, head, social strategy, WCG who talked about incorporating new earned, owned and paid media tactics to better engage influencers with content.

∗ PRSA Central Chesapeake Chapter, 04/16/2015. Learn ways to get elected officials to your event

∗ INTEGRATE DC presented by West Virginia University IMC program, 10/27/2015. PRSA Members received discounted registration.

p.s. Did you know that you can find recaps to many of these events in our Resource Library?

Coming soon … What’s in store for 2016? Well, we’re working on this year’s programming calendar including our annual Chesapeake Conference. Also be sure to keep a watch out in late spring for the 2016 Best In Maryland Call for Entries.

Looking forward to an even better year!

Want to get involved? Contact us at info@prsamd.org!

Attending the The PRSA International Conference in Atlanta?

Calling All PRSA Members in the Mid-Atlantic District! The PRSA International Conference in Atlanta will commence with the Sunday Gala in the Marriott’s Atrium Ballroom at 7 p.m.

PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chair Liz Smith, APR, and District Chair-elect Kevin Gaydosh, APR, invite District members to meet at 5 p.m. at Marriott’s Pulse Bar. This is your opportunity to meet your District Chair and Co-chair as well as fellow members from Chapters throughout the Mid-Atlantic District.

Even if you are not attending the gala, please join District members from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the cash bar. Click here for more details.

Hope to see you there!

Mid-Atlantic District Chair

Liz Smith, APR, PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chair

Kevin Gaydosh, APR, PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chair-Elect

Kevin Gaydosh, APR, PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chair-Elect

Seeking Presenters for the 2015 Chesapeake Conference!

Are you interested in presenting at the 2015 Chesapeake Conference on June 4? We are seeking presenters for interesting topics such as, but certainly not limited to:

  • Social media strategy – getting the right message to the right people using social media
  • Integration of traditional and social media
  • Tools for PR people on the cloud and via apps
  • Crisis communications
  • Measurement, tracking and metrics
  • Marketing to multiple generations
  • How to build brand awareness
  • Content development and strategy for multiple mediums
  • Effective writing
  • Word-of-Mouth marketing – grassroots public relations using new tools
  • Making your message go viral
  • Evolution of journalism in the Twitter era
  • Building your personal brand—dos and don’t’s of social media

Submit your RFP today!

Deadline is Wednesday March 25!

By presenting, you will have the opportunity to impact individuals driven to improve themselves, their place of work, PRSA and our profession. Of course you will also be shaping yourself and your stature among your peers. Your experiences and insights towards innovative concepts are in demand…here is a chance to show where you came from and how you have evolved into a true role model.

And of course, if you have a great idea for an innovative presentation, let us know at info@prsamd.org or call the Chapter office at 301-725-2508.

Sessions will run 60 minutes including question & answer periods. We are also considering repeating the 30 minute flash sessions intended to give attendees quick tips on a targeted topic.

Submit your RFP today!

Event Details:
Where: John Erickson Conference Center at Charlestown, Catonsville MD
When:  Thursday, June 4 * 8am – 4pm


A Special Thanks to our Event Host and Venue sponsor …
Erickson Living

And our Design Sponsor
Maroon PR

*Showcase your company by becoming a Conference Sponsor. As a sponsor, you will share your company with pros during the conference and through recognition on our website, in our e-letter and through our social media. Click here to join the list!

What we did this past year …

It’s been a busy year for the Chapter. In 2014 we …

♦ Sponsored 3 happy hours, one of which had close to 30 attendees!
♦ Took a trip to Camden Yards to watch the Orioles battle the Tampa Bay Rays.
♦ Sponsored/participated in 5 in-person professional development events.

  • The State of PR: We brought together a panel of veteran PR pros to discuss where PR is now and where it’s headed. Click here for a recap.
  • Morning with The Baltimore Sun: We partnered once again with BPRC for a visit to the Baltimore Sun.
  • Morning With WJZ-TV 13: We also visited the WJZ-TV station where we met the news team and took a tour.
  • 2014 Chesapeake Conference: We created a a full day of learning ending with a Media Panel. Click here for recap.
  • 24/7 Management: Decision-making in a Changing Global Media Market Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide: We were invited by The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School to attend one of their sessions in the Leaders & Legends lecture series,

We realized how difficult it is to get out of the office so we also offered the following virtual meetings and webinars – all FREE to members …

♦ Virtual Meetings:

♦ Webinars:

  • The New Secrets of Media Pitching Success
  •  Slow Down to Move Fast
  •  Brand Yourself

On the APR front, we held two APR Information Sessions designed to learn more about becoming an APR:

Plus we kicked off a study group—we have 12 APR candidates right now—for those already in the process.

And we ended it all with our Best In Maryland Gala, where more than 160 people attended, many taking home awards.

Here’s looking forward to 2015!

p.s. Did you know that you can find recaps to many of these events in our Resource Library?


Are You Worth the Investment? (Chessie Recap)

Submitted by Sandy Arnette, APR

KeynoteSo often, we’re busy on our jobs, managing our budgets and households, and just racing through life trying to keep up with the hectic pace of things.

In the midst of it all, we often leave little or no time for ourselves – particularly to invest in our careers and professional growth.

One culprit is infobesity – or information overload – where we’re constantly bombarded with content. Each day, 499 million tweets and 500 million emails are sent and 4.7 billion pieces of content are shared. And, it’s estimated that by 2020, 5 billion people will always be online. It’s simply mind-boggling, but another important reason why we must make time and invest in ourselves.


Well, kudos to those of you who did just that by attending this year’s PRSA Maryland Chesapeake Conference – now in its 37th year. We had great speakers and workshops and an awesome venue thanks to Erickson Living. The feedback from conference attendees was overwhelmingly positive. We were told it was definitely worth the time and a true investment in their PR careers.

Here are a few key take-aways:

  • Participate in real-time conversations that matter with people who matter. Employ surgical strikes, target your content and be sure to always measure your effectiveness.
  • Give reporters a few key sentences about your pitch rather than a long release. Personalized pitches are most effective regardless of the platform.
  • A social media specialist needs strong writing skills, a deep knowledge of differences in platforms and the ability to integrate content.
  • People will give up anything to have their smartphones. So make sure you’re leveraging this audience and the technology.
  • Set goals for each conference session and introduce yourself to new people. Get out of your comfort zone and forge new relationships. Networking is key and can be a spring board to help launch your career.

Chessie showed how data drives good decisions; how metrics and research are critical to any PR campaign; how mobile technology is disrupting everything we know about PR; and why SEO (search engine optimization) is vital. Attendees also learned effective video marketing techniques and discussed study results of how the communications industry is adapting, how PR professionals are leading and how consumers are connecting. This included a focus on emerging media and how many seniors are keeping pace with technology for their news consumption.

If you missed this year’s Chessie Conference, you definitely missed a treat. Check out the highlights and get some great PR tips on Chessie Page, PRSA Maryland’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages and on Twitter (hashtag #Chessie14).

Click here for an Animoto Video of the conference!
And check out all conference photos by clicking here and here!

Photos and video courtesy of Bob Stockfield Photography. For copies, contact Bob at bob@stockfieldphoto.com

Presentation handouts are available on Chessie page.