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PRSA Public Affairs and Government Section’s first webinar of 2021

Building Bridges

Join your fellow Section members on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. EST for the Public Affairs and Government Section’s first webinar of 2021, Why Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Matter: The Human Capital and Public Affairs Connection to Building the Best Organization.

Hear leading Public Affairs and Human Capital (previously known as Human Resources) professionals discuss programs to build bridges between their offices and how they communicate their efforts. 

During this webinar, you will explore: 

  • Ways to identify who owns the DE&I program in your organization and what is the current plan/program. 
  • What is the relationship between PA, HC and EEO offices in organizations?
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of each?
  • How can the three collaborate in implementing the plan?
  • How does PA work with HC/EEO to make everyone DEI savvy in the organization? 
  • Identify the best practices and/or gaps in your organization’s DE&I plans/programs.  

Going forward, PAG Section members will consult their organizations for current DE&I plans and best practices in order to provide data that will be shared in a report compiled by the Section. 

Webinar presenters:

  • Moderator: Felicia Blow, APR, Associate Vice President for Development, Hampton University
  • Kermit Howard, Division Director, Human Capital Division, Department of Interior
  • Marta Lugo, External Affairs Officer-Racial Equity, D&I, Civic Engagement, Santa Clara Valley Water  
  • Cyrus A. Salazar, Director, Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Department of Defense



Recap of Morning With The Baltimore Sun

At PRSA Maryland’s Morning With The Baltimore Sun on February 7th, key staff shared how decisions are made regarding content – unique pitches, subject lines, and best time of day to share story ideas are just a few of those covered. Attendees learned about the analytics that go into editorial planning and how staff use real-time findings to determine placements in the shifting landscape of print versus digital.  

After the panel, attendees had the opportunity to ask additional questions, meet the staff, and see the facilities. Check out pictures and video below.

A special thanks to our event sponsor Strategic Factory for providing our morning coffee and more.

Greater Baltimore Committee & Associated Black Charities to Host Maryland Gubernatorial Forum

Join the Greater Baltimore Committee and Associated Black Charities for a Maryland Gubernatorial Forum featuring seven Democratic candidates for Governor of Maryland: Rushern Baker, Benjamin Jealous, Kevin Kamenetz, Richard Madaleno, Alec Ross, Jim Shea and Krish Vignarajah.

If you go:

When: Thursday, April 26, 2018; 5:30-6 p.m. reception, 6-7:30 p.m. program
Where: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Leadership Hall, 685 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Cost: Complimentary, but you must be pre-registered to attend

Register to attend

For event and sponsorship information, contact Sophia Silbergeld, Director of Membership and Member Relations, at 410-727-2820.

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.

–Industry News