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Bring Your Organization to Life Through Strategic Storytelling

John Trybus - Color Headshot-6

John Trybus, APR

Submitted by Mark Hoeflich

All of us can remember our favorite childhood stories. Even the greatest moments in history are filled with compelling stories.

Stories inspire, engage, trigger emotion and drive action. So what’s the secret behind effective storytelling for your organization? John Trybus, APR, deputy director of the Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University, and featured speaker at the 2015 Chesapeake Conference, offers five tips for better storytelling:

  1. Successful organizational stories are composed of five essential building blocks: character, trajectory, authenticity, action-oriented and a hook.
  2. Profile a single, compelling “character” that your organization works with who is relatable to the audience and can relay specific details and experiences; your organization should only play a supporting role.
  3. Banish jargon. No one wants to hear your organization’s acronyms.
  4. Before producing a story, spend enough time planning. Let the ultimate purpose for the story drive choices for how it will be produced, shared and evaluated.
  5. Build a culture of storytelling within your organization by creating a story corp of employees that includes a member of leadership.

Learn more about the building blocks of successful storytelling from Trybus and Bridget Pooley, program manager, Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University, at the PRSA Maryland Chapter’s premier educational and networking event of the year. The 2015 Chesapeake Conference takes place June 4 at the John Erickson Conference Center at Charlestown. There’s still time to register.

Register today.

Visit csic.georgetown.edu/research/storytelling for best practice research on nonprofit storytelling conducted by the Center for Social Impact Communication.

Anita Brightman on Daily Record’s Most Influential Marylanders list!

Anita Brightman, APR

Anita Brightman, APR

Influential Marylander Honoree

Join us as we congratulate our fellow PRSA-MD board member Anita Brightman, APR, Fellow PRSA, president of A. Bright Idea for being one of the Daily Record’s Most Influential Marylanders for 2015! Click here to check out all the Honorees!

Congratulations on a great year, Anita!

Leave your comments and congrats on our Facebook page!

Do you have news to share? Send us an email and we may put it in the next WebNotes issue!

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.

Quick peek at some Chessie Sessions!

Want to get a heads up on some of our sessions? Here’s a look at what’s in store for you from some of our speakers …

A Taste of Effective Video Marketing Methods – From Tried and True to Leading Edge: Barbara Haupt, President and Elissa Leif, CEO, MiniMatters Video & Marketing

Barbara and Elissa offers up a quick taste of 5 video marketing methods they have seen pay off in big results for organizations and businesses.
Click here for handout

Networking: Not an Event! Joni Daniels, M.S. Ed., Daniels & Associates, speaker, author, consultant, trainer

Joni will share practical advice on how to network for success … how to convert a collection of business cards into genuine business leads and relationships.
Click here for handout
About Joni Daniels

SEO: Not even half the story: Jay McCutcheon, Principal & Marketing Director, Mission Media, LLC and David Harrison, Harrison Communications

Jay and David will provide five effective steps you can take to position your content for greater discovery by those you care most about reaching.

Mobile: Disrupting Everything We Know About PR: Sterling C. McKinley, Internet Marketing Specialist, McKinley Media Group

Sterling will help you discover how Mobile is effecting every communication channel from publishing to taxi services. 

Click here for a full descriptions of these and all our events!



Announcing the Slate for the 2014 Board of Directors

Each year, PRSA Maryland installs a new board of directors and a pool of member-volunteers who work together to organize and manage the chapter’s programs and services. Today, the PRSA Maryland Board of Directors announces the following slate of officers for 2014. This group will be voted upon by PRSA Maryland members via survey beginning Friday, December 20, 2013. Voting will be open through Friday, January 3, 2014.

President: Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

Communications Manager

As a leader in communications and information product management, Craig worked at SAIC and previous companies since 1996 for the US Army’s Chemical Materials Agency Public Affairs Office.  He helped ensure that key stakeholders were positively involved with the chemical weapons disposal program. Craig helped CMA successfully reach out to political leaders, government representatives, regulatory officials, the media and public. In time, Craig became known for creating top quality products within quick turnaround times. He also helped identify ways to reduce costs, organize and optimize team/event schedules, and train new staff members on relevant policies, strategies, and best practices.

Craig’s five-member Information Product Development Team drove creative and strategic vision behind information campaigns for the US Army Chemical Materials Agency. They led stockpile destruction complete campaigns for five stockpile sites, delivering posters, brochures, videos, presentations, speeches and closing ceremonies, as well as handling all the associated logistics.

In the mid-90s, as Outreach Office Manager, Mr. Campbell prepared and gave more than 50 tours a years of the Nation’s first full-scale chemical weapons disposal facility. Toured were all of the major TV networks, National Public Radio, foreign media, members of Congress, foreign dignitaries, scientists engineers and state and federal elected officials as well as the general public. He also created and gave more than 50 presentations a year to academic, business, technical and official groups.

Awards received by the CMA Public Affairs Office during Mr. Campbell’s time include the coveted Department of the Army, Army Community Relations Award of Excellence.

In his spare time, Mr. Campbell likes to do wood carving and wood burning. He recently completed a whole Santa Claus’ bag full of Christmas and holiday music boxes and ornaments, Santa Clauses and snowmen, as well as nativity puzzles.

President-Elect: Laurie Farrell

Laurie Farrell

Laurie Farrell

Assistant Director, Public Relations, Anne Arundel Community College

Whether it’s about education, baseball, tourism or steel framing, Laurie believes you can become passionate about anything – and everything has a compelling story to tell. That thought has guided her well throughout her 27-year career in public relations, communications and journalism. For the past 3 ½ years, she has served as assistant director of public relations at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md., where she oversees media relations, internal communications, college newsletters, a workforce development magazine and special events. She also provides messaging and talking points for the president and works closely with the executive director of public relations and marketing to manage crisis communications. Most recently, Laurie won a silver medallion award in 2012 from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations for placing an article and video in the Wall Street Journal about the college’s completion efforts. She also served last year as president of MCCCPRO, an affinity group of public relations and marketing professionals representing all 16 community colleges in Maryland.

Prior to joining AACC, Laurie was a marketing manager for the Steel Framing Alliance, a trade association based out of Washington, D.C., dedicated to building awareness about the advantages of building with steel framing. She was also an account executive for Eisner Communications in Baltimore, Md., where her clients included a grocery retailer out of Pennsylvania and the Steel Framing Alliance.

With a love for mission-based organizations, Laurie has spent most of her career working for nonprofit organizations including the Babe Ruth Museum, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, The Family Tree and the Maryland School for the Blind.

She began her career writing obituaries for an Anne Arundel County community, where she won a first place award from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association for her slice-of-life column. She holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from the University of Baltimore, where she graduated magna cum laude, and is planning to pursue a master’s degree in management with a concentration in public relations from University of Maryland University College in 2014.

She is known for her sense of humor, sharp wit and believes there’s plenty to laugh about. As the mother of three grown daughters (now “fraughters”) and grandmother of an adorable baby boy, she now has a little more time to pursue some of her interests – namely, writing, photography, hiking, cooking, and now, getting more involved again with the PRSA Maryland Chapter!

Vice President: Anita Brightman, APR

Anita Brightman, APR

Anita Brightman, APR

President  & Founder, A. Bright Idea Advertising and Public Relations

Building A. Bright Idea from the ground up, Anita A. Brightman’s creative and strategic approach to advertising and public relations coupled with her 20 years of expertise provide small businesses, retail clients, government agencies and nonprofit organizations alike with the verbal and visual communication vehicles necessary to grow their brands, exceed goals and connect with target audiences.

Anita’s innovation earned accolades for verbal and visual communication pieces from various awards including the Public Relations Society of America National Capital Chapter Thoth Award and the National Association of Government Communicators Award of Excellence. Anita also received acknowledgement as one of the Top 100 Minority Business Enterprises in the State of Maryland for the fourth time since the program’s inception, reflecting the agency’s continued stature among trusted MBEs during every year of eligibility within the recognition program.

Anita recently expanded creative services with the opening of a new office and now offers innovative and collaborative marketing and public relations approaches to organizations and businesses in the Northern California market. She contributes to various associations as a prominent member including the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Public Relations Council, First National Bank Advisory Board, the National Defense Industrial Association, Women in Defense, the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and Army Alliance. Anita received her accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America, earned her Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Towson University and her Master of Arts in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore.

Secretary: Robert Hunter IV

Robert Hunter IV

Robert Hunter IV

Marketing Director, Gebhart Properties

Robert Hunter is a multi-award-winning Marketing Director and is currently employed with Gebhart Properties – a national property management company. Since 2004 he has been honing skills in several facets of marketing, public relations and communications. Many of his past jobs have been fast-paced and under-staffed, giving him the ability to learn and develop multiple skills at an accelerated rate. Robert has worked with companies in various industries conducting business in the B2B, B2C, and government segments – he has also done several projects for non-profit organizations.

In 2008 Robert launched his own company, Hunter Marketing Solutions, which has served the needs of multiple clients in a mostly freelance capacity. This gives Robert the ability to focus on his true passion; helping others achieve their goals though excellence in marketing and design.

Robert earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication with a Minor in Communication Studies from Towson University and he is currently working on an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Loyola University of Maryland.

Treasurer: Garrett Berberich

Account Executive, Himmelrich PR

Garrett Berberich

Garrett Berberich

Garrett is an Account Executive at Himmelrich PR, a Baltimore-based PR firm focusing on media relations, strategic partnerships, branding, event planning and management, copywriting and social media. Garrett has three years of experience in public relations, working with local attractions, events, corporate sponsorships and non-profits, using his abilities in media relations, project management and writing to reach clients’ strategic goals. He is a recipient of PRSA-MD’s “New Professional of the Year” award.

Garrett is a graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and received his M.S. in Communication Management from Towson University in 2012. He is a big fan of hockey, music and media.”

Director-at-Large: Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens

Communications and Marketing Manager, JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health – Center for a Livable Future

Chris is director of communications at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, an academic center at Johns Hopkins University that focuses on the impacts of food production on the global environment, diet, and human health.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 2008, Chris served at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Washington, DC, where he authored reports to the US Congress on the agency’s progress toward the management of natural resources along the coasts of the nation’s 34 coastal states and territories. He has held senior communications positions at Allegis Group, Inc., an international staffing company based in Hanover, MD; Smith, Bucklin & Associates, Washington, DC; CSX Corporation, Baltimore, MD; Leaseway Transportation, Inc., Beachwood, Ohio; and Chessie System, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.

A graduate of the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Chris has been a member of PRSA since 1995 and makes his home in Owings Mills, MD.

Director-at-Large: Marc Apter

Marc Apter

Marc Apter

President, Image Power, Inc.- Public Relations & Marketing

Marc Apter is an experienced communicator with award-winning public relations and marketing experience. He received the 2014 Drum Major Award from the MLK Jr. Committee for his work on the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial.  He currently heads Image Power Inc. whose clients include; The Maryland Historical Society, Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage, Chesapeake & Washington Heart Care, concert pianist Brian Ganz, DC Sail and the National Philharmonic at Strathmore. He has created and promoted regional media events that dramatically exceeded attendance and media coverage expectations utilizing traditional PR techniques as well as social media outreach.

He is the publisher of the Media Directory of Maryland, Washington, Northern Virginia and Delaware (www.mediamaryland.com).  The directory is published in digital and print versions and contains over 400 media outlets.  This year a number of online news sites were added.

Apter has provided PR counsel to St. Mary’s College of Maryland as well as trade associations, government agencies and corporate clients.  Some of his clients have included CVS Pharmacies, Omni Hotels, FEMA and the Mexican Avocado Growers Association. He also has extensive crisis communications experience for such clients as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the West African Republic of Togo.

Marc also served as President of David Apter & Associates, one of Washington’s oldest and most honored public relations firms.

An accredited member (APR) of the Counselors’ Section of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and an active member of the National Press Club, Marc is an associate member of the Society of American Travel Writers.  He has served as the president of the Central Chesapeake Chapter of PRSA.

Marc holds a BA in Government from Lake Forest College in Illinois and an MA in educational administration from McDaniel College.

Director-at-Large: Open

–Industry News