Good PR people are good at what they do because they want their clients to get all the ink and all the love. I'm one of those PR people. I don't like to brag, boast, or take credit for the great successes my clients have had ... which kind of makes me a crappy PR person for myself, right? Huh. Oh, well. Clients first. Always, clients first.
My clients' successes are often a collaboration of their work, my work, and our colleagues' work. Much of what I do is behind the scenes and for the greater glory of moving an issue or a story forward. Still, there are some things I feel okay touting as having created, worked on, or helped with.
One thing you won't see listed below is my crisis work. That is and always will remain confidential (though, I can tell you, I don't and won't ever work for the bad guys -- you know what I mean by that). I help organizations and high-profile individuals avoid crisis, navigate it when it happens, and help with cleaning up the aftermath. I dig in deep with operations, finance, and legal teams, and provide counsel that can help mitigate even the biggest disasters.
One of the political issues I care most about is federal funding for biomedical research. Disease and illness aren't limited to any one political party, demographic, state, or city; they affect everyone. Funding at the National Institutes of Health has not kept the pace of inflation since 2003. We're falling behind, globally, in new discoveries and economic growth. There's change in the air, though, and it makes me proud to be a part of forging that change: Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working together on restoring and sustaining NIH funding. It's an honor to work with ACTforNIH on strategic communications and related initiatives that will ultimately help discover better treatments and cures.
American Society for Cell Biology
Science! [beep boop boop] I really like working with the American Society for Cell Biology. They represent the dudes and ladies peering into petri dishes, ready to change the world. I've worked with ASCB on op-eds, their annual meetings, and the announcement of The Allen Institute for Cell Science.
Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area
Organizations that take a look at themselves once a year or more and ask, "how can we do better?" are organizations I want to work with. I help the CFCNCA with an annual self-evaluation of their program, conducting interviews with staff and loaned executives, offering insights and recommendations. This allows them to work most effectively with federal employees on their charitable giving. Any work that benefits nonprofits and strategic charitable giving, I want to be a part of.
I have celiac disease and cannot eat gluten. To help others navigate the gluten-free lifestyle, I wrote a column for The Cooking Channel called "Beat the Wheat" featuring recipes, stories, and tips for those also living with the disease. So basically, I got paid to cook and eat and write a few words about it. Dreams can come true.
I bet when you hear the words "personal branding," you roll your eyes. So did I, until I started teaching a new "Personal Branding" class at Georgetown in their graduate programs in journalism and public relations. Really good PR people are good at their jobs because they know how to promote companies, brands, products, or issues. When it comes time to promoting themselves, though, PR people squirm and get shy and want to turn that mirror right around. My Personal Branding curriculum helps people have a clearer understanding of who they are, how they're perceived, what their talents and skills are, and how they can talk about themselves as a whole person, not just a job title. It seems to be working because (not to brag) I've won some awards! I won the 2015 "Above and Beyond" Golden Bulldog award (student- and alumni-chosen), the 2015 Dean's "Faculty Dedication" award, 2016's Faculty of the Year, and 2017's "Above and Beyond" Golden Bulldog award.
Mike Isabella's Crazy Good Italian
I wrote a book. A cookbook, in fact. With Mike Isabella, a renowned, hilarious, award-winning chef. It's called "Mike Isabella's Crazy Good Italian" and every page is delicious and awesome, and if you want to buy it, I would not be opposed to that.
The Washington Post
If you told me in high school that, one day, I'd be writing for The Washington Post, I wouldn't have believed you. (I also might've paid better attention to my work for the school newspaper) (but probably not, really; that thing was AWFUL) Three of my WaPo pieces you might be interested in are: One Way to Fight Food Waste - Revive Wilted Vegetables; Hank Shaw Takes a Walk Through Sligo Creek Park and Rustles Up Dinner; and Patton: Funny on Food.