We have always been big supporters of the public relations community by volunteering our time and supporting events and organizations we believe in. This year, we are supporting three organizations with our time, and our financial support. All three are very different, but all three are very near and dear. During a time when many professionals feel disconnected because of the culture in the country and our overall busy schedules, now is such a great time to jump in and volunteer.

Here are three ways in which I have committed my time and talent in 2019 to advance both personally and professionally:

  1. Washington Women in Public Relations: I have been a member of WWPR since just after I started NewsGen in 1997. I jumped in and volunteered as a committee member, and was asked to join the board my second year. It was my first experience on a board, and I served for six years in four different positions.

The legacy I left was as vice president/pro bono chair. When I was chair, we used to have one pro bono client for the 14 years that WWPR had hosted a pro bono client. Our committee decided it was time to spread the wealth. We implemented a new plan where our pro bono client rotates every two years. It allows WWPR the opportunity to spread our wings and serve more deserving clients throughout the D.C.-area. And, it allows pro bono clients the opportunity to get two years of top-notch talent through the WWPR network.

After a 13-year hiatus, I re-joined the WWPR board this year as treasurer. The organization has grown and learned a lot since 2005, but it is still a group of professional, bright and committed women looking to advance women in public relations.

  1. JUST TRYAN IT: In 2014, a friend asked me to volunteer for a kids’ triathlon at Landon School here in Bethesda on Sunday. I did not realize that six hours of volunteering would lead to a deep personal and professional commitment that would last for years. In the last five years, I have been marketing chair, board chair and development chair. JTI’s mission is to positively impact the lives of families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer by providing them with financial assistance. We strive to instill the importance of philanthropy and service, promote wellness, and inspire tomorrow’s leaders to make a difference in their communities.

The impact JTI makes every day is outstanding. To date, we have surpassed the $2,000,000 giving mark, and this year we celebrate our ten-year anniversary. Being on the JTI board has enriched my professional life and personal life in so many ways. When a friend asks you to join them at an event, don’t hesitate. Go!  You never know where it will take you.

  1. National Association of Government Communicators: For several years, I have attended NAGC’s School of Communications. This year, I applied to become a speaker, so fellow NewsGen team member Jennie Rosenberg and I will present: Recraft Your Pitch to Get Reporters to Respond. Here is the write up for the event: Do you ever feel like your pitches go into the inbox, or junk mail abyss, never to see the light of day again? Ever wish you had some set-aside time to rethink how you write your pitch emails, all while getting input from experts and your PR peers? In this session, you will build and tailor a pitch for an upcoming campaign of yours. Media relations experts from our team will walk you through tried and true practices to actually get an email back from reporters and get them to stay on the phone with you when you call. You’ll spend time recrafting your pitch using NewsGen’s template, you’ll share and offer feedback with your peers, and you’ll walk away with tangible tools you can take back and use the next day.

On top of giving time to advance these organizations, we also support them financially. I don’t believe in writing a check and not being involved. Plus, it is great to support so many organizations that have helped me advance my professional skills, learn new skills and get to know great professions in our field.


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Send an email to EVP & Founder Susan Matthews Apgood. We will respond within one business day. Or, email Susan directly at sapgood@newsgeneration.com.

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