Introducing the “Ask Dale” Video Series

Introducing the “Ask Dale” Video Series

Do the terms “public relations,” “advocacy,” and/or “thought leadership” make you and your team nervous?  

Do you worry that your organization needs to step up its communications game or miss out on opportunities? Do you face an outright threat that is grounded in part on poor communications strategy or tactics?    

What does it mean to conduct “public relations,” anyway?  

To answer these questions, DCC is proud to introduce a new video series: “Ask Dale.”  

In this first installment, Dale draws on his 30+ years of experience as a communicator to tackle the question: How can I make my message stand out in an overcrowded media environment? 
 
The answer lies in three parts: Know your target audience; develop clear and compelling content; and be persistent in building bridges to your audience.  
 
For more information, check out the video above. For future editions of “Ask Dale” and all DCC news, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn; and subscribe to our newsletter, DCC Dispatch. Let us know what questions you need answered.  

And don’t hesitate to give us a call at 202-495-3700 if you need a little help with your team’s communications efforts.  

DCC Makes the 2018 O'Dwyer's List of Top PR Firms

DCC Makes the 2018 O'Dwyer's List of Top PR Firms

For the second year in a row, DCC has been selected to appear in the O’Dwyer’s Annual Rankings issue!  

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This year, we are proud to be ranked #17 in Washington, DC, and #123 among firms with major U.S. operations. On the list of U.S. firms specializing in technology issues, we’ve moved up six spots from last year, from #53 to #47! We’re also among the top five “Leading Gainers” among firms in our size category.  

The full rankings, which are based on 2017 net fees and employee counts, are available here

Thanks to our all of our clients and friends who have supported DCC over the years, making this recognition possible! Onward and upward!

 

Proud to Be Working for LGBTQ Equality

Proud to Be Working for LGBTQ Equality

Coming from a conservative, fairly religious family, accepting and embracing the annual LGBTQ Pride celebration was difficult for me.

Some of the friends and family members I grew up with might have said things like, “Why would anyone be proud of that?” or “Why don’t we have Straight Pride?”  

 Dale and Lamar enjoyed attending “Night OUT at Nationals Park” on June 5, just one of many Pride celebrations this month in DC

Dale and Lamar enjoyed attending “Night OUT at Nationals Park” on June 5, just one of many Pride celebrations this month in DC

Setting aside the answers to those questions for another blog, that’s exactly the kind of negative social pressure that all LGBTQ people have to deal with as youths and as adults. It’s a constant questioning of our right to exist and enjoy life on a path that’s just a little bit different. 

Early in my career, I worried about how being gay would affect my career. Coming out to friends in college was relatively easy; being out in Republican politics in the 1980s and 90s, not so much. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s, working as a journalist, that I felt comfortable to be out at work, and to switch allegiances to the political party that (usually) supported my right to exist without discrimination.   

Fast forward to today: I’ve been running my own PR business for almost nine years as an out-gay man, and for the most part, I don’t need to fear the effect on my business. As far as I know, it’s not an issue with any of my clients, and it’s a plus in my professional network. When I married my husband Lamar last year, we were showered with well wishes from our professional colleagues.

In recent years, I’ve stepped up my professional involvement in the LGBTQ community, and today I’m active in the Human Rights Campaign (as Table Captains co-chair for the 2018 National Dinner); Q Street (on the board of directors); and both the Capital Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which certified DCC as an LGBT-owned business in 2017.

While Team DCC continues to serve clients in a variety of industry and nonprofit sectors, I’m now hoping to put our team’s collective skills and experience to work for outstanding LGBTQ-related clients, as well.

Our work for equality is far, far from over. In my adult life, Americans have made tremendous strides toward full equality and respect for diversity, both as a society and as individuals. (Including me. There have been times when I was uncomfortable working with members of our LGBTQ community who are quite different from me. I think I’ve made progress on that front, and I’m committed to doing more.)    

And yet hundreds of millions of Americans – and people in the other 95 percent of the world – still face daily pressures to hide who they are and who they love, at home and at work. Advocates of religious-based discrimination ignore some of the core tenets of their faith in their relentless dedication to discrimination and hate.

For all these reasons, I am proud to work for LGBTQ equality – not just in June but all year-round – both in my personal life and in my business.

Happy Pride! 

 

 

Team DCC Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 9-1-1 with NENA

Team DCC Celebrates 50th Anniversary of 9-1-1 with NENA

For more than six years now, Team DCC has had the honor of serving America’s 9-1-1 professionals through our client NENA -The 9-1-1 Association.

As we celebrate National 9-1-1 Education Month in April and the 50th anniversary of the 9-1-1 system all year long, we wanted to share a few snapshots of NENA’s work – and ours – with you.

Fifty years after the first 9-1-1 call was placed in Haleyville, Alabama, 9-1-1 has become one of the most fundamental public safety services in our country. In thousands of call centers across America, “the unsung heroes of public safety” answer more than 650,000 calls per day — more than 240 million calls a year.

DCC helps NENA advocate for a stronger 9-1-1 system through media outreach, social media, video, and creative campaigns.

During the week of February 12, DCC assisted NENA with its annual “9-1-1 Goes to Washington” event, which brought hundreds of leaders from the public safety community to the nation’s capital for information-sharing and advocacy activities.

Key issues that were addressed included the need to accelerate deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1; establish parity of access to federal public safety grants; improve wireless location accuracy; and enhance cybersecurity.

On February 14, the Next Generation 9-1-1 Institute, a partner organization of NENA’s, hosted its 15th annual 9-1-1 Honor Awards Reception, presenting awards to a number of individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and skills in the field.  

On February 16, the 50th anniversary of that first call in Haleyville, Alabama, NENA members and friends gathered at the Hotel Monaco in DC for a toast to 9-1-1. The night was a true celebration, filled with great food, drinks, and dancing to music from the 60’s to today.

Throughout these events, Team DCC was proud to assist in a variety of ways:

  • During the awards event, NENA and the Institute premiered a jointly produced video on the history of 9-1-1, highlighting the progress that has been made and more that needs to be done. DCC wrote and coordinated the production of the video.
  • During the anniversary party, attendees were delighted by a video montage of greetings from the stars of several of TV’s top public-safety themed shows, including Angela Bassett and Connie Britton of Fox’s “9-1-1” and the cast of NBC’s “Chicago Fire.”  DCC secured the stars’ participation, wrote the script, and coordinated the production of the videos.
  • As a result of our media outreach, DCC secured a segment on NBC4-Washington on the 50th anniversary of 9-1-1 and the true story of a U.S. government employee whose life was saved by the fast action of a local 9-1-1 call taker. We also helped announce the award winners to their local communities.

To top off the week, the 9-1-1 community was thrilled by the enactment of “Kari’s Law,” one of NENA’s longtime advocacy goals. On February 16, President Trump signed this legislation, which requires multi-line telephone systems to provide access to 9-1-1 without having to dial an extra digit before 9-1-1.

During the month to come, we will helping NENA promote a pair of educational videos produced with support from Comcast. 

By the way, if you or someone you know has been helped by your local 9-1-1 center, please visit www.thankyou911.org to post a story, photo, or video. You can also join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #ThankYou911. To learn more about Next Generation 9-1-1 and how to get involved, visit www.ng911now.org.

It is an honor to serve NENA and the cause of stronger 9-1-1 systems, and we join with millions of Americans in saying “Thank you, 9-1-1!” for all that they do to protect our lives.

 

 

Join DCC and the Public Affairs Council for Happy Hour!

Join DCC and the Public Affairs Council for Happy Hour!

Let the fall festivities begin! Join Dale Curtis Communications and the Public Affairs Council’s Political Involvement Network (PIN) for their upcoming Pumpkin Spice Happy Hour!

Spice up your night on Tuesday, October 3rd from 5:30-7:30 PM in the private library space of The Darlington House near Dupont Circle! Guests will enjoy delicious cocktails, conversation and networking with your fellow public affairs professionals. 

The Public Affairs Council is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical association that serves public affairs professionals all around the world. The Political Involvement Network (PIN) is a subsidiary of PAC that provides networking and idea-sharing opportunities for the council’s more politically active members.

Please join us!

What: PIM Pumpkin Spice Happy Hour
When: Tuesday, October 3rd from 5:30-7:30pm
Where: The Darlington House
             1610 20th Street, NW, 3rd Floor
             Washington, DC 20009

 

DCC Hosts Panel for Harvard Students

DCC Hosts Panel for Harvard Students

When I was an undergraduate at Harvard and active in the Harvard University Institute of Politics (IOP), I dreamed of the day when I could be a mentor to young people, just as the IOP staff, fellows, and Student Advisory Council leaders were mentors to me. Since then, I have had the opportunity to employ and mentor many young people, but this week, I had a chance to lead an actual IOP activity.

On July 20, I had the honor of hosting an after-work discussion with colleagues from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in collaboration with the Harvard IOP.

The Harvard IOP is a "living memorial" dedicated to President John F. Kennedy, designed to help Harvard students discover their passion for politics and public service through speakers, study groups and other opportunities. The IOP's Summer in Washington program provides social, educational and networking opportunities for students interning in D.C.

As a Harvard alumnus who participated in the Summer in Washington program in 1982, I am always delighted to have the opportunity to meet current students and help them to build their careers. 

The discussion I led featured three of Washington's smartest PR professionals: the BPC’s VP of Communications, Robert Traynham; the BPC’s Content and Branding Manager, Rachael Gresson; and HRC’s Senior Vice President of Communications & Marketing, Olivia Alair Dalton. All three offered unique insights into how their communications teams operate, how their careers unfolded, and what the Washington PR game is really about.

A special thanks to our panelists for taking the time to speak to the students and to the IOP for helping to coordinate this event with DCC! 

DCC Receives LGBT Business Enterprise Certification

DCC Receives LGBT Business Enterprise Certification

We are proud to announce that Dale Curtis Communications is now certified by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as an LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE®)! 

The NGLCC is the nation’s certifying body for LGBT owned and operated businesses. Co-founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell wanted to showcase that LGBT people are business owners, employers, taxpayers, and corporate citizens, too. We are a vibrant, essential part of America’s small business engine.

With this certification, DCC joins a growing group of more than 800 certified LGBTBE’s across the United States, and one of only a few certified PR firms in the public affairs arena.

Although DCC has not done any paid client work in the LGBTQ space, Dale has been a proud and active supporter of groups including the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CAGLCC); Human Rights Campaign; Metropolitan Community Church of Washington DC; Q Street; SMYAL; Victory Fund; and the Walk & 5K to End HIV.

Team DCC loves to put our PR skills and experience to work for great causes, and this certification will help us grow and evolve our role in the market. It's also a wonderful way to celebrate the end of Pride Month!

If you are interested in learning more about the certification process, visit the NGLCC's Get Certified page.