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 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

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.



It’s not a surprise that an internship at Dale Curtis Communications will teach you basic, tactical knowledge about communications and public relations work.

In my year at DCC, I learned how to write and format a press release. I learned how to create and maintain media lists, compile and summarize news clips, and pitch stories to media outlets. I learned how to format e-newsletters in MailChimp, draft and schedule social media, perform website updates, and copyedit communications materials. 


But my internship at DCC gave me something much more important: confidence.

I began my internship at DCC with no experience in public relations. It was my first summer internship in Washington, DC, and even though I was a rising senior at Georgetown University with previous internship and work experience, I was nervous to begin this particular job. The team at DCC is small, and if I made a mistake, it would not go unnoticed.

During my first week, however, I quickly discovered that I had nothing to worry about.

On my first day, Team DCC encouraged me to speak up at our all-hands meeting. Also on my first day, my colleagues asked me to sit in on client phone calls and introduced me to the client over the phone. They gave me clear tasks and goals and offered nothing but support and help on that first day. I knew immediately that I would be nurtured at this small PR firm.

And I was not wrong.

This sort of work environment encourages better and stronger work from its employees. Knowing I could ask questions or make a mistake here and there without feeling pressured or anxious was empowering to me. Being encouraged to give my thoughts, opinions and ideas allowed me to forge a voice for myself and grow confident in my ability to contribute to the firm’s goals. I never, ever felt like a lowly intern doing grunt work at DCC; I felt like a full-fledged member of the team.

By the end of my year at DCC, I was being asked for ideas on strategies and tactical plans. I was coming up with marketing tactics for the firm itself and had a lead role in DCC’s social media accounts. I grew confident enough in myself and my role at DCC that I could confidently begin my own projects and know I’d be supported along the way.

Going forward into my career, not only will I have polished communication skills – I will have greater confidence in myself and know that I am a valuable member of whatever team I end up working with in the future.

I know that my voice and my ideas matter.

And I owe that all to Dale Curtis Communications.

DCC Makes The 2017 O'Dwyer's List

DCC Makes The 2017 O'Dwyer's List

DCC is excited to announce that we are now ranked on the 2017 O'Dwyer's List of Top PR Firms in America! We’re ranked #120 in the nation, #16 in DC, and #53 in the nation among firms with a specialty in high-tech clients. Check out the complete lists here .

Advocacy and PR in the Age of Trump

Advocacy and PR in the Age of Trump

We are just over two months into the Trump administration, and lobbyists and PR professionals all over Washington are still trying to get their bearings.  

Will we see decisive, disruptive action this year on major items like health insurance, corporate taxes, immigration, and infrastructure? Will battles over appropriations and the debt limit come to the fore? Might a foreign policy crisis or even a constitutional crisis crowd out all other discussions?

No matter which issues dominate the public debate in any given week, smart government relations professionals know that it’s best to take a long-term approach, and lobbying isn’t the only way to advance your agenda.

According to the Public Affairs Council, public affairs is an art in which “lobbyists, grassroots advocacy specialists, policy experts, political involvement specialists and communications professionals coordinate their activities to achieve advocacy success.”

Put another way, lobbying goes hand-in-hand with strategic communications, policy analysis, and grassroots advocacy, and the total package is worth more than the sum of its parts.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, National Journal’s Michael D. Gottlieb recently called this “building a Washington brand.”

“Just like consumer and employer brands,” he wrote, “a Washington brand captures how the audience perceives a company. … Do these policymakers respect a given company? Do they care what that company thinks, and actually listen? Is that company their first call when they have a question? As it relates to DC, a strong brand offers an upper hand in influencing policy outcomes.”

Here at Dale Curtis Communications, we work closely with client-side executives – and often with a large cast of characters that may include attorneys, lobbyists, marketing and branding experts, activists, and others – to develop and implement smart, strategic, integrated communications programs that enhance their Washington brands. 

A few of the tactics we have used and might recommend for your organization’s Washington brand building are:

  • Developing compelling, plain-English messaging and materials such as fact sheets, issue briefs, research reports, videos, and PowerPoint presentations to educate your target audience;
  • Applying beautiful graphic design to impress your audience with effective branding, visual aids, and easy-to-navigate websites; 
  • Managing and growing social media accounts to grab the attention of stakeholders on the sites they frequent most;
  • Convening events that complement the print and electronic outreach with face-to-face relationship building; and
  • Reaching out to reporters and editors at outlets large and small, providing interviews and ghost-written articles to help educate key audiences on your policy agenda.

Our case studies offer a bit more insight into how we have applied these strategies and tactics to achieve success in specific policy battles.     

If your organization is struggling to clarify its Washington brand and have greater impact in its advocacy communications, please give us a call. We’re here to help.