Test Drive My Job::DC Government Agency PR Pro Anne Williams
Name: Anne Williams
Current City: Washington, DC
Job Title: Customer Services Program Specialist
Company Name: DC Office on Aging
Length of Time in this Role: 1 year
Twitter Handle: annieb1113
Mopwater: Describe your path to PR. How did you wind up in this field? AW: As a radio,tv & film production major at Howard University, I had interesting internships that sparked my interested in the public relations field: promotions department at Majic 102.3 and the White House Office of Communications. After HU, I got my graduate degree in public communication from American University. I’ve worked at a non-profit organization in the DC area and a marketing and PR firm in Northern Virginia. In 2000, I landed in the marketing and communications department at BET Networks where I stayed for a little over seven years. Now, I work for the DC Office on Aging.
Mopwater: What aspects of the industry are you most excited about? AW: Entertainment PR. I have always been a huge television and movie addict and pop culture junkie, so everything entertainment related really excites me.
Mopwater: Describe a typical workday including your work hours. What do you do all day? AW: My work day begins at 8:30am and ends at 5pm. On a daily basis, I manage the ADRC website, create publicity and marketing materials for upcoming events and agency initiatives. Because all media related public relations is being centralized under the Mayor’s communications team, I work on collateral publicity and marketing materials. A lot of time is spent using desktop publishing programs to create flyers, brochures, advertisements, program booklets, etc. I also design and edit the ADRC newsletter.
Mopwater: What are your favorite and least favorite PR tasks and why? Do you love to pitch? Dread writing releases? Adore blogging for your brands? AW: I love writing! Being creative and making people take a second look at what would normally be considered “the usual”. I’m an optimist so I try to find the positive an every situation. I’m not as big a fan of pitching but with digital media, that aspect of pr is evolving. You can establish relationships and creatively pitch clients via email, Facebook, and Twitter a lot faster and reach a broader audience. Pitching has become so much more than just a phone call to a reporter.
Mopwater: Who are some of your (or your organization’s) clients, and what kind of projects do you take on for these clients? If you work in government or a corporate communications office, describe the work you do in your role. AW: The DC Office on Aging develops and carries out a comprehensive and coordinated system of health, education, employment, and social services for the District’s elderly population, who are 60 years of age and older. In addition, the Office on Aging manages the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), the one-stop for services assisting persons with disabilities and the aging.I handle public relations and marketing activities for the ADRC as well as marketing support for DCOA. I work for the DC Office on Aging. Our client groups are primarily senior citizens and persons with disabilities residing in the District. Caregivers, service providers, and family members are other client groups. It is interesting because a lot of the digital media does not apply to these groups. Senior citizens aren’t as internet savvy as other groups. We rely heavily on traditional methods: newspaper, radio, grassroots pr and distribution of flyers with community groups and churches.
Mopwater: Describe a recent project where you produced results of which you’re really proud. AW: We have been doing a lot of work helping senior citizens in the District prepare for the Digital Television Transition. I have been handling the PR campaign alerting seniors to the services the Office on Aging provides to make sure they are ready for the switch to DTV. I am proud because we have had a tremendous response rate. So far, we have helped hundreds of senior citizens get the converter box coupons and hundreds more have received technical support and their converter boxes have been installed through our efforts.
Mopwater: What is your favorite thing about this job? AW: At times, the day-to-day work can get tedious, but I really enjoy the outreach activities that put us in contact with senior citizens benefiting form our services. It is a great reminder to be grateful for the little things in life.
Mopwater: Do you think you’ll be in this position in 5 years? AW:Within the next five years, I hope to be working in my own business. I think the most gratifying project will be managing the publicity and marketing of my own business.