Register Now for our Annual Ladies Who Laugh Fundraiser!

June 29, 2015

LWLYou're invited! Join the New York Women in Communications Foundation for our annual Ladies Who Laugh Fundraiser on Tuesday, July 21 at Carolines on Broadway. Don't miss the comedy event of the summer featuring a night of laughs, networking, drinks, and snacks. Proceeds from Ladies Who Laugh go toward the NYWICI Foundation scholarship program to help the next generation of women communicators.


Host: Robyn Schall, @RobynSchall

If anyone had a path leading them to stand up comedy; its Robyn.  Wearing leg braces like Forrest Gump as a child, illiterate to the age of 16 and at one point weighing 215lbs, Robyn was a walking sit-com.  We use the word “walking” lightly... more of a wobble.  After shedding the leg braces, learning how to somewhat read, and losing the weight, Robyn earned her BFA in acting at the University of Connecticut.  After graduating, she realized that with her weight, dating, family and life journey she had some really funny stories to share; so she attempted stand up comedy.  Immediately she knew this is where she belongs.

Robyn became a regular in the NY comedy club scene and highly sought after in the fundraiser scene, performing frequently for all types of charities.  She was in NY Comedy Festival and won 1st place in the Hoboken Comedy Festival Competition. Soon after Robyn was named 1 of the top 5 stand out comics listed by CBS.com.  You have seen her on TV shows such as Raising McCain on Piviot TV, The Bethenny Show on Fox, The Little Couple on TLC and most recently on Live At Gotham on AXSTV.  Her favorite project to date; a featured role in ASAP Rocky’s music video Shabba Ranks- doing what else- eating cake!
With Robyn’s two comedic web-series, health and fitness podcast and her stand up, Robyn’s only goal is to help the world feel happy!


Comediennes include: 

Rachel Dry, @rachel_dry 

Rachel Dry is a journalist and comedian who got her start in both of those endeavors in Washington, D.C. She recently relocated to New York to join the The New York Times as a staff editor in the op-ed department. Her writing and commentary have been featured in The Washington Post, where she previously worked as an editor.

Rachel's performance credits include the Bentzen Ball comedy festival, D.C.'s Funniest Journalist competition and winning crowd favorite at a show in a bowling alley in Ann Arbor, Mich.


Aparna Nancherla, @aparnapkin

Aparna started out doing comedy in her hometown of Washington, D.C. and currently resides in New York City, and most recently was featured on Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party Season 2 and will be featured on the upcoming season of Comedy Central’s Meltdown.  

She was a writer and regular correspondent on FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.  In 2013, she made her late night stand up debut on TBS’s Conan, and was one of the breakout New Faces at the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. She is also an alumna of the NBC Stand Up for Diversity program, and she currently headlines throughout North America and has been seen at a number of festivals including Portland’s Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Maui Comedy Festival, SF Sketchfest, Bentzen Ball, Outside Lands, Aspen’s Rooftop Comedy Festival, The Great American Comedy Festival.

She has also been featured on and in NPR, Reader’s Digest, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post Magazine, XM Radio, and Slate V. She can regularly be seen performing at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade’s in LA and NYC. 

Phoebe Robinson, @PRobinsonComedy

Phoebe most recently appeared on Last Comic Standing, the TODAY show, Comedy Central’s Broad City and is a staff writer for MTV’s Girl Code.

She has co-hosted an episode of the series Raising McCain, starred in the MTV pilot Chicks Out of Water, written on the VH1 pilot Chateau Buteau, appeared on FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, VH1’s Big Morning Buzz, HuffPo Live, and has been featured on several talking head shows for Pivot TV, VH-1, and the TV Guide Channel such as 100 Shows to See Before You Die, 25 Biggest Reality Star Blunders, and 40 Greatest Hip Hop Songs.

When not on television, Phoebe’s a writer for Glamour.com and contributes to The New York Times, bitch magazine, xoJane, VanityFair.com, and TheDailyBeast. Her blogBlaria (aka Black Daria) was picked up by The Huffington Post and has been featured on their website. She has also been published in Time Out NY, The NY Post, and The Smoking Jacket.

Brooke Van Poppelen, @BVPcomedy

Brooke Van Poppelen is a NYC based comic, actress, writer and host of Hack My Life on truTV along side Kevin Pereira.

Brooke has been seen on @Midnight and John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show on Comedy Central, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS, andIFC's Comedy Drop. She has also appeared as a talking head & panelist on various MTV & vh1 shows and worked as a writer / producer for Girl Code and co-authored the Girl CodeBook.

This year Brooke released her comedy web series Seeing Other People which she co-wrote and starred in with Giulia Rozzi. The six episode web series has been gathering attention from the likes of IFC.com, Glamour, & Laugh Spin and season two is underway.

Prior to NYC she performed and trained in Chicago at IO, The Second City and The Playground Theater. Brooke hails from the Detroit suburbs and loves coney dogs.


Check out the recap from last year HERE

Date: Tuesday, July 21 

Time: 6:00-9:00pm

Location: Carolines on Broadway, 1626 Broadway


Member: $125
Professional Non-Member: $150
Student/Young Professional Member: $75
Student/Young Professional Nonmember: $100

Any group of 10 or more professionals: $1,000

**Please Note: To receive the student/young professional rate, as well as the group rate, you must call 212-297-2133 to register. 

Grad School or Work?

June 24, 2015


Many college graduates contemplate whether to go to grad school or seek employment for a few years.  That is a big decision — and it can set the trajectory of your career success.

Bonnie Black, marketing and communications consultant, has much experience in higher education. She is president and founder of Bonnie Blake & Company, Inc. Advertising, Marketing and Communications since 1982. Bonnie was the cohost for our recent Career Success: Grad School or Work Twitter chat, and she shared insight that may help students find the best choice for their career success. While there is not one right or wrong path, students may want to consider the following options:

Should undergrads head straight to grad school?
“It depends on how much experience students have from internships or jobs while going to college. Sometimes, a graduating student is highly focused on a particular company or specific area in media and communications. If you would like to work for a company before grad school, you may be more focused on the best grad program for your needs.”

If students are considering grad school, Bonnie suggests, “go to an information session, contact the program. Are the academic leaders responsive to you? Get a sense of the experience. The more passion, interest and knowledge you have, the better.

Should today’s graduates head straight to work?
“Work will open your eyes to new career areas. Think about a part-time grad program to give you a competitive edge in the market. It’s a great idea to get some work experience first while you’re in school.”

Bonnie admits that she went back to grad school after many years.  This is also my experience. I worked in the communications industry for several years before I made the decision to go back to school.

Students can get the benefits of working and going to grad school simultaneously. Bonnie states that “it actually makes a lot of sense. You should be enjoying your studies and practicing ideas and strategies at your job. Where are the students working while earning their grad degrees? Ask for a list of recent alumni and their job titles/companies.”

Bonnie recommends that students consider the following when choosing a grad school:

  • Find the best program community who will nurture and guide you in your career.
  • Where are the students working while earning their grad degrees? Ask for a list of recent alumni and their job titles/companies.
  • Contact the programs, visit them, and speak with the advisors often. Ask questions.
  • Choose the program where students, faculty and alumni are excited about welcoming new attendees.
  • Look for energized students in class.



Posted by: 
Rodeena Stephens

5 Leadership Lessons from Coca-Cola’s Wendy Clark

June 21, 2015

Wendy ClarkA few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of meeting Wendy Clark (photo: standing on the left), President of Sparkling Brands & Strategic Marketing at Coca-Cola North America, at NYWICI's 2015 annual meeting. Wendy graciously agreed to be the keynote speaker at this year’s event at the invitation of her friend and NYWICI’s incoming president, Kim Kelleher (photo: standing on the right). I have to admit that it was exciting and a bit daunting to meet Wendy, a true legend in marketing and a 2014 Matrix Award winner.

In her keynote, Wendy spoke about her life and career, sharing lessons learned along the way. My thumbs were in overdrive as I scrambled to compose compelling tweets that captured Wendy’s wit and wisdom. Here is my list of favorite "Wendy-isms" that I plan on using to up my game. I hope they inspire you, too.

♦ Being underestimated is a gift. Embrace it — and then outthink, outwork and outperform.

♦ Individual belief means believing in yourself with a quiet humble confidence. 

♦ Belief can be a powerful business tool if you fuel your individual belief – and forge collective belief in your vision.

♦ Bravery is putting voice to your beliefs and then acting on them in the face of opposition.

♦ You can be a worse "them" or better "you"; choose a better you.

Posted by: 
Linda Descano

NYWICI Must-Reads 6/19/2015

Behind-the-Scenes at a Beauty PR Firm

June 15, 2015

PR1What’s it like to work for the public relations agency behind some of the world’s most iconic brands like L’Oreal and Mercedes? On June 4, 2015, a group of young women were able to find out, as they toured the glamorous offices of Alison Brod Public Relations as part of NYWICI’s behind-the-scenes tours program. 

The tour began in an all glass conference room where an attention-grabbing, oversized Barbie portrait hung on the wall. Lauren Larkin, Director of Beauty, sat down with the attendees and shared her experience prior to joining Alison Brod Public Relations followed by an overview of the company. Lauren also discussed what it was like to work at a company with all women, her favorite client projects, and what a typical day could look like for her at Alison Brod.  Lauren also answered a range of questions from the attendees — from what Alison Brod Public Relations looks for in a candidate, to how she envisions the public relations world changing.

After all of the group’s questions had been answered, Lauren took the attendees through a tour of their stunning office, which arguably may be every 20-something girl’s dream. The tour began in their fashion showroom, which consisted of the latest styles from their client roster that included mannequins clad in stylish dresses to colorful racks of clothing. Following the showroom tour, Lauren brought the attendees to their in-office salon, complete with a shampoo station and individual styling chairs. Although Lauren said the salon was intended to serve celebrities that frequent their office, she joked that she and her colleagues definitely take advantage from time to time.

PR2The last stop of the fabulous tour was the supply closet, which consisted of shelves upon shelves of beauty products. Alison Brod Public Relations represents some of the most iconic beauty brands, and the closet certainly showcased it.

Once the tour was completed, the attendees were able to speak with Lauren one-on-one and connect on a personal level.  Lauren was open to exchanging business cards and encouraged all attending the tour to send along their resumes.  

Aside from an insider’s look into one of the best places to work in New York City, the attendees walked away with invaluable advice and new connections to an industry influencer that would otherwise not have been readily available without the support of the NYWICI program.

Stay tuned for the next behind the scene tour organized by New York Women in Communications Student Affairs Committee.

— Alexis Mortenson


Photos: Angella Giannacopoulos  

LinkedIn: A Portal for Professionals and Students Alike

June 9, 2015

LinkedIn1With limited network and experience, how can young people command the attention of professionals? NYWICI’s High School Outreach tackled that question with the help of professionals at LinkedIn on June 4, 2015.

Sales Strategist Brian Araujo spoke about the corporate culture at LinkedIn, which not only provides development for its clients, but encourages professional and personal growth across the LinkedIn community.

Nicole Wallace, strategic financial services accounts executive and Ayana Qasim, executive assistant to the head of global sales, engaged in an intriguing discussion about what LinkedIn stands for and its overall purpose. Only one of the attending students raised her hand when asked, "Who has a LinkedIn account?" LinkedIn only recently changed the age requirement to 16 for access. It was clear there was a lot of ground to cover, yet Nicole moved through it seamlessly.

Nicole and Jacqueline let the students describe personal branding in their own terms. They followed with ways how to create one's brand on LinkedIn. Everything on a LinkedIn page alludes to an individual’s brand. We used to be reliant on the "one sheet" resume: limited to margins, 12-point font and never enough space! On LinkedIn, you're given the room to tell a story about yourself in a variety of ways. Whether you focus on your summary, publication links, or simply experience.  Along with attaching your resume to an application, you have the option to pass along your LinkedIn profile in PDF form.

That said, without a network, personal branding is irrelevant. However, young people perceive their network as small and personal. LinkedIn encourages you to combine your personal and professional networks. When asked to recommend someone for a position, who are you more likely to suggest? A colleague you worked with for six months — or a friend you know intimately?

LinkedIn2Attendees also learned about LinkedIn’s new database, Youniversity, a portal for the most comprehensive college search. Based on data collected from existing users, LinkedIn can suggest a professional trajectory for students who will attend a specific school. Where did that performer study theatre? What school did your mentor attend? Where did the best doctors attend medical school? In addition, students can search the database by using ranking and field of study. Nicole encouraged getting creative using the Decision Board feature, a concept inspired by the old school tack board. Students can digitally and visually display their interests, essentially creating a customized college search engine to expand their scope.  I kept wishing I had had the same resource available when I was applying for college. I simply chose based on word-of-mouth or what I deemed "cool." LinkedIn is giving students the chance to make an educated decision about their future.

Each aspect of a user’s LinkedIn profile was reviewed and ultimately connected back to the way one can use the resource to her advantage. The merits a user achieved in school, small odd-end jobs, volunteer hours, involvement in NYWICI's High School Outreach, all of which can be added to a user’s profiles to attract the attention of peers, professionals and possibly the admissions team of their dream school. A LinkedIn page can become a valuable portal to endless possibilities.

Posted by: 
Isabelle Miner

Telling Your Story — Digitally

June 9, 2015

digital storytelling

Digital literacy is more than just familiarizing oneself with the latest technology trends. It requires a deep understanding and the ability to work with online communities and stay up-to-date on social trends and artistic storytelling. Digitally literate people have the skills and tools to be creative and utilize all social platforms to tell stories that captivate their readers.

During our latest Twitter chat, Maya Nussbaum, founder of Girls Write Now, cohosted an inspiring and engaging chat on Digital Literacy. Maya started Girls Write Now 17 years ago. Since then, Girls Write Now has helped more than 5,000 girls and has been acclaimed an “education hero” by The New York Times.

The Pew Research Center reports that 74% of adults use social networking sites. With such high statistics, digital literacy is critical. “News, movements and ideas are spread online,” says Maya. “If we want to be part of the conversation, it is essential to be digitally literate. Brand new careers and paths are emerging around new digital platforms. Education and access can help bridge the digital divide.” 

Maya defines digital storytelling as putting ones digital literacy skills to good use, and “ideally we tell our stories using both technique and our original voices.”  

Here are key takeaways on utilizing digital literacy skills effectively for digital storytelling.

How is digital storytelling used as an effective marketing tool?

Digital storytelling can captivate an audience with interactive, fun, engaging and innovative tech. The beauty of digital is you can break the rules! Experiment and be flexible with storytelling.

How can digital storytelling engage consumers on social media?

Digital storytelling is fast, visual and vocal. By using a GIF, a video or 140-characters, you can reach a variety of viewers. The digital world can cater to a distinct consumer, so it is important to understand your audience when promoting online.

What are the most effective tactics to improve digital storytelling?

By understanding your medium and the audience. For example, Facebook is a very different tool from Tumblr. Determine what story you want to tell and what digital tool will be able to tell that story best.

“Digital storytelling provides access to voices that have often been unheard,” concludes Maya. “Remember: everyone wants to hear a good story. Your story.”

Posted by: 
Rodeena Stephens

Intrapreneurship & Entrepreneurship

June 4, 2015

entra/intrapreneursOccasionally, entrepreneurs have been categorized by modern culture as being either hugely successful like Mark Zuckerberg, or failures who are unable to lift their ventures off the ground. However, the business world is not that black and white, which is why NYWICI held an Intrapreneurship & Entrepreneurship panel on June 2, 2015, to explore those topics in depth. The panel was moderated by Kristine Welker, founding publisher and chief revenue officer, Dr. Oz Magazine, and featured Maya Mikhailov, co-founder and chief marketing officer, GPShopper and Leigh Jacobson, director of Consumer and Digital Marketing North America, Citi.

The panelists agreed that while entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs certainly aren’t the same, both groups share the same ambitious spirit and willingness to enact change.  Maya — an entrepreneur herself — believes that entrepreneurs “must have the will to sell their product, because the product isn’t going to sell itself.  Entrepeneurs must be willing to secure funding and must be able to convince someone to spend their resources on their product.”  Leigh — an intrapreneur — contrasted that intrapreneurs have stability within a large organization and as such have resources readily available. But they must build credibility within their organization first, and then convince the market that a need exists so they can fulfill that need with their idea or new program.

Some other interesting takeaways included:

  • If you can grow revenue and achieve sales, you can control your own destiny.
  • If you have the conviction to go out on your own and have the passion, go for it. If you don’t, you may regret it.
  • Make sure your patience and persistence keep pace with your passion.
  • The worst thing that can happen is failure, and failure in itself is success because you have the ability to pivot.
  • Have a thorough business plan to reference and recruit backers.
  • Make sure your patience and persistence keep pace with your passion.
  • Surround yourself with people you would be willing to spend 10+ hours a day with.
  • Compatible corporate culture is key.
  • Value your own time at work. If you’re doing something that’s not pushing your business forward, your time is better spent elsewhere and perhaps you need to delegate.
  • Build a mentorship with rising stars within your company. Everyone can benefit from someone advocating for them.

Related Reading:


Photos: Jan Goldstoff

Posted by: 
Alexis Mortenson