Working in the White House: a conversation with author and PR consultant Vicki Robb

Vicki Robb, APR, is a Washington, DC area  PR consultant who got her start in public relations working in the White House during the Carter Administration.

Vicki Robb is the author of Me & Jimmy! Tales of A Junior Staffer in the Carter Whitehouse, available from

Vicki shares fascinating insider anecdotes, as well as her views and experience about public relations work, in this candid video interview with Conversations in Public Relations host Mary Fletcher Jones.

Video interview recorded February 3, 2011 by David Hyson, editing by Mary Fletcher Jones.


Vicki Robb and Mary Fletcher Jones

Vicki Robb and Mary Fletcher Jones talk about Vicki's White House PR work for Conversations in Public Relations video interview


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Meet Vicki Robb, Media Relations Expert

Vicki Robb

Vicki Robb is an independent public relations consultant and media relations expert

Vicki Robb is a guest on Conversations in Public Relations.

Vicki Robb, APR, is an independent public relations consultant with more than twenty-five years of experience, including work for organizations such as the John Templeton Foundation, Wal-Mart, Coalition for Auto Repair Equality, Food Lion, RetireSafe, Center for Immigration Studies, George Mason University, and many others.

Previously, Vicki served as press assistant to former First Lady Rosalynn Carter at The White House. In this position, she wrote press releases, directed camera crews and reporters at White House special events, and interacted daily with top tier reporters and TV news crews.

Vicki directed high profile coverage for The Seniors Coalition, leading them to be named one of the top ten most effective lobbying organizations in Washington by Roll Call.

Vicki also put The National Institute for Healthcare Research on the map with over 70 million impressions within 18 months including coverage on “CBS Evening News,” “NBC Nightly News,” the New York Magazine, and Time among hundreds more.

Vicki is the author of Me and Jimmy: Tales of a Junior Staffer in the Carter White House and Capital Porties: The Inside Scoop on Washington’s Top Dogs .

Vicki is a graduate from the University of  Georgia School of Journalism. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, where she earned her professional accreditation, as well as the Independent Public Relations Alliance.

From journalist to publicist: thoughts on the career transition, with Sally Squires

With newsrooms shrinking, many journalists are making the transition into PR. Sally Squires, Senior Vice President, Director of Health and Wellness Communications, Powell Tate (formerly of The Washington Post) reveals lessons she learned as she made the transition to a career in public relations.

In 2008, Sally Squires joined Powell Tate as the Director of Health and Wellness Communications after 24 years at The Washington Post as an award-winning medical and health writer. At Powell Tate, she specializes in the design and implementation of nutrition, food and health advocacy programs for government, nonprofit and corporate clients.

Recorded at the January 6, 2011 IPRA meeting by Mary Fletcher Jones

2010 in review: Conversations in Public Relations Blog Health

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 28 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 155 posts. There were 26 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 11mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 11th with 130 views. The most popular post that day was On ethics, with Peter Stanton (VIDEO).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for makeup, make up, make-up, wardrobe, and make up tips.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


On ethics, with Peter Stanton (VIDEO) May 2010


What to Wear in the Conversations Videos January 2009
1 comment


Look Good on Video: Makeup Tips for Women January 2009

Nasuti + Hinkle’s Award-Winning Pro Bono Work

Katie Sokolosky and Woody Hinkle, Nasuti + Hinkle

Katie Sokolosky and Woody Hinkle, Nasuti + Hinkle

Pro bono work provides communicators not only with the opportunity to make a difference, but also to stretch, creatively.  In this video, Woody Hinkle and Katie Sokolosky of the Bethesda, MD advertising firm Nasuti + Hinkle talk about their award-winning pro bono work for Washington Humane Society.

This outstanding campaign won Gold ADDY Awards at the local and regional levels, and a Silver ADDY Award at the national level this year.

A Conversation with Jim Lansbury, RP3 Agency

Jim Lansbury, RP3 Agency

The RP3 Agency has won many, many awards.  In this video interview with Mary Fletcher Jones, Creative Director Jim Lansbury shares some of his insider strategies for winning ADDY Awards.


Makeup for video and photography (VIDEO)

I had to share this new Michelle Phan video with you because she demonstrates many techniques that are important for video, as well as photography.  Pay particular close attention to how she preps her skin, applies foundation, and how she lines her eyes.

As always, men just please keep loose or pressed powder (translucent) on hand, blotting tissues (you can get these at Rite Aid) or regular tissues, and lip balm.  A bronzer is fine, as is some concealer, if needed.

For my ladies who are Conversations in Public Relations guests, keep in mind:

  • For the few days before, prepare your skin with a light exfoliation to remove dead skin cells.  Try the gentle and effective exfoliating scrubs made by Aveeno or Lancome.  And drink plenty of water!  (This is also good advice for men — also, if you can, abstain from alcohol for a couple of days before the shoot. It will make a big difference in your face.)
  • Buy a video-friendly foundation, concealer, and powder (with no SPF, which can reflect in the lights).  You can try Revlon‘s Photo Finish, Rimmel (inexpensive at any drug store), Cargo HD (can be hard to find, try Sephora), or Makeup Forever.  Benefit makes a powder foundation called Get Even which you can use wet or dry and provides good coverage.  You want to even out skin tone without the foundation looking too heavy on your skin, since we shoot in HD (high definition).  Primer will help your makeup smooth on more easily on your skin and will make it last longer. Rimmel makes a good and inexpensive primer.  Buy a concealer that is 1/2 to 1 shade lighter than your complexion tone.
  • Do NOT forget eye brow pencil.  Some of you might not need it, but many ladies over 30 do need a light application of brow pencil.  If you are willing to spend a little more ($22), this brow powder is highly rated and is available from Sephora:
  • If you are over 35, choose matte shadows for your eyes in neutral colors, using a fairly light shade on the lid (to brighten the eyes), unless your complexion is dark.  Clinique has some great shades.  If you are under 35, you can use some shine, but avoid overly metallic looks for video.
  • You don’t have to line the waterline of your eyes, as she does in this video, but it would help if you would wear eyeliner on the lid (a soft smudged line in brown or grey; try Almay eyeliner pencil), as well as mascara.  For sensitive eyes, try Almay mascara, which is what I use.  Otherwise, look into Maybelline Stilletto, which is a well-reviewed and inexpensive mascara (less than $10) or Maybelline Great Lash.
  • Lipsticks should be creamy or matte formulas, not high gloss or metallic.  I also ask my ladies to bring a clear gloss or petroleum jelly which I may have them apply very sparingly to the center of the bottom lip to bring light and attention to the mouth.

When media relations requires sensitivity: a conversation with Ami Neiberger-Miller (VIDEO)

Ami Neiberger-Miller and Mary Fletcher Jones

Does handling media relations mean you always have to capitulate to the demands of the press? No, not always. In this conversation with Ami Neiberger-Miller — in charge of public affairs for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors ( — we learn how to handle media relations with sensitivity.

Recorded 2010 at the offices of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors in Washington, DC.

Host: Mary Fletcher Jones. Direction: David Hyson.

10 ways to say thank you for your video interview

David Hyson adjusts the camera for the perfect shot

When communications professionals appear on Conversations in Public Relations, they reap many benefits.  Their visibility among a global audience of communicators is increased through the exposure the series provides through blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.  And nothing showcases subject matter expertise like online video does.  A Conversations in Public Relations video is significantly beneficial for a participant’s personal brand and company brand.

Each Conversations in Public Relations video we produce represents about 20 hours of our non-billable time, so expressions of thanks from participants are quite meaningful to David and me.   As communicators, we also value the opportunity to extend our relationships with participants and have access to business development and networking opportunities.

If you have appeared in a Conversations in Public Relations video and feel inclined to tangibly demonstrate your appreciation for our efforts on your behalf, here are some suggestions to consider.

  1. Call us (571) 269-7559 and let us know you have viewed the video.  Tell us what you think and thank us for our time.
  2. Leave a comment on the Conversations in Public Relations YouTube Channel or blog expressing your thoughts about the experience.
  3. Write a recommendation for our work on LinkedIn, under the Conversations in Public Relations section.
  4. Offers us a paid project to work on, or recommend us to someone you know (see the Fletcher Prince website).
  5. Suggest future show topics, and personally introduce us to thought leaders whom you know well for video interviews.
  6. Invite David and me for lunch or coffee with you.
  7. Ask us to speak about social media (YouTube, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) or marketing at your company or organization.
  8. Invite us to your company events and celebrations.  Maybe we’ll bring a video camera! 🙂
  9. Send us some company SWAG or remember us with a small gift or greeting card around the holidays.
  10. Provide us with two complimentary event tickets, conference admissions, or two seats at your sponsored table.

Preparation Check-List for On-Location Video Interviews

Recording a video interview on location with the AMA-DC leadership team

When we record video interviews at the guest’s location, it often adds a different and fascinating dimension to the video.  A successful on-location shoot requires careful planning, however, and it is more complicated and time-consuming for us to produce. We need the assistance of our guests to pull it off, but the extra effort is often worth it.

When interviews are conducted at your location, we ask that our participants arrange and provide the items and assistance on this checklist:

  • An appropriate and spacious video interview environment that is relatively free of noise and distractions.  We need access to electrical outlets and the ability to move furniture, if required.
  • Scheduling between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., or in the evenings.
  • Furnishings and props we may require, such as signs, plants, floral arrangements, small tables, and two straight-back chairs (chairs with wheels or that squeak are not good for interviews).
  • Adequate time to set up and break down our equipment.
  • Photo opportunities at your location.
  • Business cards for all participants and helpers.
  • Attention to our comfort. Refreshments, such as ice water, or lunch for mid-day or multiple video interviews.  We are always delighted to be treated to lunch with you in reward for our efforts!
  • Complimentary and convenient parking arrangements. Keep in mind that we transport heavy, professional equipment to video shoots.

Before the video shoot, remember to

  • Notify office colleagues that you will be recording video and ask for as much quiet and as few disruptions as possible during the short time we are in the office (some ambient noise is unavoidable).
  • Close the blinds in the room, if possible.
  • Turn off computers (they buzz), desk phones, and cell phones.
  • Have on hand: makeup (men: lip balm, powder), tissues, a comb or brush, lint brush, and a back-up outfit for yourself.
  • Provide glasses of water for everyone.