Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic.  In this profile we feature Donna Armstrong.  Photography for the series is by Cade Martin.wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.

Donna, please provide us a short bio.

I have been creating strategic initiatives to tell brands’ stories and position them favorably with key stakeholders for more than 16 years. I have a successful track record of delivering outstanding media results, as well as helping organizations meet critical business needs and objectives. I work with clients ranging from small businesses to enterprises, assisting them in crafting and carrying out a PR strategy to help them get the word out and get noticed. I am currently a Senior Account Manager at ConnellyWorks, a Yes& agency.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

When I’m not cheering my children from the stands at their various sporting events, you can find me serving as the secretary of the Parent Teacher Organization at my children’s school. Prior to being elected secretary in 2016, I served as a Parent Representative for four years.  I am also a Sunday School Teacher at Mount Ennon Baptist Church, a committee member for the National Council of Negro Women’s Annual Fashion Show and Jazz Luncheon and a volunteer for Path for Greatness and Food for All DC.  I am also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

What are the things you are most proud of?

I am the first person in my family to attend and graduate from college and receive a post-graduate degree. I’m honored to be able to serve as a role model for my extended family and a positive example of what lies beyond our small Virginia town. However, my biggest accomplishment is my two children, Andrew and Addison.  Watching them grow and thrive is a constant reminder of how blessed I truly am.

Who are your personal role models?

I’m not even sure they know this, but my professional role models are two women named Leslie Tullio and Rikki George. Leslie was instrumental in teaching me how to be a public relations professional.  She taught me the importance of media relations and how to effectively manage clients.  Rikki taught me about professionalism. Rikki is the epitome of a PR professional.  She is an awesome writer and spent an entire summer – she gave me my first internship – teaching me the art of writing.

My personal role models are a gentleman named Larry Davis and my late grandmother, Gertrude Taylor. Growing up, I was a part of an organization called Upward Bound, a program for first-generation, college-bound students.  Davis was the director of the program at the time.  He was always cool under pressure, fun to be around and had the best perspective on life.  He inspired countless young people to be their best.  My grandmother was just plain awesome. She poured so much love into me and taught me the importance of character, keeping your word, and being a strong woman.  More importantly, she taught me the importance of hard work, family and faith—core values that I still live by today.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Be kind, master your craft, listen with purpose and always work hard.

What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?

My Pandora is constantly on shuffle between contemporary gospel, 90’s hip hop and R&B and the Serial podcast.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

Acadiana in DC.

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