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Welcome Lana to MSPA!

June 24, 2010

We have a new member to the MSPA team: Lana Sieg just joined us from George Mason University.

We asked her to share a bit about herself:

I have lived in Northern Virginia all my life and went to school in Fairfax County. Growing up I was very active in sports; I played lacrosse until I was senior in high school. After graduating I attended The University of North Carolina in Charlotte. It was a great experience for me, however I missed my family and decided to transfer back home to George Mason University.

During my first year at George Mason University, I made a life changing decision. I decided to switch my major from business management to communication. I quickly became interested in public relations after taking a couple of communication courses. In one of PR classes, my group and I were assigned to create a fundraising event with a non-profit organization. We decided to team up with The Humane Society of Fairfax County because all of us have pets and we wanted to work with animals. We decided for our fundraiser we would have a dog talent show at the Leesburg Canine Country Club. During this entire project, I learned many useful skills in public relations and event planning.

This past May, I graduated from George Mason University with a BA in communication with a concentration in public relations. I am very excited and eager to learn anything about PR from my internship at MSPA this summer.


MSPA Wins Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation for “Giving Energy a Voice”

June 7, 2010

For our fans:

Extending our expertise and energy in environment, MSPA submitted its Washington Post and other op-eds for this year’s PRSA Bronze Anvil awards.  We are now working with Volvo on clean energy, and earlier worked on smart grid technology.  We wrote and placed op-eds in top Capitol Hill publications.  Bronze anvils are primarily won by multi-national PR agencies, so for a regional Washington firm to win “Best Editorials and Op-Ed Columns” was a real coup (if we do say so ourselves).

PR people are rarely known for our humility, after all.  Here’s an excerpt from our own press announcement:

Mike Smith Public Affairs (MSPA) was recently awarded the 2010 Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). MSPA received the award in the “Editorials/OP-ED Columns” category for its “Giving Energy a Voice” campaign. Every year The Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation celebrates the growing scope, creativity and strategic importance of public relations tactics. Mike Smith, CEO of MSPA says “winning a bronze anvil for our ‘giving energy a voice’ editorials and op-ed series is a career milestone for MSPA.”

“We also want to thank Katherine Hamilton for her knowledge-sharing at the Gridwise Alliance, George Lobenz at Energy Daily, and UN delegates at Copenhagen COP-15 summit. I attended the Climate Change Conference and learned how the grid already works in practice!” says Smith.

Mike Smith Appointed to ITAC by Secretary of Commerce

May 19, 2010

Check out our latest news: Mike is balancing his leadership at MSPA with a new appointment to ITAC!

Mike Smith Appointed to ITAC by Secretary of Commerce

And US Trade Representative for Information & Communications Tech

Reston Public Affairs Exec to Support U.S. Trade Policy

Washington, DC – May 17 – Mike Smith, CEO of Reston-based Public Affairs Agency MSPA, Inc., has been appointed to a 4-year Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) by the Obama Administration. Smith served as a press and advance volunteer for President Obama’s Campaign for 18 months in key primary states Iowa, Texas and Virginia.

Mike Smith on  the Obama trail

Mike on the Obama campaign trail

The ITAC political appointment by Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, is to “pursue trade objectives that reflect the private sector’s concerns and interests.” Smith was nominated by the Northern Virginia Technology Council where he has served as Board Secretary and Vice Chairman of the NVTC Foundation.

According to its federal charter: The Industry Trade Advisory Council is comprised of citizens with industry knowledge “providing detailed policy and technical advice, information and recommendations to the Secretary and the USTR regarding trade barriers, negotiation on trade agreements, and implementation of existing trade agreements.”

Smith previously was Director of Public Affairs for the National Association of Manufacturers working closely with Commerce on international trade issues, NAFTA and global technology. His appointment is to the Information and Communications Technologies, Services and Electronic Commerce advisory group. The ITAC is chaired by Jacquelynn Ruff, vice president of public policy for Verizon with Greg Slater, director of global trade and competition policy from Intel serving as vice chair.

Prior to starting Mike Smith Public Affairs, Smith has also worked as an EVP with a division of Nielsen, Inc. He has also been a long-time PR executive with global PR agencies Burson-Marsteller, Edelman Worldwide and Euro RSCG.

Smith lives in Centreville, Virginia with his wife and two teenaged-children.

TAPS Gala: an Event to Celebrate and Commemorate Courage in Those that Serve, and Those that are Left Behind

April 16, 2010

*editor’s note: the first blog post by our new Account Executive, Liz Bush – we’re excited to welcome her to the MSPA team!*

Actors Jeremy Renner and Brian Geraghty
From left to right: Actors Jeremy Renner and Brian Geraghty of “The Hurt Locker”

On Tuesday, April 13th the TAPS (Tragedy Assistant Program for Survivors) Gala honored and celebrated a year of service and dedication from soldiers, members, and patrons.  TAPS comprises a group of people that have been joined together through their struggle to simply live on.  Each with a personally devastating experience, every TAPS member can find some solace in the fact that they are not alone.  “It’s not a club you necessarily want to join,” says a member. “But once you are in it, you want to be there to help each other and give each other strength.”  Bonnie Carroll founded TAPS after her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, gave his life in an Army C-12 plane crash in 1992.  She opened the evening and began what was to be a line-up of heartfelt and memorable presentations.

The TAPS Gala showcased a varied and impressive attendee list, comprising of actors, military officials, military families, business professionals, and corporate CEO’s. All of whom came together for a common purpose: to help those who have been left behind.  On this night the help was overwhelming as the foundation successfully surpassed their annual goal of $750,000, and reached $1 million, due to an unexpected and generous donation by David J. McIntyre, Jr. of TriWest Healthcare Alliance.

General David H Petraeus

General David H Petraeus addresses the crowd

Speakers included Congressman Ike Skelton, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, General David H. Petraeus, CNN’s Kyra Phillips, and actors Jeremy Renner and Brian Geraghty.  Renner and Geraghty both starred in The Hurt Locker and are active supporters of TAPS, Renner earned an Oscar nomination for his role.  The glitz and glamour, however never overshadowed the purpose of the event.  The honor and reverence towards the survivors, and the incredible respect for those who have fallen was palpable as it filled the great hall of the Andrew. W. Mellon Auditorium.  The climax of the evening surrounded the unveiling of an American Chopper, custom made for TAPS.  The handcrafted machine added a bang to the conclusion of an evening that personified and celebrated dedication, generosity, and determination. The Chopper is currently available as part of a raffle and be found on

It was an honor to attend as a guest of Alion Science and Technology.  It is to be assured that both Alion and MSPA will be stalwart supporters of TAPS and the soldiers and families they represent in any way we can.   So seldom is there a cause as pure and tremendous as the one represented by TAPS.

Watch Mike Smith in action this Thursday on Fearless!

April 6, 2010
Smith, Bogusky, and Eubanks

Left to right: Mike Smith, Alex Bogusky (Crispin Porter + Bogusky), and Marshall Eubanks (AFTV)

Be sure to watch a live-streamed video interview featuring ME (Mike Smith) this Thursday at noon on Fearless TV!  Alex Bogusky (of the always-innovative Crispin Porter + Bogusky ad agency) will interview Marshall Eubanks and I about; the future of online TV; and what we can expect from online advertising.

The link to the interview: (we’ll also try to post it on the blog afterwards).

Topics we hope to cover:

  • what “long tail” really means
  • why AFTV is flying without a net
  • who is going to make money in Internet TV (where Joost and others have not)
  • what we mean by “cut the cord” to cable/TV sets
  • how AFTV and CP+B found each other
  • why AFTV has 60% overseas audience including in China and Middle Eastern repressive regimes.

Ashley will also tweet throughout the interview – follow #fearless for her commentary.

Jeff Porro is our speechwriter; he can be yours too!

April 2, 2010

When I worked at one of the big K Street agencies in Washington, my biggest client win was ExxonMobil. The work we did was Jeff Porroissues management and generating copy for issues advertising in the Post, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, and other political journals. It was a big account. A new CEO had been named that month, Rex Tillotson, who is a chemical engineer and rose through the ranks at Exxon. He was anxious to make a good first impression in Washington at a time when gas prices were running high.

In comes Dr. Jeffrey Porro. Porro Associates, LLC ( wrote a speech for Tillotson that really helped ease his transition to the top CEO spot. Better yet, Jeff proved the CEO had the chops for environmental awareness, a strong focus on renewables, and would move Exxon into the mainstream of climate change. Proving an oil company would be green under Tillotson was the challenge for our speech writer. I have been working with Dr. Porro ever since!

When the spoken word is more important than ever, MSPA is proud to work alongside Jeff Porro.  His unique combination of talent and experience helps executives infuse their words with meaning and power.  Porro is a speechwriter for Fortune 250 CEOs, diplomats, and other government leaders, as well as executives of some of the nation’s leading trade and professional associations.

Porro is most recently celebrating his accolade for a commencement speech he wrote for Anne Lynam Goddard at Assumption College in Mass.  Winning the Cicero award for best commencement address, Porro has made it clear that his talents extend beyond that of the political and entertainment fronts.  “I’m proud of the work I did on the speech,” Porro said, “But Anne made this award possible by sharing so much of her history, her humor, and her life experience. She’s the kind of speaker speechwriter’s dream about.”

The Cicero Awards are presented by Vital Speeches of the Day, the nation’s leading professional speechwriting publication.  Vital Speeches of the Day publishes effective speeches by those who have attained leadership in the fields of business, politics, education, government, and more. The Cicero Speechwriting Awards honor excellent speechwriting and the creative people behind powerful speeches.

Call us if you want a great speech or presentation!

MSPA hosting Public Affairs Conference

March 12, 2010

Eleanor Clift will be the lunch keynote speaker at the PA conference May 25

We just announced the new keynote speakers to a Public Affairs conference we’re hosting with PR News on May 25 – take a look at our release below to get excited!

Mike Smith Public Affairs Announces New Speakers at PR News’ PA Conference
Gary Shapiro, CEA, and Eleanor Clift, Newsweek Magazine now Keynoters

WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Mike Smith Public Affairs ( is co-hosting a PR News national public affairs conference in Washington, DC on May 25

Gary Shapiro of CEA, our breakfast speaker

Gary Shapiro, the president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Consumer Electronics Show, will provide the morning keynote. His address is also part of the National Press Club morning newsmakers program.

Journalist Eleanor Clift will serve as the luncheon keynote speaker.  Clift is a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, a political contributor for FOX News, and a regular panelist on The McLaughlin Group.

Both Shapiro and Clift will discuss current attitudes in Washington and prognostications about the midterm elections in November.

“We are eager to have Gary Shapiro and Eleanor Clift offer their experiences and predictions for 2010 to the public affairs community,” noted Mike Smith of MSPA ( “Eleanor Clift’s understanding of the rapidly evolving political landscape and Gary Shapiro’s innovative perspective on the future of technology and politics will add new dimensions to this conference.”

New speakers who will serve on panels include: Mindy Finn, who helped Governor Bob McDonnell to victory in Virginia, and crisis expert Eric Dezenhall, called upon to discuss political hijinks and reputation recovery this year. Public Affairs Executives from companies such as Johnson & Johnson, MasterCard, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and E-Bay will also speak.

The conference’s primary media sponsor is the Access Intelligence publishing group, which publishes: PR News,, Defense Daily, Chemical Week, Energy Daily, and POWER.

Mike Smith Public Affairs is a Washington-based agency with clients that have included: Craig Newmark (Obama Campaign), Baker Botts law firm (DOE grants), and comScore (FCC broadband policy). Mike Smith is a Washington native and 25 year PR practitioner.