It all started with Newshounds. That’s the middle school newspaper I launched with a few friends. It’s how I got the bug for reporting, researching, writing, and editing. Flash forward twenty plus years and while Newshounds may be no more, I’m still a storyteller through and through.
After graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, I worked as the Communications Assistant at Japan Society and Programs Assistant at the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity before beginning a half-decade tenure at philanthropic consultancy Changing Our World, part of the Omnicom Group. There I worked my way up to Senior Director in the Corporate Social Engagement practice, advising FORTUNE 500 companies on creating and implementing programs related to grantmaking, cause marketing, employee engagement, and more.
While at Changing Our World, I was also honored to be named as the first young alumna to join the Board of Trustees of Marymount School, the independent girls’ school in New York City. I served as a trustee for two years, and still serve the Alumnae Association as a class representative.
From Changing Our World I decided to combine my passions for philanthropy and communications by stepping away from the world of work to focus on sharpening my journalistic skills in graduate school. In 2011 I earned my M.S. in Journalism with honors (top 15% of class) from Columbia University, concentrating in Digital Journalism.
Post-Columbia I landed at international NGO Action Against Hunger as the Communications Officer. In 2013 I was promoted to Senior Communications Officer, a dream job for me helping lead communications strategy and programming for the organization’s United States HQ. Action Against Hunger’s mission is to build a world free from hunger, and it pursues this goal by focusing on nutrition, food security, clean water, and emergency relief projects in 50 countries. The global Action Against Hunger network reached 14.7 million people last year. To learn more about my role there, please expand the box below.
Learn more about my role as Senior Communications Officer at Action Against Hunger
My responsibilities included:
- Serving as the organization’s chief in-house reporter, managing messaging to position Action Against Hunger as a leading resource on global malnutrition: reporting, researching, interviewing, writing, editing, (and sometimes even translating!) stories for the blog, which serves as Action Against Hunger’s hub for thought leadership and programmatic updates
- Writing professional, audience-specific content for the annual report, donor letters, constituent emails, and more
- Maintaining a multi-faceted editorial calendar to guide all upcoming content and campaigns
- Designing special communications packages for key humanitarian milestones like World Food Day, World Water Day, and International Women’s Day
- Drafting speeches for our CEO and our Chairman of the Board
- Writing scripts for videos used for program storytelling, donor outreach, fundraising, and at our annual gala. Voice talent recording my scripts include acclaimed actresses Kristen Bell and Rachael Leigh Cook
- Being a strategic voice and planner for key campaigns and events including, most recently, the 2016 Gala Against Hunger which honored Executive Director of the World Food Programme Ertharin Cousin and Weight Watchers, with an acceptance from Board member Oprah Winfrey
- Supporting departmental leaders in strategic planning for communications and in the 2015-2016 organizational rebranding process
- Preparing executives and other key players for media interviews. I also managed a PR agency and supported their efforts to secure prominent media placements and maintain relationships with reporters
- Managing the organization’s social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google+
- Liaising with ease with counterparts at sister HQs in Canada and Europe; program country directors in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; with photographers, videographers, and other vendors; with External Relations colleagues focused on digital and direct marketing, major donor fundraising, and corporate and foundation engagement; and with the organization’s senior management, operations, finance, and human resource teams.
After five fabulous years at Action Against Hunger I found myself ready for a new adventure and more flexibility. Eager to apply my skills and knowhow in service of a broader range of people and organizations, I found my path: my own consultancy. In 2017 Elisabeth Rapport Communications was born. I hope we’ll have the chance to work together!