Cynthia Powell, CP Knowhow

Cynthia Powell, owner of CP Knowhow, is a big-picture strategic thinker and a guerrilla PR practitioner. Cynthia plans and leads nonprofit and corporate positioning and media campaigns that get the word out in ink, create blogger buzz, and put clients on radio and TV. She ghostwrites and places op-eds, letters to the editor, and news articles. She spent four weeks in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake, where she consulted to HelpAge International, a nonprofit that serves and advocates for older people.

As PR director for U.S. News & World Report until early 2008, Cynthia started an in-house PR operation nearly from scratch, supervising an outside agency and hiring a full-time staff. During her tenure, national broadcast interviews of staff writers and editors increased by over 50%. In Peace Corps Niger, West Africa, Cynthia served as a community health volunteer in a rural village and then led communications efforts for the Niger office of Plan International. Cynthia also spent more than seven years working for two international public relations firms in Washington, DC — APCO Associates and then Fleishman Hillard.

Prior to moving to Washington in 1996, Cynthia directed media relations for World Learning, a nonprofit international educational services and development organization based in Brattleboro, VT, and Washington. She began her career as a daily reporter for the Lawrence (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune; the State House News Service in Boston; the Times Record, in Brunswick, Maine; and a freelancer for the New York Times and Boston Phoenix.

Cynthia has a master of science in journalism from Boston University and a bachelor of arts in history from Brown University, magna cum laude. She speaks French, Spanish and Hausa. She volunteers as PR chair for the DC Ad Club’s annual awards event, the ADDYs, and she’s a membership ambassador for Public Relations Society of America.