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  • Ben Finzel

Restoring common sense to communications - one job at a time

Updated: Mar 3, 2019


This month, I’ve launched a new initiative, DC Family Communicators, to serve as a professional networking group for LGBTQ communicators in the DC metropolitan area. This DC group is based on a similar group in Atlanta and will share information and networking opportunities with our Atlanta colleagues. Our focus is on sharing job listings and announcing promotions and new positions for LGBTQ communications professionals in DC. The objective is for these efforts to help boost the number of LGBTQ people in the communications profession in the Nation’s Capitol.

You may be wondering why an energy and environment public affairs counselor is supporting such an initiative. There are many reasons, both professional and personal.

My firm’s tagine is “Restoring common sense to communications.” My service offerings – strategy, messaging, media and partnerships – are built around this concept: by helping clients with the core elements of communications, we help our clients be more successful in their overall efforts. Restoring common sense to communications also includes increasing the diversity of the professionals practicing it – simply put, different viewpoints enable better thinking and yield stronger results. As Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg of Google declared in their book “How Google Works,"

“Homogeneity in an organization breeds failure. A multiplicity of viewpoints, aka diversity, is your best defense against myopia. People from different backgrounds see the world differently. These differences of perspective generate insights that can’t be taught. When you bring these together in a work environment, they integrate to create a broader perspective that is priceless.”

That’s how we work too. It’s why we focus on listening and learning and it’s how we ensure we collaboratively develop the most appropriate solutions for our clients.

Helping openly LGBTQ people build careers in the communications industry in DC will help us do a better job and help our clients fulfill their missions. It’s good business. And it’s central to the approach we’ve followed since the beginning of RENEWPR in 2015: work smarter by working more collaboratively, and work better by engaging a more diverse set of viewpoints.

As an openly gay man in the communications industry, I'm personally invested in this mission as well. I’ve been actively engaged in advocating for LGBTQ people in communications, I’ve helped promote the role of LGBTQ issues in agencies and I helped build, launch and manage the first global LGBTQ communications practice at an international PR firm. And I’ve launched and built a successful boutique communications firm that is certified as an LGBT Business Enterprise by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. This experience helped make me who I am today and it’s central to my success. As an entrepreneur and member of the Washington business community, it only makes sense to give back in a way that helps advance everyone’s best interests, including yes, my own.

I will build this group as slowly or as quickly as interest demands. If you’re an LGBTQ communications professional in DC and you’d like to join the group, send me an email at info@renewpr.com. If you’re an employer and you’d like to ensure that I have your current open position postings to share with the group, please email me at the same address: info@renewpr.com.

In launching this group, I’ve also added a new biography page to the RENEWPR website: a summary of my LGBT Expertise. Check it out here and get in touch if you’d like to talk about how I can bring my expertise to bear on your behalf.



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