Blog – Pens Down2021-02-13T08:20:53-05:00

At A Glance Proposal Graphics

Today's blog is featuring our Diamond Partner, 24 Hour Company, which was founded as a traditional graphic design firm in 1992 by Dennis Fitzgerald. Realizing the opportunity to focus on an under-served niche market in the Washington, DC area, Dennis transitioned the company into one whose primary clients are business development professionals who bid on government and commercial contract work. To provide a growing client base with unique, new services, the company added Mike Parkinson as a partner in 1999. Check out Mike Parkinson's vlog below about proposal graphics:

By |April 16th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|0 Comments

7 Steps for Successful Capture

By |April 9th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

The Capture process is more than identifying a customer’s requirements and objectives in a Request for Proposal (RFP).  Here are seven steps to help you develop your capture process. 1. Know the Customer Ideally, your capture process starts prior to the release of the RFP. It should begin with understanding the customer’s needs, wants, likes/dislikes, and their procedures and business culture. Also, determine the key decision-makers and their backgrounds. Knowing these details, no matter how small,

3 Ways to Stay Upbeat when a Proposal Goes Bad

By |April 2nd, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

When overwhelmed by a deadline, I can fall into unhealthy mental habits. I get stressed, frustrated, and exhausted. However, years ago, I started using three techniques to ensure a happier, healthier, and more successful me. I learned these strategies from successful business professionals and life coaches. The following strategies work well together to help me remain positive and less stressed. Use what works best for you. 1. The Platinum Rule. The Golden Rule recommends, “Treat

Return of the MAC – Calling all volunteers!

By |March 29th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

It’s official - the APMP National Capital Area’s Mid-Atlantic Conference IS BACK for 2021! Check out the Q&A below with Annual Conference Co-chairs Morgan Anderson and Kirstin Billard about what changes we can expect to see at this year’s MAC. Both are first-time board members - perfect for bringing a fresh perspective to the unique challenge of putting on a conference in a post-COVID world.  If you are interested in volunteering for our chapter’s largest

The Story Behind Storyboarding And Why It’s Critical To Your Proposal Process

By |March 21st, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

Storyboards have long been a part of our standard proposal best practices. We all know that the proposal giants include storyboarding as an integral part of the proposal development process, but where did this concept of storyboards originate? Interestingly, the storyboarding process, in the form we know it today, was actually developed at Walt Disney Productions during the early 1930s! Traditionally, a storyboard is a graphic organizer of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for

Simpler and More Productive Proposal Reviews

By |March 11th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

Color team reviews, you know them. Those dreaded meetings when you take a hard look at the draft of your proposal and realize that you have a ton of work to do before this thing is a winner. Is there any way to make these reviews less painful and more productive? How can I get what I need from my reviewers the first time?  In the next 1400 words I’ll do my best to share

Parenting and Proposal Parallels

By |March 4th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

Note from the editor: This is a reprint of an article originally from Spring 2011 Executive Summary Ezine, written by past NCA board member Alexander Brown (2005 - 2015). This article may be 10 years (!) old, but as the mother of a young child every word here still rings true in 2021: “My life revolves around my girls” is a mantra I adhere to. Each morning I wake up happy that I have another

Three Surprising Things I’ve Learned as a Student of Proposal Writing

By |February 25th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

If you're a student of proposal writing, check out APMP-NCA's Graduate Pathway Program. There are valuable opportunities to expand your education, network with peers and gain insight from proposal mentors along the way. For more information on this program, please email Originally published February 2020 As a student of proposal writing rather than an active member of the field, it does feel presumptuous to be writing about the topic with a mere two semesters

5 reasons Why I’m Signing Up For the Mentor-Protégé Program

By |February 19th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

I remember my first day working in Proposals - it was just me and one other person and we split all the work 50/50. Together, we made up the proposal manager, proposal coordinator, capture manager, editor, graphics artist, and every other role needed in between to create our finished masterpiece of a proposal.  We were both in our first role when it came to responding to RFP’s, and thinking back, how we could’ve used a

The Complete Newbie’s Guide to a Career in Proposal Writing

By |February 11th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

The Complete Newbie’s Guide to a Career in Proposal Writing Originally published on Aug 13, 2019 by KSI , Inc. So, you’re about to start proposal writing for the first time. Maybe you’re transitioning careers, or maybe you’re a recent college graduate, stepping into government contracting culture for the very first time. Either way, congratulations are in order. Way to go! You’re about to start a new career in an exciting and challenging field. A

APMP’s 2021 Virtual Capture and Business Development Conference (CBDC) Delivers Crowd-sourced Training Topics and Networking Opportunities for a Global Audience

By |February 4th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

FOMO is real if you didn’t attend CBDC last week… It was THAT good, for those of us wanting to begin the new year with a renewed focus on capture and business development excellence. However, if you missed out—fear not. Here, we break down the highlights and key takeaways from CBDC and give you a chance to weigh in on what you want to see from your local APMP NCA chapter.  This year’s all-virtual conference

Step Back In Time – A look back at the Executive Summary

By |January 21st, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

A huge thank you to all of our readers, new and old, who stay up to date with our weekly blog, Pens Down - we look forward to sharing so much more the rest of the year! A look back at The Executive Summary It’s been a few weeks since we’ve started this new weekly format, and I thought it would be fitting to take a look back at our humble beginnings as a bi-monthly

Three Ways Proposals Are Like Building a House

By |January 14th, 2021|Categories: Blog, Featured Article|

Three Ways Proposals Are Like Building a House Happy 2021! After a challenging and rocky 2020, I know so many of us are looking forward to new beginnings and a smoother year in 2021. I’m definitely no exception. In fact, my fiancé Kevin and I are in the process of building our dream home. But it wasn’t something we set out last year planning to do—we just kind of—fell into it.  As you know, safe,

Past eZine Issues, prior to June 2018, are available in the Body of Knowledge as PDFs.  Temporarily, the files are here.

Special Thanks To . . .

Executive Summary e-Zine Chair

Candy Jenkins, CP APMP, PMP


Rebecca Link,
APMP-NCA President

General Dynamics Information Technology

Steve Skeldon,
APMP-NCA Vice President


Technical Support

Neal Levene, CPP APMP, PMP,
APMP-NCA Technology Chair

Siemens Government Technologies, Inc.


P.O. Box 711
Arlington, VA 22216-0711

A Publication of the Association of
Proposal Management Professionals
National Capital Area Chapter

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The mission of the APMP-NCA chapter is to support our members in advancing their professional goals and increasing their capabilities to win business.

The APMP NCA Chapter maximizes member value by:

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