Practicing Public Interest P.R.

Moving, Forward, Growing and Building

Marcia Kline Sharp '68 says one of her most fulfilling projects in the last few years was building a doll house for her seven-year-old daughter.

Sharp says that although she does not share her daughter's preference for dolls over power tools, she enjoyed putting her skills to work for someone else.

Home isn't the only place where Sharp has used her talents to further the interests of others.

For 20 years Sharp chaired the Washington, D.C., public relations firm Hager-Sharp, which she co-founded. And last February, Sharp left her company to start another, the Millennium Communications Group.

Sharp also has a long list of volunteer activities, most of which employ the same type of skills as her professional work.


She says her work consists of helping companies to find direction and grow--not just packaging them to look appealing.

"I think of what I do as communications consulting, not public relations. What we're really trying to do is use communications to make an important change for the organization to help it grow," Sharp says.

Sharp says she decided to go into this line of work because she enjoys all of its aspects. "I like moving forward. I like growing things. I like building things. I like problem solving. I like finding what is important and current," she says.

Her client list consists mainly of organizations which provide social services, including the American Society for Training and Development, B'nai B'rith Women and the Women's College Coalition.

Sharp says that while she prefers to work for nonprofit firms, she does not choose them based on any narrow agenda. She says only. "I want every company I work for to build for responsible action."

But Sharp says that while she is "not socially terribly radical," her personal time is devoted to organizations with agendas similar to her own. "I have ideas about how the world ought to be," she says.

Judging from the organizations she has worked for, education and women's issues are high on her list.

In the 1970s, Sharp was a founding member of the National Association of Women Business Owners. The association, she says, is dedicated to fighting the challenges that women face in business, such as credit discrimination, and it also explored the effect of women on the workplace environment.

She says she enjoyed this work because she enjoys making companies grow. "I was most involved in the start-up of the organization," Sharp says.

In working for the Council for Women in Independent Schools, Sharp united her concern for education and women's issues. This organization tackled the issue of making independent schools "more responsive to the fact that these schools have to work for girls as well as they do for boys," Sharp says.

Her concern for women comes from personal experience. Sharp, who is married and has three children, says she struggles to balance her work with her family and personal time.

Recommended Articles