Debra Zimmerman Murphey has been a professional writer and communications professional for nearly 37 years. She has a broad and varied background in the newspaper, magazine and trade newsletter industries, but transitioned her career to become an expert in digital media. Currently, she provides public relations (PR), content and strategic communications insight and development — including grassroots outreach, social media, videos and creative podcasting — for clients of Tobin Communications. She also works on a freelance basis, and on independent writing, website, branding and organizational endeavors.
Her personal website contains many examples of her writing.
Murphey is both a former editor and publisher of Publications Management and senior editor of the leading trade publication PR NEWS. She understands that for writing and content to be effective in PR, marketing and advocacy, they must resonate in the way that news stories do and build credibility and transparency. That means offering information that is accurate, compelling, relevant, well-researched and addresses various audiences’ information and lifestyle needs.
An award-winning reporter and editor who began her journalism career in 1985, she has written for a range of publications and organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, McMurry Publishing, the Custom Publishing Council, Phillips Publishing, New Media Report, AmericanStyle and Niche magazines, The Washington Post, The Maryland Independent, Southern Maryland This is Living magazine and the Charles County Economic Development Commission.
Murphey also has extensive healthcare, nonprofit, political campaign and grassroots education expertise and has provided PR/marketing insight, content-development input and writing for environmental organizations and animal-advocacy initiatives.
She has also spoken at, and moderated, industry conferences, and taken on assignments which garnered regional and national media attention and/or recognition (e.g., the story of a Holocaust survivor who endured life at three concentration camps, the use of apitherapy in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, and investigative/in-depth articles on the criminal and juvenile justice systems, and people living without indoor plumbing). She has won numerous professional awards, including a Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association (MDDC) “Best in Show.”
As a child, and the daughter of a career Foreign Service Officer, Murphey was schooled abroad and lived in Lagos, Nigeria; Bangkok, Thailand; Vienna, Austria; Seoul, Korea; and Athens, Greece. She is currently completing her first book, “Liastona and The Talon Kings,” a tale of ospreys and their magical lives and world. She is also a published poet.
Murphey earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communications from George Mason University and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Journalism (with a concentration in new media) from American University.