A Note from the President
Dear PPRA Members,

Last month, we mentioned that exciting changes are underway for PPRA. We are making terrific progress on a new website, thanks to the hard work of PPRA Director Gary Bramnick. The upgraded site will be user-friendly with plenty of features to better serve you. In addition, the site will have a new look and feel to reflect the PPRA brand.

Throughout this process, we've thought a lot about what makes PPRA unique and how we can better convey the value of membership. One recurring theme we felt strongly about is that PPRA is a "local community," a group of highly engaged, connected professionals who give back to - and take great pride in -the Greater Philadelphia region that we serve.

With this in mind, I am pleased to reveal our updated PPRA logo. Featuring our city skyline and bold colors that are historic to the region, the new logo better reflects our unique community connection. I look forward to hearing your feedback and engaging with you further as we continue to communicate PPRA's mission and value.

One of my favorite events of the year is the annual Hall of Fame luncheon, which enables us to turn the spotlight on those who have brought honor and recognition to our community. I am delighted to announce that this year's Hall of Fame inductee is Dr. Bill Cowen.

A longtime friend of PPRA and a Past-President, Bill is a respected agency executive, university professor, and leadership coach who has successfully served top agencies, Fortune 100 corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurial ventures, and academia. On a personal note, Bill recruited me to the PPRA Board many years ago and served as a mentor during my early years with organization. I hope you will join us as we celebrate his many accomplishments on May 24th.


Ashley Berke
2016-2017 President
Philadelphia Public Relations Association

Here's What You Missed
Our popular #MemberMonday feature is back, most recently featuring Dorin Elhadad of Brownstone PR. Read her full Q&A on our blog.

Networking 101
Networking: sounds easy, but is it? Last fall,  PPRA hosted "Networking 101," an event that gave students the opportunity to practice their networking skills. What was the biggest takeaway? Head over to our blog to find out!

Upcoming Events

Presented by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Mid-Atlantic Chapter.  Discuss the latest trends in news and digital, and learn about behind-the- scenes decisions that go into news coverage. Panelists include: Steve Butler, KYW Newsradio; Sandra Clark, WHYY; Margaret Cronan, CBS3/CW Philly; Tom Davis, 6abc; Jim Driscoll, FOX29; Anzio Williams, NBC10/Telemundo 62; moderated by Susan Buehler. Register here.

Join us as we induct Dr. Bill Cowen into the PPRA Hall of Fame at Union Trust in Philadelphia!  A longtime friend of PPRA and a Past-President, Bill Cowen, EdD, MA Public Relations, PRSA Counselors Academy, is a renowned PR consultant, university professor, and leadership coach who has successfully served top agencies, Fortune 100 corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurial ventures, and academia. He is President and owner of Metrospective Communications LLC, and is co-founder and a two-term Past-President of PR Boutiques International. Register here.
Local Media Happenings
  • Kathy Matheson, formerly of AP, will now be working for the Philadelphia Fire Department in communications.
Know of a recent media change? Email us! 

Win an award? Speaking on a panel? Landed an amazing media hit? 
Email us your good news at  info@ppra.com or tweet us using #PPRAProud.

New Positions & Hires, Clients, and Endeavors: 
  • Meredith Fitzgerald has been named Director of Executive and Media Communications for Comcast Spotlight. In this role, Meredith is responsible for providing expertise in executive communications and developing and executing external communications and media activities in support of the company's business strategies and programs. She was previously Senior Manager of Corporate Communications for Comcast Corporation.
  • Christina Crews is now the Field Brand Reputation Manager for McDonald's USA. In this position, Christina will be responsible for continuing the elevation of the brand via external communications in the Delaware Valley, central and upstate PA, and upstate NY areas.
  • Bonnie Squires of Squires Consulting has been elected to the board of the Nicholas Virgilio Haiku Association, which is about to launch the Nick Virgilio Writers House in Camden and also runs a national haiku contest for school-age students.
  • Bellevue Communications Group has hired Mike Neilon as Vice President of Media Relations. The firm has also hired former NBC10 producer Kareen Preble as an Account Executive.
  • PPRA Hall of Fame Member and Past President Mark A. Tarasiewicz, Executive Director of the 12,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association, was selected as the recipient of the 2017 Arthur J. Birdsall Award by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. The award is the highest honor bestowed upon a Pennsylvania bar executive and recognizes faithful stewardship, commitment to the association's success, and enhancement of its stature.
  • Eastern State Penitentiary is excited to welcome Jaime Martorana to their full-time staff as Specialist, Marketing and Communications. She joins Nicole (Fox) Frankhouser, who was recently promoted to Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, and Ellen Feist, who is now Marketing and Communications Strategist.
  • PPRA member Affordable Offset Printing, Inc. is proud to announce that the World Trade Association of Philadelphia is retaining their services for  design/creative, printing, trade show materials, and website development. Their new website, wtaphila.com,   will be up soon.
  • PPRA Immediate Past President Meredith Z. Avakian-Hardaway has joined Temple University as an adjunct professor. She is teaching News Writing and Media Relations this semester.
Notable Placements: 
  • In January, members of Bancroft's Adult Employment Program were featured on CBS3's "Brotherly Love" segment. The group of adults, who have autism, spend every Thursday morning volunteering at the Cherry Hill Food Pantry to give back to their community. 
  • From homeless to working as a line chef at a 4-star restaurant, Philabundance Community Kitchen graduate, Markeeta Henderson, was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer for her journey to success after graduating from Philabundance's culinary arts vocational training program. Shout out to Adam Dvorin for the reporter recommendation to Amanda White!
  • Marissa Montenegro Matteo and the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital worked with the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office to secure coverage from 6abc, CBS3, FOX29, NBC10, KYW NewsRadio, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others, of the discharge of Sheriff Lt. Paul Owens, six months after a devastating injury in an elevator accident at the Criminal Justice Center. 
  Special Moments: 
  • Former PPRA president and Hall of Famer Larry Rubin and his wife, Flora, celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on January 30th. They celebrated with a few fun days in New York City, where they briefly honeymooned in 1966 between semesters before returning to Temple University to complete their senior year.

Photo of the Month

PPRA Immediate Past President Meredith Z. Avakian-Hardaway closes the "Women in Advertising" panel by taking a group selfie with attendees.  

Looking to connect with students for co-ops, internships, or permanent opportunities?   Contact the Employer Relations Team at Drexel University's Steinbright Career Development Center at  hireadragon@drexel.edu .

New faces have joined PPRA. Make sure to say hello if you see them at one of our next events!
  • Maggie Wurst, Temple University

  • Jake Yablonski, Platinum Brands

Your dream career could be a few clicks away. Visit PPRA's Career Corner for more details on the following positions: 

Communications Specialist 
Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Please Touch Museum
PR & Marketing Communications Account Executive
Public Relations Freelancer
Committee of Seventy
Communications Specialist
Confidential (Chester County, PA)
Senior Account Executive/
Account Director

Freelance Public Relations Professional
Propel Strategic Communications
Communications Manager
Mural Arts Program
Public Relations Specialist

Have a job you want to promote in the Career Corner to reach nearly 300 PR professionals in the area? Click here to post your job !